I haven’t spent much time thinking about GTD this year. I’ve got a system going that mostly works, so I have just been working it and not worrying about it. A few things have come up recently that have made me start thinking about it again though.

First, I have started offloading most of my programming-related task management into Jira. This has been working pretty well. I’ve got about 100 issues in Jira right now, over a variety of projects. I’ve got the other two developers in my department using it too. From a GTD perspective, I look at a Jira “issue” as a GTD “project”, though sometimes it’s a pretty small project. (Other times, it’s a pretty big one.) I don’t really have a great way of tracking next actions in Jira, but my basic goal is that any open, in-progress, issue in Jira should have a next action on it. I just add comments to the issue as I go, detailing what I’ve done, and what I still need to do. This has gotten most of the programming stuff out of my previous GTD system, which has basically been the Lotus Notes to-do list. (I’ve set up my to-do list based on the system set forth in this document.)

I just recently listened to a podcast from DavidCo on the eProductivity add-on for Notes. This appears to be a really great package that would take care of a bunch of issues I’m having now. It costs $400 though, and I know my company wouldn’t pay for it, so I don’t think I’ll be going that way.

I’ve also been looking at Chandler, an open-source program that looks pretty interesting. Chandler integrates with your e-mail in a bit of a weird way, using IMAP. It might be workable, or it might be too much of a kludge. I’m really not sure. One of the things I like about Chandler is that it’s multi-platform, and you can sync across multiple installs using Chandler Hub. I think I’m going to try it out, though I’m not sure when I’ll have to time to really sit down and mess with it, and see if it’s workable.

I’ve been trying to come up with a good description of the problems I’m having with my current system, but it’s hard to describe. To some extent, it’s really convenient to have all this stuff right in Notes, in my mail file. But, there’s really no intermixing of the mail and the to-dos, so I find myself copying & pasting a lot, both text and doclinks. Notes has some nice features for copying doclinks, but I run into trouble when I have old projects that I haven’t started yet, and I’m relying on doclinks to old mail messages that I may already have archived. It gets kind of confusing. Basically, I’d like to either move the GTD stuff out of my mail file (which Chandler would do), or just go nuts and integrate completely with my mail file, and just manage it really well, which eProductivity would do.

Oh, and don’t get me started on how I could access or manage any of this stuff on either my iPod Touch or my BlackBerry Storm. I don’t even come close to having a good solution for that!

Posted in


  1. For implementing GTD you can use this web-based application:

    You can use it to manage your goals, projects and tasks, set next actions and contexts, use checklists, schedules and a calendar.
    A mobile version is available too.


  2. My using categories and follow up flags in Outlook you can build your own GTD system. Less than the $400

    There’s a good podcast on the GTD Virtual Study group on it.


  3. Piaras –
    Yeah, that’s basically what I’m doing in Lotus Notes now. Using follow-up flags and folders, along with the to-do functionality. It works, mostly, but something like eProductivity would definitely work better.

    Maybe I should look at what the study group did with Outlook and see if I can pick up any tips that would make my Notes system work better.


Leave a Reply