GTD with Google's New Calendar

Tue, 01/20/2009 - 00:49

See my Productivity & GTD page for other great ideas like a free Blackberry GTD solution!

Earlier today Lifehack posted a link to a list of 15 GTD applications. This motivated me to write about something that I have been putting off for a while. Please note that I am not saying that using a hard calendar entry is the best form of GTD. Personally I am using my Blackberry for what I think is the fastest GTD method ever.

Google Mobile now has a Blackberry sync tool for your mobile Calendar! I use it to sync my Blackberry to Google so I always have access to a calendar and so my wife can access specific calendar events.

As a huge fan of Gmail, I have been waiting for CL2 for what seems like years. While I have been using Yahoo Calendar (very lightly) I have mostly held off because I have not found the features I want.

Something else I have been looking into is hosting my own GTD web-app, but now that CL2 is here why not use it for everything? I may not be an expert but consolidation is a pretty important component of Getting Things Done.

So here is how I implement GTD into CL2 and end up with one web-based tool that handles most all of my needs.

  • Create a series of New Calendars for each of my Task Projects (Work Tasks, Personal Tasks)
  • Create a series of matching calendars (Work Events, Personal Events)
  • Create one Calendar for completed tasks (Daily Journal)
  • Create individual Tasks associated with each Project (unless aboslutely necessary I avoid placing times on Tasks. Time sensitive items are created as Events)

Once I have completed a task I move it to the completed calendar named Daily Journal. I named it Journal because I wanted a place to put all of my completed daily activites, even ones that I had not yet created.

One of the nicer benefits is that when you are in the Week/4Day view then all Tasks appear across the top while Events appear in the time area.

I can use Google's agenda view to see all tasks and the colors make it easy to see each item's status. If it is completed it has the red Daily Journal color.

My biggest issue with this trying to fit GTD into CL2 is that I do not have the advanced sort functions that other GTD software has built into them. The sort features I miss are in the Agenda view, which is the closest I can get to a To Do List. CL2 is sorted by date and for GTD I would like to sort by subject/location/status and so on like many of the dedicated GTD programs have included.

Date oriented GTD - Personally I like the commitment and organization of GTD by date at least on a weekly basis. I have also thought of using certain tasks in CL2 as a project. Say "work inside house" is the task's title. Then inside of the details box it lists what needs done. When I finish that task I would then move it to the daily journel calendar. I know this strays even further from the traditional GTD path but I really find that for most of "my tasks" I have a ball park idea of when they need done. Whether on a week or day basis. More on this in my comments. Okay here is a fresh new thought (5/2/2006) for to-do lists in CL2. Matiaspelenur.com has a script that uses Greasemonkey in Mozilla Firefox to hack a list into CL2. The one draw back is the list is local to Firefox so it will not be accessible from another computer. For those of you interested in sales and marketing have you considered using CL2 for marketing your business?

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