Do you have a need to get organized and stay that way? Of course you do. But how?
Try GTD. The Getting Things Done method changes how you handle projects and tasks. Here’s a Mac utility that makes it simple.
We live in a chaotic, turbulent world that’s only constant appears to be change. Change can be overwhelming for some and destroys whatever organization we build into our projects and tasks.
Leave it to Mac developers to come up with another Mac-like way to handle your projects and tasks using David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” method.
As you may have determined already, the problem with most organizational tools, Mac or Windows, is that you have to learn how to use them. The process of organizing becomes painful.
Bambi and I have used Microsoft’s Entourage as a business organizational tool for years, but it’s a complex beast and not for everyone. It’s also an expensive tool with a healthy learning curve.
The Getting Things Done method takes a different approach to managing Projects and Tasks. Organizationally, and metaphorically, GTD is, well, different. And somewhat straightforward.
Because it’s a change in how we manage Projects and Tasks, a little help is required.
Fortunately, the Mac is a good place to start. All of us at Mac360 have dabbled in GTD but to varying degrees of success.
Part of the problem is the need to match GTD’s context method to our traditional Mac tools for organization. Easier said than done, though Alex found good success with ThinkingRock.
While Thinking Rock is tuned to GTD, it’s also a different way of organizing in and of itself. Some of us will not be letting go of Entourage any time soon, hence the need for a GTD tool that plays nice nice on my Mac and how I work.
Here it is. Ghost Action is one of those remarkably elegant Mac utilities that does exactly what GTD users love—keeping track of Projects and Tasks, and synchronizing to iCal.
If you’ve not heard of Getting Things Done, the GTD method, take a few minutes to dig into the steps needed to make it work. There are few. Essentially, you assign yourself to Projects, list various Tasks or Actions to go with Projects, even assign due dates and priorities, and create a Context to get the work done.
What Ghost Action does is add a simple Context element to conform to the GTD standard, and plunk all the pieces in a very simple, easy-to-use Cocoa interface utility on your Mac.
Contexts are those times and/or locations where you’ll work on various Projects or Tasks. Projects can be assigned to Contexts. Actions (tasks) can be assigned to Projects. Each can be linked to a due date with a priority and assigned to sync with iCal.
With the right Contexts you’ll find yourself becoming more productive and less stressed. Ghost Action just keeps track of the components—Contexts, Projects, Actions (tasks).
As complex and painful as most tools to organize our lives can be, Ghost Action takes a decidedly simple approach. The tool bar has only three buttons. See if you can get the hang of these.
Click for Context lists which display in the left column, then Projects and Tasks pop up in the center column. Or, click Projects to see which Actions are connected to each. Or, click Actions to see where they connect to Projects and Context. Or, click Sync to syncrhonize with iCal.
That’s about as easy as organizational tools get. There’s a simple point and click calendar for adding dates. Two other small check boxes let you sort your Due Actions and Actions Not Done. Outside of a small Notes field for each entry, that’s about it.
Ghost Action is takes a terribly complex problem—organization of Projects and Tasks—and brings utter simplicity to the structure required to get things done.
Have you tried GTD? What’s been your success rate? What Mac utility has helped you with Projects and Tasks? Share your experience in the Comments section below.