My GTD Setup

I have posted a lot about a few of the scripts and tools I use but I wanted to wrap this up in order to give a consolidated overview of the tools and little life hacks that I am using on a daily basis. So maybe some of you find this interesting.

OmniFocus for Mac:

On the Mac, I use OmniFocus which is the tool that fits my needs the most. I have tried Things and it would be my 2nd best in the list but as of now, I prefer OmniFocus for a number of reasons.

I have a number of contexts such as :

  • Office
  • HomeOffice
  • Home
  • Errands
  • Car
  • Phone
  • a few others…

In addition I have projects which I group into personal and work related. There are quite a lot of tutorials and infos out there for OmniFocus which is why I dont want to spend too much time on this topic. If you are interested, leave a comment and I might go into more detail in a follow up post.

IMAP inbox + mail rule:

I have a dedicated IMAP inbox which I use to quickly post new tasks to myself. This inbox is hooked up with my modified OmniFocus Mail Rule so every mail I send to my todo account will automatically be added to OmniFocus once I turn on my Mac. I use this feature mainly when my mac is not around or also when I am on my iphone.

OmniFocus for iPhone:

On my iPhone I also use OmniFocus for iPhone sometimes. While I have paid good money for it I am not happy with it (I am actually working on an own iPhone app that will let me do similar things). The reason why I am not very happy with it is that its ridiculously slow. I mean it usually takes 20 secs or more to start the app and around 2 minutes to synchronize which makes it pretty much a deal killer for me. Anyhow if you can live with the delays then IMHO its pretty much still the best GTD app on the iphone so far (at least when considering the good integration with the desktop).

So when I just need to quickly capture a new task then I usually only use the email rule mentioned above. However, when I want to see what I have to do or organize some of the tasks on the go, then I take the time to launch OF on the iPhone.

Entourage script plugin

At work we use Exchange so until Snow Leopard is out I am stuck with Entourage on the Mac (which is the least terrible of the Office:mac apps but that does not say that I am happy with it 🙂

Unfortunately Entourage does not support the quick entry feature (since MS does not know how to write Cocoa apps) I have to resort to my modified Entourage script plugin. With this one you can assign a hotkey combination and whenever you hit it, it will add the selected mail to your tasks which is very nice.

So thats about it, I hope this will help whoever is interested in doing GTD on a Mac.

Meet Hudson: an awesome continuous integration server

I just wanted to recommend Hudson to anyone who is in development (primarily Java) and uses continuous integration for their process. In my company we have been using various products from freeware to commercialware in the past. Recently I stumbled upon Hudson and was seriously impressed by it. It supports SVN, CVS out of the box and can run shell builds, ant builds and a few others right out of the box.

It supports plugins for a lot of other projects (FindBugs, PMD, Emma code coverage, checkstyle, Ruby, …) and is an awesome tool to monitor and improve the quality of your software. The most useful feature is that it can aggregate all results and present them in a timeline (trend). So you can see how your unit test code coverage has changed over time, …

Screenshot of a typical trend view
Screenshot of a typical trend view

The screenshot above illustrates some of the graphs and analysis that hudson can produce. I know that I have previously focused on mainly Mac projects but this one obviously also runs on a Mac, I use it at work and best of all: its open source!

TimeTracker OSX b12 bugfix release

This is a minor bugfix release for time tracker. It fixes a problem where the app would start to behave weird when you have multiple projects with the same name or multiple tasks within a project with the same name.

Basically all I currently do is warn you when you try to choose a duplicate name. If you already have projects with the same name, then the app will change the project names (add a number after the duplicate name) so that the project name will be unique again.

In addition I have added a few more options to the configuration screen:

  • # of last tasks in menubar: lets you choose how many quickstart tasks are shown in the menu bar (you can quick start a task by clicking on the menubar icon and then selecting one of the most recent previous recorded tasks).
  • show time in menubar: if this is enabled then the duration of the current work period is shown in the menubar.
  • idle timeout (seconds): lets you configure the idle timeout in seconds. This basically defines how soon TimeTracker will prompt you whether you still want to keep on recording the time, default is 300s (i.e. 5 minutes).
  • Computer sleep detection: lets you define whether TimeTracker will attempt to recognize the computer going into sleep / standby. If turned on and TimeTracker notices a clock jump of > 60 seconds it will interpret this as standby mode and also trigger the idle warning. The default is on since at least on laptops that makes a lot of sense.

As always if you are new to my beta, be sure to read previous articles in my blog tagged with TimeTracker about data compability with public TimeTracker releases.

time-tracker-b12