As a business owner, you’re in the position where getting things done is an absolute necessity. If you’re not familiar with the book “Getting Things Done”, it’s a nonfiction book by David Allen that focuses on being more productive, no matter what your industry or your work function. It’s designed to help you take the cloud of activity that surrounds you each day and fit it into workable task lists and projects that you can actually finish. It’s become a huge phenomenon and as a result there are a variety of different tools that can help you make GTD part of your day-to-day work life.
You can find out more about the book here, and if you’re ready to get started look to use the following tools to help you apply the GTD philosophy to your work life.
1. Microsoft Outlook
This tried and true program is a corporate standby for e-mail, to use and calendars. It also makes it very handy program for organizing and implementing the GTD systems. It’s a good place to start since you likely already have a copy of Outlook on your computer. There are several different add-ons that you can download and use with Outlook in order to make it more GTD friendly. One of the most popular is simply called GTD Outlook add-in. Cost: comes with Microsoft Office Home and Business 2010 for $279.99, $74.95 for the official add-in.
This program is a Mac exclusive. It includes a to-do list manager and dozens of features that make it perfect for using GTD. It’s well-designed and simple to use once you get the basics down. You can organize your tasks and projects into specific categories based on their nature. You can use it for free for a few weeks to see if you like it. Cost: $80 per license
3. GTD Active Inbox
If you use Gmail as an email provider, you can integrate your GTD planning right into your inbox. The GTD active inbox plug-in allows you to get organized inside of your e-mail program. If you do a lot of work through e-mail, this is the perfect solution because it prevents you from having to write down your tasks in a completely separate place. Using a combination of folders and labels, the plug-in organizes your inbox and creates an easy to use to do list. Cost: Free.
4. My Life Organized
This full featured program can be used on both Macs and PCs. It integrates well with the GTD system. Using a series of nested to do lists you can get clear about what needs to be done in the various aspects of your business and your life. You can prioritize tasks and complete the actions for the task in a logical order. There is a pretty helpful free version, but for maximum usage, you’ll need to buy a license. Cost: $45.96
Tracks is a web-based application that can also be used on your computer. You have flexible views of your actions so that you can concentrate on one area at a time. You can attach notes to different projects and then combine those with tags in order to be able to organize and systematize your to do lists. Tracks is open source and compatible with Mac, PC and Linux. Cost: Free
A user-friendly and well-known project management tool. Trello tells you at-a-glance what projects and tasks are being worked on, which taks you are responsible for, and the status of other tasks assigned to your team members.
Calendly allows your colleagues, customers and connections a real-time way to see what your availability is like, then choose a time on your calendar that works for them. It syncs up with your Outlook and handles reminder emails, reschedules and cancellations seamlessly.
Research Analyst, Pacific Business Centers (rebranded as Pacific Workplaces)
Courtney’s research for Pacific Workplaces focuses on tracking emerging business trends and best practices – with an emphasis on how they affect business operations, technology, and office space infrastructure