Getting Things Done

February 11th, 2007

OK … I mean this in the nicest possible way, because I have also considered (and may someday pursue!) writing my own ToDo-type application.

But I’d like to offer my revision on a popular joke from academia…

  1. Those who can, do
  2. Those who can’t do, write ToDo apps.
  3. Those who can’t write ToDo apps … eventually figure out how to do.

8 Responses to “Getting Things Done”

  1. Lou Tador Says:

    Where do people who are thinking about trying out one of those fancy ToDo (or GTD) apps fall into your list?

  2. Taybin Says:

    That’s hilarious. I’ve been using a ToDo app as the starting point for learning Cocoa.

  3. Daniel Jalkut Says:

    Lou: I think users are certainly vulnerable to the same dilemma. It’s a classic “focus on the process instead of the stuff to be processed” type problem.

    Of course, I love GTD and pursue it frequently :)

  4. Andy Lee Says:

    OK … I mean this in the nicest possible way, because I have also considered (and may someday pursue!) writing my own ToDo-type application.

    Oh man, I’m chuckling, because I could have written those exact words myself. I’ve looked at a few apps, but they’re either too much or too little; you could call me the Goldilocks of to-do apps. I’ve decided that nobody can get it just right in terms of design specifics and size except me.

    Various wiki solutions I’ve looked at have come close. One thing I would love to see is a text view that I can do Markdown editing in, and switch between Markdown and rich-text modes *in place*. This would make me much, much more accepting of wiki-like apps. I find web-based wikis cumbersome because I can’t hit Command-S every few seconds to save, and because the Preview step disrupts my flow with all the scrolling I have to do to see what needs fixing and then fix it.

    That said, I generally like Trac except that it’s [goldilocks]too much[/goldilocks] for my personal needs.

    Until I get around to writing the perfect to-do app, I’ve resigned myself to things being scattered across my Moleskine, my Xcode project where I have various text and rtf files,, and scraps of paper.

  5. George Says:

    Uh-oh!.. I wrote two Windows ToDo apps, used Excel spreadsheet with a bunch of macros, used text files for awhile, then bought a Mac and wrote a bunch of custom AppleScript’s for OmniOutliner, then tried using Kinkless GTD for a few months, wrote a web-based ToDo manager using Ruby-on-Rails (more as an exercise, but still), switched to Tracks, then text files, then finally settled on a combination of hand-made scripts (bash and AppleScript), iCal, Google Calendar, Tracks, remind, and GeekTool. I haven’t touched this setup for over a year, so I guess it is time for me to start looking for other solutions, that finally make me actually do things.

  6. mathieu Says:

    This is wonderful. SO much truth there. I’ve written my own to do app, vaguely GTD-chic and the todo’s don’t really work.

  7. Trent D Says:

    Sounds a bit Rumsfeldesque…

    As we know,
    There are known knowns.
    There are things we know we know.
    We also know
    There are known unknowns.
    That is to say
    We know there are some things
    We do not know.
    But there are also unknown unknowns,
    The ones we don’t know
    We don’t know.

  8. Brad Says:

    I think there’s a big difference between writing a ToDo app and trying to sell one. If you’re just hacking together a ToDo-list manager for your own personal use because you can’t find one that really suits you, fine.

    I think those who “can’t” are the ones who spend a bunch of time putting a shiny configurable UI on their ToDo app and then try to get people to pay them to use it.

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