Closet Coder

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My Ideal GTD App

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I have been a long time user of Things by Cultured Code, but they have been very slow implementing a couple of features that would really enhance the way I use GTD, namely time based reminders, location based reminders, and cloud-based syncing.

So I went out looking. Producteev looked pretty good, but it is woefully underpolished. Firetask also looked promising, as did Wunderlist, but both left something to be desired. Toodledo had nearly everything except a native app.  Omnifocus looks like it has all the features, but is so complicated and ugly that I don’t like it.

So I’ve come up with my list of needs, wants, and wishes for a GTD app. I don’t think it’s comprehensive, but it doesn’t seem like too much to ask–and yet there is nothing in a reasonable price range to do what I want.

So here’s my list. Take it for what it is. And if you know of something that implements all the musts, most of the wants and some of the needs… let me know.


  • Native Mac App (as a first class part of the solution)
  • iPhone App with Sync
  • Global Hotkey for capture that goes by default to the "Inbox"
  • Recurring Tasks
  • Easy Deferring of Tasks
  • A good "Focus"/"Today"/"Now" view that makes solid sense
  • Solid Cloud Sync
  • Easy Delegation of Tasks (drag, e-mail/web app notification)
  • Contexts / Workspaces
  • Projects / tags
  • Basic integration / support for Pomodoros
  • Full screen mode in Lion that takes advantage of the screen real estate to show task details, sub tasks, etc for the *current* task.
  • Push notifications / App badges for tasks remaining
  • Defer to Location (best - switch contexts based on location automatically, some tasks context free)
  • Defer to Time: maybe not as important if location based worked, but being able to defer something until 9:00 pm gets it off my focus list until after my kids are in bed.
  • Defer until Focus section is 'empty': Implemented as "dependent" tasks or "next" tasks or "next tasks" for within a project.  Hard to get this right.
  • Full on support for Pomodoro
    • Start a pomodoro for a given task, tag, or context
    • If started for a task, automatically mark the # of pomodoros taken
    • If started for a tag or context, still record the pomo and the tasks checked off during it
    • If the "interrupt" key is pressed, prompt for recording a new task in the inbox
    • If not resumed, mark the pomo as failed
  • Review Support
    • Reports of Pomodoros for the day/week/month
    • Reports of tasks completed for the day/week/context
    • Graph of "productivity" based on pomos completed per day
  • Calendar View, integrated with iCal calendars

Now, I know my list looks long to those in the GTD world, but if you look at the features, they seem simple to implement.  Very simple.  Omnifocus is the closest to this, but has no Pomodoro support and bad “Today” support.  Producteev is actually really close, but lacks enough polish.  Things is still the best task manager I’ve found for managing tasks AND getting out of the way.  Has someone made this task manager I seek?  If not, I assume I’m naive for thinking it is simple to do.  I’m considering whipping together a webapp prototype that does what I want.

What’s your ideal GTD app?  What features would you say are imperative?