My Cloud Getting Things Done (GTD) setup uses Gmail, Toodledo, and Google Calendar. For mobile access to my tasks I use Toodledo on my iPhone, along with native iPhone Mail and Calendar programs synced with Gmail and Google Calendar.
Here’s how I configure Toodledo’s fields settings to use it for GTD. The fields I need are Context, Due Date, Repeat, and Trashcan. My personal version uses Tags as well, which provides a little more fine-grained control over the display of tasks within standard GTD Contexts: Work, Email, Calls, Projects, Someday/Maybe, and Waiting For. (For example, I have the tag ‘MUO’, so I can track my Makeuseof.com tasks within the context of Projects, Emails, or Work).
One of Outlook’s nice features is the ability to turn an email into a task, either by dragging it onto the Tasks button in the Navigation Pane, or by right clicking the message and sending it to the Tasks folder. Either way, a new Task is created and whatever information is needed can be added. The body of the email becomes the body of the new Task.
Toodledo cannot do this yet (it’s been discussed at length in Toodledo’s forums). But nevertheless, I’ve found an easy way to turn an email message into a Toodledo task. Here’s how, using Toodledo’s ability to set up a task via email.
First, find the “Import/Export/Sync” button on the Toodledo sidebar . Click it.
Click on the Configure link on the Email Import / Export panel.
Check “Enable e-mail importing“, then click “Save Changes“. Toodledo then generates a private email address to import tasks, and enables email importing on the server. The address should be changed periodically for security.
Create a contact in an email client to forward messages to the Toodledo Task List.
To turn a message into a task, simply forward the email to Toodledo; by default, it comes in without a context, due-date, or any other metadata. The body of the email is saved in the new Task’s note field, which is very convenient. I often forward tasks this way, then edit them later when I review my workflow. But there’s still another trick up Toodledo’s sleeve.
Toodledo provides scripting syntax to set the fields in a new task by listing them in the email subject. Eleven fields can be set this way; only the ones in my Getting Things Done implementation are shown here.
- Due-Date: the # symbol, followed by a date, sets the due-date. Note that the alternative syntax that Toodledo employs for dates is allowed: “#tomorrow”, “#next tuesday”.
- Context: the “@” symbol, followed by the name of the Context. For example, using GTD-standard Contexts, I use “@@work” to add the task to the @work context.
- Tag: the “%” symbol, followed by the tag or tags. I use Tags as well as Contexts. Example: “%MUO”.
It’s easy to keep an empty inbox when messages can be processed into tasks on the fly. Capturing everything in workflow really improves productivity. Toodledo and its iPhone app provides a great free solution for task management.
What free applications are you using for your workflow? How do you do mobile time and task management?
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