Having written a GTD-centric app for Windows, interviewed David Allen more than a few times and being more than a little, well, obsessed, with productivity, I’m trying something new out this weekend, and it’s looking very, very good: http://www.smartytask.com.
I’ve been using Things from Cultured Code on my Mac, iPad and iPhone for while, but have become increasingly dissatisfied with it. It’s great software, but it’s a size 10 handcrafted shoe and I take a size 11. It treats all tasks as equal, but some tasks are more equal than others.
At the tail end of the first decade of the twenty first century, here’s what I need from my productivity systems:
- Support for, and a deep understanding of, David Allen’s Getting Things Done. GTD is the single best productivity methodology I’ve seen in 30 years. If you find something radically better, let me know. For now this is what the lawyers called settled law.
- Love my screens, respect my screens. During the course of a day I switch between my iMac, iPad, and iPhone depending on what I’m doing. Whatever productivity system has to do the same. And it has to do it right.
- “I am not a number, I am a free man!” (-Patrick McGoohan, The Prisoner, RIP) In a world overrun with systems to sell to you, market to you, let you what to do and how to do it, capture your attention and monetize you, and generally run you like a numbered cog, any system I choose to cohabitate with has to be one that treats me like a person. That means, there’s more to life than processing a never ending succession of tasks, that sometimes I’m tired, energized, in a foul mood, open to the universe and a million other things that define the reality of being human from the theory of being a productivity robot.
- It needs to be a solution, not a problem. Too many productivity systems simply can’t scale to give me the command and control over all my commitments, projects, tasks I want. They become a problem, then the problem, then dysfunctional, then anti-productive.
So how does Smartytask shape up?
- GTD-specific – with contexts that work, next action lists and more.
- Browser interface – first thing I checked when I signed up for an account ($9.99 month/ $99 year) was how well did it play on my iPad and iPhone. It plays remarkably well for an app that was launched just 5 months ago. (LucidChart.com, my other new toy, still has a way to go, but I’m pretty sure they will get there.)
- Three features I really like – Time and Effort fields, Smart Contexts, and email reminders – give me control over my tasks, not the other way around.
- Scales – Like Things, there’s zero excess information, keystrokes and hoops to jump through to get things out my head, into a system I can trust and then back in my face when I want them to be there.
I’ve just started this afternoon building out my SmartyTask – but I like what I see so far and I’m more than willing – in fact eager – to put it to the test. Will let you know how it goes; in the meantime, here’s the video that got me to get my wallet out:
Smartytask for GTD (Smartytask.com) from Smarty Task on Vimeo.