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Web App Review: Doit.im Brings a Cross-Platform GTD Experience To The Masses

Web App Review: Doit.im Brings a Cross-Platform GTD Experience To The Masses

I try very hard to not stray down the path of GTD web apps as it usually leads to me thinking that some other app is better for some other reason and I change my whole entire system over to find that it really has nothing to do with the system in the first place. But, there has been one GTD application that has caught my eye for at least the past year because of its ubiquity and general adherence to GTD principles.

Doit.im is available on the web, on iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows, and with a Mac client coming soon and is a full-featured GTD task management app.

I’m not all about making a system into a GTD system; I’d rather have a system that was built with GTD in mind and that is why we will be taking a look at doit.im and how it stands as a full project and action management solution.

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First Impressions

    Like I said before, I have been watching doit.im for about a year or so now and have seen new features and tweaks added to the app as the time has past. The app definitely tries to take the idea of GTD and automate it. You will find the normal “Inbox”, “Someday/Maybe”, and “Waiting For” categories as well as the use of the “Context” and “Project” terminologies. The app’s layout is clean and there are two different versions. The older version takes a “wired notebook” type of look, that in my opinion is annoying. The newer beta version has a sleeker and more clean look and is the one that I have used more. I will say that neither are completely appealing to me.

    One thing that I noticed right off the bat was that the app seemed very slow when accessing online. I tried Safari, Firefox, and Chrome with none of them being noticeably faster. It looks like the developers need to work on the speed of the web app. I found that the beta version was much slower than the “older” version of the app.

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    Where Doit.im lacks in speed and looks the app makes up for it in organization and work flow. Actions and projects are easily added to your lists and applying context and projects to tasks is easy as well. Scheduling tasks for a specific due date works well and adding repeats and reminders is just a click away.

    The one thing that I can’t wrap my head around is how the inbox is handled. My idea was once you added a context or a project to a task that the task should be removed from the inbox and be considered “processed”. This isn’t the case. It appears that you have to either schedule or move the task to Someday or Waiting for to get it out of the inbox. Not necessarily the most intuitive thing, but once you get the workflow down, it shouldn’t be that big of a problem.

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      Features

      Doit.im is absolutely full featured and I would consider it to have almost everything that a GTD practitioner would want in a system including:

      • Cross platform goodness (available on the web, Windows (Mac coming soon), iOS, and Android
      • Creating tasks with context, due date, repeats, reminders, and project criteria
      • Allows for totally separate projects to sort by
      • A nice calendar view to see when stuff is due
      • Ability to create custom tags and contexts
      • Full sync with web, Windows, Android and iOS clients

      The only real feature that Doit.im is missing for this GTD geek is the start date field. I have confessed my love for start dates before, and without them my system starts to feel weak. For some this may not matter at all though.

      Mobile Apps

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        The mobile interface for Doit.im has vastly improved for both iOS and Android since the last time I have looked at it. The design is clean and unique and gives the user access to the most use features of any GTD app; the inbox, context lists, projects, due and scheduled items, waiting for, etc. The app also has a cool new way to add tasks with the “Quick-add” feature which gives the user a task entry bar with the task attributes in button form below the entry box. It’s a super fast way to add new actions to your trusted system.

        The app syncs very quickly and gives the user the option to sync after a certain amount of time or even a “Real-time Data Uploading” feature. This pushes the updates directly to the server as you make them on the device. The developers of Doit.im have made a compelling UI and experience for the mobile apps. In fact, I prefer the mobile apps over the web app.

        Wrap-up

        Like a said before, searching for better GTD apps can turn into an unhealthy obsession. Us GTD geeks like to look for new shiny tools more than we like to use them. I have drawn my line in the ground with OmniFocus, mostly because if I could I would change my tool every week. But, if you are a GTD practitioner or a new GTD wannabe and are in need of a cross platform, full featured, task and project management app, Doit.im is extremely compelling. Plus the app is free online and in the respective app stores. Try it out and see for yourself. While you are at it, let us know what you think in the comments section.

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        CM Smith

        A technologist and writer who shares advice on personal productivity, creativity and how to use technology to get things done.

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        Last Updated on February 18, 2019

        How to Motivate Employees and Boost Team Productivity

        How to Motivate Employees and Boost Team Productivity

        These days, in a world with cognitive, AI, and extraordinary advances, we have failed at the most basic stimulus: motivation. Why do I say so? Just take a look at these statistics:

        58 percent of managers said they didn’t receive any management training as per a CareerBuilder.com survey. Only 12% of employees leave their jobs because of more money. Research indicates that around 80% of employees leave their jobs due to “lack of appreciation”. Due to fear of failing, more than half of American workers don’t take their paid vacations. 53% of Americans are unhappy at work (not engaged). And 1 in 3 are working in a field they don’t like.[1]

        Archaic people management and HR structures are the root cause.

        “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

        So how to motivate employees and boost team productivity?

        Here are 3 key things that you can do to motivate your employees and boost team productivity:

        1. Run Your Team/Group/Company like a Lean Startup

        The Lean Startup phenomena by Eric Ries has been socialized across millions all over the globe. In a nutshell, it is a methodology for developing businesses and products, which aims to shorten product development cycles and rapidly discover if a proposed business model is viable; this is achieved by adopting a combination of business-hypothesis-driven experimentation, iterative product releases, and validated learning.[2]

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        Encourage Your Employees

        When you empower your employees (or family members) to do what they deem to be best for a particular roadblock, idea, or improvement, you create magic. You create genuine trust. You enable innovation. The result is happy, inspired employees who feel they have a say in the grand cosmic stage at work.

        Note that increasing the competency level of employees and coaching and mentoring them along the way is key. You yourself, need to do the same. Nourish your brain – and get a mentor that will keep you at the edge of your game.

        Offer Rewards

        Motivation is also intrinsic. The startups I have worked at offered instant rewards — not just fat checks or equity increments, but Oscar-style nominations.

        The non-monetary rewards were actually more coveted, and grandiose: lunch with the CEO, tickets to an Obama fund-raiser, horse-back riding with a world-class equestrian.

        Compare this to a dodgy, corporate, white-cubicle dinosaur that had a “yearly performance review” where both parties dread the conversation. In a world of instant WhatsApp messages, having a conversation about performance, likes and dislikes cannot just happen annually in 60 minutes. Employees need to be rooted in the belief that their manager genuinely cares about them.

        Give Autonomy

        Another key attribute is autonomy. Most employees start brushing their resumes and cruising LinkedIn when their hands are tied in their current positions: approval forms, long meetings, escalations, and more meetings. In the world of agile and scrum masters, deliberating for the sake of deliberating is poison. You will choke the very employees that giddily accepted the job initially to “change the world”.

        Within a reasonable realm of assessment and deep-dives, trust your employees to do the heavy lifting. Give them access to the knowledge, people and resources that help them directly make the choices that will shape the future of your team, and your company.

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        Eliminate yourself as the bottleneck – and interject yourself as a benevolent, servant leader that is the symbol of high-performing organizations.

        2. Apply the 90/90/1 Rule

        I recently saw a video by Deepak Sharma (a leadership adviser) about productivity and this principle stuck with me. Here’s what it’s about:

        Devote the First 90 Minutes of Your Day to Important Project

        For the next 90 days, devote the first 90 minutes of your day to your most important project—nothing else. Do this for yourself and your employees.

        We usually get sucked into the most wasteful, operational activities in the morning which robs our focus, and steers us into an unwanted rabbit hole. So mute your notifications, avoid the temptation to check your exploding inbox, and scroll your Instagram feed later. Instead, focus on that ONE thing that will provide real value to you, your team, or your business/company/home.

        Apply this rule to yourself – and your team. Your team will thank you. Note: If you’re feeling really stretched for time, you can always hack the rule by testing out a “45/45/1” version.

        A To Do Scheduling System

        Another version of this is to use the Kanban concept, developed by Taiichi Ohno, an industrial engineer at Toyota. Kanban is a scheduling system employing boards and cards.

        The most basic version is a canvas with “To-do”, “Doing”, and “Done” boards (or columns). Each activity or task is a “card” that moves from one column to the other. I use Trello (a Kanban-inspired app) that is a key system for my personal and professional life. It allows me to understand my workload, their priority, and due dates.

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        I use importance and effort metrics (scores) for each task to understand what is truly necessary in my life to work on. It negates the FIFO (first-in, first out) paradox that has plagued millions of people. Instead, it allows me to take stock of what is on my plate, and then bite on what truly will move the needle for me, my team, my life, and my company.

        With a limited appetite (at least for some), would you eat the veggies, fries, mashed potatoes and leave the sizzling steak? No, you wouldn’t (unless you are a vegan and ended up in the wrong restaurant).

        Approach your work with a weighted vengeance – and encourage your team to do the same.

        3. Align Passion and Skills to Purpose

        The heart of human excellence often begins to beat when you discover a pursuit that absorbs you, frees you, challenges you, and gives you a sense of meaning, joy and passion.

        “The most fortunate people on earth are those who have found a calling that’s bigger than they are—that moves them and fills their lives with constant passion, aliveness, and growth.” — Richard Leider

        An ace team-member once told me that while she enjoys working for the company we both used to work at, she really hated anything to do with technology. She was more of a “people” person, and did not want to sit behind a desk sifting through lines of code.

        What struck me was that she was in that role for more than a decade and had just spoken up. The good thing is she spoke up. She expressed her desire and interests. And it allowed her to get into a role of her liking within 30 days.

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        Ask If They like What They’re Doing

        If you, or a team member is frustrated, demotivated, or not performing at their best – one of the questions you should ask is whether they like what they are doing. Then genuinely try to help them get to the role they should be in (whether in the same team/company or not).

        There’s a reason why 53% of Americans (and perhaps more or same across the globe) are unhappy at work. A butcher cannot be an ace salad maker. Pursue your passion – and help pave the way for your team. Unlock your potential and theirs. You will command and lead a supercharged team.

        “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs

        The Bottom Line

        Sometimes, passion has to be ignited. It is dormant, clouded by busy-ness, buried by wrong career choices, and plagued by non-supportive eco-systems. Some will climb out of it, but we as society — and in the case of business teams — incumbent upon the manager/CEO/leader to foster, grow, and nurture the employee.

        Teach her the ropes. Show her the path. Advise him as you would yourself. Let them lead, and make mistakes. Do not fear them, rather make them the leader you would want to become.

        For your not-so-great team members, understand that it is not personal, it is just not a good fit. Help them move on to the pastures they would be fit to graze on. Hence, hire slow (and fire fast).

        Your team is a reflection of you. Boosting their confidence and helping them achieve the impossible is motivation. Focus on that, and you will have a productive team that you and your company will be proud of.

        More Resources About Team Management

        Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

        Reference

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