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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 October 15, 2019

        Is Procrastination Bad? The Truth About Procrastination Revealed

        Is Procrastination Bad? The Truth About Procrastination Revealed

        Procrastination is very literally the opposite of productivity. To produce something is to pull it forward, while to procrastinate is to push it forward — to tomorrow, to next week, or ultimately to never.

        Procrastination fills us with shame — we curse ourselves for our laziness, our inability to focus on the task at hand, our tendency to be easily led into easier and more immediate gratifications. And with good reason: for the most part, time spent procrastinating is time spent not doing things that are, in some way or other, important to us.

        There is a positive side to procrastination, but it’s important not to confuse procrastination at its best with everyday garden-variety procrastination.

        Sometimes — sometimes! — procrastination gives us the time we need to sort through a thorny issue or to generate ideas. In those rare instances, we should embrace procrastination — even as we push it away the rest of the time.

        Why we procrastinate after all

        We procrastinate for a number of reasons, some better than others. One reason we procrastinate is that, while we know what we want to do, we need time to let the ideas “ferment” before we are ready to sit down and put them into action.

        Some might call this “creative faffing”; I call it, following copywriter Ray Del Savio’s lead, “concepting”.[1]

        Whatever you choose to call it, it’s the time spent dreaming up what you want to say or do, weighing ideas in your mind, following false leads and tearing off on mental wild goose chases, and generally thinking things through.

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        To the outside observer, concepting looks like… well, like nothing much at all. Maybe you’re leaning back in your chair, feet up, staring at the wall or ceiling, or laying in bed apparently dozing, or looking out over the skyline or feeding pigeons in the park or fiddling with the Japanese vinyl toys that stand watch over your desk.

        If ideas are the lifeblood of your work, you have to make time for concepting, and you have to overcome the sensation— often overpowering in our work-obsessed culture — that faffing, however creative, is not work.

        So, is procrastination bad?

        Yes it is.

        Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you’re “concepting” when in fact you’re just not sure what you’re supposed to be doing.

        Spending an hour staring at the wall while thinking up the perfect tagline for a marketing campaign is creative faffing; staring at the wall for an hour because you don’t know how to come up with a tagline, or don’t know the product you’re marketing well enough to come up with one, is just wasting time.

        Lack of definition is perhaps the biggest friend of your procrastination demons. When we’re not sure what to do — whether because we haven’t planned thoroughly enough, we haven’t specified the scope of what we hope to accomplish in the immediate present, or we lack important information, skills, or resources to get the job done.

        It’s easy to get distracted or to trick ourselves into spinning our wheels doing nothing. It takes our mind off the uncomfortable sensation of failing to make progress on something important.

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        The answer to this is in planning and scheduling. Rather than giving yourself an unspecified length of time to perform an unspecified task (“Let’s see, I guess I’ll work on that spreadsheet for a while”) give yourself a limited amount of time to work on a clearly defined task (“Now I’ll enter the figures from last months sales report into the spreadsheet for an hour”).

        Giving yourself a deadline, even an artificial one, helps build a sense of urgency and also offers the promise of time to “screw around” later, once more important things are done.

        For larger projects, planning plays a huge role in whether or not you’ll spend too much time procrastinating to reach the end reasonably quickly.

        A good plan not only lists the steps you have to take to reach the end, but takes into account the resources, knowledge and inputs from other people you’re going to need to perform those steps.

        Instead of futzing around doing nothing because you don’t have last month’s sales report, getting the report should be a step in the project.

        Otherwise, you’ll spend time cooling your heels, justifying your lack of action as necessary: you aren’t wasting time because you want to, but because you have to.

        How bad procrastination can be

        Our mind can often trick us into procrastinating, often to the point that we don’t realize we’re procrastinating at all.

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        After all, we have lots and lots of things to do; if we’re working on something, aren’t we being productive – even if the one big thing we need to work on doesn’t get done?

        One way this plays out is that we scan our to-do list, skipping over the big challenging projects in favor of the short, easy projects. At the end of the day, we feel very productive: we’ve crossed twelve things off our list!

        That big project we didn’t work on gets put onto the next day’s list, and when the same thing happens, it gets moved forward again. And again.

        Big tasks often present us with the problem above – we aren’t sure what to do exactly, so we look for other ways to occupy ourselves.

        In many cases too, big tasks aren’t really tasks at all; they’re aggregates of many smaller tasks. If something’s sitting on your list for a long time, each day getting skipped over in favor of more immediately doable tasks, it’s probably not very well thought out.

        You’re actively resisting it because you don’t really know what it is. Try to break it down into a set of small tasks, something more like the tasks you are doing in place of the one big task you aren’t doing.

        More consequences of procrastination can be found in this article:

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        8 Dreadful Effects of Procrastination That Can Destroy Your Life

        Procrastination, a technical failure

        Procrastination is, more often than not, a sign of a technical failure, not a moral failure.

        It’s not because we’re bad people that we procrastinate. Most times, procrastination serves as a symptom of something more fundamentally wrong with the tasks we’ve set ourselves.

        It’s important to keep an eye on our procrastinating tendencies, to ask ourselves whenever we notice ourselves pushing things forward what it is about the task we’ve set ourselves that simply isn’t working for us.

        Featured photo credit: chuttersnap via unsplash.com

        Reference

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