Advertising
Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

    Advertising

    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.

    Advertising

      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

      Advertising

        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.

        More by this author

        CM Smith

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

        How to Beat Procrastination: 29 Simple Tweaks to Make 5 Project Management Tools to Get Your Team on Track To Automate or not to Automate Your Personal Productivity System Design Is Important: How To Fail At Blogging 7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively 6 Unexpected Ways Journaling Every Day Will Make Your Life Better

        Trending in Productivity

        1 Your Night Routine Guide to Sleeping Better & Waking Up Productive 2 74 Healthy Habits That Will Drastically Improve Every Aspect of Your Life 3 How to Increase Willpower and Be Mentally Tough 4 9 Daily Habits That Will Change Your Life 5 How to Influence People and Make Them Feel Good

        Read Next

        Advertising
        Advertising
        Advertising

        Last Updated on April 19, 2021

        The Art of Taking a Break So You Will Be Productive Again

        The Art of Taking a Break So You Will Be Productive Again

        Think of yourself as a cup. Each day, you wake up full. But as you go about your day—getting tasks done and interacting with people—the amount in your cup gradually gets lower. And as such, you get less and less effective at whatever it is you’re supposed to be doing. You’re running out of steam.

        The solution is obvious: if you don’t have anything left to pour out, then you need to find a way to fill yourself up again. In work terms, that means you should take a break—an essential form of revitalizing your motivation and focus.

        Taking a break may get a bad rap in hustle culture, but it’s an essential, science-based way to ensure you have the capacity to live your life the way you want to live it.

        In the 1980s, when scientists began researching burnout, they described this inner capacity as “resources.” We all need to replenish our resources to cope with stress, work effectively, and avoid burnout.[1]

        When the goal is to get things done, it may sound counterproductive to stop what you’re doing. But if you embrace the art of taking a break, you can be more efficient and effective at work.

        Here are five ways on how you can take a break and boost your productivity.

        Advertising

        1. Break for the Right Amount of Time, at the Right Time

        When I started my first job out of college, I was bent on pleasing my boss as most entry-level employees do. So, every day, I punched in at 9 AM on the dot, took a 60-minute lunch break at noon, and left no earlier than 5 PM.

        As I’ve logged more hours in my career, I’ve realized the average, eight-hour workday with an hour lunch break simply isn’t realistic—especially if your goal is to put your best foot forward at work.

        That’s why popular productivity techniques like the Pomodoro advocate for the “sprint” principle. Basically, you work for a short burst, then stop for a short, five-minute break. While the Pomodoro technique is a step forward, more recent research shows a shorter burst of working followed by a longer pause from work might actually be a more effective way to get the most out of stepping away from your desk.

        The team at DeskTime analyzed more than 5 million records of how workers used their computers on the job. They found that the most productive people worked an average of 52 minutes, then took a 17-minute break afterward.[2]

        What’s so special about those numbers? Leave it to neuroscience. According to researchers, the human brain naturally works in spurts of activity that last an hour. Then, it toggles to “low-activity mode.”[3]

        Even so, keep in mind that whatever motivates you is the most effective method. It’s more about the premise—when you know you have a “finish line” approaching, you can stay focused on the task or project at hand.

        Advertising

        There are many applications and tools that can help you block distracting websites and apps (such as social media) for specific periods of the day. Similarly, you can also use some mailing apps like Mailbrew to receive all the social media content or newsletters you don’t want to miss in your inbox at a time you decide.

        So, no matter how long you work, take a break when you sense you’re losing steam or getting bored with the task. Generally, a 10-15 minute break should reinvigorate you for whatever’s coming next.

        2. Get a Change of Scenery—Ideally, Outdoors

        When it comes to increasing a person’s overall mental health, there’s no better balm than nature. Research has found that simply being outside can restore a person’s mind from mental fatigue related to work or studying, ultimately contributing to improved work performance (and even improved work satisfaction).[4]

        No lush forest around? Urban nature can be just as effective to get the most out of your break-taking. Scientists Stephen R. Kellert and Edward O. Wilson, in their book The Biophilia Hypothesis, claimed that even parks, outdoor paths, and building designs that embrace “urban nature” can lend a sense of calm and inspiration, encouraging learning and alertness for workers.

        3. Move Your Body

        A change of scenery can do wonders for your attention span and ability to focus, but it’s even more beneficial if you pair it with physical movement to pump up that adrenaline of yours. Simply put, your body wasn’t designed to be seated the entire day. In fact, scientists now believe that extended periods of sitting are just as dangerous to health as smoking.[5]

        It’s not always feasible to enjoy the benefits of a 30-minute brisk walk during your workday, especially since you’ll most likely have less energy during workdays. But the good news is, for productivity purposes, you don’t have to. Researchers found that just 10 minutes of exercise can boost your memory and attention span throughout the entire day.[6]

        Advertising

        So, instead of using your break to sit and read the news or scroll your social media account, get out of your chair and move your body. Take a quick walk around the block. Do some jumping jacks in your home office. Whatever you choose, you’ll likely find yourself with a sharper focus—and more drive to get things done.

        4. Connect With Another Person

        Social connection is one of the most important factors for resilience. When we’re in a relationship with other people, it’s easier to cope with stress—and in my experience, getting social can also help to improve focus after a work break.

        One of my favorite ways to break after a 30-or-so minute sprint is to hang out with my family. And once a week, I carve out time to Skype my relatives back in Turkey. It’s amazing how a bit of levity and emotional connection can rev me up for the next work sprint.

        Now that most of us are working from home, getting some face-to-face time with a loved one isn’t as hard as it once was. So, take the time to chat with your partner. Take your kids outside to run around the backyard. If you live alone, call a friend or relative. Either way, coming up for air to chat with someone who knows and cares about you will leave you feeling invigorated and inspired.

        5. Use Your Imagination

        When you’re working with your head down, your brain has an ongoing agenda: get things done, and do it well. That can be an effective method for productivity, but it only lasts so long—especially because checking things off your to-do list isn’t the only ingredient to success at work. You also need innovation.

        That’s why I prioritize a “brain break” every day. When I feel my “cup” getting empty, I usually choose another creative activity to exercise my brain, like a Crossword puzzle, Sudoku, or an unrelated, creative project in my house.

        Advertising

        And when I’m really struggling to focus, I don’t do anything at all. Instead, I let my brain roam free for a bit, following my thoughts down whatever trail they lead me. As it turns out, there’s a scientific benefit to daydreaming. It reinforces creativity and helps you feel more engaged with the world, which will only benefit you in your work.[7]

        Whether you help your kids with their distance learning homework, read an inspiring book, or just sit quietly to enjoy some fresh air, your brain will benefit from an opportunity to think and feel without an agenda. And, if you’re anything like me, you might just come up with your next great idea when you aren’t even trying.

        Final Thoughts

        Most of us have to work hard for our families and ourselves. And the current world we live in demands the highest level of productivity that we can offer. However, we also have to take a break once in a while. We are humans, after all.

        Learning the art of properly taking a break will not only give you the rest you need but also increase your productivity in the long run.

        More on the Importance of Taking a Break

        Featured photo credit: Helena Lopes via unsplash.com

        Reference

        Read Next