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19 Free GTD Apps for Windows, Mac & Linux

19 Free GTD Apps for Windows, Mac & Linux

There are plenty of great, free Getting Things Done apps out there. If you’re a fan of David Allen’s productivity system but can’t do paper and don’t have the cash for a commercial program, this is the collection of applications for you.

The following is a list of nineteen free GTD apps for Windows, the Mac and Linux. Excuse me if I cheat by adding a web app here and there.

iGTD

Of the free GTD apps for the Mac, this is currently one of the most popular. Many people swear by it. You can get both the stable 1.4 release and the alpha preview of version 2 for free. If you’re a Quicksilver geek, iGTD has some slick integration built-in. Get it here.

What’s Next?

This is another Mac-based app. Some of its unique features include mini-wikis for each project (projects in the GTD sense, of course), and a focus mode that darkens portions of the screen so you can focus on getting organized. Get it here.

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Chandler

Chandler is an app for Linux, Windows and Mac platforms. It’s got a bunch of great features including collaboration, advanced calendaring, and multiple contexts. The only thing I’ve seen people really annoyed by is its occasionally sluggish performance. Get it here.

Todoist

Todoist is a web application that’s compatible with GTD methodology. It’s a task manager with Gmail, Firefox and Quicksilver integration, calendar view, and deep hierarchies for projects and tasks. Get it here.

Jello Dashboard

Jello Dashboard is a free Getting Things Done plug-in for Microsoft Outlook. If you’ve always used Outlook to manage your data, your tasks and your day, this may be the ticket for you if you want to implement GTD methodology without leaving the comfort of your favorite app. Get it here.

Evolution

Evolution is the Linux counterpart to Outlook, the app that many switchers flock to in order to fill the void. Aside from having a bunch of features that Outlook doesn’t, you can set up a GTD methodology fairly easily with this app. There are a bunch of plugins that can add to your system. Get it here.

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Actiontastic

Actiontastic is a nice Mac GTD app with a simple, uncomplicated interface. It has just the right level of functionality so you can get a good, effective GTD implementation going without feature bloat turning your system into a monster. Get it here.

Next Action

Next Action is a Google Gears based GTD app, so it runs on any operating system that Google supports with the Gears engine. Add this app to your list if you’re after something that you can use on pretty much any of the mainstream operating systems. Get it here.

GTD TiddlyWiki

Remember the recent Lifehack article about personal wikis that mentioned TiddlyWiki? GTD TiddlyWiki is an adaptation of that software so it can be used for GTD productivity purposes. Another one for the cross-platform crowd. Get it here.

FusionDesk Starter

Windows is fairly light on good GTD apps, so you might be surprised to see another free offering in this list. Although it’s a lesser version of the paid app, FusionDesk Starter still allows you to organize your tasks into folders or with filtering (the absolute minimum requirement to implement GTD), and is built on GTD methodology. Get it here.

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Nozbe

Nozbe is an interesting online GTD app with a focus on collaboration with small teams, and accessibility from most mobile devices (of course, all the pictures are of an iPhone). Individual and business accounts are both free. Sign up here.

Check Off

If you’re looking for a really simple GTD implementation, get Check Off for Mac OS X (10.5.2+). It’s a to-do list that drops down from the system-wide menu bar, and since it’s hierarchical, it can be made into a bare-bones GTD task manager. Get it here.

Beeswax

For Linux. There’s a bunch of people online who are still talking about Lotus Agenda and how it was the best productivity app they ever had, and that nothing since has quite beaten it. The last release of Agenda was in 1992, and even 16 years later people want something just like it: enter Beeswax, which is designed for just that purpose. If you like command-line productivity, get it here.

Thinking Rock

Thinking Rock is a Java app, meaning it’ll run on Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux. If you don’t want an app that has a lot of extra features, something that just lets you run a basic GTD system, you might want to try this one, particularly if you need wider cross-platform support (IE, anything that runs Java). Get it here.

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Toodledo

Toodledo is a web-based app with mobile accessibility and collaboration features. You can organize and annotate your tasks in just about any way you like—folders, sub-tasks, notes, contexts, goals, time estimates, just to name a few of those mentioned on the site. Get it here.

Remember the Milk

Remember the Milk is perhaps one of the most popular web-based task managers out there and it’s one of the easiest to implement a GTD methodology with—in fact, there’s a post on how to do this on their official blog. There are a million ways to interact with your RTM account, including Twitter, iPhone, Google Calendar and the list goes on. And on. Sign up here.

Things

Perhaps this isn’t the list for Things, since it won’t be free in the future, but it is right now—so it counts. Possibly the most attractive GTD task manager for OS X in existence, the way Things organizes data is both elegant and practical. There are a couple of annoying interface issues, such as no sidebar dragging, but they’re pretty minor at the end of the day. Get it here, before it no longer qualifies for this list.

MyLife Organized

MyLife Organized is a Windows GTD app with a free version. If you’re using Firefox you might get a malicious site warning trying to enter, but there’s nothing wrong with the site—Google just doesn’t bother to check what they’re blacklisting before tarnishing the reputation of a good developer (another good reason not to put all your eggs in one basket as many people are doing with them). Rant aside, there aren’t many Windows GTD apps around, so see if the free version of MyLife Organized tickles your fancy. Get it here.

Action Tracker

Action Tracker was built with FileMaker Pro, which means you can approach your GTD software as a database rather than a task list, if you prefer to think that way. There’s a FileMaker file download as well as a stand-alone executable, so you don’t need to buy anything to try this out. Get it here.

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Last Updated on February 15, 2019

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

Joe’s Goals

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    Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

    Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

    Daytum

      Daytum

      is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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      Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

      Excel or Numbers

        If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

        What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

        Evernote

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          I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

          Evernote is free with a premium version available.

          Access or Bento

            If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

            Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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            You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

            Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

            All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

            Conclusion

            I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

            What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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