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My Killer GTD Setup, in Progress

Bar review is stealing my life! Consequently, I’m really late in responding to GTD Marvelz’s killer GTD setup meme. He tagged me with this great project, so here’s my humble contribution. He’s keeping a running list of other killer GTD setups.

The main tool

Every GTD system needs a place to hold lists, actions, contexts, projects, etc. This is the main tool in any GTD setup.

I’ve used and abandoned a number of tools, both on and offline. Currently, I’m pretty darn happy with Vitalist.

Vitalist does everything I could want and more! It’s supports actions with multiple contexts, projects, and notes. It separates items into actions, someday, and waiting. And then you’ve got support for reference and ticklers. Beauteous!


And for you mobilites, Vitalist has a great mobile version. It works perfectly on your phone’s browser, so you can access your lists on the go.

Oh, Vitalist is FREE. The company offers a premium version for a fee, which allows file attachments and a secure connection, among other things. I don’t have a need for the features it includes, and I love free software. :)

The backup players

To be effective with GTD, you need some things beyond just a list container. Well, maybe you don’t, but I do.

Capture – GTD requires an easy way to get things out of your head and into your system. I aim for the “mind like water,” but mine usually feels like mud. I use several tools for capture:

  • Jott – Speed dial 4 on the cell phone, and I can email myself a quick message by speaking. It converts your message to text, with reasonable accuracy. Even cooler, I have Vitalist setup as a Jott contact, so I can send things straight to my Vitalist inbox.
  • Post-Its – Take a standard pad of Super Sticky Post-It Notes. Cut it in half (with sticky on each half). Then stick a few on the inside of your wallet. Now you’ve always got a piece of paper handy!
  • Scratch text file – I always have little bits of text that I need to jot somewhere at the computer. One of the few shortcuts on my desktop is to “ScratchPad.txt” This is a big, nasty, running list of junk. I get the important stuff out periodically and delete the obvious trash.

Do – I’m the final part of the setup. At some point, you’ve just got to do things. I harp on this because I’m bad about fiddling with things instead of getting work. I hope this problem doesn’t plague you.

Things always change

An important final point: this will all change with time. I try not to tweak my system too much, but I also try to continually improve it. I probably won’t go to pen & paper any time soon, but I might switch to another main tool. You just never know. :)

What’s your setup?

Since it’s late and I have a practice essay exam in the morning (whoopee!), I’m going to cop out on tagging people. If you’d like to run with the meme at your own blog, that would be great. Otherwise, let us know what you think down below. I’ll always make time to read and reply to comments!

[tags]gtd, gtd marvelz[/tags]

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9 Responses to “My Killer GTD Setup, in Progress”

  1. [...] Andrew Flusche – Legal Andrew: My Killer GTD Setup, in Progress [...]

  2. gtdfrk
    June 28th, 2007

    Andrew, thanks for taking the time to participate in my GTD meme. You have an interesting GTD setup; I particularly like the really smart feature of “speaking” something into your Vitalist inbox through Jott. And yes, I know what it feels like to tweak your system and not actually doing any of the tasks. At one time I also thought I would never go back to pen and paper. Now, I’m not so sure :) I’m already using a hybrid system and wouldn’t be surprised to find myself going completely analog again in the future. Perhaps you will change your mind as well. Only time will tell! Thanks for sharing your GTD setup!


  3. Andrew Flusche
    June 28th, 2007

    Hi gtdfrk,

    Thanks for linking up to my post. You’ve got a great project going, and I’m glad to have participated.

    I might go to pen & paper someday, who knows. Maybe if I fork over the money for a slick Moleskine. ;)

  4. Brett McKay
    June 28th, 2007

    Vitalist looks pretty slick. I’ll have to give it a try. I’m a paper and pen guy, but that looks like something I’m interested in.

  5. Chris
    June 29th, 2007

    Awesome! I’m glad someone else discovered the Jott/Vitalist combo. AWEsOME!!! Anyone know when the business version of Jott is coming out?

  6. Andrew Flusche
    June 29th, 2007


    I highly recommend Vitalist, if you’re looking for an online system. It’s pretty spiffy in all respects. You can also share tasks with other people, I believe. So your wife could have an account and you could share some tasks. But you might verify that, since I don’t use that feature.

  7. Andrew Flusche
    June 29th, 2007


    “Awesome” is definitely the word for it. I believe you mentioned this killer combination a while ago, and I’m glad I got around to using it. Extremely handy!

  8. Carm Scott
    August 16th, 2007

    Hi Andrew. I too have been a Vitalist fan. I love the way it handles all my tasks and that I can nest projects within projects. But I just found this post on their blog: http://snipurl.com/1pkez. (Sorry I couldn’t figure out how to make that a link.) It looks like the free version will be crippled to a max of 5 projects so those of us who want to manage lots of projects will need to pay $5 per month.

    For me that means I will need to start looking for another tool. It’s a shame because I looked long and hard before finding Vitalist. If you decide to make a change I hope you will share what you do on your blog. Perhaps $5 a month is worth it to some, but my budget is too tight to start paying monthly fees for apps I can get for free.

  9. Andrew Flusche
    August 19th, 2007

    Carn – Unfortunately, I’m in the same Vitalist boat as you. I like the app, but it’s not worth a recurring charge like that. I’d pay a one-time price, but not something every month.

    Best of luck in your search!

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