Handling todo's on actionlists is essential in any GTD-system, so it's something I have been striving to get fast and functional for quite some time.
Until I tried Tudumo, I used Microsoft Outlook's todo-lists, since this was on my computer already, and was open all the time. But Outlook was really slow. It boots slowly, and you have to use the mouse all the time navigating the user interface.
Tudumo is the exactly opposite.
- It's fast booting, so you will get into the app in a split second, instead of waiting for a large app to get ready
- It has brilliantly chosen keyboard shortcuts, that's intuitive and easy to remember in your workflow.
- It offers several states each action can be in (next action, someday/maybe, on hold etc)
- With fast filters and search, allowing you to effortlessly switch between viewing for example all your actions and things on your someday/maybe list.
- Tags on actions (hit ctrl-t and add a tag)
All this ties together in a great workflow, that is far superior to anything else I've tried.
A quick overview of the app
Here's a screendump of the app, with a couple of actions in it. The current view is of all the actions tagged with "@calls". The actions are listed in light blue under their respective headings (Anniversary & Attend...). In front of each action is different icons, a red circle for a "next action" and a blue for simply "action". In the bottom of the screen the list of tags are listed, allowing you to choose all the actions with for example "Derek". Clicking All will show the full list of actions.
In the top right corner you can see the find and filtering options. Tudumo lets you search real-time (it lists files as you type). And you can choose which type of actions you'd like to see (next actions, actions + next action, someday/maybe and more).
Handling Incoming Stuff in a GTD-workflow
As mentioned one of the great things about Tudumo is the speed, and how well it integrates with a GTD-workflow.
When something pops into my head, that I need to capture, I just hist WIN-T on the keyboard, and Tudumo launches immediately.
Tudumo starts in the heading used last. I use these headings for my standard GTD-contexts (@work, @home, @pc, @diy, @phone and @errand).
If I'm not positioned in the right heading I can navigate with the keyboard using CTRL-UP and -DOWN jumping to the next or previous heading.
To add something I hit CTRL-N and start typing an action - "brainstorm structure for Tudumo review" - and hit enter. The idea is now captured, and I can hit WIN-T and leave Tudumo again.
Making Frontend Decisions about Actions with Tudumo
So it's fast. But for a GTD-fiend it's essential to be able do to a little more. You want to be able to make and handle effective frontend decisions about your stuff.
The basic question is whether the thing on your mind is actionable or not. If it's actionable, you need to decide whether to:
- Do it right away
- Defer by putting it on a next actions list
- Deferring it to a specific date by putting it in some sort of tickler file or calendar
- Delegate it, an track it on a waiting for list
- Handling it like a multistep project with a list of actions to be completed
- Maybe do it sometime in the future if you feel like it (someday/maybe)
The great thing about Tudumo is, that if it's actionable, Tudumo will handle it!
Above is the list of "states" that Tudumo will let you choose for a selected action, and the respective key to choose that "state" (1-6).
Next Actions: Next actions are easy. If it's something you want done as soon as possible just hit 1. It's on your next action list!
To check out all your next actions you just hit CTRL-1 to see a list of all next actions.
Deferring to a specific date: If you want to defer something - say, returning the library books - to a specific date, you can put it "On Hold".
You can do this by hitting 3. But it's actually smarter instead to select a "start-date" for the action. Hitting CTRL-SHIFT-D will let you choose a specific date for the action reappear on your lists. On this date you'll get a popup-notifier reminding you about returning your library books, and the action is active again.
To check out a list of all actions "On hold" you can hit CTRL-5.
Tracking Delegated Actions: If you have delegated an action, then just hit 5. This put's it on the "Waiting For" list, where you can track them. You can add a due-date to these by hitting CTRL-D and selecting a time in future where you'll want to check up on it.
If you want to check up on all your delegations hit CTRL-6 and you'll only see actions in the state "Waiting for"
Handling Multistep Projects: When I want to handle a multistep project I use the tagging feature i Tudumo. I have a tag for each project. Hitting CTRL-T on a selected task lets you add a tag. This is done by typing a tag-word; several tags can be added separated by commas. So for a project, say "xmas presents" I just type this into the tag-field, and hit enter.
If you want to enter several tasks with the same tag, say you are brainstorming tasks in your "xmas presents" project, you can click the "xmas presents"-tag in the taglist in the bottom of the screen. This gives you a list of all the tasks tagged this. If you enter new tasks by hitting CTRL-N when in this list, new tasks will inherit the tag from the list. This lets you brainstorm multiple tasks on the same projects.
When finished you can select which projects belong to which contexts and choose the tasks that are next actions.
Someday/Maybe Lists: To add an action to your someday/maybe list you just change the state of the action to someday/maybe. To see all your someday/maybes hit CTRL-7.
So all in all Tudumo is brilliantly suited for those of you using GTD on your computer. It is the best match for my todo-needs I have found so far.
It's fast and flexible. The really nice thing is that the same task easily changes from one state to another.
Of course the best feeling is to hit 4 on a task to mark it "done". But it's very powerful to be able to move a task on a off someday/maybe lists with single keystroke.
So all in all it integrates wonderfully with the GTD-framework.
So if you're looking for something fast, and don't need an app that syncs with PDA's or websites, I really recommend this. It prints lists on paper, but that's it!
Me... I'm all for computerlists and printing pages to my organizer. But it's a little old school. I would be great to have an app with the same usability, that syncs via Google Gears to a website, and lets you sync with a mobile device. But perhaps this is in the pipes.
- Jens Poder