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ATPM 16.02
February 2010

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by Ed Eubanks Jr.

Master List, February 2010

Two new additions grace the list this time. Today, by Second Gear (the same folks whose Check-Off has been on the list for a while; not sure how I missed Today until now), makes the “Locally Installed General Task Managers” category; Today is a sort of thin front-end for iCal, allowing reference and rapid entry of both tasks and events. Also added is The Hit List, which I’ve been promising to add for some time now.

The Hit List, in beta from Potion Factory, is aiming to compete at the OmniFocus and Things level (that is, the “high end” of the GTD apps category). It combines a nice set of features in common with both, plus the benefit of a nicely-designed interface that feels a bit more like Circus Ponies’ Notebook. I’ve made some extra comments in my list below about The Hit List, which is in the “Locally Installed GTD Applications” category.

About the List

I always welcome any feedback on my list or suggestions for additions. I won’t necessarily add every suggestion, but I’ll look at them and evaluate whether they fit with what I’m trying to cover.

Locally Installed GTD Applications

EasyTask Manager

next-actions-easktask-manager

Developer: Orionbelt.com

Current Version: 2.1

Price: $20

Development Status: Release

iCal Sync: Yes

QuickSilver Plug-in: Yes

Web-app Sync: Yes

Print Lists: Yes

iPhone Presence: App (free); Web App (free)

OS Requirements: Mac OS X 10.4

Required Applications: None

Distinguishing Features: Windows version available; automatic advance of uncompleted due tasks to today.

News: None

Frictionless

next-actions-frictionless

Developer: Twin Forces

Current Version: 2.0d18

Price: Free, open-source

Development Status: Release

iCal Sync: No

QuickSilver Plug-in: Yes

Web-app Sync: No

Print Lists: Yes

iPhone Presence: None

OS Requirements: Mac OS X 10.5

Required Applications: None

Distinguishing Features: Quick-entry box; fuzzy repeated actions.

News: None

Ghost Action

next-actions-ghost-action

Developer: Ghost Park Software

Current Version: 1.3.2

Price: $20

Development Status: Release

iCal Sync: Yes

QuickSilver Plug-in: No

Web-app Sync: No

Print Lists: Yes

iPhone Presence: Sort of—a non-syncing application ($10)

OS Requirements: Mac OS X 10.4 only

Required Applications: None

Distinguishing Features: .Mac syncing (without iCal running); PDA/iPod syncing; two-way iCal syncing.

News: Version 1.3.2 improved Snow Leopard compatibility.

iCog

next-actions-ikog

Developer: HensPace

Current Version: 1.90

Price: Free

Development Status: Release

iCal Sync: No

QuickSilver Plug-in: No

Web-app Sync: No

Print Lists: Yes

iPhone Presence: None

OS Requirements: Unknown

Required Applications: Python 2.4 or later

Distinguishing Features: Compatible with any OS running Python (including Windows); very simple text-only utility.

News: None

mGTD

next-actions-mgtd

Developer: Jeff Fisher

Current Version: 1.3

Price: Free

Development Status: Pre-final

iCal Sync: No

QuickSilver Plug-in: No

Web-app Sync: No

Print Lists: Yes

iPhone Presence: None

OS Requirements: None (Mori template)

Required Applications: Mori 1.6.11

Distinguishing Features: Expands Mori (digital notebook) functions to include GTD principles.

News: None

Midnight Inbox

next-actions-midnight-inbox

Developer: Midnight Beep Softworks

Current Version: 1.4.3

Price: $35

Development Status: Release

iCal Sync: Yes

QuickSilver Plug-in: No

Web-app Sync: No

Print Lists: Yes

iPhone Presence: App coming soon

OS Requirements: Mac OS X 10.4

Required Applications: None

Distinguishing Features: Action timer; quick-note and quick-action hot keys; Mail compatible; automatic data collection.

News: The developers continue to push back the release of version 2.0, which is now projected for spring 2010. Inbox Touch is still also projected for spring 2010.

OmniFocus

next-actions-omnifocus

Developer: Omni Group

Current Version: 1.7.5

Price: $80

Development Status: Release

iCal Sync: Yes

QuickSilver Plug-in: Yes

Web-app Sync: No

Print Lists: Yes

iPhone Presence: App ($20)

OS Requirements: Mac OS X 10.4.8

Required Applications: None

Distinguishing Features: Mail compatible and Spotlight compatible; simple interface with powerful view features.

News: This workhorse continues to improve, with lots of under-the-hood updates and fixes, as well as an overhaul of the Perspectives options, improved use of attachments, interface improvements, better and faster syncing, and a small host of other fixes and upgrades.

Pluto menubar

next-actions-pluto

Developer: MOApp Software Manufactory

Current Version: 5.1.1

Price: €16 (about $24)

Development Status: Release

iCal Sync: Yes

QuickSilver Plug-in: Yes

Web-app Sync: No

Print Lists: Yes

iPhone Presence: None

OS Requirements: Mac OS X 10.5

Required Applications: None

Distinguishing Features: This is a menu-bar application, but don’t be fooled—it is a very fully featured GTD tool. There is a lot to see here, and you won’t find any of the standard features you’re looking for missing. Note the full-screen editing, searching, tags, contacts, and priorities.

News: None

Ready, Set, Do!

next-actions-ready-set-do

Developer: Todd Vasquez

Current Version: 1.4.4

Price: $30

Development Status: Release

iCal Sync: Yes

QuickSilver Plug-in: Yes

Web-app Sync: No

Print Lists: Yes

iPhone Presence: None

OS Requirements: Mac OS X 10.4

Required Applications: None

Distinguishing Features: A very different approach using a set of AppleScript routines to impose organization and communication across a computer’s entire file system; productivity scoring; help with files and tasks related to meetings; multiple language support.

News: Thanks to Todd Vasquez who chimed in with a comment on the last list to mention some lesser-known features, and a new graphic.

TaskPaper

next-actions-taskpaper

Developer: Hog Bay Software

Current Version: 2.1

Price: $19

Development Status: Release

iCal Sync: No

QuickSilver Plug-in: No

Web-app Sync: No

Print Lists: Yes

iPhone Presence: None

OS Requirements: Mac OS X 10.5

Required Applications: None

Distinguishing Features: Simple text-based system; no-frills; intentionally designed as an alternative to more fully featured systems.

News: iPhone version is in beta—learn more here.

The Hit List

next-actions-hit-list

Developer: Potion Factory

Current Version: 0.9.3.18

Price: $50 (pre-order)

Development Status: Beta

iCal Sync: Yes

QuickSilver Plug-in: No

Web-app Sync: No

Print Lists: No

iPhone Presence: No (but indicated as “coming”)

OS Requirements: Mac OS X 10.5

Required Applications: None

Distinguishing Features: List view and “card” view; task timer; system-wide quick-entry; tabs allow good project management; AppleScript support; tags and prioritization of tasks.

News: There’s a lot to like about The Hit List, which, though still in beta, is already quite mature and usable. It has the full set of standard features required for a GTD application, plus a small handful of additional useful tools. It also has the benefit of a friendly, intuitive, and useable interface which borrows from the “notebook” and folder style meme, making good use of tabs, columns, etc. The addition of a system-wide quick-entry function is vital; the full-functioning ability to sync with iCal adds a lot of flexibility and allows The Hit List to fit into existing systems well; and the promise of an iPhone application to come will round out a lot of needed features for many. No multi-computer syncing is native; however, the library is portable, so a flash drive, iDisk, Dropbox, or other similar solution would accomplish what is needed. The Hit List has been in beta for a while, and development, though advancing, seems to be moving at a slow pace. Once it is finally out of beta, though, I look for The Hit List to do very well.

Things

next-actions-things

Developer: Cultured Code

Current Version: 1.2.9

Price: $50

Development Status: Release

iCal Sync: Yes

QuickSilver Plug-in: No

Web-app Sync: No

Print Lists: Yes

iPhone Presence: App ($10)

OS Requirements: Mac OS X 10.4.11

Required Applications: None

Distinguishing Features: iCal sync; repeating tasks; Mail compatibility; tags; network and multi-computer operation; and import/export options.

News: Another round of fixes and minor tweaks since last time; visit the release notes for more.

Thinking Rock

next-actions-thinking-rock

Developer: Avente Pty Ltd

Current Version: 2.2.1

Price: Free, open-source

Development Status: Release

iCal Sync: No

QuickSilver Plug-in: No

Web-app Sync: No

Print Lists: Yes

iPhone Presence: None

OS Requirements: Mac OS X 10.4

Required Applications: None

Distinguishing Features: Cross-platform compatibility through Java; interactive collection and processing; can be run off of a flash drive.

News: Version 3 is now available for purchase for $40. Learn more about the difference in the versions here.

What To Do

next-actions-what-to-do

Developer: Objective Satisfaction

Current Version: 1.3.2

Price: $29

Development Status: Release

iCal Sync: No

QuickSilver Plug-in: Yes

Web-app Sync: No

Print Lists: Yes

iPhone Presence: None

OS Requirements: Mac OS X 10.4.9

Required Applications: None

Distinguishing Features: Drag-and-drop intensive for easy reorganization; .Mac syncing for multiple computers; XML export.

News: None

Locally Installed General Task Managers

Anxiety

Developer: Tom Stoelwinder, Model Concept

Current Version: 1.0

Price: Free/Donationware

Development Status: Release

iCal Sync: Yes

QuickSilver Plug-in: No

Web-app Sync: No

Print Lists: Yes (through iCal)

iPhone Presence: None

OS Requirements: Mac OS X 10.5

Distinguishing Features: A menu-bar utility that gives a HUD-like interface to iCal tasks; sorts by calendar; Mac OS X 10.5 only.

News: None

Chandler

Developer: The Chandler Project

Current Version: 1.0.3

Price: Open Source

Development Status: Release

iCal Sync: Yes

QuickSilver Plug-in: No

Web-app Sync: Yes

Print Lists: Yes (through iCal)

iPhone Presence: None

OS Requirements: Mac OS X 10.3

Distinguishing Features: A good integrated calendar makes this one a fairly full-orbed PIM.

News: None

Check Off

Developer: Second Gear

Current Version: 4.0.3

Price: $13

Development Status: Release

iCal Sync: No

QuickSilver Plug-in: No

Web-app Sync: No

Print Lists: Yes

iPhone Presence: None

OS Requirements: Mac OS X 10.5.2

Distinguishing Features: A menu-bar utility that manages basic task lists; syncs with iPods; a .Mac Backup QuickPick is provided.

News: None

Dejumble

Developer: Thinking Code Software, Inc.

Current Version: 1.3

Price: $19

Development Status: Release

iCal Sync: Yes

QuickSilver Plug-in: No

Web-app Sync: No

Print Lists: Yes (through iCal)

iPhone Presence: App ($8)

OS Requirements: Unknown (would assume 10.4 or later, due to presence of Spotlight functions)

Distinguishing Features: A simple yet powerful menu bar–style task list manager, with tags, groups, notes, and a handful of other options.

News: None

Docket

Developer: Surprise Software

Current Version: 1.3

Price: $20

Development Status: Release

iCal Sync: No

QuickSilver Plug-in: No

Web-app Sync: No

Print Lists: Yes

iPhone Presence: None

OS Requirements: Mac OS X 10.1

Distinguishing Features: A neat basic list-management application. A Windows version is also available.

News: None

DoIt

Developer: Jim McGowan

Current Version: 2.6

Price: Donationware

Development Status: Release

iCal Sync: Yes

QuickSilver Plug-in: Yes

Web-app Sync: No

Print Lists: No

iPhone Presence: None

OS Requirements: Mac OS X 10.4

Distinguishing Features: .Mac support and AppleScriptability. Also supports file attachments and categories for lists. Skins are available for customization.

News: None

FlexCal

Developer: flexgames

Current Version: 1.13

Price: Free/Donationware

Development Status: Release

iCal Sync: Yes

QuickSilver Plug-in: No

Web-app Sync: No

Print Lists: Yes (through iCal)

iPhone Presence: None

OS Requirements: Mac OS X 10.5

Distinguishing Features: A task and event creator for iCal—something of a collection bucket for GTD users.

News: None

High Priority

Developer: Aram Kudurshian

Current Version: 1.11 (Mac OS X 10.4 only)

Price: $6 (personal); $12 (family); $60 (business)

Development Status: Release

iCal Sync: Yes

QuickSilver Plug-in: No

Web-app Sync: No

Print Lists: Yes (through iCal)

iPhone Presence: None

OS Requirements: Mac OS X 10.4 only

Distinguishing Features: A system preference pane, creates a menu in the menu bar that lets you create and update your iCal tasks.

News: Thanks to Peter Herndon, who updated us on the status of High Priority in the last column’s comments. The developer has gone to work for Apple and stopped work on High Priority. This one will be removed from the list starting next time.

Hot Plan

Developer: Intuiware

Current Version: 1.4.2

Price: $20

Development Status: Release

iCal Sync: No

QuickSilver Plug-in: No

Web-app Sync: No

Print Lists: No

iPhone Presence: None

OS Requirements: Mac OS X 10.4.9

Distinguishing Features: Tracks a substantial amount of information about a given task, including completion status, priority, and time remaining; supports tagging, color coding, and locking of tasks. Also allows collection of URLs and files.

News: None

iClock Pro

Developer: Script Software

Current Version: 1.0rc7

Price: $20

Development Status: Release

iCal Sync: Yes

QuickSilver Plug-in: No

Web-app Sync: No

Print Lists: No

OS Requirements: Unknown

Distinguishing Features: Offers a menu bar–based method of managing task lists; includes .Mac syncing.

News: Script Software has stopped offering the older version of iClock (version 3.0.5—though you can still find it here), and now offers only iClock Pro, which is in beta for version 1.x.

Life Balance

Developer: Llamagraphics

Current Version: 5.1.1

Price: $65 ($80 bundled with Palm version)

Development Status: Release

iCal Sync: Yes

QuickSilver Plug-in: No

Web-app Sync: No

Print Lists: Yes (through iCal)

OS Requirements: Mac OS X 10.4

Distinguishing Features: Gives “meta-feedback” about tasks: how much time are you spending in different areas of your life (i.e., work, family, hobbies, etc.), and are you keeping it balanced? Palm and Windows versions available.

News: None

NoteBook

Developer: Circus Ponies

Current Version: 3.0

Price: $50 (academic and family pack pricing available)

Development Status: Release

iCal Sync: Yes

QuickSilver Plug-in: Yes

Web-app Sync: No

Print Lists: Yes

OS Requirements: Mac OS X 10.4.11

Distinguishing Features: Highly customizable system with project management built-in; also works well for heavy day-to-day GTD use.

News: None

Organized

Developer: iSlayer

Current Version: 1.11

Price: Donationware

Development Status: Release

iCal Sync: Yes

QuickSilver Plug-in: No

Web-app Sync: No

Print Lists: No

iPhone Presence: None

OS Requirements: Mac OS X 10.5

Distinguishing Features: Dashboard widget with calendar events, tasks, notes, and world clock.

News: None

Qu-s

Developer: Urban Design Limited

Current Version: 1.5

Price: $17

Development Status: Release

iCal Sync: No

QuickSilver Plug-in: No

Web-app Sync: No

Print Lists: No

iPhone Presence: None

OS Requirements: Mac OS X 10.5

Distinguishing Features: Allows lists (and other things) to be created as an editable part of the desktop. Good for simple lists.

News: None

Stapler

Developer: The Blue Technologies Group

Current Version: 1.1

Price: €7.50 (about $10)

Development Status: Release

iCal Sync: No

QuickSilver Plug-in: No

Web-app Sync: No

Print Lists: Yes

iPhone Presence: None

OS Requirements: Mac OS X 10.4

Distinguishing Features: A combination notepad and to-do list manager, with creation date, notes, and a check box for completed items. Tasks can be color-coded based on a low-level preference set-up.

News: None

TaskMate

Developer: Ryan Conway

Current Version: 1.2.1

Price: Free

Development Status: Release

iCal Sync: No

QuickSilver Plug-in: No

Web-app Sync: No

Print Lists: No

iPhone Presence: None

OS Requirements: Mac OS X 10.5

Distinguishing Features: Ultra-simple task list: remaining tasks in a simple list; completed tasks in a drawer (which can be hidden). Tasks are just single-line descriptions with a check box. Could be right for the super-simplified life.

News: None

Today

Developer: Second Gear

Current Version: 2.0

Price: $22

Development Status: Release

iCal Sync: Yes

QuickSilver Plug-in: No

Web-app Sync: No

Print Lists: Yes

iPhone Presence: None

OS Requirements: Mac OS X 10.6

Distinguishing Features: A window interface for quick reference and entry to iCal events and tasks. Allows global shortcuts for viewing and creation of new tasks and events.

News: From the same company that makes Check Off, this is sort of a thin front-end for iCal. It offers some good preferences for customizing the views, etc. It’s been around for a while (since April 2008) but somehow didn’t come onto my radar until recently. Version 2.0 was released in early January, bringing a lot of key updates and new features; see the release notes for more information.

ToDo X

Developer: Omicron Software Systems, Inc.

Current Version: 2.3

Price: $15

Development Status: Release

iCal Sync: Import from iCal only

QuickSilver Plug-in: No

Web-app Sync: No

Print Lists: No

iPhone Presence: None

OS Requirements: Mac OS X 10.2

Distinguishing Features: Offers categories, priorities, and attached notes.

News: None

ZooDo

Developer: InterfaceThis

Current Version: 1.0

Price: Free

Development Status: Release

iCal Sync: Yes

QuickSilver Plug-in: No

Web-app Sync: No

Print Lists: Yes (through iCal)

iPhone Presence: None

OS Requirements: Unknown

Distinguishing Features: A basic task creator for iCal, serving as a collection bucket.

News: None

Browser and Web-based GTD Applications

30 Boxes

Price: Free

Description: Lean and fast, including a calendar, task list, and limited Gmail interaction. Also RSS and iCal feeds, SMS, and sharing. Nice interface, too.

43 Actions

Price: Free (donations get extra features)

Description: Specifically designed as an iPhone Web app, it’s light and lean for EDGE network optimization. Submit inbox items via e-mail, Twitter (with donation), Jott (with donation), and the usual features.

GTDAgenda

Price: Free

Description: Another Web version of a GTD tool, with the standard features. Plus, addition of Goals, checklists for recurring tasks, schedule management, and an iCal-compatible calendar. A mobile version is also available.

GTDInbox

Price: Free

Description: A Firefox extension for GTD integration with Gmail. Prepackaged labels, a Review process, specialized searches within Gmail, quick-entry for tasks, and printable. Works well in conjunction with RememberTheMilk. Current version, 2.0.8.4, is open source; requires Firefox.

GTD-PHP

Price: Free

Description: A PHP solution designed to be locally installed. A simple tabbed interface for the capture and process stages; weekly review. Currently at version 0.8.

Neptune

Price: $10/year

Description: Includes a collection inbox and context or project task viewing panes, as well as inactive projects and tasks. Daily e-mail reminders of tasks; new tasks can be added by e-mail; data export.

Next Action

Price: Free

Description: Uses Google Gears and Firefox; has a lean, basic interface with multiple-list management capability. Works with or without a network connection.

Nexty

Price: Free

Description: PHP-based, so it installs locally and runs in your browser; supports contexts and reminders.

Nozbe

Price: Free

Description: Has markers for which action will be next and a time estimation for tasks. Contexts are visible and identifiable; easy to collect and process quickly; iPhone-ready.

SimpleGTD

Price: Free

Description: Tabs for next actions, contexts, projects, and done actions; drag-and-drop organization; easy undoing of tasks.

Task Writer

Price: Free

Description: Easy keyboard navigation, good use of calendaring for tasks, and a useful set of attributes for tasks, as well as the ability to auto-hide unneeded list views, help Task Writer to stand out a bit.

Toodledo

Price: Free

Description: Has a Firefox plug-in and a Google gadget for easy collection; also supports e-mail, voice mail, and traditional entry for collection. Includes a good overview of GTD in co-operation with its tools, as well. iPhone-optimized.

Tracks

Price: Free

Description: A Web server that runs locally or hosted through tracks.tra.in. Fast, lean, and pretty, it offers calendaring and a multi-user component. Currently at version 1.6.

Vitalist

Price: $5/month (premium)

Description: Is a wide-scale GTD system: collection, project management, recurring actions, and tickler files. Includes a mobile edition, iCal and RSS feeds, and e-mail and SMS reminders. An iPhone-specific version is available. A premium (paid) version also includes security encryption, collaboration, file attachments, and calendaring.

GTD and Task Management Wikis

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