Friday, July 21, 2006

GTD with Ubuntu: Web Apps

OK, as promised I am going to start rolling out how I use Ubuntu Linux to get things done.

The first thing has little to do with Ubuntu per-se, except that it makes an excellent platform for browsing the web and using web applications, it is stable, reliable, fast and with firefox, very compatible.

GTD with Macs often seems to revolve around kGTD (based on omni outliner) and iCal, my personal choice of weapons include GMail, Google Calendar and Writely (for starters - more will be mentioned in the future).

A bit of history, email has been a critical service for me for a long time (let's face it, it is for pretty much anyone these days), but I never liked POP - I use more than one machine during the course of a day, and it bothered me to either have emails downloaded to one machine and not another, or to have to deal with the same email twice.

My original (and in hindsight, foolish) answer was to run my own IMAP server at home - in fact I had a phase where I ran loads of stuff at home on my server, and I always seemed to be having to work on or maintain the server, which just made me more stressed and busy.

GMail was nothing short of an epiphany - here was a centralised web app, that worked every where with no setup, had better search and management tools, and someone else did all the work of keeping it up and running.

Gmail has become the hub of my task tracking - which I have adapted largely from the GTD with Gmail whitepaper and many other tips and tricks off of 43 folders related to GMail. In fact, Gmail has become a lot more - I run and log all of my instant message chats through gtalk (including AIM using a jabber gateway). You can go "off-the-record" if you choose, but having the chats, emails and todo items stored in one searchable database makes this the perfect "dashboard" for GTD. When google calendar was released as well, I nearly cried with joy - since this enables the missing element - the "Tickler" file if you like.

Anyway, I will delve into calendar, writely, integration with Ubuntu and my Treo, and much more in a future blog posting - for now I had better get back to doing things :-).


leo said...

Hi Dick,

Great post ... I look forward to hearing more about your GTD system on Ubuntu, as I am a GTD user as well and am considering switching to ubuntu from windows.


Vinod said...

Your post sounds like my life, with the POP -> home IMAP server -> Wow Gmail! transistions.

I'm interested in how you run AIM conversations through Gtalk. So I could be having a chat in GAIM, while having all of the text stored in a gmail chat, even if I'm not using the gmail interface?

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