May 31, 2012, 2:59 PM — Getting Things Done (GTD) apps are becoming de rigueur for anyone who needs to manage their time, from small-business owners, to employees, to CEOs. I asked a random selection of real-world users what their go-to GTD apps were, and the results surprised me: No one used any single tool in a vacuum, but rather used a combination of software and applications to get things done.
What Is GTD?
Productivity consultant David Allen popularized the Getting Things Done (GTD) method in his 2002 book Getting Things Done: the Art of Stress-Free Productivity. After the book came out, numerous software apps sprang up to help people apply GTD principles. These principles center around the creation of a workflow process and the tracking, storing, and monitoring of tasks that one needs to accomplish.
Most people have come around to realizing that they must track their commitments and workflow in order to keep things from falling through the cracks, and that often means selecting GTD apps--but it can be tough to sort out the wheat from the chaff in the crowded GTD space. Like most of you, I'd rather rely on the experience of real users than on a review I've read in some app store. It's important to point out that the apps, software, and processes mentioned below aren't necessarily the most popular in the industry; they're just the ones that users have recommended based on their own experiences.
Evernote was the overwhelming winner in the GTD-recommendation sweepstakes. The software is free, with the option to upgrade to more cloud storage and extra features for a subscription of $45 per year. While most people who use the program don't use it exclusively (it lacks scheduling tools), it was recommended widely and highly.
Finance and corporate strategy consultant Donald McMichael, principal at McMichael Group, LLC, states, "I mainly use Evernote as an informational capture device, and have set up Omnifocus [see below] based on GTD." David Chan, VP Sales and Business Development at the business-development consultancy AD Publishing.org, says "The best GTD software for me is Evernote. We sync our expenses, uncompleted tasks, and many other things in the cloud and access them anywhere."