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Review: 'Kinkless GTD' for automated, elegant OS X task management

Kinkless GTD 0.61

Kinkless GTD

I think Ethan J. A. Schoonover may have struck a wonderful balance of power, simplicity, automation, and low-key good looks with his “Kinkless GTD” System.

By combining the stupendous OmniOutliner Pro with a bit of Applescript and pixie dust, KGTD provides a sensible way to manage Projects and Next Actions in one very clever little document. For those of you not already using and loving OO, this is a beautiful chance to see it in action.

The heart of the app lies in dedicated views (top-level outline rows for OO fans) for your Projects and their daughter Actions. Project view shows all related Next Actions, and Action view shows those NAs by customizable context (@home, @shopping, etc.). Additional views for periodic Reviews, Trigger Lists, Someday-Maybe, etc., make this a true GTD implementation—not just a tarted-up To-do list.

The sexy part comes from the freestanding OO doc’s ability to remember and update the associations for your tasks. For example, a totally paper or txt setup doesn’t natively hook all the pieces of your world together (and update everywhere when a task is completed). Kinkless GTD, with a click of the “Sync” button, puts everything in its place, and tidies up your GTD world in a curiously satisfying way. It even puts your completed items in an Archive (which is so handy if you need occasional motivation or if you freelance and get lazy about keeping time.)

There’s more to this all—especially in today’s re-written .61 release—and I encourage you to have a look if you're an OS X geek in the market for a new GTD system. Yes OmniOutliner Pro is $69.95 (and worth every nickel, IMHO), but Ethan has released KGTD under the GNU GPL, which makes his implementation free as in…well…almost everything.

Ethan has done a beautiful job with this over a very short period of time. KGTD is easy to install, elegant to use, and contains generous, often funny documentation right inside your document.

Like most good tools, it’s designed to only do a couple things really well (so you wouldn’t dump in your calendar and tons of support materials at this point); this is really an app for seeing your Tasks in context and for removing the painful recursion of manually oiling all your productivity machine’s moving parts. With the automation and auto-organization in place in KGTD, I could see a lot of people really digging this.

Great work, Ethan.

Creed Erickson's picture

Life balance is targeted toward...

Life balance is targeted toward a different, complementary goal. GTD is a tactical system for managing your productivity in the face of the daily skirmish for your time. LB is a long-view strategic system for managing life goals. While LB may be shoe-horned into a GTD context, it's a forced fit. I'm convinced there are better ways. KGTD may well be part of a better way.




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