43 Folders

Back to Work

Merlin’s weekly podcast with Dan Benjamin. We talk about creativity, independence, and making things you love.

Join us via RSS, iTunes, or at 5by5.tv.

”What’s 43 Folders?”
43Folders.com is Merlin Mann’s website about finding the time and attention to do your best creative work.

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.

got it - used it... by zx (not verified)
I spent some time over... by Michael Sauer (not verified)
I watched the movie on... by George Garrett (not verified)
Life balance is targeted toward... by Creed Erickson (not verified)
im having a really really... by bobby steak bobby (not verified)
Hey, I love this. Thanks... by Ottoe (not verified)

About Merlin

Merlin's picture


Merlin Mann is an independent writer, speaker, and broadcaster. He’s best known for being the guy who created the website you’re reading right now. He lives in San Francisco, does lots of public speaking, and helps make cool things like You Look Nice Today, Back to Work, and Kung Fu Grippe. Also? He’s writing this book, he lives with this face, he suffers from this hair, he answers these questions, and he’s had this life. So far.

Merlin’s favorite thing he’s written in the past few years is an essay entitled, “Cranking.”




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


Subscribe with Google Reader

Subscribe on Netvibes

Add to Technorati Favorites

Subscribe on Pageflakes

Add RSS feed

The Podcast Feed


Merlin used to crank. He’s not cranking any more.

This is an essay about family, priorities, and Shakey’s Pizza, and it’s probably the best thing he’s written. »

Scared Shitless

Merlin’s scared. You’re scared. Everybody is scared.

This is the video of Merlin’s keynote at Webstock 2011. The one where he cried. You should watch it. »