Friday, April 13, 2007

Get Things Done with GTDInbox

I always consider myself a productivity freak - I would go through a series of troubles to get a certain software installed just to reduce the time it takes for me to complete a certain task for a few seconds. Because of this, I love using Firefox a lot as there're numerous cool add-ons that I can install to make me work faster.

One of my favorite Firefox add-ons is GTDInbox. In case you don't know what "GTD" is, it stands for Getting Things Done, a methodology to increase productivity proposed by David Allen. GTDInbox is a Firefox add-on that implements the GTD methodology with Gmail.

Just to save your valuable time, you can continue your web surfing on other websites if
  • You don't use Firefox or
  • You don't use Gmail

If you do use Firefox and Gmail, please read on :)

What's so great about GTDInbox? it comes with some cool features that turn Gmail into a powerful To-Do list. Let me introduce to you some of the features I like in the following:

Enhanced Labels box

After installing the add-on, you will that the Label box on the left hand side looks differently now:

GTDInbox has grouped the labels into meaningful groups, including

  • Contexts
  • Statuses
  • Projects
  • References

GTD Popup Window

Besides, you can label an email right in your Inbox now:

Just place your cursor over the little "GTD" image on the far right of an email and you'll see the above popup window.

Label groups in Message View

When you go into the message view by clicking one of the emails, you'll see groups of labels showing above below the email subject line:

Now assign labels to an email is simply a task of clicking the links there, much easier than using the "More actions..." drop down box.

GTD Action Drop Down box and Task Links

In the Inbox view, there're also some additional handy links for you to view your tasks and a "More GTD" drop down box for GTD specific actions:

Compose Action and Compose Reference Links

Below the "Compse Mail" link on the upper left corner, now there's a "Compse Action" link:

If you click on it, it will take you to the regular Compose Mail screen without the "To" input area at the top:

Note that there're also two additional links now, which are
  • "Compose Myself an Action" and
  • "Compose Myself a Reference"

You can use these two links to quickly assign yourself a task or create a reference to something like a Word document.

There are two more features that I don't use as often, which are "GTD Search" and "Print Hipste PDA Cards". They are left to the readers to explore :)

By the way, their Lead Developer Andy Mitchell is doing a fundraiser to further improve GTDInbox to the next level. If you try GTDInbox and love it please skip your next cup of Starbucks coffee and donate a few bucks to them. Andy is a nice guy and I'm confident that he and his team members can make GTDInbox the coolest plugin to Gmail ever! Keep up with the nice job guys! :)