12-26-2005, 12:20 PM
I heard a rumor awhile back that someone at DavidCo was working on a GTD plug-in for Entourage 2004.
Can anyone verify that? I would so love to be on that beta-testing team! Entourage is the center of my business and life, and it's only missing a few features (dynamic Action-Next Action list making) in order to be GTD perfect for those of us on Macs.
If anyone has info on this, or who to contact to request being a part of that beta team, please let me know. You can respond here, or email me at my GMail account:
07-15-2007, 02:44 PM
tuqqer - I contacted David Co. a while back with the same question and was told that they didn't have plans to implement a GTD plugin; just the white paper. Things might have changed?
With AppleScript though, you can just about replicate all the plugin's functionality. I have written several scripts for just this purpose. You might want to take a look at:
If you have comments, feature request, etc. I'd love to hear them. I'm always looking for new ways to improve this software!
07-20-2007, 06:59 AM
Hi Adam, thanks for the link back to your Entourage site. Some good ideas there.
Since posting this almost 2 years ago (!) I've gotten quite a good GTD system with Entourage. As with most people, I presume, I've twisted the basic rules of GTD to fit my particular work flow and lifestyle. I don't use contexts at all. Instead, I run everything idea/task/Action Step through two things:
1. the Inbox
2. Office Notifications (ON)
All emails, for all 7 of my email accounts go into the Inbox. Even though I get 140-160 business and personal emails a day, I maintain a zero-to-10 email Inbox. This is accomplished not because I handle all those emails every day, but because I use a pair of AppleScripts that, similar to your Tickler one on your site, allow me to hit a keystroke, type in any amount of hours/days/months (as 6h, 1d, 10d, 2w, etc.) and that email disappears for that duration of time. It's an automatic way for me to create a Tickler system. One of the scripts removes the email to a "Postponed" folder. The other runs every 15 minutes, and puts back, into the Inbox, any postponed emails whose time is up.
Office Notifications is the other part of my system. Every to-do gets placed either in the Calendar or the Tasks (they're kind of the same for me), and they ALL get a reminder, which allows me to forget them completely and then appear on top of whatever I'm doing in the Office Notifications window when their time is up. If I can't do it at that moment, I heavily use the ON's Snooze button, putting off that to-do for an hour, or until the end of the day, or tomorrow morning, or even next month.
Both of the above tools (Inbox Postpone system and Office Notification Reminders) allow me to not see any future to-dos until I need to see them. I learned early on that this was a key to my own productivity: not seeing anything that isn't important right now, and only seeing the stuff I need to work on right now. So simple, and it took me years to figure it out, but that was one of the most helpful insights I got from GTD.
Some other oddities:
I've never been able to wrap my brain around Entourage's Projects. I tried for a good year, but finally realized that I only wanted to look at the Inbox and the ON window to see what I needed to do.
Same with Contexts. I know, I know! All my GTD friends think that's tantamount to stripping the heart out of GTD. And I tried to think that way for almost 2 years after I read GTD. But I finally realized that my particular lifestyle and business worked best if I ran everything under One Giant Context. So in a way, I use Contexts big time. But there's only one :)
Every idea, thought, potential Action Step goes down into my calendar or Task, always with a timer/reminder, so that it'll show up in the Office Notifications list. I often don't care when I initially set the reminder, because even if I get it wrong, and it pops up tomorrow, I can easily then snooze it for a day/month/3 years from now. The key for me is to get it into Entourage. For many, putting junk like "call John" into ones calendar would make a mess. But I don't view my calendar like someone with a lot of appointments. I rarely actually look at the calendar view. I just rely on the ONs to show me what's up ("Go to Bank Appt at 1PM today", etc.).
I'm a keyboard shortcut junkie. I never go to the menu, and rarely move my hands from the keyboard. I use both the built-in system that you highlight on your site (but doesn't work for 2nd-tier menu commands), as well as QuicKeys, which allows me more a lot more options. Everything I set up gets a shortcut, so I can get to it quickly.
I have another AppleScript that can quickly grab an InBox email, and place its contents into a Task. It's a nice alternative to the Postpone method above.
I'm a big fan of Categories. Every single person that ends up in my Address Book gets a Category. None of them remain in the "None" default.
use SpamSieve to remove my spam. Amazing program; I wouldn't use Entourage without it.
As groovy a GTD system I think I have, every few months I'll sit back and think of ways to improve it. Reading your site, for instance, got me looking at the Project Center once again. Nothing clicked, but I do like to challenge myself to see if I can make it better. I'm currently deep into creating a new organic drink company, and the sheer volume of to-dos is pushing the limits of my current GTD system. So, I'm well aware that this a fluid system, and I look for ways to make it better.
The best series of articles on Entourage/GTD integration that I've ever found have been written by some guy over at http://inik.net/node/86 . It's a series of 5 or 6 articles that walk you through his system. I got more ahas from his method than any other thing I'd ever read. It really put the finishing polish on my methodology.
I sure am looking forward to seeing what Entourage 2008 brings! E'rage 2004 is starting to feel long in the tooth. I hope I'm blown away by the improvements.
Hope this gives some ideas to you Entourage/GTD users out there.
07-25-2007, 09:50 PM
Thanks, Adam and tuqqer for your great explanations of how to trick out Entourage for GTD. I haven't fully implemented any one system for GTD, but I'm considering trying to get it together with Entourage.
Your info is much appreciated!