Gmail and GTD: Google Tasks or Gmail Labels?
I know at the end of the day the answer to my question is completely up to one's preferences, but I thought I will consult fellow more exprerienced GTDers before I take dive.
I GTD using Gmail and GCal. Im having a hard time deciding whether to use Gmail labels as context and project lists (as described in Kelly's whitepaper) or to use Google Tasks.
I'm concerned with time and focus loss when switching back & forth between tasks and Gmail. It really does distract me. On the other hand, when using gmail labels I have my master inbox & context lists at one place, quickly at hand, with useful features like drag & drop and labels custom colors (I'm a visual type of guy).
But: Tasks seem more natural way to go, as they allow you to attach an email message to a task, set up due dates, etc. Downside to them is there is no uncomplete task count next to list, so I have to manually review them as frequent as possible. No such problem when using gmail labels and appropriate filters.
Right now Im using an uneffective blend of above two approaches, and it really bothers me. Also, I try make my Google based system as simple as possible, make it get out of the way and let me get my things done :)
Could and experienced Google suite users share their opinions on this? Which one you think is the way to go?
Making GTD labeling easier in Gmail
I truly hope this is not in violation of house rules, but it's very relevant to the thread's original question.
I'd like to recommend a software tool I've been curating for several years, called ActiveInbox (www.activeinboxhq.com) which was formerly known as GTDGmail. It adds lots of features to Gmail to make implementing a GTD workflow very easy - including overcoming Thomas' problem of too many project labels (it allows nesting, and has unique features for reviews). It's free for most users (it was originally donationware).
If I can help please do say hello at firstname.lastname@example.org.
more questions about Google Tasks
I just started setting up GTD using Google Tasks. I'm keeping individual lists for:
- Areas of Focus
- Each of my contexts (@Errands, @Home, etc.)
This seems to be working really well so far, but I haven't pushed the system very hard yet. Two observations, though:
- I don't seem to be using the Inbox list very much. I did at first, but since processing it to zero the first time I've been just sending things directly to their relevant list. I'm not sure this is a problem, but it suggests to me that I might not need this particular inbox in my overall system. Things seem to come in through my physical or Gmail inboxes.
- There doesn't seem to be a way to connect next actions to particular projects. Google Tasks doesn't seem to offer any tagging or other feature to achieve this sort of linkage. But again, I'm not sure this will be a problem. I recently listened to a podcast in which David seemed to suggest that explicit linkage is not necessary and indeed might even be an unnecessary complication. Not having this hasn't bothered me at all yet, but I wonder if it will start to cause problems as I get more stuff in the system.
Can anyone shed light on either of these points? I would also be interested in hearing any other specifics about how Google Tasks isn't up to snuff for GTD.
Thanks in advance!