June 30, 2010 | by Chris Smith
Yes, I am officially the token GTD guy at Androinica. One of the things that I have battled with while owning an Android device is how to use it in my day-to-day GTD system. So, this is my mega-GTD-on-Android post that may help my fellow GTDers on Android.
There are plenty of productivity apps, but there is one prerequisite for this list. I have a hard time considering an Android “GTD” app viable with absolutely no synchronization to a webapp or desktop PC available. The only apps I am looking at have some sort of sync option.
QR codes are available for download. (If browsing from a phone, click on the QR image to open in the market)
Astrid has been a staple for most Android to-do and GTD people for a long time, and that isn’t a coincidence. Astrid is one of the easiest task options and is definitely filled with the right features:
- 4 priority levels
- time estimates
- notes section
- deadline and alerts control
- repeat interval
- syncs with RTM
- view by tag (which includes the list name in RTM)
- add tag to homescreen
Astrid is a strong competitor, but the weirdness of sync to RTM is what really kills this app for me. The difference between an RTM list and tag is a confusing one with Astrid. I have even erased all lists and tags and tried to start over with just lists and somehow the proper sync gets lost in translation. If this sounds confusing to you, it’s because it is and the ONE thing that has kept me from Astrid. Other than that, Astrid is one of the best.
Remember the Milk (requires $25 annually)
RTM is definitely a strong contender for THE Android GTD app. It is simple, has a nice web app, and the Android app seems polished. Here is what is included:
- proper sync with RTM (costs $25 a year for the Pro account)
- add new lists
- add new tasks and tag, set due dates, notes
- tons of list views
RTM has been good to me, but there are some definite quirks. When in edit mode on a task you can’t add or remove notes. You have to do that from the task view and there doesn’t seem to be any good reason for it. RTM also does not wrap the title of the task so if it is too long to fit in a list in portrait you can’t see the whole thing. Best part about RTM is the excellent sync with the tried-and-true webapp. The worst is the price. RTM requires an annual $25 for a Pro account, which will turn off many users.
Shuffle is a little known GTD app for Android and, I tell you what, it follows the GTD methodology very well. Mr. Allen may be proud. Anyways here is what Shuffle brings to the table:
- actions with dues date are added to calendar
- can tie tasks to projects
- control the action’s appearance
- backup to SD
- syncs with any installation of Tracks
- start, due dates
- details field
What I love about Shuffle is that it is so simple and really doesn’t force anything on you. You can create actions and link them to projects or not. You can create tasks and set there categories and details. Plus, the webapp Tracks (open source) can be installed to any webserver with Ruby so you could technically have your own install of the cloud app on your own server. There are also some installs out there of Tracks that you can use to try the app out. Sometimes I feel that Shuffle just might be too simple for some users, myself included.
Got To Do (UK€2.00)
Go To Do is a robust GTD app for Android that syncs with the robust webapp Toodledo. This app is definitely up and coming with a very responsive developer. Here’s what you get:
- tasks and subtasks (Toodledo Pro only)
- in depth todo summary
- contexts, folders, tags, due dates, notes, status
- customizable templates for tasks
- sync with Toodledo
- widget and use with Pure Calendar widget
- great filtering options
The best part about Got To Do is that it can be set up almost any way you want. To many summary choices on the homescreen? No problem, just change the summary in settings. Don’t want to use all task fields. Great, because nothing is forced on you. Although Got To Do has a couple of bugs here and there (casual freezes but no loss of data), it seems like one of the most robust GTD apps in the Market right now. And full sync with a Toodledo Pro account makes it even sweeter as Toodledo is one of the best GTD webapps.
ActionComplete (AC) is a GTD app that has a bunch of functionality and syncs with actioncomplete.appspost.com. It recently added location-based and social services that enhance the app. Here is what AC brings to the table:
- actions, waits, projects, and pending lists
- tags, notes, people, and due date fields
- custom made filters
- full app search
- sync with ActionComplete webapp
- ability to share tasks with others on Google map
What I love about AC is the fact that you can tie tasks to projects (just like Shuffle or Got To Do (pro account) and have the ability to view the actions and waiting for items in one list. This is something that is very convenient for the “on the go” GTD user. There is an optional layer of complexity that many apps lack. However, one of the biggest downfalls of this app is that context isn’t as important. There is no tab along the top or no way to set a context at all for actions, a true bummer.
Here is the thing about GTD. It is a very personal experience and you have to be able to LOVE the tools that you use to become more productive. The very premise is to create system that best suits you. If you aren’t comfortable with the tools, then say goodbye to your complete, trusted system. Knowing that, the best GTD app for Android is…
Remember the Milk and Got To Do! It’s a tie! The reason for a tie is simply this: sync with RTM and Toodledo. I can’t say which one is the best because that is totally up to the individual. What I can say is that both RTM and Got To Do are the most robust and easy to use GTD apps in the Market today. Deciding which app is best depends on which online sync works best for you.
So, what are you still doing here reading this? Go pick up you GTD app and start getting some stuff done!
Best GTD Apps for Android Feature Graph
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