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I am not good at maintaining productivity and effective time planning. I have a kind of ADD possibly.

On the other hand I'm an achiever, and so it is inevitable for me to organize in an almost a mechanical way what I will do and what I will need to do: both in the long term and in the short term.

I need to write it in as a detailed manner as possible.

Since I have ADD and I'm a bit absent minded, I need everything to be under control--I mean, every little thing I need to do should be written somewhere.

I am working with the Pomodoro technique (great!), using the best tool for this IMO: TeamViz.

However, I need also a calendar (I use Rainlendar).

But I also need a long-term program, which I keep with a simple Word document.

So my questions are:

Since I need to control every aspect of what I need to do, I use more than one list/application. So I'm becoming afraid that I miss something, cause maybe a task is written in one list but not the other. I'm becoming overwhelmed by the task of organizing and coordinating all the tasks in all the different GTD (get things done) applications and calendars.

  1. Is there a way to have one application for everything (including pomodoro)?

  2. In case you need to use more than one GTD application, how do I not become overwhelmed with coordinating all the lists?

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5 Answers 5

Is there a way to have one application for everything (including pomodoro)?

There is no need to have an app for creating a todo list and pomodoros, since these are two different things: one is a tool to remember things, the other is a tool to stay focused and take brakes. Think what to do vs. how or in which pacing to do.

In case you need to use more than one GTD application, how do I not become overwhelmed with coordinating all the lists?

You should never have to worry about coordinating GTD lists. On of the core ideas of GTD is to have one reliable place to store your tasks so you don't have to worry about syncing or forgetting them.

Having an app that has both a mobile and a desktop clients of course counts as one place.

My advice is to choose one tool that you feel comfortable using. If a hipster pda works for you then choose this. If evernote or the tool you mentioned syncs beautifully on your PC/laptop/phone then use that. IMO its also OK to have a separate tool for long term goals, since creating a real project with actionable tasks from such a goal requires some work anyway, so there is no benefit to have them in the same app.

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The one thing that I kept seeing over and over again was application. This application, that application, application application.

I'm becoming afraid that I miss something, cause maybe a task is written in one list but not the other.

I am a programmer. I make applications but personally all of what I want to do is written in an old-fashioned pen-and-paper book; sometimes in details, sometimes in diagrams.

Here is my understanding of it that maybe you can relate with.

You said you are an achiever. To achieve something you need to have a clear idea of what you want to do in your head. Your brain represents it in some way in your head. I would not depend on an application to provide me with a representation of what I want to do with its GUI. Here is an example:

Say, I want to pick up my clothes from the laundry at 4pm. What I would do is pick up my book, write down "Pick up clothes from the laundry" and maybe draw a clock next to it with its hands showing 4 o'clock and/or a tshirt next to it.

Such a representation really helps connect dots in mysterious ways. Maybe you will see your colleague's thsirt and be reminded of picking up the laundry. Or maybe looking at the clock on your desk, etc etc.

The point I am making is that an accurate representation of what you have in your head is key to remembering it later. Answer this, would you depend on a notes-keeping app like EverNote to maintain notes for your university exams or would you maintain pen-and-paper notes because they are more "personal"?

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Emacs org mode :D

I won't go into details here, because it's a horribly deep rabit hole to go into.

I have tried giving this exact same answer already, so I'll just show you a link to that.

It does, however, require you to learn emacs, if you haven't alreay, and org-mode, if you haven't already. You can use org-mode for taking notes, your agenda and your todo list, all simultaneously, in text files.

There is also an emacs pomodoro plugin.

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org-mode is just awesome! :-) I learned to use Emacs only to work with org-mode and it was absolutely worth it, however it took quite some time to get familiar with it (Emacs in general) –  Martin Jul 3 at 2:01

Is there a way to have one application for everything (including pomodoro)?

Have a look at http://weekplan.net

It gives you Pomodoro tracking, Task management and planning, and a mission statement editor.

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While GTD says you should only have one to do list, this isn't always practical. For me, I can't have my work tasks on my personal to do system and I don't want my personal tasks on my work to do system. Which means I have two GTD type lists.

I deal with that by not overlapping in contexts (much). I know that I look at my work TODO lists for work and Toastmasters (a speaking group.) And my non-work list for virtual everything else. If I want to do something during lunch, I'll look at my personal list. If I need to work on a speech at home, I'll add it to my non-work list.

This isn't ideal, but it works reasonably well. The key is that nothing is in my head and I know which list to look for a particular item on.

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