Tag Archives: gtd application

Action Tracker – GTD App on FileMaker Pro Review

Action Tracker is a simple yet effective take on the productivity model advocated by David Allen in his “Getting Things Done” system.

The program is based on the FileMaker Pro software and uses this basis to create a clean, functional and fairly minimalist design for users to sort and manage their tasks through.

The official home of Action Tracker is at Macproductive.com but it appears that the site is no longer registered or the company has let is lapse out of error. The application can be still downloaded from various Mac Download sites for free.

Action Tracker

Visuals with Action Tracker are fairly average but ultimately succeed in the essential goal of encouraging easy navigation and access to the extensive feature set provided by the platform.

Those already acquainted with FileMaker Pro should find a certain level of familiarity in the aesthetics presented here. Action Tracker possesses the same level of Mac sheen that most of the OS’ first-party programs host — a factor which ultimately works to make it into a clear and graphically sound choice for a productivity software foundation.

Action Tracker’s strongest suit is undoubtedly the number of features made available by the program. The aforementioned FileMaker Pro platform has enabled Action Tracker’s designers to offer a wide variety of options and customization for users to take advantage of.

All of the GTD staples devotees have come to expect in software (to-do lists with contexts, reminders, status and so forth) are in place with Action Tracker. Each element of sorting and organizing has been paid good attention as well and the detail provided in sorting is fantastic.

Users are able to micro-manage each item through the attachment of external documents (including Excel, PowerPoint, and Word file extensions aside the support for photo, video and PDF formats) while also enjoying the ability to link work with web and email addresses through a simple, clickable interface.

List items can also be linked together for easy reference across the system, a touch which aids in ensuring smooth navigation and speedy movement from project to project.

Action Tracker could have benefited from the inclusion of mobile application support but it’s clear that Denny Henke, designer of the system, is working on a limited budget so far.

The system makes up for this shortcoming with the presence of a feature which prepares selected lists for note card printing, a low-tech but ultimately effective method of addressing portability for serious, regular users.

If there is a major flaw in the Action Tracker system it can be attributed to the previously mentioned strengths in feature creation. Although the FileMaker Pro foundation allows for a fantastic level of customization and depth to the software, the uninitiated may have a fairly difficult time figuring out how to get started with their work.

The program isn’t overly complicated but learning its intricacies is somewhat daunting for those who are being exposed to FileMaker Pro for the first time via Action Tracker.

A greater level of community involvement could have gone a long way toward addressing the issues with Action Tracker’s learning curve. While users are still able to seek out guides, tutorials and forums through external sources, the main project homepage lacks in any real aid for those just taking the system for a spin.

The creation of a hosted message board or tutorial would go a long way toward helping out novices with getting the most from the system and will hopefully see an appearance in the future.

Ultimately Action Tracker is a solid choice for GTD adherents who are enticed (rather than put off) by the idea of a productivity platform which requires a good amount of invested time to warrant proper results.

Their may be an issue with the ongoing support and development for the application as it would appear that the domain is no longer being used by the team behind Action Tracker.

The fairly no-nonsense approach to Action Tracker’s core features combine with the depth and customization possible within them to create a difficult but rewarding productivity system.

Evernote Note Taking Application Review


I have got quite a few reviews stacked up for release on this blog and I cannot believe that I have never published a review of Evernote before.

I did review the Evernote iPhone application a few months ago. I love Evernote and it really is one of those applications that I use on a daily basis.

Evernote is one of the most well-known organizational programs on the internet and is a great choice for users looking for a GTD application or just a better, general tool to help sort out their daily lives.

Its “remember everything” slogan encapsulates the main goal of the app; to provide an easy and convenient method of taking digital notes from the user’s daily life.

Visually, Evernote is outstanding. The simple yet detailed aesthetic cultivated by the developers makes the program very welcoming and a joy to check into.

Evernote’s main features are all clearly laid out and easy to access for new users or those who only ever really use the program at a basic, surface level.

Each form of the system from the no-download web access to portable phone usage looks and navigates extremely well so users shouldn’t be worried about how their operating system or choice in medium will be able to handle it.

The developers of Evernote have obviously spent a lot of time packing the program with important features. Interface support is, frankly, quite astonishing.

As mentioned before, Evernote can be used on the web, on a Windows or Mac Client and also on mobile devices including the Apple iPhone. The option of signing in and using the whole array of tools without a download is also great for users who wish to access the program from various computers.

Some of the more innovative aspects of the application include incredibly simple copy and pasting from the web (both words and pictures) into Evernote and text searching within images.

The “Endless Tape” view through Evernote Windows is also interesting in that it allows users to scroll through all of the ‘memories’ they’ve pasted into the program — a great feature for those who want to make sure absolutely everything gets sorted from within their various files.

Once notes have been taken it’s also quite easy to organize, store and peruse your various work which makes it an excellent choice for those who want to incorporate the program into a GTD philosophy of work.

There aren’t too many faults worth mentioning with Evernote when considering the large amount of attention and continued work that has obviously gone into the program. While it may have a fairly overwhelming number of features this is ultimately a pretty difficult aspect of the program to consider negative.

The community attached to the program should help to make the learning curve relatively gradual and exciting. In future versions it would be good to see a greater emphasis on sorting information into more detailed categories, tasks and next actions although users are still able to make this happen on their own accord with a bit of effort.

The support is pretty remarkable and it’s obvious that the popularity of the program has lead to a great, helpful community. From Evernote’s homepage users can peruse press releases, news, updates, tours and manuals along with a quick video tour which highlights the main program features for the uninitiated.

RSS feeds, Facebook fan pages, FriendFeed and Twitter options all help to further increase the level of involvement with the Evernote world that dedicated fans can choose to get into as well.

Users will no doubt be impressed by Evernote and its wealth of features no matter what kind of organizational tool they’re interested in.

Whether accessed through the website, offline mode or via a mobile phone the program is a great bet for the busy user interested in introducing a little more order to their day to day lives.

GTDInbox – Review of the GTDInbox GTD and Productivity Application

I am starting a process where I review all of the available GTD and Productivity applications available and then make them available via this blog and a simple applications page that lists the applications as well as links to their reviews.


To kick this process off, I have provided a review of GTDInbox. I met with Andy Mitchell, the creator of GTDInbox at the recent Northern UK Bloggers Meetup so I thought it would be great to start with a review of hid GTD Application.

GTDInbox is one of the best (and most popular) applications designed to help advocates of David Allen’s Getting Things Done productivity model implement the system into their day-to-day life. Designed by Andy Mitchell and continuously supported by a community of users, GTDInbox is an ongoing project (started in 2006) that seeks to add greater functionality to the pre-existing and widely used, Gmail.


The program works as an add-on for the Mozilla Firefox web-browser and easily transforms Google’s Gmail into a less cluttered, productivity-friendly email system. In terms of the software itself, GTDInbox does as an admirable job of both adhering to the principles of the GTD model while still providing an inbox that you’ll actually want to use. Important organizational facets of Getting Things Done have been made a keystone design element so that users are able to sort their mail and tasks with a level of depth not present in any existing email inbox. Even for those who only want the cleanest, easily navigated email service, GTDInbox is a good bet. It provides an intuitive interface and focal emphasis on sorting so that users are able to keep their inbox under control rather than thrown into haphazard folders and lists.

One of the most interesting features of the add-on is the ability to use your email inbox for more than just sending, receiving and archiving mail. GTDInbox adds a personal database to Gmail so that daily planning, next-action steps and to-do lists can all be accessed easily. Considering that almost everyone uses their email inbox as their daily hub anyway, the extra functionality is one of the stand-out features of the program. Email can be transformed into tasks, which constitute a central concept of David Allen’s model (wherein the author advocates this very process but could only advise a roundabout process which didn’t yet exist) and makes for a fantastic, stress-free inbox. Each email/task can be assigned a priority in the same fashion as the personal database and these are all modeled after the general ‘inbox’ described in Getting Things Done (such as sorting by ‘Projects’ or ‘Next Action’, ‘Action’, ‘Someday’ or ‘Finished’ statuses).


It’s difficult to identify any glaring flaws with GTDInbox and it’s at least worth a try for anyone who either wants to start implementing Allen’s model into their work-life or just take advantage of a great, email client add-on. Users should know that the initial add-on is free of charge but that accessing GTDInbox Pro requires a donation (from as low as $15 USD) through PayPal. The Pro version only adds minor features such as early release beta downloads, multi-computer (preference setting) synchronization and special recognition on the user forum so this is hardly a drawback and more of a way to show support for Andy Mitchell and GTDInbox as a program.

Obviously GTDInbox only functions as one part of the Getting Things Done whole but considering the wide array of practicality set out in Allen’s book, Andy Mitchell and team have done a fantastic job of giving consumers an entry point into the system. In terms of achieving the fundamental GTD philosophy of organization and pro-action toward increasing productivity, GTDInbox succeeds marvelously and is well worth the download.

I hope you have all enjoyed this review and look forward to hearing your comments and feelings about GTDInbox.

For those of you who missed the inline link, GTDInbox can be obtained by following this link.

This is the first review of many, and soon I will be accepting request to have products or services reviewed so we can build up a great list.

Thanks, Andrew..