ActionComplete for Web

 

ActionComplete helps people around the world become purposeful, effective, and successful in career, relationships, and other aspects of life.

The hallmark of ActionComplete GTD Toolkit is its streamlined yet flexible and sophisticated task management approach that enables people of all walks of life to take a firm grip on their tasks, assignments, errands, and to-dos and put a stop to leaks through the cracks.

ActionComplete GTD Toolkit is designed to stay close to the vision of the Getting Things Done book by David Allen. ActionComplete does not claim to be a "full implementation" of GTD. Rather, it takes its key elements and leverages them in an efficient and easy to use way.

All ActionComplete products are engineered in-house. We know what every line of code does and why it is there. Our artisan manufacturing process allows us to continuously improve our products and be absolutely confident in their utmost quality.

We take pride in our unparalleled customer support. Whether you are evaluating an ActionComplete product, have just purchased one, or are a long-time ActionComplete user, you are equally important to us.

We do not use recurring subscriptions. It's our view that you should be in full control of the charges applied to your credit card. We do keep your data - for up to a year - when you forget to renew your subscription in the flux of life. And when you remember and do renew, the lapse time is on us.

On this site you will learn about ActionComplete GTD Toolkit. Remember that your feedback is important to us. Get engaged and tell us what you think - you have a vote in shaping the future of ActionComplete!

Read more about AC for Web    Access AC for Web


Limited Time Holiday Discounts for Web and Android Editions of ActionComplete GTD Toolkit

 

ActionComplete LLC announces limited time discounts for all of its products. Through December 31, 2012 a one-year access license for ActionComplete GTD Toolkit for Web can be purchased for $14.99 ($5 or 25% off the regular price of $19.99). To claim the discount a user needs to buy the license with Google Wallet and use coupon code holidays2012. During the same time ActionComplete GTD Toolkit for Android is available for $1.99 ($3 or 60% off the regular price of $4.99).

ActionComplete GTD Toolkit allows a user to easily manage his or her tasks from a mobile device or an Internet-connected computer. The tasks naturally synchronize between all the user devices in near real-time. A user can access his or her tasks via a browser, from an Android phone or tablet, and, come January, from an iPhone, an iPod, or an iPad.

Full press release


ActionComplete Launches GTD Toolkit for iPhone to Help Users 'Get Things Done' on the Go

 

ActionComplete LLC announces the release date of a new product - ActionComplete GTD Toolkit for iPhone. ActionComplete GTD Toolkit for iPhone will be available on the App Store on January 8, 2013.

ActionComplete GTD Toolkit allows a user to easily manage his or her tasks from a mobile device or an Internet-connected computer. The tasks automagically synchronize between all the user devices in near real-time. A user can access his or her tasks via a browser, from an Android phone or tablet, and, come January, from an iPhone, and iPod, or an iPad.

About ActionComplete GTD Toolkit for iPhone

ActionComplete GTD Toolkit for iPhone brings what users come to expect from a great iPhone application. It’s fast, robust, and intuitive.

ActionComplete in-house development team carefully considered the capabilities of the most advanced Apple mobile platform (iOS 6) and skillfully leveraged them to deliver an intuitive and responsive user experience designed to minimize the time spent on task management and allow the user to focus on actually getting things done.

About the Concepts Used in ActionComplete GTD Toolkit

ActionComplete is based on David Allen’s Getting Things Done methodology.

At the core of ActionComplete is management of four types of tasks: Actions (next actions in GTD parlance), Waits (Waiting for), Projects, and Ideas (Someday/Maybe).

The tasks can be assigned three types of metadata: tags, people, and places. Together the metadata form a context that can be easily filtered upon.

People are Google Contacts and the contact record linked to a task can be readily accessed from ActionComplete for Android. People are currently not accessible in the iPhone application.

Places in ActionComplete allow to attach location context to the tasks. The Android app offers advanced features related to Places.

About Currently Available ActionComplete Products

ActionComplete GTD Toolkit for Web is a rich Internet application. It features sophisticated user interface characteristic of desktop applications while being available via a browser from any Internet-connected computer, notebook, netbook, or tablet.

AC for Web is provided as a service with an annual subscription fee of $19.99. When a user first signs in to the application, they are issued a license that allows access to the full product for 7 days.

ActionComplete GTD Toolkit for Android is available on Google Play Store and provides ActionComplete functionality on the go. It leverages a number of smartphone hardware capabilities, such as location awareness and voice input, to enrich user experience and provide unique application features. ActionComplete GTD Toolkit for Android can be purchased for $4.99.

ActionComplete mobile apps can be used as standalone applications or together with ActionComplete for Web.

About ActionComplete LLC

ActionComplete LLC develops and markets ActionComplete GTD Toolkit - a cross-platform suite of productivity applications based on David Allen’s GTD methodology. ActionComplete LLC is based in Centreville, VA.

Full press release


Black Friday Sale at ActionComplete - One Day Only

 

ActionComplete wishes you happy shopping this Black Friday.

Today only:

  • AC for Web, 1-year access license, new order or renewal: $14.99 (25% or $5 off)
  • AC for Android: $1.99 (60% or $3 off)

ActionComplete 3.5 for Web: Repeating Projects Made Easy

 

Do you often find yourself in a situation where you have to do the same set of tasks over and over?

ActionComplete 3.5 for Web brings you a solution. Enter project copy feature. With a one click you can create a new project out of an existing one and copy over all of its tasks.

Here's how it works:

1. Expand the project you want to duplicate

Project Copy 1

2. Click the Copy button

Project Copy 2

Notes

  • You can use an active or a completed project as a template.
  • The new project gets an autogenerated name such as <template project name>-123456789.
  • All the actions and waits of the template project, active as well as completed, are copied as active child tasks of the new project.
  • Project duplication feature produces a "shallow" copy, i.e. only the following core attributes of the template project and its subordinate tasks are copied:  tags, people, places, and weight.

Kudos to ActionComplete user Derrik Hubbard for suggesting the feature!

Also in this release

  1. Always show all tasks option. By default it's not enabled and only the first 10 tasks of each type are displayed in the dashboard. AC for Web works faster when this option is not enabled.
  2. Default reminder type option. This option controls the default selection of the reminder type drop-down in the New Action/Wait/Project/Idea form. By default this is Popup. You can change it to Email if that's what you use most of the time.

To access the new features please refresh ActionComplete page in your browser.


ActionComplete Social Race: We've got the winner!

 

ActionComplete Social Race has got the winner!

Sunil Sudhakaran became ActionComplete's 400th Facebook fan and won the grand prize - 2 years of access to ActionComplete for Web. Congratulations Sunil!

The race is still on as we are waiting for the runner-up. The 100th follower of ActionComplete on Google+ wins 1-year access license to ActionComplete for Web. At this time the count stands at 97 and ActionComplete team is cheering for the racers!


A Special for Our Facebook Fans

 

Update 1/11/13: This special offer is terminated effective 1/11/13. You are welcome to join us on Facebook, Google+, and Twitter

Like ActionComplete on Facebook and get 10% ($2.00) off your new or renewed subscription to ActionComplete for Web.

Yes, you can get this discount on every annual renewal of your subscription to ActionComplete for Web as long as you like ActionComplete on Facebook.

The discount must be claimed within 7 days from the date of initial purchase or annual renewal of your subscription to ActionComplete for Web by emailing ActionComplete support.

The effective date of the offer is May 20, 2012. Orders placed before May 13, 2012 are not eligible for this offer. The offer can be terminated by ActionComplete LLC at any time without a prior notice. 


ActionComplete 3.4 for Web Loads Faster, Presents Task Details Instantly

 

It's a rainy bird-singing Tuesday morning here in Washington, DC and we are happy to announce the release of ActionComplete 3.4 for Web.

This release delivers two important performance optimizations.

For large task lists AC for Web loads faster. Initially the first 10 tasks of each type are displayed. If you need to see them all you can click the newly introduced Show All button.

Now task details panels show the content instantly. The brief "Working..." message that you used to see after expanding a task panel is a history. All the information is just there as soon as the panel is expanded. If you wonder what we are talking about, there's a small button with a plus (+) sign in each and every task panel. If you click it, the panel expands and you see all the task details including the weight, the due date, tags, people, places, etc. Instantly.

To access ActionComplete 3.4 for Web please navigate to https://actioncomplete-pro.appspot.com or refresh the page if you are already there. Initially there will be a one-time delay while new data structures necessary to support the performance optimization are created. If you have errors upon the refresh/load, please clear the browser cache to make sure the browser loads the most recent content.

For more information on ActionComplete for Web please visit actioncomplete.com/web.


ActionComplete for Android Becomes Even More Psychic, Uses NFC for HoverOver(TM) Touch-free Task Entry

 

ActionComplete for Android has been long known for easy and diverse ways of collecting your thoughts and ideas and dumping them into a trusted system, which it is. You can enter tasks by voice or touch via the application, the widgets, and quite a few homescreen shortcuts.

It has long been our understanding that in certain circumstances the touch-based task entry is cumbersome and sometimes even illegal (e.g. while driving) and the voice entry doesn't work well in a noisy environment such as a restaurant.

Enter ActionComplete HoverOver(TM) task entry. After many months of a dedicated effort we built a proprietary NFC-based brain scanning technology that reads your mind and converts your thoughts into ActionComplete tasks. If you use ActionComplete for Web, the tasks entered via HoverOver automatically appear in the cloud.

How it works

The HoverOver feature only works on Android devices equipped with NFC hardware and running Android version 4 (Ice Cream Sandwitch) or later.

Before entering a task via HoverOver method please make sure your NFC sensor is turned on.

  1. Tap ActionComplete HoverOver homescreen shortcut.
  2. In your mind, focus on the idea you want to get captured. Keep your eyes open, especially while driving.
  3. Hover your phone over your head for up to 5 seconds. After a short pause you should hear your idea read back to you as the confirmation of a successful entry. For better results you might want to move the phone over your head in a circular motion shortly pausing in temple areas. For techies the left temple area usually works best. If you are a creative person the right temple might yeild the best results.

HoverOver(TM) task entry feature is currently in the final testing stage. We need your help to ensure it's as robust as the rest of the application. If you are interested in having an early look at the feature and helping us squish the last bugs, please shoot an email to ActionComplete support and we'll send you a special release of ActionComplete along with the instructions on how to install it.


How to Use Email Integration in ActionComplete, and Why

 

ActionComplete integrates with email in a few interesting and useful ways. This article highlights the most important aspects of email integration and presents several scenarios when it can prove quite handy.

What is ActionComplete email integration?

In a nutshell, it's a set of techniques you can use to get your data in and out of ActionComplete via email. You can email your tasks to your ActionComplete email address that you get when you join the service. You can enable incoming email notifications to make sure your emailed task made it safely to ActionComplete. For any task you can setup an email reminder. You can even setup an email reminder when emailing a task to ActionComplete!

Did you know that you can check off (mark complete) a task by simply replying to an ActionComplete reminder or notification with the word done in the body of the email? Now you do.

What is my ActionComplete email address?

When you sign in to ActionComplete for the first time you get a special email address that ends with @actioncomplete-pro.appspotmail.com. It starts with an alias, or your username, that you can view and change in the Options form accessible via Tools/Options... menu. If your username is brown, your full ActionComplete email address will look like this: brown@actioncomplete-pro.appspotmail.com.

How do I email a task to ActionComplete?

Emailing a task in is as easy as sending an email to your ActionComplete email address. In the subject of the email you type the task name followed by a combination of task attributes such as type (action, wait, project, idea), tags, places, a weight, and a due date, in any order. The task attributes are totally optional - simply typing a task name and hitting the Send button is perfectly OK. ActionComplete always tags incoming tasks with the sender's email address so that they are easy to find.

If you do want to assign a task a few attributes - and you usually do - you use the hashmark (#), the asterisk (*), and the @ character to tell ActionComplete that a part of the subject line has a special meaning. You use * for the task type, # for tags and weights, and @ for GTD-style tags (@computer, @phone, etc), places, and due dates. ActionComplete figures out what you mean.

An email subject can look like this:

Buy flowers #personal #out and about @florist *idea #85 @2/14/12

In the example above Buy flowers in the task name, idea is the task type, personal and out and about are tags, florist is a place, 85 is a weight, and 2/14/12 is a due date.

The body of the email becomes either a note or an attachment. An email body up to 300 characters long becomes a task note while a longer body is converted to a Google Docs document that is automatically attached to the task.

A hint: you can forward emails to ActionComplete. This technique can be very useful for tracking online orders as described below.

How do I enable incoming email notifications?

To get notified when an emailed task successfully arrives to ActionComplete you check Acknowledge incoming tasks checkbox in the Options form (Tools/Options... menu).

The body of the email notification tells you back all the attributes that were actually attached to the task so that you can make sure you didn't misspell a tag name and the due date is what you expect it to be.

How do I setup an email reminder?

Setting up an email reminder is as easy as selecting Email from the Reminder Type drop-down in a New/Edit task form. Alternatively you can specify a due date when you email a task to ActionComplete and a 6AM email reminder will be setup automatically on the due date.

How do I check off (mark complete) a task via the email interface?

To mark a task complete simply reply to an ActionComplete reminder or notification and put the word done (Done, DONE, DOne, etc) in the email body. If you want to get fancy you can type the task name in the email subject and say done in the body.

Why use the email integration?

Quick Capture

Typing an email subject and clicking Send button is much faster that clicking through all the form fields. ActionComplete email interface allows you to capture your thoughts and ideas before they slip away. You might want to use an *idea attribute and a tag for categorization.

Closed-loop GTD Process

The 2-way nature of the email interface allows you to manage the whole lifecycle of a task via email. Assign a task a due date during its creation and you'll get an email reminder on the due date. Reply to the reminder with the word done in the email body to check off the task.

Streamlined Follow-up Process

For an average GTDer quite a few tasks are not (immediately) actionable but do require a follow-up. Many emails sitting in a mailbox of a typical office worker are of this type. Tracking online orders is another example that comes to mind. To reduce your mailbox clutter, forward those emails to ActionComplete and annotate them with *wait and @<due date> attributes. You'll get your tasks back in your inbox when they are actionable.

For more information on ActionComplete email integration please have a look at the user manual.


ActionComplete 3.3 for Web Further Enhances Incoming Email Interface

 

ActionComplete 3.3 for Web is released and immediately accessible in your browser.

This release rounds out the email integration by adding a convenient way to specify a task weight and/or due date right when you email the task to ActionComplete.

´╗┐For assigning a weight you use the hashmark (#) and for a due date you use the @ character. You can combine a weight and a due date with tags and places.

When you assign a task a a due date ActionComplete automatically creates an email reminder for the task that goes off at 6 o’clock in the morning on the due date.

Here are a few examples of email subjects (whatever there is in the email body becomes a note or an attachment):

Buy flowers #personal #out and about @florist *idea #85 @2/14/12

Post the article @3/20/12 #99 *action @computer #work

Tags and places are no longer case-sensitive in the email interface, i.e. if you have out and about tag defined, you can refer to it as Out and About, out And about, oUT aND aBOUT, etc.

For more information on incoming email feature please refer to the Incoming Email section of the user manual.


ActionComplete Social Race: The Winner Gets 2 Years of Access to AC for Web for FREE!

 

It's time to decide what social network is the best - and give a friend of yours a chance to win up to 2 (two) years of FREE access to ActionComplete for Web.

The Skinny

At the time of this writing ActionComplete is liked by 374 on Facebook and is circled by 80 (or 79 depending on where you look) on Google+. The distance to 400 (Facebook) and 100 (Google+) is roughly the same. The race is about having ActionComplete likes and circlings (is it a word?) meet and exceed these numbers - with the help of you and your friends.

The Rules

You tell your friends about ActionComplete Facebook page and/or Google+ page. Your friends like or circle ActionComplete. The counters of likings and circlings (or do we call them likes and circles?) rise. And eventually hit 400 on Facebook and 100 on Google+.

If our Facebook likes counter hits 400 before Google+ whatever-it's-called counter hits 100, Facebook is declared the best social network and Google+ is declared the second best. If the 100th person circles ActionComplete on Google+ before 400th person likes it on Facebook, Google+ is declared the best social network and Facebook... You get it.

Now the important part.

If the best social network happens to be Facebook, our 400th liker is declared the winner of the contest. The 100th circler on Google+ is the runner-up.

If the race ends up with the victory of Google+, the 100th person who circled ActionComplete on Google+ is the winner while the 400th person who liked ActionComplete on Facebook is the runner-up.

The Prizes

The winner gets two years of free access to ActionComplete for Web ($39.98 value). The runner-up gets one year of free access to ActionComplete for Web ($19.99 value).

Ready. Set. Go!


ActionComplete 3.2 for Web Streamlines Incoming Email Integration

 

Incoming email integration has been a part of ActionComplete for about two years. All that time we've been learning the usage patterns and scenarios. Relying on our findings and guided by the spirit of ActionComplete we came up to a number of simplifications and enhancements that will make your emailing experience even more pleasant.

ActionComplete is now much more tolerant to the email subject format and the characters used in it. That, combined with the recently added email acknowledgement feature, creates a robust and reliable email interface.

There are three characters that have a special meaning for ActionComplete: # denotes tags, @ is used for places and GTD-style tags such as @computer, and * specifies the task type (action, wait, project, or idea).

Tags, places, and task type are appended to the end of the email subject and are separated from one another by spaces like this:

Buy flowers #family #out and about @florist *idea

Not only does ActionComplete understand the regular hashtags, e.g. #work, but also it now allows GTD-style tags such as @phone and @computer. You can refer to a GTD-style tag with or without the hash symbol (#), i.e. #@phone and @phone are both valid provided you have @phone tag defined in ActionComplete.

To attach a place to the emailed task you use the @place notation such as @florist in the example above.

You can append up to five tags and up to five places to a task when emailing it to ActionComplete. If a tag or a place you type in the email subject does not exist in ActionComplete, it is ignored. Also please remember that tags and places are CaSe-SenSiTive.

ActionComplete now allows you to tell it what list the emailed task should go to. You can use *action, *wait, *project, and *idea notation to have ActionComplete place the task on the corresponding list. You can omit the task type altogether, in which case it'll end up on your Actions list.

You can't attach projects and people to tasks anymore as these features created some confusion and led to unexpected results.

For more information on incoming email feature please refer to the Incoming Email section of the user manual.


3 Years of ActionComplete

 

Yes, ActionComplete has recently turned three!

It was on February 14, 2009 when the first version of ActionComplete hit Android market after about 4 months of development. Over 2009 ActionComplete for Android underwent many incremental updates and became a proven and sophisticated GTD tool.

In the fall of 2009 the development of ActionComplete for Web commenced. After several months of hard work ActionComplete for Web was released on April 27, 2010. ActionComplete for Web and ActionComplete for Android formed a well integrated suite and worked in tandem to help people around the world get things done.

October 12, 2010 marks the release of the first commercial ActionComplete product - ActionComplete Pro for Web. Feature-rich and robust, the product was to become the flagship of the ActionComplete fleet.

We spent the rest of 2010 and the beginning of 2011 working on the next generation of ActionComplete products and on March 1, 2011 released two completely revamped ActionComplete applications for Android phones as well as a significantly enhanced version of ActionComplete for Web collectively known as ActionComplete 2.

Soon after the release of ActionComplete 2 suite it became evident to us that maintaining such a diverse product lineup will hamper our ability to move the product family forward and continue to deliver the quality and customer support ActionComplete is famous for. We decided to focus our efforts on ActionComplete premium products. As a result of this decision all free ActionComplete products were retired on September 30, 2011.

Over 2011 both ActionComplete for Web and ActionComplete for Android have received numerous incremental updates including recurring tasks, integration with Google Docs, and real-time synchronization. January 11, 2012 was marked by the release of ActionComplete 3 featuring major user experience enhancements.

A lot of exiting stuff is planned for 2012. ActionComplete product family will again become more diversified while the existing products will receive major incremental enhancements.

ActionComplete is driven by your feedback. You can reach us via email, Google group, Facebook, Google+, and Twitter. Whatever your preferred way of staying in touch is, please do stay in touch and let us know what you love - and what you miss - in ActionComplete.

If you love ActionComplete you are welcome to drop a line at Android Market or at Chrome Web Store.

Thank you for supporting ActionComplete and being a loyal ActionComplete customer.

ActionComplete Timeline


ActionComplete 3.1 for Web and ActionComplete 1.11 for Android Are Out

 

ActionComplete LLC announces a simultaneous release of ActionComplete for Web and ActionComplete for Android. This release introduces a number of features and enhancements inspired by the feedback from ActionComplete users.

New and Improved in AC for Web

Since ActionComplete 3 was released about six weeks ago we started getting the feedback asking to show projects in the New/Edit Action/Wait forms regardless of their weight and due date. ActionComplete 3.1 shows all the projects linked to the active tag and ignores other filters.

ActionComplete 3.1 introduces two convinience features that further streamline and simplify the user experience when emailing tasks to ActionComplete.

Email aliases allow a user to pick a username - or alias - to be used for emailing tasks to ActionComplete. Once the alias is selected, the user's ActionComplete email address becomes alias@actioncomplete-pro.appspotmail.com, e.g. for alias john the corresponding ActionComplete email address is john@actioncomplete-pro.appspotmail.com.

An email alias can be chosen in Options form accessible via Tools/Options... menu.

The newly-introduced Acknowledge incoming tasks option is summoned to make the users sure that their emailed tasks made it safely to ActionComplete. When the option is enabled, AC for Web will send an acknowledgement email every time it receives a task via the incoming email address.

New and Improved in AC for Android

Project spinner in New/Edit Action/Wait form now shows all the projects linked to the active tag and ignores other filters.

Russian translation is updated, courtesy of Alexander Sidorenko.

ActionCompleteTM is a family of productivity applications based on David Allen's Getting Things Done® (GTD®) methodology. For more information on ActionComplete product family please visit actioncomplete.com and/or read the manuals at actioncomplete.com/web and actioncomplete.com/android.


1 Underutilized Strategy to Immensely Boost Your Productivity

 

You've got things to do. Your plate is full. No matter how quickly you eat, the wily waiter - life - adds more while you are not looking.

In the beginning of the century David Allen copyrighted the phrase Getting Things Done and created a wonderful methodology for coping with the things on your plate - GTD®. Over the years the methodology got widely popular and at the time of this writing enjoys the following of millions. Its runaway success is based on the straightforward and practical approach to dealing with "stuff" - big or small - that comes at you. In the fast modern society our to-do plates are so chronically full that we feel good every time we clean them up, however temporary the effect is. That's why GTD became a godsend for many.

We are so busy emptying our plates that oftentimes we don't pay much attention to what's in there that we've got to eat, figuratively speaking. Once we care to cast a closer look we might notice that our a la cart task meal has bits and pieces that do not taste good, are not fresh, and otherwise should not be eaten.

About a decade before Allen, in his fundamental works The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People (1989) and First Things First (1994) Stephen Covey highlighted the paramount role of importance. According to Covey and common sense importance is the main differentiator between things that should be done and the ones to be bypassed, omitted, and gotten rid of.

Covey's four quadrants should become your litmus test for whether a task is a worthy candidate for your to-do list or your trash can. Having imposed Covey's matrix onto your task universe you'll be surprised by the share of your day-to-day activities that fall into the infamous fourth quandant. These are the things you should stop doing and the tasks you should ban from your to-do lists.

Start right now. Go over your Someday/Maybe/Ideas lists and delete everything that's not related to one of your life goals. Inspect your email inbox and trash or file all non-actionable messages. Challenge your physical in-basket and get rid of anything that doesn't absolutely have to be kept. Be daring.

Now you are ready for the productive life. From this moment on be vigilant and check every single piece before it ends up on your to-do plate. If it's a task-burger of Covey's fourth quadrant, refuse it politely but firmly. Your healthier to-do diet will make you more productive, more confident, and more energetic person.


New Refund Policy for ActionComplete for Android

 

We are happy to announce a new customer-friendly refund policy for ActionComplete for Android. The policy extends standard Android Market evaluation period, which is 15 minutes at the time of this writing, to 7 full days. For trivia fans out there that's a 672-fold increase!

100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEE OR YOUR MONEY BACK. Buy ActionComplete for Android and evaluate it for up to 7 days. If you don't like the product request a refund within 7 days of the date of purchase and we'll honor it no questions asked.


GTD-Based Task Manager for Android ActionComplete is Updated to Version 1.10.0

 

ActionComplete 1.10.0 for Android is released to Android Market.

In this release:

  • Active task tab (Actions, Waits, Projects, Ideas) is memorized at exit and restored at restart so you can pick up where you left off. Start in preference is gone for good.
  • Norwegian, German, and Spanish translations are brought up to date courtesy of Thomas Kjemperud, Thomas Pauli, and Antonio Tabasco Cabezas.
  • Bug fixes.

At the same time ActionComplete for Web is updated with minor bug fixes. To get the updates please force-refresh (Ctrl-F5 or Cmd-R) your browser window.


ZTD with ActionComplete: Big Rocks and Most Important Tasks (MITs)

 

Over the next few weeks we are going to run a series of articles highlighting lesser known features of ActionComplete, describing ActionComplete best practices, and providing tips on implementing certain aspects of GTD and derivative methodologies with ActionComplete.

This article is devoted to procedural and technical aspects of implementing the concepts of Big Rocks and Most Important Tasks crucial to Leo Babauta's Zen To Done (ZTD) methodology.

In a nutshell ZTD is a very useful extension of the original GTD methodology emphasizing the dimension of importance or priority. In a sense it alloys the excellent "operational", or runway-level, qualities of David Allen's GTD teaching with the leadership philosophy laid out by Stephen Covey in First Things First and The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. When implemented properly ZTD allows you to be not only efficient (do many things fast) but also effective (do things that matter).

At the core of ZTD are the concepts of Big Rocks and Most Important Tasks.

Big Rocks are tasks that are closely related to your short- or long-term life goals. Oftentimes they are not urgent but they are always crucial for the progress towards a meaningful goal. It goes without saying that "meaningful" is not necessarily the same as "tied to career growth". Most Important Tasks can be described as the scaled down versions of Big Rocks. They usually exist within a relatively short time interval such as a day.

ZTD recommends accomplishing a few Big Rocks a week and a few MITs every day. Your daily MITs might include a Big Rock among the other things. ZTD also advocates a more structured process, as compared to "classic" GTD, with fixed time slots for recurring activities such as weekly and daily planning. It is during the weekly and daily planning when Big Rocks and MITs are identified and scheduled for execution.

This is where ActionComplete comes into play. During a weekly review you identify the most important tasks for the coming week - your Big Rocks - and change their weight to above 60 or 80, which will color the tasks either orange or red. You might want to do that for all aspects of your life as represented by tags in ActionComplete. Similarly during the daily review you identify your MITs for the next day and increase their weight in AC.

During the day, when you are in the "execution" mode, you can apply the weight filter to cut off the tasks with the weight below the agreed-upon threshold and view the important only. At the same time you might want to reset the tag filter to get a context-independent view. The context-independent view might tell you that you need to get in a different context to accomplish an important task for the day.


ActionComplete 3 for Web Released, Features Smart Layout (TM), Flexible Task Panel Display Options, Filtering Enhancements

 

ActionComplete LLC starts the year with a major release of its flagship product - ActionComplete for Web. The release delivers several major user experience improvements including Smart Layout (TM) technology, options to independently show and hide task panels, and several filtering enhancements.

Smart Layout (TM) technology makes sure you get the best view of your tasks for your setup. Smart Layout takes into consideration such factors as the screen or browser window size and the number of active task panels to present the information to you in the most meaningful way. On a high-resolution screen you will see your task panels arranged in a four-column layout and a view of your calendar whereas on a low-resolution netbook the task panels might be arranged in a two-column layout with the calendar panel suppressed.

You have the ultimate control over the dashboard layout via the Layout option (Tools/Options... menu) that allows you to select a particular number of columns as well as Auto option to enable the Smart Layout (TM) technology.

You might not need all four task panels at all times.

This release asserts the statement above by introducing independent view options for the four task panels (Actions, Waits, Projects, and Ideas). If you don't delegate your tasks you might want to turn the Waits panel off to make more room for other task panels. If you consider Ideas during a weekly review only, you can keep the Ideas panel hidden for the rest of the week.

Task panels can be switched on and off via View/Show Actions/Waits/Projects/Ideas menu options.

This release brings a number of additions and changes to the way ActionComplete uses filters. First of all, you can now filter on weight, which is the term used in ActionComplete to denote the importance, or priority, of a task. Being able to zoom in on the most important is a key in a successful productivity solution. With the addition of the weight filter it's easier than ever with ActionComplete.

While filtering on a project has been at the core of ActionComplete since day one, this release introduces a significant change - and simplification - in the semantics and application of a project filter. This change institutionalizes a key ActionComplete paradigm of always working within a context or a broad area of responsibility that is oftentimes represented by a tag.

Now the project filter is a secondary filter that applies within a wider context encompassed by the other - primary - filters. To deliver this new semantics the project filter is displayed on a separate toolbar by default and can be reset separately from the other filters. A project filter can be applied quickly by clicking the project summary line listing the counts of child tasks.

At the same time a new version of ActionComplete for Android - 1.9 - is released to Android Market. The new version of the Android application incorporates the same filtering enhancements as the web application.

For a limited time ActionComplete for Android can be purchased for $0.99 (80% off the regular price of $4.99).