Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

How Turbo Gets Things Done

with 5 comments

This is a screenshot from Turbo's implementation of "GTD" software, Thinking Rock, which is based out of Australia.  Thinking Rock, in combination with GTD cloud-based app Todoist, along with Google's Gmail and Calendar, helps Turbo keep most of his project and to do balls in the air.

This is a screenshot from Turbo’s implementation of “GTD” software, Thinking Rock, which is based out of Australia. Thinking Rock, in combination with GTD cloud-based app Todoist, along with Google’s Gmail and Calendar, helps Turbo keep most of his project and to do balls in the air.

This blog post is coming hot off the Mac simple word processing app, WriteRoom, NOT my recently rediscovered Royal manual typewriter.

I decided this blog post would just have to go down burning some carbon.

I wanted to continue my theme of “getting s— done” by writing a little bit about my own approach to putting David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” methodology into actual practice, both by elaborating a little about my own approach and mentioning the tools I use.

Over the past couple of years, I’ve been a faithful subscriber to the cloud-based taskmaster, “Remember the Milk.”

Though I can absolutely recommend RTM, I’m making some changes for 2013, and have done a little migrating.

My primary replacement tool(s) are a combination of the following:

1) Gmail

2) Todoist

3) Thinking Rock

Allow me to explain.

Nothing beats tying (most) everything back to the cloud, and Gmail’s calendar feature is as good as they come for “remembering” specific tasks (via their “Reminder” function, tied to the Google calendar).

But in the spirit of exploration, I moved from RTM to Todoist (purchasing a year-long subscription for about $30 U.S.) because I liked the simple project structure and user interface (and, the fact that they support just about every computing and mobile device I have!).

And, because I can tie it to my Gmail inbox and calendar, I get daily emails reminding me of what my latest “to do’s” are.

But, with all that said, I still didn’t feel Todoist had the GTD structure I was looking for, especially when it came to breaking down individual projects/tasks.

So, I’ve revived my use of “Thinking Rock,” software from an Australian software provider, as it provides a much more structured interface and database for GTD management, IMHO.

Though I’ve not yet paid for the “full” version ($39 for a license that covers all future upgrades and support), I suspect it’s only a matter of time.

You can see a screenshot from my current “project” list in the embedded graphic above.

I like ThinkingRock’s literal embrace of the GTD approach, and find that when it comes time to really spending time to sit and break down tasks for a project or future actions, it provides the kind of easy-to-input-and-use interface I was looking for.

You can read some of the reviews here, so apparently I’m not the only one of this opinion.

So how do I make them all work together?

It’s actually pretty simple.  Whenever I have a new project or action, I use the “Collect Thoughts” feature in Thinking Rock to start the input.

Then, in the project view, as I start to determine specific actions, when I have one with a specific date attached, I input that into Todoist (a minor bit of duplication that I don’t mind), which is then tied to a specific date.

That way, whenever the due date is up, I’m reminded on either that day, or, if I planned ahead giving myself a buffer, in advance of the final due date.

I generally know which actions need to have reminders on the actual due date versus those that have need for a buffer, and this way, I get automated emails from Todoist each and every morning listing the outstanding “to do’s.”

I also sometimes use Google Calendar to have reminders sent for very specific time-gated concerns (doctor’s appointments, concerts, lunch with friends, etc.).

Mind you, this combination is a recent phenomenon, but so far, it’s working well for me.  So long as I keep up my daily and weekly reviews (which are instrumental to a successful GTD strategy), I have a feeling I could be well on my way to a very productive 2013!

5 Responses

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  1. For implementing GTD you can use this application:


    You can use it to manage your goals, projects and tasks, set next actions and contexts, use checklists, and a calendar.
    Syncs with Evernote and Google Calendar, and also comes with mobile version, and Android and iPhone apps.


    January 10, 2013 at 9:40 am

  2. Reblogged this on DAILY BUSINESS JOURNAL.


    January 10, 2013 at 11:37 pm

  3. Well done mate! I’ve also been using todoist a lot lately.
    never heard of Thinking Rock but would check it out right away.
    From the screen shot it seems very useful – so why the need for todoist even?….
    can’t Thinking Rock do it all?

    btw, gtdagenda is quite expansive imho, but do check out IQtell.com, that brings ( for free) a true email-tasks-calendar-evernote integration


    January 29, 2013 at 1:20 am

    • Long story short, Todoist brings the ability to link to my Google calendar and help me provide me timely updates/reminders of key milestones, To Dos, etc. So, think of Thinking Rock as the GTD command center, and Todoist as the alarm clock the helps me keep track of and remind me to conduct those key “activities” I’ve hammered out in Thinking Rock. Make sense?


      January 29, 2013 at 11:08 pm

      • Thanx, it does… sorts of, I just don’t entirely understand if u only create your actions/tasks then in Todoist and just view them in TR?
        I’ll actually be incorporating into the google+todoist methdolofy a Kanban tool (Trello/Leankit/Kanbanpad – haven’t decided yet). I find that concept to bring focus into the pile of stuff I have to Todoist.

        Another thing I’m gonna give a try is working through all the things in my Todoist by following Mark Forster’s Final Version simple methodology. There’s a simple explanation on youtube, using evernote and Blanclist (simple web service just for that), and I think it can be done easily in Todoist.

        All the best!


        January 30, 2013 at 12:59 am

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