Using ClearContext for Getting Things Done

Over the last few weeks, a number of our users have posted methods for using ClearContext as a vehicle to incorporate Getting Things Done into their lives.  As we mentioned in a previous post, one of our main goals for v2 was to build a flexible framework that helps customers work more efficiently within whatever system or methodology they use to process tasks and information.  I want to share with you some GTD-specific comments as well as some upcoming enhancements we are making that will better support our GTD customers.

Paul has posted a detailed review of how he has used ClearContext to integrate GTD into his workday.  He walks through ClearContext installation and the features he uses the most:

"As part of of my goal to incorporate the Getting Things Done way of working in my daily routine I looked for tooling that assisted me in managing my Outlook email Inbox. I had a look at the Getting Things Done Outlook add-in from Netcentrics but did not find it to support my daily work. So I looked further and found the ClearContext Information Management System Professional."

In a similar vein, Jeff uses ClearContext as one of his many shortcuts for Getting Things Done:

"More recently, I’ve added ClearContext to the mix. This is an addin for Outlook that makes organizing your Inbox very easy and efficient. It analyzes your email patterns and can move/highlight the messages you receive based on sender, topic, priority, etc. There are a number of other productivity boosters that, as you learn them and make them habits, can quickly add up. I really like the ‘task’, ‘delegate’ and ‘defer’ options, which let you turn a message into a task for yourself, delegate it as a task for someone else, or simply hide it away until a later date."

The Tech Personality blog has posted How to Handle Too Much Email:

"The technique I use is based on ideas from David Allen’s Getting Things Done, my own techniques, and a great program called ClearContext. Now, my technique is based on Outlook & Exchange, because that is what I use, but you can adapt it to your email system of choice."

Ken has posted Implementing Getting Things Done with Outlook and ClearContext:

"In time, future versions of ClearContext should enable me to better expose the
custom fields so I can do a more clearer Category/Topic grouping to link up with
GTD’s concept of Action/Project. Overall though, I am quite impressed with
ClearContext v2.0 now that I’m using its tasks features."

This is a great segue into the enhancements that we will be making to better support our customers who want to integrate ClearContext into their workday:

  1. Topic Integration in Tasks – as Ken mentions above, we will be exposing topic names in tasks in a future release to support the building of custom task views within native Outlook that include assigned Topics
  2. Topic Duplication in Catgories – for all you PDA users, we’re going to give the option to automatically duplicate Topics in the Category field so that topics can be carried over to your portable devices
  3. Enhanced Topic Assignment UI – we have found that many GTD users have very large topic hierachies.  We are enhancing our Topic UI to better support quick topic assignment and message filing
  4. Delegate Defaults – when delegating an email, we will automatically set the delegated task’s status to "Waiting on someone else"
  5. Follow-Up Category – we are going to support category assignment when creating Follow-up tasks from compoased messages

We are also investigating other enhancements, which include adding additional default options when creating tasks and appointments and enhancing the ActionView UI.  For more detail on upcoming enhancements, see the recent update to our product plan.

Are there other enhancements we should be considering to help you implement your methodology of choice?  Please feel free to post comments here or send feedback directly to support at clearcontext dot com.  All of our enhancements are driven by customer requests, so please make your voice heard.

One comment.

  1. FYI – we have posted additional comments on implementing GTD with ClearContext at