I’ve been using the Getting Things Done and 43 Folders method to organize my life for a almost a decade now. It’s definitely a system that works for me. I’ve tried in the past to rid myself of the paper aspect of this method and make it electronic without success. A few months ago, I decided to try it yet again. I’m a loyal reader of the Good Experience Blog. Their GoodTodo list is the electronic tool I chose to try this round.

I’m happy to report that I’ve finally found a method that allows me to go paperless.

The single best feature of GoodTodo is that I can email action items to the list. I can email to and it posts it on today’s todo list. I can also use tomorrow, friday, and specific dates to get it there. If I’m emailing someone else, I just BCC my goodtodo and the follow up reminder is set. Attachments to emails stay with the todo and I can attach files to existing or non-email todos also. My scanner has been getting a workout lately.

Here are the other great features of GoodTodo:

  • Super clean user interface
  • Most things on the site are text, so I can use Firefox’s find-as-you-type to click links instead of reaching for my mouse
  • Web based so I can get to it from a variety of places
  • Uncompleted todos roll to the next day automatically
  • It’s really inexpensive – $18 for 6 months if I remember correctly

I had some initial reservations:

  • During the trial, I was limited to 10 new todos per day. It took me about five days to get everything in there.
  • I wish I could see the first few words of the text after the title. I might not be so geeked about the super clean user interface, so I’m not sure which I’d like better
  • I originally didn’t like that I couldn’t see which future dates had todos in them. Since then, I don’t care. It has an excellent search feature and it turns out that’s all I needed
  • I want new todos to be put at the bottom. But I can sort by dragging and dropping, so this is less of an issue
  • It didn’t mirror my custom GTD system, but I was willing to try it anyway. I’m glad I did

I customized the 43 folders method because it wasn’t working just how I wanted. Instead of one folder for each day and one for each month, I went to a five folder system: Tomorrow, This Week, This Weekend, Later, and Someday Maybe. Most of my tasks don’t require they be done a particular day, so the five folders more closely mirrored my actual workflow. Some tasks did, however, and I missed being able to file them on a particular day.

With GoodTodo, and my implementation of it, I get the best of both worlds. All added items go to

  • Today – the equivalent of my inbox
  • Tomorrow – the equivalent of my folder with the same name
  • Friday – Formerly This Week
  • Saturday – Formerly This Weekend
  • Sunday – A combination of Later and Someday Maybe
  • A specific date – for those items that require it

I don’t like combining Later and Someday Maybe in Sunday, so I’m working on a different setup for that. I do like that on Monday I’m forced to review all of the Later todos. I’m supposed to be reviewing them once a week anyway, and this is a great system that allows me to do it. I should probably post my Someday Maybe items to the first of the month, which would force me to review them every month.

If you’re looking for a good online todo list, check it out.

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15 thoughts on “GoodTodo

  1. Thanks for the link. I’ve been trying to use Nobze but it is just too cumbersome and I went back to paper. I’ll give GoodTodo a try.

  2. I’d like to run a raffle on “How long until GoodTodo gets snapped up by Google” ?
    I’ll start with 6 months.

  3. Hi all,

    Mark Hurst here – creator of Good Todo. Thanks for the review, Dick. If it helps, a couple of responses…

    1) You can designate whether new todos go to the top or bottom of the list – just go to Your Account and click “Position of New and Rolled-Over Items”.

    2) An easy way to have a “Someday” list is to create a category called “someday”… then just keep all the someday todos on today’s list, so they roll over day to day and are always available on today. Whenever you want to add to the Someday list, just email today with, for example, Subject: someday – learn chinese …. and the Someday list will then show a new item called “learn chinese” (along with any attachments and/or detail in the body of the email).

    3) “Later” is trickier because, in my opinion, that’s too vague. For example, there’s later like “next week later” and then there’s later like “in six months later” – I tend to think it’s more useful to have that granularity. So if it’s “next week later”, just send it out a week. If it’s “six months later”, then send it out six months. And so on.

    4) Great idea to put those on the first day of the week and month – hadn’t thought of that before.

    5) Good suggestion for a preview of the first few characters of todos.. have heard that suggestion from other users and will consider it.

    Anyway, hope this helps, and feel free to email me directly if you have more questions.


  4. Doesn’t seem to support nested Tasks. Personally prefer that for bigger projects where there are a lot of dependent tasks.

  5. YS, you might want to look at Nozbe. It supports project oriented tasks. I found it too cumbersome and kept going back to paper. I much prefer Good ToDo and just subscribed to it, but you may find Nozbe more to your liking.

  6. The tour looks good but I wont be using it…went to sign up and it doesn’t give me the option of my timezone (Adelaide GMT +9.5 ).

  7. DaveM, I am sure that is a minor oversight. However, tasks aren’t time senstitive. That would only affect you if you were working within 30min of midnight when unfinished tasks roll to the next day.

  8. You might want to check out ToodleDo. Very flexible, very powerful. In their forum there is extensive discussion of how to use with GTD.


  9. I’d really like to try GoodToDo, but in my job I handle a lot of sensitive and proprietary information. How secure is my ToDo list? Does anyone know if using this application is safe, i.e., secure


  10. Good question rbird. If I have classified or sensitive information, I put a very vague item in GoodToDo with a link to a document that has more complete details. It’s a bit of a pain, but even if GoodTodo was ultra-secure, it’s probably not ITAR secure so I’d have to do it anyway.

  11. RBird – Good Todo does have a secure server, if that’s what you mean… …or if you mean security of data in the cloud, I’d ask whether you use a Gmail or Yahoo Mail account, in which case the data is out there already…

  12. dick, we have lot in common…am a long-time gtd’r, cpa and am locked on to excel vba to make a living…really loving onenote to to my lists, especially the idea of onenote in the could, in theory, be awesome….here’s a link which “The David” retweeted

  13. just re-read my note.. doesn’t make sense…onenote in the cloud is coming soon, that is what could be an amazing gtd tool…very excited about it

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