ActionComplete GTD Toolkit for Android

User Manual

Introduction

Concepts and Terminology

Metadata: Tags and Places

Urgency: Due Dates

Importance

Reminders

User Interface

Home Screen

All Tasks

Important Tasks

Urgent Tasks

Reminders

Tags

Places

Settings

Sync with AC for Web

Notification Method

Default Importance

Reset Importance on Conversion

Help

Add/Edit Task

Add/Edit Tag

Add/Edit Place

Task Filtering

Task Sorting

App Widgets

Introduction

ActionComplete GTD Toolkit is a streamlined personal task management app that was inspired by David Allen’s "Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity" book.

While it's easy to use ActionComplete as a generic task manager or "to do" list organizer without knowing anything about GTD, you are likely to benefit more from the app if you get familiar with the basic concepts of GTD.

ActionComplete GTD Toolkit helps you prioritize your tasks and become effective. It also helps you manage your tasks efficiently. The app is designed to stay out of your way so you have more time to actually get things done.

ActionComplete GTD Toolkit provides a framework for organizing, structuring and managing tasks, activities, and other "stuff". In a sense, it's a to-do list manager on steroids.

The app was designed to stay close to the vision of the "Getting Things Done" book. ActionComplete does not claim to be a "full implementation" of GTD. Rather, it takes its key elements and leverages them in an efficient and fun way.

Concepts and Terminology

Most of the terminology used in ActionComplete should be intuitively understandable to a person familiar with the GTD methodology.

The four key concepts in ActionComplete are:

An Action is something that needs to be done or otherwise requires your attention for the time being, for example, a phone call to make, an item to buy, or a doctor appointment to schedule. An Action can exist by itself or be a part of a Project.

A Project is something that requires more that one step before it can be completed. A Project can have child Actions and/or Waits.

A Wait is something we are waiting for from somebody after we delegated something to that person.

An Idea is a catch-all bucket for sudden recollections, interim thoughts, and everything else that's on your mind but requires some contemplation before you are ready to act upon it.

Metadata: Tags and Places

ActionComplete provides a way for you to associate different types of supporting information with each task. It enables you to deal with all of the aspects of your life that require attention while being able to focus on any specific one at a given moment in time. ActionComplete does this by allowing you to attach metadata to each Action, Project, Wait or Idea.

The metadata can be used to filter your lists to get a crisp picture of a particular aspect of your life or view things that need to be done at a particular place.

ActionComplete GTD Toolkit supports two types of metadata: tags and places.

A Tag is a short text that you use to create a category, describe an area of responsibility, or label something for easy access. Among other things you can use tags as your GTD contexts such as "@home", "@work", "@phone", "@computer", "out and about", etc.

A Place can be used to mark a physical location where a task (action, wait, project, idea) is to happen. A future version of the app will have a task view leveraging the location sensor of your phone.

Urgency: Due Dates

Any task in ActionComplete can be assigned a due date. Remember that according to GTD, tasks that need to be done at a particular time constitute a part of your "hard landscape" and should generally be placed on you calendar.

Importance

Tasks are color-coded depending on their importance for easy visual identification. The colors represent various levels of importance as follows: critical: red, high: orange, medium: yellow, low: green, marginal: blue.

Reminders

You can use reminders for setting up audible and visual alerts at specified times. Reminders appear in the notification area and can produce a voice alert or a chime depending on your preferences.

User Interface

The user interface of the application is designed according to Android design guidelines and as such it is highly intuitive and efficient.

Home Screen

The home screen of the app features 8 options:

The options are described below.

All Tasks

It’s likely that while working with ActionComplete you’ll be spending most of the time on this screen. It allows you to slice and dice your tasks the way you want, view task details, add new tasks, and complete existing tasks.

To view tasks of a particular type (Actions, Waits, Projects, Ideas), tap the desired tab or swipe left or right.

To add a new task tap the Add button in the action bar.

To find a task tap the Search button and type at least 2 letters contained in either task name or the notes. All the matching tasks, if any, will be displayed on the screen grouped by task type.

To sort tasks by name, due date, importance, or the time they were last updated tap the Sort button in the action bar. NB: the previous sort option becomes the secondary sort.

To filter tasks by tag, place, importance, due date, and project (for actions and waits) tap the Filter button in the action bar.

For Actions and Waits the card shows the name of the task as well as the name of the parent project, if any.

For Projects the card shows the name of the task and either the name of the only subtask (an action or a wait) or the total number of active actions and waits.

To view the details of a task tap the task in the list.

To mark a task as complete tap the checkbox next to the task name. Completed tasks are displayed below active tasks. You can choose to show or hide completed tasks as needed on the Filters screen.

To go back to the home screen tap or press the Back button on your phone.

Important Tasks

The Important Tasks screen shows tasks with critical importance. Such tasks are visually identified by the pale red background. The tasks are grouped by type. Actions are displayed first, followed by Waits, Projects, and Ideas. On this screen you can mark tasks as complete, add tasks, and view task details.

To add a new task tap the Add button in the action bar. When you add a task from this screen its importance defaults to Critical.

To view the details of a task tap the task in the list.

To mark a task as complete tap the checkbox next to the task name.

To go back to the home screen tap or press the Back button.

Urgent Tasks

The Urgent Tasks screen shows past due tasks and tasks due today. Past due tasks are shown in red. Tasks due today are displayed in green. The tasks are grouped by type. Actions are displayed first, followed by Waits, Projects, and Ideas. On this screen you can mark tasks as complete, add tasks, and view task details.

To add a new task tap the Add button in the top right corner of the screen. When you add a task from this screen its due date defaults to today’s date.

To view the details of a task tap the task in the list.

To mark a task as complete tap the checkbox next to the task name.

To go back to the home screen tap or press the Back button.

Reminders

The Reminders screen shows tasks with the reminders in the past. The tasks are grouped by type. Actions are displayed first, followed by Waits, Projects, and Ideas. On this screen you can mark tasks as complete and view task details.

To view the details of a task tap the task in the list.

To mark a task as complete tap the checkbox next to the task name.

To go back to the home screen tap or press the Back button.

Tags

The Tags screen shows all the tags and, for every tag, the number of active tasks marked with it. The color of the tag card depends on the number of active tasks marked with the tag: 0 - blue, 1-4 - green, 5-9 - yellow, 10-19 - orange, 20+ - red.

On this screen you can add tags and view tag details.

To add a new tag tap the Add button in the action bar.

To view the details of a tag tap the tag in the list.

To go back to the home screen tap or press the Back button.

Places

The Places screen shows all the places and, for every place, the number of active tasks marked with it.  The color of the place card depends on the number of active tasks marked with the place: 0 - blue, 1-4 - green, 5-9 - yellow, 10-19 - orange, 20+ - red.

On this screen you can add places and view place details.

To add a new place tap the Add button in the action bar.

To view the details of a place tap the place in the list.

To go back to the home screen tap or press the Back button.

Settings

The Settings screen shows application settings and version. On this screen you can change the following settings: Sync with AC for Web, Notification Method, and Default Importance.

To go back to the home screen tap or press the Back button.

Sync with AC for Web

Sync with AC for Web setting allows you to setup the 2-way sync between ActionComplete GTD Toolkit for Android (this application) and ActionComplete for Web - a cloud counterpart of ActionComplete GTD Toolkit accessible via a browser.

AC for Web is offered as a service with one-year access fee of $19.99. You can evaluate AC for Web for 7 days for free.

AC for Web relies on a Google account for authentication. You can use any type of Google account to sign in to it including Gmail, Google Apps, and Google accounts tied to non-Google email addresses.

To setup the sync with AC for Web:

Notification Method

The Notification Method setting allows you to select the way you are alerted of the reminders. You can choose out of the following three options: None, Voice, and Sound.

None: reminders do not produce an audible alert.

Voice: a voice alert “You’ve got things to do” sounds when a reminder is due.

Sound: a chime sounds when a reminder is due.

To choose notification method:

Default Importance

The Default Importance setting allows you to select the pre-populated value of weight for tasks that are being added. You can choose out of the following five options: Marginal, Low, Medium, High, and Critical.

To choose default importance:

Reset Importance on Conversion

The Reset Importance on Conversion setting allows you to define what happens when a task is converted to another type, e.g. action -> project. The available options are Yes and No.

When the option value is Yes, the importance is reset to the value defined by the Default Importance setting.

Warn if no Metadata

The Warn if no Metadata setting allows you to have ActionComplete warn you when you are trying to save a task that has no tags or places (metadata) attached to it. The available options are Yes and No.

When the option value is Yes, the application will warn you when you are trying to save a task without attaching tags or places to it. You can ignore the warning and save the task anyway.

The default value of the option is No.

Help

Help screen displays this document.

Add/Edit Task

This screen allows you to setup a new task or change an existing one. You can specify the following task attributes: Name (up to 100 characters), Notes (up to 300 characters), Project (for Actions and Waits only), Tags (up to 5), Places (up to 5), Weight, Due Date, and Reminder date/time.

To add or edit a task:

To mark the task as complete tap Complete button in the action bar. This button is only available when editing an existing active (not marked as complete) task. This button is not available for Ideas.

To delete the task tap Delete button in the bottom left part of the screen. This button is only available when editing an existing task.

To change the task type (Action, Wait, Project, Idea) tap Convert to... button in the action bar and choose the new task type. This button is only available when editing an existing task. For projects with child tasks this button is not present. Actions and waits linked to a project can be converted to waits and actions, respectively.

To mark the task as active tap Reactivate button in the action bar. This button is only available when editing an existing completed task.

To view child tasks tap Actions or Waits option. These options are available for projects only.

To return to the previous screen without saving the changes tap or press the Back button.

To link the task to a project:

To unlink the linked project from the task tap Clear button in the project selection popup.

To return to the previous screen without saving the changes tap or press the Back button.

To link the task to tags:

To unlink any linked tags from the task tap Clear button in the action bar.

To add a new tag tap Add button in the action bar.

To return to the previous screen without saving the changes tap the Back button.

To link the task to places:

To unlink any linked places from the task tap Clear button in the action bar.

To add a new place tap Add button in the action bar.

To return to the previous screen without saving the changes tap the Back button.

To change the task importance:

To return to the previous screen without saving the changes tap the Back button.

To set or change the due date:

To remove the due date tap Clear button in the popup window.

To return to the previous screen without saving the changes either tap Cancel or tap or press the Back button.

To set or change the reminder:

To remove the reminder tap Clear button in popup window.

To return to the previous screen without saving the changes either tap Cancel or tap or press the Back button.

Add/Edit Tag

This screen allows you to setup a new tag or change an existing one. The only attribute you can specify for a tag is Name (up to 100 characters).

To add or edit a tag:

To delete the tag tap Delete button in the action bar. This button is only available when editing an existing tag.

To view tasks linked to the tag tap Actions/Waits/Projects/Ideas row. These rows are only available when editing an existing tag.

To return to the previous screen without saving the changes tap or press the Back button.

Add/Edit Place

This screen allows you to setup a new place or change an existing one. The only attribute you can specify for a place is Name (up to 100 characters).

To add or edit a place:

To delete the place tap Delete button in the action bar. This button is only available when editing an existing place.

To view tasks linked to the tag tap Actions/Waits/Projects/Ideas row. This option is only available when editing an existing place.

To return to the previous screen without saving the changes tap or press the Back button.

Task Filtering

This screen allows you to set up filtering criteria for tasks and adjust task viewing options.

You can filter on a tag, a place, an importance range, a due date range, and a project. The filters have AND semantics, i.e. when 2 or more filters are set at the same time, only the tasks satisfying all filters are displayed.

You can adjust the following task viewing options: Show Completed and Show Without Due Date.

Show Completed option specifies whether completed tasks are displayed on All Tasks screen. Tag Tasks, and Place Tasks screens always display completed tasks. Important Tasks, Urgent Tasks, and Reminders task lists never show completed tasks.

Show Without Due Date option specifies whether tasks without due date are displayed on All Tasks screen. The option has no effect on other task lists, i.e. tasks without a due date are always displayed in these lists.

Show Next Actions Only option tells ActionComplete to show just one action for projects with multiple actions. The action to be shown depends on the currently selected task sorting order. When using this feature, you need to devise a task sequencing strategy that fits your task management style best. To sequence your tasks by name you would prepend task names with a cardinal number, e.g. “01 Start here”. Alternatively you could assign your project tasks due dates and sort them by urgency. For small projects you could sequence your tasks by assigning them varying values of importance.

To apply a set of filters:

To clear the filters tap Reset button in the action bar. The Reset button does not affect the task display options (Show Completed and Show Without Due Date)

To return to the previous screen without saving the changes tap or press the Back button.

To set a tag filter:

To reset a tag filter tap Clear button in the popup window.

To return to the previous screen without saving the changes tap the Back button.

To set a place filter:

To reset a place filter tap Clear button in the popup window.

To return to the previous screen without saving the changes tap the Back button.

To set an importance filter:

To reset the weight filter tap Clear button in the popup window.

To return to the previous screen without saving the changes tap the Back button.

To set a due date filter:

To reset the due date filter tap Clear button in popup window.

To return to the previous screen without saving the changes tap the Back button.

To set a project filter:

To reset a project filter tap Clear button in the popup window.

You can also set a project filter by long-pressing a project in All Tasks list.

To return to the previous screen without saving the changes tap the Back button.

Task Sorting

This dialog allows you to set the sort order of the tasks. The options are By Name, By Importance, By Urgency, and By Modification Time.

To set a sort order tap the desired option. By Modification Time options sorts by the date/time the task was last updated.

To return to the previous screen without saving the changes tap the Back button.

App Widgets

ActionComplete GTD Toolkit includes 4 app widgets that you can place on the home screen of your phone. Important Tasks, Urgent Tasks, and Reminders widgets largely emulate the functionality of the corresponding application screens. Add Task widget allows you to create tasks right from the home screen of your phone.