Needs Mac OS X 10.4
Review Date: 12 Apr 2007
Price when reviewed:
Reviewed By: Giles Turnbull
If you're one of those people who has caught the 'getting things done' (GTD) bug, Actiontastic will leave you drooling.
The central concept of GTD is that of contexts, or making sure you have the right list of tasks to hand at the right time. So computer-related tasks need to be done while you're at your desk, but shopping-related tasks or meeting-people tasks can be put aside for that period.
Actiontastic is one of many OS X apps released recently that attempt to simplify all this. Everything you need to do is either a one-step action ('Call mum'), or something requiring many steps ('Build client website'); if it's the latter, it's known as a Project.
You create Projects for everything, and within each one create single-action Tasks. Each Task is one step that moves the Project along. Actions are assigned to Projects, so they are nicely categorised.
But actions are also assigned to Contexts. Within a Project, you might have several phone calls to make, or documents to write, or emails to send. These can be assigned to their appropriate Context. Then, when the time comes for you to sit down and say 'What's the next useful thing I can do?', you review your list of Tasks and relate it to your current Context. If you're in front of the PC and have an hour to spare, you could write a document. If you're on the move, you could make some phone calls.
Actiontastic manages all of this information with some style, and without complexity. It can export an up-to-date list of tasks to your iPod, and synchronise with your iCal to-do list. Although simple to understand, there are advanced features that GTD old-timers will appreciate, such as complete control using just the keyboard - having absorbed the well-designed shortcuts, you'll be flying through lists of Tasks very quickly.
Previously shareware, Actiontastic is now free and open source. It hasn't even reached 1.0 status yet, but is already impressive. The future of this little app looks brighter still.
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