Roundup: Getting Things Done (GTD) Apps for the Mac

November 19, 2009 in Roundups by Bob Faulhaber

Getting Things Done (GTD) is the work-life management system and book developed by David Allen that allows you to organize and manage in a systematic way the tasks associated with your life. There are numerous Mac-based apps that take David Allen’s philosophy and methodology and put them into a Mac application.

We’ve looked at several GTD apps for the Mac that we found available and summarize our findings here. If we missed any apps please let us know by leaving a comment below.

The Hit List (Potion Factory)

The Hit List (currently in Beta) is a powerful application that is based on the simple list-making concept allowing you to organize your business and personal life. The application is flexible and allows you to plan your activities or tasks using either David Allen’s GTD philosophy or whatever methodology you are accustomed to.

The interface is clean and well organized providing lists of folders in the left pane, with the main window showing items in either a list or a card view. The Hit List also allows you you filter items, create recurring tasks, import/export from other applications and sync items with iCal.


If you are looking for a simple, yet powerful GTD application, then a look at the beta release of The Hit List is worth your time. Once released, The Hit List will cost $49.95 and you can pre-order now at the Potion Factory website.

Things (Cultured Code)

Things from the folks over at Cultured Code is another GTD application the sports a very clean and simple interface, yet provides very powerful features to let you organize and manage your tasks using whatever methodology you find most productive.

Things’ interface is well organized, with an Inbox, target folders (Focus) and any created Smart Folders in the left-hand pane, while the main window contains all your tasks with their deadlines. You can easily tag tasks and filter based on those tags. Other features include the ability include notes, search on any criteria, create recurring tasks and even setup projects containing multiple tasks. Things also syncs with iCal and with Things companion iPhone app, available at the App Store.


Things is a simple to use, yet very powerful GTD application and teamed with Things iPhone app, makes a very powerful tool helping you stay focused and organized in your daily life. Things is available at the Cultured Code website for $49.95

OmniFocus (The Omni Group)

OmniFocus is the big player in the GTD game having been around for several years now and you can see that know-how and lessons learned in the current version. OmniFocus is probably the most feature-rich of the applications we’ve looked at and most closely follows David Allen’s task management philosophy. Like Things, OmniFocus also has a companion iPhone app, available at the App Store.

The OmniFocus interface is similar to the other GTD apps we’ve looked, terminology follows the GTD book closely and the feature set includes the ability to sync OmniFocus on multiple computers, iPhones or iPod Touch, along with iCal syncing and other core GTD functionality. An extremely useful feature in OmniFocus is the ability to add tasks via Mail. OmniFocus monitors incoming emails for tasks sent to yourself and adds them to the OmniFocus inbox.


OmniFocus has a polished look and feel, offers you the most features and closely follows David Allen’s methodology. OmniFocus is available at The Omni Group website for $79.95, along with the companion iPhone app at the App Store.


Personally being a user of Things for the past several months and thoroughly impressed with OmniFocus, your selection of the application that is best for you depends on your needs. If you are a die-hard Getting Things Done follower then OmniFocus will fit right into your task management philosophy and methods, however, if you need a more basic approach and the flexibility to get organized then Things will be just fine for you. Our look at the beta from The Hit List has us very impressed and we are looking forward to the final version when released.