GTD Nerdery: How I Use The Hit List

It may be Easter weekend here in the UK, but for me, Friday is Just Another Work Day™. The best feeling however, is the one that accompanies ticking stuff off my immense task list, which is made easier by everyone else being on holiday.

I’ve mentioned a few of my Getting Things Done tools in the past, like the “Everyday…” list of rules to respect when working from home, which include setting three most important tasks, creating blocks of time without distraction and taking a lunch break at a reasonable time. Ok, I’ve not exactly excelled at following them but they’re good reminders nonetheless.

I’ve flirted with just about every web app or task-list software out there, having bought more than I like to admit. Lately, I’d been using Things by Cultured Code but didn’t feel 100% happy with it. In the latest round of Macheist, I acquired The Hit List which Josh Clark described as “a grown up version of Things.”

Totally fell in love with The Hit List for its ease of use, nested lists and simple tagging. Mainly the nested lists though, as that was sorely missing from Things. Plus it’s even prettier.

To show how I use it, I’ve taken a few screenshots…

“Today” view

The most practical view of it when glancing at it to see what task is going to jump at my throat if I don’t do it immediately.

The Hit List - Today view

Single-list view

When working on a specific client’s projects for a day, I’ll focus on their list, keeping everyone else out of view.

The Hit List - Single list view

“Waiting For” view

I have a notoriously bad memory, so when I email someone who assign a task to a teammate who I’ll need to chase up later, I create a list item with the tag @wf (Waiting For). It then becomes easy to quickly scan the smart folder of answers I’m waiting for.

The Hit List - Waiting For list view

You can find all three on Flickr here.

It’s a painlessly easy to use piece of software, makes for a great braindumping ground for projects. It even makes a satisfying little noise when I tick a task as completed.

I continue to use Basecamp for shared projects, but nothing on the web yet has the convenience and ease of desktop software drag & drop, offline use & speed, so until that point, solo project lists will continue to live in The Hit List.

6 thoughts on “GTD Nerdery: How I Use The Hit List

  1. Eric Cheung

    Honestly, I am still under deciding which one is better to use as both have advantages and disadvantages, such as THL can assign priority by clicking the far left column and the timing feature, whereas Things can add contact and delegate tasks to the people and areas of responsibility (i think it behaves like group).

    However THL has one drawback is no iPhone app yet. (ahhh… too hard to decide :P). I also hope THL can offer more customisable on look and feel instead of Yellow notepad. 🙂

  2. Dan

    I would recommend checking out for an online GTD manager.

    You can use it to manage your goals, projects and tasks, set next actions and contexts, use checklists, schedules and a calendar.
    A mobile version is available too.

  3. Bryan Hoffman

    I too am loving TheHitList, and feel like I’ve finally found a GTD tool that really works with me. I’ll be adding your @wf tag and smart folder to my workflow… that’s a great idea.

    One question – How did you get your formatted with the full date? Mine show up like this: [Apr 20] and I can’t seem to find a preference for it.

  4. Vero

    @Eric: You know I’m as bad as you are and will try them all!

    @Bryan: Not sure abut the date, it just seemed to format itself that way from the beginning. It may pick up from how you write them? I may have formatted them with the slashes the first time. I’m sure @andypotion on twitter will help you if you can’t figure it out!

  5. shutterbug70

    the @wf tag is a great idea. I got to your page after a web search looking for how to do something like that with THL. Thanks!

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