On Getting things Done

Dave Allen’s book and method  have received considerable positive coverage in the blogosphere, and  tools to bring the method to the inbox are popping up like daffodils.

The Dave Allen Company has an outlook application for GTD,  which it sells along with books and other guides to getting your life in order.

Instead of doing the sensible thing and buying the book first, I thought I download some software…

I decided to try a Firefox plug in, based on the WebWorkerDaily review.

I’d not planned to blog this, but Zoli posted about a GTD offering for gmail,

I wanted to get organized about my ever-growing inbox, so I thought I’d give GTDInbox a try, especially after reading the positive reviews on both WebWorkerDaily and ReadWriteWeb.

My regular readers will know that I’m interested in the collisions  between law and software.  I vaguely  wondered if there was a trademark issue with calling the application GTD, but US trademark law isn’t really my cup of tea. GTD is a registered trademark of  the Dave Allen company, so they may have something to say about this use of it. Then again, they may think it is goodness that someone has built a firefox-gmail add in, as it might help them sell more books.

But this post isn’t really about trademark, it is about something even more boring, T&Cs-

Many of us don’t bother reading the T&Cs of applications we use. After all, we are busy people.  But in the case of a GTD add on, I thought  it might be worth pausing for a second and dong so. After all, in theory this little application will be rummaging around in my  inbox,

Also I figured it would be interesting to see how a Mozilla “accepted” application’s T&Cs looked. All  glowing GPL stuff, I presumed.



and zooming in…


Unlike Zoli, I can’t comment on the application, because I didn’t even download it.

Please,  next time you build an application, even if it is only in  beta, please add organise appropriate T&Cs in your Get Things Done before shipping list. Sure it is a beta application, but it could be  using my live data, and that of my friends and colleagues.  

But even Apple seem to have T&C challenges. More fom Zoli here.


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4 thoughts on “On Getting things Done

  1. Hi Thomas – you raise a good point on the trademark issue. So far David Allen Co is aware of GTDInbox, we promote the book, and I hope (T&Cs aside!) we promote a good image of GTD. Should David Allen Co decide to exercise their rights to the name, we would of course oblige.

    The T&C issue is actually more interesting than you might think; in that several people have commented on how refreshing it was (particularly with respect to War & Peace style EULAs that never get read) :) Perhaps its time to lay it to rest, I’ll see if it upsets anyone else!

    If you’re still interested, I invite you drop me an email, or drop by the forum, to see how seriously we take improving quality and maintaining the quality of the addon. All joking aside, we are resolute in our respect to people’s inboxes.

  2. Hi Andy
    thanks for commenting so promptly-

    I thought hard about posting or not posting, because I didn’t want to seem snarky..

    I can see why people like your T&Cs or lack thereof. The hip early adopters of software might not really care about these things.

    But should there be a dispute, this is what the lawyers or courts will look at. Refreshing is not an attribute that holds much sway, I’m afraid.

    The T&cs should
    1. protect your rights.
    2, and the consumers rights.

    This is the same in OS as in prop software.

    I’m sure there are masses of GPL compliant T&Cs you could use.

    I may well be in touch to understand how you guys are approaching privacy in solution design.

    Once I’ve read the GTD book I will probably download it anyway. Given that fact that you replied to both Zoli and I quickly means that you are probably not developing a secret gmail reader tool for the KGB.

  3. Hi Thomas!
    Really intersting!
    I had to deal a lot with EULAs of virtual worlds and eMoney in my thesis….but the mozilla thing is the funniest thing I have ever seen (if i could remember when I ever really clicked on this)

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