Getting Things Done with your favorite apps

Yoke tracks information across your cloud accounts to help you get things done.

What is GTD?

Getting Things Done, or GTD for short, is a methodology invented by David Allen around 15 years back. GTD introduced two revolutionary ideas:

  1. The personal workflow that lets you be more productive, and
  2. The trusted system that keeps track of your stuff to help your mind stay relaxed.

Here's the personal workflow from Erlend Hamberg's GTD in 15 minutes.

Personal workflow in Getting Things Done
GTD personal workflow (Source)

The GTD personal workflow has certainly stood the test of time. Tasks that take less than 2 minutes must be done right away. Open loops must be off-loaded to an inbox. And so on. The trusted system, however is getting outdated.

Why do I need Yoke?

In 2012, David Allen and Charles Simonyi partnered to develop a “meta application” that will help people practice the GTD methodology in conjunction with their existing apps and devices. We believe that Yoke is such a meta-application.

A typical knowledge worker uses 3-10 cloud applications. Each app tracks multiple projects that are worked on by distributed teams. With Yoke, you can track your virtual inboxes and buckets using data from the apps that you use today, and set up your own personal trusted system.

Here is a screenshot of a sample Yoke board:

Yoke screenshot with 8 connected accounts
Yoke screenshot with 8 connected accounts

The above figure shows a Yoke board connected to Gmail, Google Drive, Wunderlist, JIRA, Slack, Twitter, LinkedIn and GitHub.

GTD with Yoke

A Yoke board consists of lists which are laid out as columns in the board. On mobile devices, you can swipe left or right to scroll across the lists on your board.

A list can have several cards which connect to your accounts and track specific items that you care about. For instance, a Gmail card can track emails that are starred, and a JIRA Agile card can track tasks/bugs in the current sprint.

A GTD-style Yoke board consists of the following lists:

  1. Inboxes: The GTD inbox is where everything that may require action is collected. Yoke simplifies the collection process by automatically tracking your inboxes. Examples of inbox cards include unread emails, recent activities and unread notifications in your accounts.
  2. Next actions: Next action cards capture items that are clearly defined and can be completed without additional planning or support. Examples of next-action cards include starred emails (that require a thoughtful response), next-action lists in your todo-app, and tasks/bugs assigned to you in an agile sprint.
  3. Waiting for: Actions that are deferred or delegated can be tracked in this list. Examples of waiting-for cards include open tasks in projects that you manage, waiting-for lists in your to-do app, and bugs/tickets reported by you.
  4. Projects: Project cards track key documents and lists related to active projects. Examples of project cards include starred documents in Google Drive, project lists in your to-do app, and notebooks that have a specific tag.
  5. Tickler: Tickler cards track stuff that you should look at every once in a while. Examples of tickler cards include tweets in the last month to a company Twitter account, new articles in Reddit, and days since the last monitoring failure. The advantage of adding these cards is that Yoke's machine learning algorithms will automatically remind you if a certain card is outside normal boundaries.