AppleScript to create and run a GTD ‘Tickler file’
AppleScriptA ‘Tickler file’ is part of the Getting Things Done system in which you can store things that you need to do in the future and be reminded about them in a timely way.
It is a collection of 43 folders (Hey, how about that?) and is managed by a secretary or PA if you are lucky enough to have one, who sorts through the right folder each day and gives you the things you need to do in time to do them.
I don’t have a secretary. In my earlier postings on trying to run GTD in Apple Mail, I simply created a mailbox that I called a ‘Tickler file’. Mail Act-on dumped all my “deferred” things into it and I had to remember to sort them through manually at the start of every week. But no more!
GTDMailZak Greant has written an AppleScript that will create and manage a complete set of Tickler folders for you.
The first time you run the script, it creates a full set of folders for you as you can see from the screenshot.
Then you file away the emails containing tasks that you need to do later away into the appropriate week, day and month folder. I’ve thought about creating rules under Mail Act-on to do this, but I think it is doing to be easier in the end to drag ‘n’ drop them from my ‘deferred holding pen’ mailbox into the right folders.
Run the script every day, and it sorts through your folders and delivers the stored emails (flagged and marked as unread) into the @INBOX each day as you need to deal with them. Excellent.
To make this even more bullet-proof, I have created an event in iCal which will run the script for me every morning at 9 am.
Armed with this script, kGTD and Scott’s Morrison’s Mail Act-on and MailTags plug-ins, I have all the tools I need to implement a really good GTD system on my Mac.
Of course, I still need the will to use them and the intelligence to use them well, but that’s another story. Software can’t help there.
Zak has also written some other nifty applescripts like email2ical, which ?É¬† la the mail2iCal scripts and the fuhgeddaboutit script, creates events in iCal from Mail.app messages.
Tags: Apple Mail, applescript, gtd, iCal, kgtd, mail.app, Tickler
* Make an iCal event run an AppleScript
* MailTags to get new features
* Mail.app/iCal/kGTD/DEVONthink Pro to get things done
* Got some things done in Apple Mail, Part II
* You’re invited: Outlook meeting plugin for Mail
This entry was posted on Thursday, December 1st, 2005 at 12:24 pm and is filed under Apple Mail, Apple Mail Tips. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
11 Responses to “AppleScript to create and run a GTD ‘Tickler file’”
Hawk Wings » Blog Archive » Got some things done in Apple Mail, Part II says:
1 December 2005, 1:06 pm at 1:06 pm
[...] A recurring task in kGTD allows iCal to send me an email once a week, reminding me to sort through the Tickle File/Someday folder, and to do various other Review-like tasks. (Update: Well, it did until I discovered Zak Geant’s GTDMail AppleScript. Now my Tickler file is automated.) [...]
Roger Eberhart says:
2 December 2005, 2:23 am at 2:23 am
Seems a bit complicated. Here is what I am doing. Using MailTags, set your tickler date. Create a SmartMailbox called @INBOX. The rules on this inbox are Unread or Due Date before 1 day from today. Voila.
Hawk Wings » Blog Archive » GTD ‘Tickler file’: Another approach with MailTags says:
2 December 2005, 9:20 am at 9:20 am
[...] « AppleScript to create and run a GTD ‘Tickler file’ [...]
Hawk Wings » Blog Archive » Make an iCal event run an AppleScript says:
9 December 2005, 12:04 am at 12:04 am
[...] Having read the entry on creating a GTD Tickler file with Zak Greant’s AppleScript, Jennifer emails to ask how exactly you create an iCal event that will run the script every morning. [...]
Hawk Wings » Blog Archive » Weekly Update says:
10 December 2005, 8:59 am at 8:59 am
[...] GTDMail was added to the Added Functionality section. [...]
Hawk Wings » Blog Archive » iCal: linked files, email reminders says:
15 December 2005, 7:46 am at 7:46 am
[...] This is a third way to make reminders to deal with a certain email at a future date. You could also use Zak Greant’s full-blown GTD Tickler file script or Roger Eberhart’s MailTags approach. Technorati Tags: iCal, AppleScript, Mail.app, email [...]
Hawk Wings » Blog Archive » Getting Things Done in Apple Mail says:
30 December 2005, 8:37 pm at 8:37 pm
[...] Got some things done in Apple Mail, Part I Got some things done in Apple Mail, Part II AppleScript to create and run a GTD ?¢‚Ç¨ÀúTickler file?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢ GTD Tickler file: Another approach with MailTags [...]
Ted Pavlic says:
22 January 2006, 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm
I do something very similar, but I do mine with a cronjob on my IMAP mail server. This way my tickler is maintained in one central location.
Here’s the script I use… I just use mailutil to move messages into my @INBOX.
# NOTE: The mailutil below has had the maildir patch applied.
# Set things to eastern time zone to keep things in sync
# Get the valid strings
WEEK=`echo “($DAY – 1)/7 + 1″|bc`
# On the first day of the month, push monthly notes into inbox
if [ "$DAY" == "01" ]; then
/home/tedpavlic/bin/mailutil appenddelete “/home/tedpavlic/.imap/.@TICKLER.Month.$THISMONTH/” “/home/tedpavlic/.imap/.@INBOX/”
# On every day, push dailies
/home/tedpavlic/bin/mailutil appenddelete “/home/tedpavlic/.imap/.@TICKLER.Week$WEEK.$DAY/” “/home/tedpavlic/.imap/.@INBOX/”
Hawk Wings » Blog Archive » Run an IMAP Tickler file via Cron script says:
23 January 2006, 9:25 am at 9:25 am
[...] Zak Greant’s AppleScript for running a Tickler file (a filing system for future actions that is part of the “Getting Things Done” (GTD) system) is very clever. [...]
12 February 2006, 1:15 am at 1:15 am
still not sure what all the fuss is about regarding GTD,
i’ve read the book and its nothing to get so excited about,
GTD is actually a very complicated set up not for those who seek a userfriendly system of organizing.
There are far more easier methods then GTD on a scale of 1-10 GTD is about a 2 or 3. the script above is way too complicated and creates way to many freaken folders all you need is a few.
if you have to have so many folders and keep track of week 1 week 2 week 3 then you need therapy all you need to focus on is today right now, map out your week and get started
i hear people keeping 90,000 emails in their mail how pathetic, keep it real people
i love that delete button, messages are for reading then deleting not for storing