updated: June 16th, 2008 / Ross Johnson / 16 Comments

Free Mac Project / Time Management Tools

If you are like me, you use a mac because well… they are (trendy/creative/easy/fun/cheap/magic/sucky/ugly/sexy/pretty/any other reason). Like most people who are creative my organization skills are far from perfect. One of the important lessons I have learned through my freelancing, to the start of a company, to the merger of that company with another is the importance of tracking, promoting, and monitoring productivity.

It is amazing how much more gets done when you track what you need to do and when. Additionally you find that your mind is clear of all the worries regarding what you have to do but have yet to do. It seems that many people constantly go over in their mind what needs to be done and when, rather than having one place to refer to that tells them what needs to be done and when.

Luckily there are plenty of free Mac applets/widgets/tools that let us keep track of these sorts of things easily.

1. iGTD

David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” has developed a cult following for his methods in organizing your life and tasks that you need to accomplish. If you believe in his methods then there is the perfect mac tool for you, iGTD. iGTD models his system exactly, allowing you to split up, categorize, prioritize, and schedule all the tasks in your life. It is a very powerful and all encompassing program, but I find it too complicated and somewhat difficult to use.


2. DoIT

DoIt takes a simple approach to task/project management. Rather than developing a complex system of context, priority, etc.. it is a simple todo list with a twist. You can associate contacts, files, urls, etc with the task. Saves a step, such as planning to contact someone allows you to click to e-mail them rather than look up their details. Very cool.


3. Anxiety

Anxiety is a simple light weight todo list program, allowing you to split up tasks by category (home/work/etc). The nice thing about anxiety is it’s simplicity, and it’s ability to easily integrate with macMail. Through macMail you can monitor, add, and remove todo items. Since e-mail is such a large part of our daily existence this really cuts down on swapping between different programs.


4. Basecamp Widget

Ok so not all versions of Basecamp are free, but you can get a lot out of their free version. If you have a simple business model, or work for the man, having your three projects as “home, work, and personal” in addition to this easy to use dashboard widget you can really keep control of your life and projects.

DOWNLOAD Basecamp Widget

5. Google Calendar Widget

Google Calendar is a great application for tracking and monitoring dates. Many of the downfalls of most project management tools that I have encountered have poor date management. At best they seem to have due dates, even though meetings, days off, etc are an important aspect of time or project management. The google calendar dashboard widget is easy to use, a simple keystroke lets you know what events are occurring for the month. The drawback is you can’t add or modify the calendar from your dashboard only view.

DOWNLOAD Google Calendar Widget

6. OmniPlan Beta

Free while it is in beta, the new version of OmniPlan is a powerful full featured project management tool that goes well beyond the other applications mentioned previously. You can break projects into phases, graph completion schedules, tasks, and share data with other team members. Worth looking into and trying while it is still free.

DOWNLOAD omni-plan

16 thoughts Free Mac Project / Time Management Tools

  1. You missed out on of my favorite (and in my mind the best) Mac GTD App, Things ( http://culturedcode.com/things/ ) from Cultured Code.

    I have been using things for a couple of months and I really like it, it offers the best UI of any GTD app I have tried whilst still managing to pack in lots of features.

    Its currently in Alpha / Beta and will be free until it is launched sometime later this spring.

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  4. I have been using things for a couple of months and I really like it, it offers the best UI of any GTD app I have tried whilst still managing to pack in lots of features. thank you

  5. Another vote for things! Guess I completely missed one of the best ones. I will add it to this list, sounds like it is a good one. Thanks for the heads up.

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  7. Thank you for the listing of ‘getting things done’ software, I used iGTD till a week ago and now I gradually switching my project management related activities to Omniplan which is not really a gtd-software or todo-manager. If you want to manage todo’s with a lot of dependencies you might want to have a look at that piece of software or some other one I found one which looks pretty good to me:


  8. Can you help? I’ve been looking for a time management widget/application that tracks my time on a project and gives me an audio reminder of how many hours I’ve spent. Ideally, I’d like to have different reminders for different projects or clients. Thanks!

  9. I have been using things for a couple of months and I really like it, it offers the best UI of any GTD app I have tried whilst still managing to pack in lots of features. thank you

  10. I’ve been looking for something like this for weeks, Thanks so much.

  11. Great comments all really useful. I checked out quite a few mentioned above but eventually I plumped for Dooster (not yet mentioned above). Really pleased with it so far. Check it out here: http://www.dooster.net

    Judy Omer

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