GTD: Implementing with Tracks

When I started the new job on Monday, I took a bit of time to consider how I wanted to implement Getting Things Done (GTD) in the workplace. After considering my circumstances — glued to a computer all day, no particular need to access issues from home — I decided to try out Tracks, a Ruby on Rails tool for implementing GTD. Looked hot, so after a few failed attempts to get it installed on XP at work, I set up an account on a hosted server and ran with it.

…I love it.

Now, I have a PDA, you might say. A nice little Sony Clie 610C that’s served my GTD needs well.

It has, but I’ve found myself using it less and less. Evidently, this isn’t uncommon. I have a system that works: I have a reliable way to keep up with information that’s important to me. I capture on paper that I carry in my purse, and transfer to (formerly) Palm Desktop or (now) Tracks when I’m near a computer and ready to process it.

At best, it’s nice to have a calendar at hand. But really, I’m not so famous that I often have back-to-back appointments. Or that I need anything more than a 30-to-60-minute reminder, even via SMS on my cell phone. Again, I have a system that works. Morning reviews of what I need to do, combined with setting those Most Important Tasks”, rarely let an engagement slip through the cracks.

That need for only gentle reminders means that I can move to, say, Google Calendar for my calendaring needs, little though they are. I already have a g-cal for work, and my personal one shares with that one.

But for tasks, the internet is fine. After a few days of using Tracks on a hosted solution, I figured I’d go ahead and get it installed on a subdomain here at

Um. Yeah. About that.

About 6 hours later, I have a working install using mysql.

Six hours. Of not getting things done.

Here’s a head’s up: make sure your database user’s password consists of something other than all numbers. The ruby/rails-to-mysql call to “to_s” does something funky with all-num passwords such that you will continually get an “access denied” error on running “rake db:migrate” to set up the database for your site.

Six hours. No one else on the internet is having this problem.

Of course, that’s because people pick better passwords for their DB users that I do for test users, evidently. Changing it to have letters, symbols, &tc. resolved all my issues.

I hope it helps someone else.

Regardless, I really hope Tracks is worth it. It seems like it will be.

2 thoughts on “GTD: Implementing with Tracks”

  1. Hi, Lissa.

    Thanks for sharing your ‘Tracks’ experience. Me, I just found out about it about a month ago when we had a partnership deal with its developer from the UK called Now we’re hosting it at so anyone who signs-up for free will be able to access it anywhere using any computer that has internet connection.

    I find it so simple and clutter-free that it is a cinch to use. And I think I will be using it for some time to get all those tasks and projects that used to reside only on me head completed.


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