Your Email Becomes a free GTD system

Comindware produces process management tools for project managers, and it also offers free Comindware Task Management solution which can be used for a very interesting GTD trick. Here is how it works. I have a special email address: if you send an email there, Comindware will take this email and transform it into a task on my list of tasks. I’m sure this tool might be extremely useful for freelancers. Indeed, if you have a certain number of customers, give them this email and tell them to send their orders directly to it. Instead of spending a day navigating through your incoming emails, filtering them from spam and insignificant emails, you will be getting a list of tasks to do. Here is how it can be done.

Comindware
It’s really easy. Take 3 components and make them work together. You’re going to need:

1. Specially set email account that you’re going to use for tasks, solely.
2. Your email account: we’re going to send first test email from it
3. Comindware Task Management freeware that can be found under the link.

In this article we’re going to see how to configure connection between Comindware Task Management and the email address from point 1 on the list. After you finish it, you’re going to have a ready-to-use lifetime free GTD system that has already significantly saved my time in prioritizing and completing my working tasks.

1. Install Comindware Task Management

Grab the installation file and the keys on Comindware.com. Install the soft on localhost:8081 (or on any other port if this one is already busy). On the ‘Custom Setup’ stage of the installation, turn off Comindware Tracker as you’re not going to need it for this purpose:

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Do you remember, you got the key on Comindware.com? Here is where we’re going to use it:

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Now don’t lose the credentials you’re going to insert here, as I frankly don’t know how you’re going to be able to recover them:

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Once you’re in the product hit the small gear icon in the left upper corner, and you will go to the administrative workspace:

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See small arrows I drew for you on the next screenshot? Here is what we need to configure for work. These are three things:
1. Workspace
2. Group (of tasks)
3. Task creation by email
It’s really quick and easy, no need for any programming skills or anything. Especially if I show you how, right now:

Comindware

Workspace

Later you’re going to be able to add many cheerful things to your workspace. At the moment we only need it to store our group of tasks. Click Workspaces. In the workspace administration area, hit ‘New Workspace’ and set its name and description. As we will use this workspace to display tasks, I gave it the name “My Tasks”.

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Don’t forget to add participants. You’re admin here, add yourself. Later you’re going to be able to add more users (actually any number), and collaborate upon tasks, but it’s a subject to another post, so now add youself:

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We will need to come back here and add the group that we will create in a couple of seconds, for now it just doesn’t exist yet:

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Hit ‘Save&Close’ and go to ‘Groups’.

Group

Same thing that with Workspaces, just this time you hit ‘Groups’ and give it a name:

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Check it that you’re going to have ‘Task’ templates here, then add the recently created ‘My Workspace’, add owners and users (for now it’s just you), and then save and close the pop-up. Now go back to the ‘Workspace’ administration and add this group to ‘My Workspace’. This means that you will add workspace to the group, and then the group to the workspace. Don’t know why to do it twice, maybe one time is enough, but I did, just in case:

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It’s done, now your Comindware Task Management is ready to work with. Yet to us it’s not enough because, as you remember we wanted to setup task creation via email. Now it’s easy and will take you a minute, keep reading.

Email settings

Have you already created a special email for your tasks? If not, do it now. I made it on Google, but you can chose any other, with the only exception that here I give only settings for Google. But it won’t a problem to search for settings for any other type of mailing system. So now go to the email account settings and enable IMAP usage in it. Here is how it is with Gmail:

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That’s all, nothing else to do in this email, go back to Comindware Task Management and make task creation by email settings. You can see it all on the screenshot:

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Don’t make my mistake please, and type here in the password from this very email, not any other password. First time I tried to set it, I typed here Lord know what password and what wondering why the connection test didn’t run. So yes, use the email account password here.

In the next tab you can allow task creation from any email or you can restrict this possibility to the emails of the users that you have given access to your system. I chose freedom, so whoever sends the email to my special address will give me a task. That’s why I am not going to share this email with you right now =)

All is done. Run the connection test, remove wrong settings you’ve done that prevent this connection test from running and then hit save. Now you can send your first email that will miraculously become a task. Go to your email, write something and send to the special account. Some time will pass before Comindware Task Management takes this email from the email account and transforms it into task. We don’t want to wait, so we hit ‘save’ once in the last pop-up we’ve been working with. Each time you hit ‘save’ here, the solution grabs the existing emails from Gmail, in my case:

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Now go home, to your fresh brain new workspace (hit the small ‘home’ icon in the upper left corner) and see your task here (or 3 test-tasks in my case):

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That’s about all, folks. Now you have your ‘getting-things-done’ system, you can give out this email address to your clients and tell them to send you tasks to it. You can navigate through your inbox and forward emails here as well, keeping your inbox clear, with compliance to the GTD rules. You’re free now. Now that I have it, I can keep my inbox clean at any time. The list of tasks is an easy thing to prioritize, set due dates. Mobile access to the solution makes it possible to see this list wherever I am, and it’s just a small part of features that I can use here. Do you want me to tell you some more? Then comment, ask me. Maybe my next post will save you even more time. Cheers.

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