The top item on my list of things to do is always the same: Find a better way to manage my list of things to do. That's why I was intrigued by Wieldy, a free application that bills itself as a "to-do list manager based on the principles of Getting Things Done." Getting Things Done, GTD for short, is a trademarked work-life management system that is designed to offer an "integrated system of stress-free productivity." See all: PC Advisor software downloads.

Wieldy is not affiliated with the GTD system; it's just based on the same principles. I can't say with confidence whether GTD works, because I haven't used it. I can say that Wieldy does, but it certainly takes some getting used to.

I launched Wieldy expecting a simple interface, so I was surprised to see the detailed, Outlook-like screen that greeted me. I'm used to to-do list managers like Astrid Tasks, a Web-based tool that prompts you to enter a task. Wieldy, instead, features a row of icons, and what all of these do isn't immediately apparent.

The first two icons are labeled "Create Thought" and "Create Element," and even after using Wieldy for some time, I'm not always sure which one I should use. When you click "Create Thought," a pop-up box appears, allowing you to enter that thought. You can add tags, notes, references, and more, and you can save the thought in a variety of buckets, which include "Today" and "Scheduled," among others. When you click "Create Element," you're presented with more options that you can create, including a thought, project, contact, tag, or recurring action.

In the "GTD" system, you're supposed to "capture anything and everything that has your attention and concern"--which is likely why Wieldy lets you capture your thoughts. But I would find the application much more intuitive if it called these "tasks" instead of "thoughts." After all, I do spend a fair amount of time thinking thoughts that I don't need or want to add to my to-do list.

Luckily, Wieldy offers plenty of ways to make sure I follow up on the thoughts I do choose to enter. I can delegate them to contacts, schedule them for follow-up, and monitor my own progress. I did find it too easy to accidentally delete my tasks before they were completed, though.

Wieldy offers a thorough system for capturing and completing all of the tasks on your to-do list. I just wish that learning how to use it didn't add so many tasks to that list.

Wieldy: Specs

  • Windows XP, Vista, 7
  • Windows XP, Vista, 7

OUR VERDICT

Wieldy is a free task manager that works to help you get things done. Unfortunately, learning how to use it takes plenty of time.

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