Promising Software News: 'Intentional Software' and GTD

Back in 2004 I wrote an article about David Allen, creator of and evangelist for the "Getting Things Done" (GTD) approach to organizing your activities and remaining calm in the chaos of modern life. We've become friends and I have followed his ongoing projects -- including a very interesting one he announced last week.

The new effort is a partnership Allen and his DavidCo firm have launched with Intentional Software, the unusual tech company started by the unusual tech entrepreneur Charles Simonyi. Both "unusuals" are in a good way. Simonyi is a famous coder, flyer (two trips into space), philanthropist, man of the world, and so on, all with the flair of someone who spent his early years in Budapest. He founded Intentional, after being one of the early (and very well rewarded) figures at Microsoft, in order to streamline and simplify the art and craft of creating programs. Eric Anderson, now the CEO of Intentional, is another experienced tech entrepreneur who is best known for running the Space Adventures company.

Allen's team and Intentional's are now pooling their efforts in quest of the Holy Grail: software that will actually help you keep track of all the chaos, commitments, and random factors in your life. The announcement of the plan is here, and you can read more here. David Allen produced a video explaining the goals.

Allen also did a very interesting interview with Wade Roush of about the project last week. Worth reading and watching. Meanwhile, Intentional and GTD folks: get coding! You owe it to ... well, me, your most avid future customer, to get this thing done.

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James Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. His latest book is China Airborne. More

James Fallows is based in Washington as a national correspondent for The Atlantic. He has worked for the magazine for nearly 30 years and in that time has also lived in Seattle, Berkeley, Austin, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, and Beijing. He was raised in Redlands, California, received his undergraduate degree in American history and literature from Harvard, and received a graduate degree in economics from Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. In addition to working for The Atlantic, he has spent two years as chief White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, two years as the editor of US News & World Report, and six months as a program designer at Microsoft. He is an instrument-rated private pilot. He is also now the chair in U.S. media at the U.S. Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, in Australia.

Fallows has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award five times and has won once; he has also won the American Book Award for nonfiction and a N.Y. Emmy award for the documentary series Doing Business in China. He was the founding chairman of the New America Foundation. His recent books Blind Into Baghdad (2006) and Postcards From Tomorrow Square (2009) are based on his writings for The Atlantic. His latest book is China Airborne. He is married to Deborah Fallows, author of the recent book Dreaming in Chinese. They have two married sons.

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