Wednesday, May 28, 2008

"Please get help"

Dear Simon Baird:

Please get help! You have an awesome software, which is only hindered by its lack of speed. I know you're working to improve its speed, and already have, but the releases are not stable and I can't even figure out how to use them.
So please, Pretty please, solicit some well-intentioned open source coders?


Dear Alex Weber,

I'd like to help you figure out how to use the MonkeyGTD alpha 3.0. Where did you get stuck? It is still an alpha (as you mention) though I think it's pretty stable and usable as a GTD system provided you can forgive some rough edges. While it might certainly be described as slow, it is orders of magnitude faster than the 2.x version which had big problems with speed. Regarding enlisting a team of coders, well it would be nice! Some info on checking out the source and contributing patches is here.


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Re: tickly ticklers

On Thu, May 22, 2008 at 9:43 AM, kamvik <> wrote:
But in Ticklers Requiring Action, the code still asks for tagged
'Enabled && !Actioned' - So they show up while they're upcoming but
not on the day they're most important to be noticed..

Oh boy, this has been a disaster.  So when I removed the 'Enabled' tag from ticklers I did an extremely poor job of it. Apologies. Last night I fixed the problem in the blinky alert but missed this one. Everyone please do this:
  • Go to 'Ticklers Requiring Action'
  • Click edit
  • Find this:
tags:'Enabled && !Actioned'
  • Change it to this:
  •   Click done

I will fix it properly with an update tonight. Once again sorry for this screwup. Thanks everyone who helped with this, especially Kamilla and Ken M.

Hopefully this only happened in my imagination:

Grandma: What's happening Billy?
Billy: Pack your stuff Grandma. The bank owns your house now.
Grandma: Why Billy?
Billy: We missed our last chance mortgage payment. It was due on Monday. I don't know what happened. I made a tickler for it.
Grandma: Huh?
Billy: There's some very nice nursing homes on the other side of town. Let's go Grandma... Put that down. The bank owns that now too.
Grandma: [little tear]


Reference items vs journal

On Thu, May 22, 2008 at 7:05 AM, Rob H <> wrote:
What's the difference between reference items and journals? I see where reference items show up but I can't figure out where I can browse journal items.
A journal is indistinguishable from a reference item once it's been created. The only thing special about a journal is that it will automatically be titled with the current date or time. (The date format is configurable under More/MGTD). Note that it makes most sense to use these buttons while viewing a Project. That way the journal or reference item will be associated with the project.

Thanks goes to SteveB on the google group/mailing list for this idea. It was a quick, easy way to turn those buttons into something useful in MonkeyGTD. Expect some revamping of the tiddler toolbar (which until now has been stock MPTW) at some point.


Nasty bug in tickler alert

Thanks Ken M for his help getting this one tracked down. This bug can cause your ticklers to not fire an alert. So consider this an urgent update. You can just fetch MgtdList to fix the bug.

one more...

"you can use new journal and new here now to make reference items"

(apologies if you've updated three times in the last hour)

@ in context names

I've removed the @ symbol from the contexts in the demo (and the initial setup). Of course you can use it yourself if you want to. I think the @ symbol convention came about because people were trying to shoehorn GTD into systems not designed for GTD. That's not a problem we have here. Anyone not in favour of this move?

If you want to know...

All kinds of bug fixes and little extras

I was going to make a big list of all the fixes here but it's late. There's lots of them. So update and see if your favourite bug is fixed.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

MGTD on Tiddlyspot and UploadPlugin

If you created an MGTD on Tiddlyspot in the last few days you would have had problems uploading/saving to web. This is because an older version of UploadPlugin being installed which has bugs in TW 2.4. To solve this problem you can either delete and recreate your site or update UploadPlugin from

All MGTD users on Tiddlyspot have the older UploadPlugin installed. You should also upgrade to the correct version of UploadPlugin. Import UploadPlugin from using backstage/import. Then save and reload. Apologies for the inconvenience.


Friday, May 16, 2008

New look for Actions/ Projects/ Ticklers

  • The long promised overhaul of the appearance of actions, projects and ticklers has happened. Let me know what you think of it.
  • There is a button to convert an action into a subproject (Suggested by johny.dee)
  • There is a 'Missmatched Realms' report that will shows you what items have mixed up realms. (Inspired by Rol F.)
  • You can now do a |S in quick add to star an action. (Reported by Mat G.)
  • Other minor fixes and tweaks

Demo. How to update.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

To James Fallows

Thanks very much for the article and link. It would be great if you could get the name right, but MonkeyWiki is close enough I think!

Best wishes,


A new user's experience

I got to you through James Fallows, who's singing your praises on his Atlantic blog. In any event, in IE7, my wiki looks nothing whatsoever like your demo. In particular there is no config button visible, which makes the whole thing useless, as I can't define contexts, tags, etc. Not quite ready for prime time, at least for me as I'm unwilling to download a new browser just for this. Nice idea; I like wikis generally and having my GTD system online rather than in a standalone program would be a huge plus for me.

Well the demo has some example projects and actions. When you download an empty MonkeyGTD it starts out with nothing in it. You create your projects and actions using the [+] buttons or the +project and +action buttons at the top. To create new contexts click on the "Process Inbox" tab on the right sidebar and click 'new context'. If you ever want to give it another try then please send me an email. I'd like to help you get started and perhaps learn which parts of the interface are the least intuitive from your perspective as a new user. I agree that MonkeyGTD is a lot more usable in Firefox that in IE. This is something I'm hoping to rectify in the future. Thanks very much for posting your feedback.



Friday, May 09, 2008


I looked at the diffs and noticed a few other changes were bundled with that bug fix:
  • Active Projects Requiring Next Actions is improved so that it notices if a project has Subprojects and doesn't list it. As suggested by Mike.
  • There is a [C] link for associated contact similar to the [P] link for projects.
  • Starred Items has some minor improvements.
  • You can now cleanup old ticklers in Cleanup.

New bug with actions with single quotes in their titles

Thanks Kralik for spotting this. Fixed now. The fix is in TiddlerViewMethods so if you updated just recently then fetch TiddlerViewMethods to fix this bug.

Eating my own dogfood

A MonkeyGTD tale of ticklers and contacts...

My motorcycle is at the shop. It's getting a reconditioned rear shock absorber. They said it would be 10-12 days. So when I dropped it in I added a tickler to my "Bike rear shock" project called "Bike should be ready by now" and set the date to 12 days later. I created a new Contact and put the phone number of the mechanic in the text of the contact. Then I associated the Contact with the Tickler. The tickler fired on Wednesday I think. It was flashing at me. I converted it to an Action using the new "make action" button. I gave it a context of @Call. I didn't do it straight away. So it sat there as a Next Action until this morning when I decided to make some @Calls. I click the >> link next to the Contact selector, dialed the number and found out the shock absorber was done and they'd be putting it all back together next week. I converted the
"should be ready by now" Action back to a tickler and set the date to Tuesday. The End.

So, the point of this story is that Ticklers are nice! By converting something to a tickler you get it out of your mind and off your lists. In the above story my mind is free from wondering if and when and if I should call the mechanic's.

You can also convert Projects to ticklers. (Though it might get a little strange if the project already had actions in it). But if you've got a Someday/Maybe project that is not relevant until after a certain date then try converting it to a tickler and giving it a date. This will stop it cluttering your Projects Dashboard. If you want you could put a 'note' in the text of the tiddler to remind you that it's supposed to be converted back to a project when the time comes.

Easily convert from tickler to action and back again

Also there is an improved version of the >> link that hides itself when there is no link.

I think it's almost time to de-uglify actions/projects/ticklers with all those drop downs and buttons jumbled in there like a dog's brekky. Will probably make it look a little more like the 2.1 version.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Thoughts on the new way views are defined

The downside to the dashboards/views being defined in the text of a tiddler is that they are now more susceptible to a being unwittingly broken. Let's say an inexperienced 'non-power user' double clicks somewhere and ends up looking at the tiddler contents. They see things like {{cols3{ {{col{ <<mgtdList mode:globlal tags:'blah blah' >> ... }}} }}}. They are confused and have no idea what they're looking at. And worse, if they type something or delete something there they can break their dashboard with no easy way to recover it except reverting to a backup. Previously they saw an an empty box where they could type 'notes'. There was no easy way to get into trouble. Now, it is easy to get in trouble. This I see as a problem. So, all we need is a system that makes it easy for a power user to customise everything (and have their customisations preserved across updates) while also making it harder for a novice user to trash their dashboards.

New theme for 3x5 printing

Note, to set this as your default theme you can put the following in your MptwUserConfigPlugin tiddler.
config.options.txtTheme = 'MonkeyGTDPrint3x5';
It's hard to demo this but select the theme under the MGTD tab and do a print preview in Firefox and you should get the idea of what it does.

The credit for this update goes to Kralik, who put together the css to make this work and posted it on the mailling list/google group.

Demo. How to update.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008


  • Moved contents of NamedDashboards into separate files as threatened. (Though they aren't shadows as yet due that fact that I wanted them to have a tag and I'm not sure we can tag shadow tiddlers yet. See
  • If you tried the above link and looked at the contents (click edit) on any of those, you'd notice that they are all just tiddlers now and the views are defined in wiki markup in the tiddler contents instead of in html somewhere else (via a confusing template system). And they use divs instead of tables for the column layout. (This is going to help with 3x5 printing, but that's another post). This makes them easier to read and to tweak. We still have some problems with customised views getting trashed on an upgrade, so if you do customise any of these views, make a copy of them, ie, copy their contents to a separate tiddler, eg "My Action Dashboard" and be prepared that you will need to reapply your customisations after each update. This is not a permanent thing, it's just until we have a better system for managing customisations.
  • There is a new toggle sidebar button (thanks Saq Imtiaz from under the search box. If you've had problems with the sidebar taking up too much realestate, this might help.
  • To address the sidebar width (some want it bigger, some want it smaller) I've thrown in a theme called MonkeyGTD Narrow. It's a bit rough at the moment, but I wanted to introduce multiple themes. Find the theme selector under the MGTD tab under More...Be careful not to select the MPTW standard themes (or at least only select them if you think you can find how to change back... :)
  • Glitch with new ticklers fixed. When you create a tickler it has no date. This is now apparent -- previously it looked exactly as though new ticklers had a tickle date of today.

I think that's it. Since items 1 and 2 are pretty big changes cautious users might want to hold off a little and wait and see how many new bugs crawl out.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

"то, что я так долго искал!"

Thursday, May 01, 2008

"MonkeyGTD hurts my head"

"More importantly I was not as tense, worrying about what I should be doing, or if I had forgotten something..."

Improved repeating ticklers

You can specify that ticklers are once, daily, weekly, monthly or yearly. In lists, ticklers marked as "once" show a checkbox (the way all ticklers used to do). If they are any of the others then the in lists they shows the +d/+w etc button that is applicable. So for instance you can just mark a weekly tickler as done for that week by clicking the +w without having to open the tickler. Thanks to Kralik on the mailing list for the inspiration.

Ps, I'm going to dump the disabled/enabled attribute for ticklers unless someone can think of a good reason to keep it. If you need to "disable" a tickler then just mark it as done, right?