I was inspired to write this post on gamification of GTD (Getting Things Done) after reading this Blog post by a certain Ikaruga on the possible design of GTD tools around game theory.

This post was written I believe, quite a while before everyone was talking about enterprise gamification and the writer lays out the principles around which gamification of GTD would be optimal, being:

  1. GTD needs a compelling story
  2. GTD Needs clearly defined and easy to understand rules and objectives.
  3. GTD Needs unnecessary obstacles (it needs to be fun)

The writer was way ahead of the curve, the idea of gamification of GTD and now the term GAMIFICATION is now THE subject of discussion in enterprise productivity and not just personal productivity. 

Of course market leaders like Microsoft and IBM have for a while been toying internally with workforce gamification for a while now.

For example, Ross Smith, then director of Test at Microsoft, writes out a compelling case study on internal use of gamification at Microsoft since 2006.

The goals they defined for gamifcation of their work environment were:

It is a pretty detailed case study, providing the history and ideologies behind gamification of the enterprise, the challenges,solutions. At its end he outlines the following lessons:

  • Games appeal to everyone, especially at work! 
  • Collaborative play builds trust.
  • Games don’t work everywhere or in every situation.
  • Leverage core player skills.
  • Leaderboards and scoring compete with the paycheck for motivation – be careful. Prizes don’t necessarily help – and can sometimes hurt. See this Dilbert as an example of prizes gone bad.
  • Experimentation is critical.
  • Amplify skill with volume
  • Reduce cost with Discovery & Instrumentation
  • Reduce Risk with Diversity
  • Trust and transparency increase effectiveness.

Given this background, one would think, with FourSquare as a success story, that the market would be rife with gamified getting things done,task management,productivity and the enterprise applications.

Not just yet. As such there seems to be no refined market leader in this niche. These are some of the applications available.

Personal Productivity Gamified

1. Epic Win, an iPhone Application that gamifies your life into an RPG (role playing game).

Epic Win

2. Chore Wars– An App that gamifies household tasks for a family.

Chore Wars

3. High Score House- Another app that gamifies household chores.

Highscore House

4. My Life Organized- An Android GTD App that organizes your tasks,projects and goals into a tree, with progress bars on each line item. Of course there’s a lot more to gamification than a progress bar.

My Life Organized

4 Aherk- A Facebook app,dubbed “goal oriented self blackmailing service” that challenges to post embarrassing photos if a task remains undone!


5. Emailga, The Email Game, that targets better productivity around email use and mailbox management.


6. If you method is offline and you work with spreadsheets, and need a progress bar to egg you on, there’s several spreadsheet templates with that.

Here is one I’m currently fiddling with on IBM’s threat to Microsoft Office, IBM Lotus Symphony, and it is free to download.(Both the spreadsheet template and IBM’s Lotus Symphony). This will be the subject of another post. 

To Do list with Progress Bar 


Enterprise Productivity gamified

1.The folks at Bunchball  have APIs that let you gamify your website and applications, and have plugins for Salesforce and even IBM. 

2. Gamify also target enterprise clients by offering the tools, portals and APIs allowing any company to gamify their internal enterprise management processes.

3.DealMachine  also target the salesforce, and aims to incentify and intensify the selling game. 



4. Red Critter tracker, Gamified Project Management

red critter tracker

Social Causes gamified

1. Games For Change– an aggregator portal that links out to games with causes. It seeks to promote games that educate, that promote social awareness and influence society positively.

News Gamified

News games take any past or present global happening and turn into an interactive game. Newspapers and television inform and educate; so do games.



I feel as though, at this time, most of the companies in this sphere are shying away from providing the solution to gamification of GTD, but want to provide the platform, which is what Bunchball and Gamify are trying to do so as to have more enterprise clients.

This list is definitely not conclusive,I am certain, of course, more apps will emerge soon.


7 thoughts on “Gamification of GTD (Getting Things Done)

  1. I want to build an app that has a gamification component – without coding. All the app maker things I am finding have no such component. Any ideas?

  2. Your post is very inspiring to me.There are many things for us to touch and dig in the personal domain with Gamification.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s