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The Hiptop is a PDA phone platform made by Danger, Inc. The version of this in the US is known as the Sidekick and is sold through T-Mobile. This platform provides a doable, although not ideal, GTD system implementation.


  • Full-sized keyboard
  • Wonderful email and instant messaging support
  • Easy to use and fast to navigate once you get the hang of it
  • Data is stored on a web service as well as the local phone, easy to get at if your phone breaks. This is sent back and forth in an encrypted format, although I can't get Danger to disclose what algorithm/key strength it uses.
  • Easy to use while driving (yes, I admit to it)


  • Limited range of applications and customizations to download
  • No wi-fi
  • No regular file storage (on SK2, SK3 does have a memory card slot although I don't know what you can do with it)
  • No simple way to export or import notes or email
  • Only sync capability is through Intellisync to Microsoft Outlook

My Sidekick 2 GTD system:

I'm fairly new to GTD, but have considered a lot of systems and done a considerable amount of research. This seems to be working so far for me, but YMMV.

  • Calendar app is used as a calendar (duh!)
  • Ticker file (not on phone)
    • Physical box of 3x5 index cards with tabs, about 3"x4"x6".
    • Considering implementing email folders or notes app as a tickler on the phone, but this seems cumbersome.
  • Notes, arranged as follows
    • In buckets: @IN and @IDEAS
    • Context-specific: @anywhere, @companyA, @companyB, @errands, @home
  • Email app -
    • Anything arriving there is treated as an IN basket.
    • Reference material and project support material is forwarded to a gmail account for storage.
  • Physical project support materials: "Accordion" file folder that I carry around in my car most of the time.

The notes application is where I spend 99% of my GTD management time. It shows notes as "stickies" which can be shown in full or "folded" to show only the first line. I have the following notes, which remain folded for quick navigation unless I'm reading or entering things. Contexts are in lowercase and others are in uppercase.

I track several roles (home, work1, work2, etc.) in the same system. To support this, I have divided my project list and some of my context cards with headings (i.e. blank line followed by "---Personal") to denote which role they satisfy. Projects have a number assigned to them (P2 for personal project #2) on the project list, and next actions are listed on my context cards with a prefix to tie them back to a project. An entry on my project list, for example, might show "P64: fix leaky toilet", and on the @errands list this appears as "P64: buy new flapper for toilet". NAs that don't have an associated project have a prefix of "XX:". This cross-referencing causes a lot of extra scrolling back and forth to look up project information, but seems to help keep me organized.

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