Freeplane GTD+


Freeplane is a widely used mind mapping tool. GTD is a time management methodology by David Allen.

Freeplane GTD is an addon, that can collect tasks specified in a mindmap, thus allowing the users of Freeplane to use the concepts of GTD in their mind mapping tool.

If you like the addon, don’t forget to honor the work put into it by donating to the author.


Please visit this page, to see all articles about the add-on, including the release announcements and how-tos.


  1. Download and install Freeplane on your computer.
  2. Download the latest FreeplaneGTD plugin from the release page
  3. In Freeplane open the addon manager, select the previously downloaded addon, and install it.
  4. Restart Freeplane to enable the plugin

You can now use the addon.

Please be aware, that the addon will replace any previous version of FreePlane GTD.


Using the task overview

Before version 3.1

Select Tools -> Freeplane GTD -> Next Actions from the menu. As of version 0.9 the addon can be invoked using the pre-defined hotkey Ctrl-H.


The main window of the Freeplane GTD addon will contain all the action items (annotated with the corresponding icon) of the current map.

You can close this window using the window buttons, or the ESC hotkey.

The sidebar of the window contain the different groupings of the tasks.

  • By project – the actions will be grouped based on the projects found above them
  • By who – the actions will be grouped based on the Who attribute
  • By context – the actions will be grouped based on the Where attribute
  • By when – the actions will be grouped based on the When attribute, or the ‘Do next’ icon

After version 3.1

The task pane has moved to the sidebar, there is no separate window anymore. To use it just pull up the task list from the right.

Shorthand notation

In order to speed up the action entry, shorthand notation can be used to add new items. These shorthand notations will be parsed upon the display or the refresh of the task overview window. The parsed items will be annotated with the task icon and the extracted attributes will be added to the task.

The format of the shorthand notation is as follows. Please note, that the position of the attributes do not matter. The first character of the notation must be an “*”.

* Action name {when} @context [who]

As an example the shorhand node

* Increase default size of the GTD pane @Coding {v0.9}

will be converted to a node like

example task


The plugin uses a number of pre-set icons to identify the action items, and their properties. These can be changed according to the users liking.

  • Icon: Project – specifies the grouping node for actions
  • Icon: Next action – specifies the individual actions
  • Icon: Today – specifies the next actions (When property will be ignored on grouping)
  • Icon: Done –  Once an item is completed it can be marked as done.
GTD icons

To customize these icons you must place a node with the text above anywhere in your map and add a desired icon to that node. I suggest you place it under a “Config” or “Settings” node in the root of the map, so it doesn’t get mixed up with the actual map content.

Context icons

If you want to add pre-defined icons for some contexts specified in your action nodes, it’s available for versions over 1.0. To use this feature you must create icon nodes such as the ones above with the text "Icon: @Context" where the Context text can be replaced with the context of your liking.

You can use an icon only once, and only the first will be used on the node.

The icons specified will be converted to the corresponding context attribute (Where property).

As of 3.6 only the traditional Freeplane icons work.


You can define aliases to your frequently used contexts or contributors. These aliases will replace the defined shortcuts in your tasks with the long versions. To use simply add Alias: @LongVersion @shortVersion @sv with as many aliases to a single term, as you like.

If you want more than one alias for a term, add them in a single node, and do not define multiple aliases!


Freeplane GTD+ is based on the discontinued work of the original FreeplaneGTD addon by Auxilus. The plugin is based on the source code available on SourceForge.


This plugin is made available under GPL v3.

The project sources are available at

34 thoughts on “Freeplane GTD+

  1. I just dropped by to say thank you for all the effort you put into creating an improved GTD+ add-on for Freeplane. It is extremely useful and also inspirational in the sense that with a few tricks, it can be tweaked for other uses than GTD as well (e.g. prototyping other kinds of lists, etc.)
    All the best,

    1. Thank you for the feedback! It’s great to see it is beneficial for others!

      The most use I got out of the plugin was not GTD, but using it as a memo making application, where I used the Freeplane to take notes, and distribute the action items to the meeting members in any given aspect (timeline, responsible, type of task) using the plugin. 🙂

      Please check out the Mindweb project as well. It enables you to use the features of FreeplaneGTD, with compatibility, but also provides a web viewer for Freeplane files!

  2. Hello Gergely,
    thank you for providing the GTD+ addon for freeplane.

    I have a question about customizing the pre-set icons. Its simple as that: If i change the icon, as described above, in the “settings”node, e.g. i create a node like- § Icon: Next Action , it doesn work. All new tasknodes i create afterwards with the *”newtask” command are still formated with the pre-set icons, in this case the usual- ! “newtask”.

    I read through literally all information i could find here and in freeplane forum but found no issues about it.

    1. I dont know if this is related to my questions, but i get some gtd errors in the log:

      INFORMATION: freeplane_version = 1.5.7 beta; freeplane_xml_version = freeplane 1.5.6
      git revision = fab67339773a98a622670bc92206ec0e92e75170 Dimitry Polivaev
      java_version = 1.8.0_45; os_name = Mac OS X; os_version = 10.9.5

      STDERR: missing key freeplaneGTD_view_project
      STDERR: missing key freeplaneGTD_view_who
      STDERR: missing key freeplaneGTD_view_context
      STDERR: missing key freeplaneGTD_view_whenMär

      the errors also occure in the stable freeplane version.
      additional errors arise when changing the gtd+ settings. if you are interested, i can also send it to you per mail. dont want to spam your forum 😀

    2. Please mind the cases. It shoud be written as “Next action” with a lower case a, not capital.
      Please tell me if I put it differently in any of the known documentation, so I can fix it!

      1. Ah ! it works, haha 😀

        so this was easy in the end. You wrote it with capital A in your gtd-template map description.

  3. Another thing:

    I played around with your Mindweb app and i think its really great work !

    Considering all the opportunities opening up for developing group based work, this could in fact become a big deal.

    If youre interested, i have some projects in the pipe and would love to test it and provide feedback/testing/ideas for your further work on it.

  4. Hello,
    after several tries to enter the values on my GTD-Mindmap, I realized, that the translation to German was bad. I now try to find the translation and send it to you via Email, but in the meantime: By editing the gtd-action-node you have actually Cancel –> Schließen and Save/done –> Erledigt (meaning “done” as Item closed but not meaning “save the entry”!) you should have: Cancel –> “Abbruch” and Save/done –> “Speichern”.
    Thank you for your tool. Now that I found out this error, I can work with it! 🙂

  5. Nice add-on. Problem I have is a lot of nodes with leading * that are automatically turned into tasks. This happens primarily with bulleted text and PL/SQL code. Any chance of having the leading character configurable? I’d love to go back to using it.

    1. Thank you for your feedback!

      I’m sorry to hear your issue with the task parser!
      The add-on is quite complex as-is, and I don’t want to introduce another complexity layer, by changing the entire parser to configurable.

      There are quite a few ways you can avoid the automatic parsing though. GTD shorthand only parses simple, unformatted text.

      Easiest is to convert them to expressions by surrounding it with expression markup. eg. =”your text here” or =’your text here’ Now this might cause problems if your content has both kind of quotes to start with.

      You can simply convert your code snippets to HTML, by opening it in editor dialog and setting the font to some monospace font. (or any other formatting really, that changes the plain text to HTML, but source code looks better in monospace :))

      It is much better, if you use the node details to store such snippets. It is collapsible on the map, and you can even attach source code to GTD tasks.

      If none of these work for you, you can simply clone the add-on and modify the parser to suit your needs! That’s how it got here to start with. 🙂

  6. I really appreciate your addon and I’m using it daily. Some months ago I changed pc to a microsoft Surface pro 4, currently the list of activities has standard characters that are very narrow in the “GTD next actions” , is there a way to increase/change that size? (I’m using FP 1.6.2 beta3 with your addon 1.9.3).
    To be clearer I try to exemplify to you where to act:
    if you read the About page of the “GTD next actions”, you will read 6 rows, all characters are smaller than with other resolutions (here I have 2736×1824), but especially the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th row are really at limit, therefore how is it possible to set those writings to a bigger size?
    Thanks. Regards and compliments for the addon.

    1. Hi!
      I think I know what’s the root cause of that issue is. The high DPI devices (even my cheapo Chineese tablet, that I type on) are not quite compatible with legacy Java applications. See here( for description of the issue.

      The entire freeplane is quite unusable on high density monitors, see the discussion here:

      The bad news is, that even if Freeplane itself is fixed, there is another issue in the add-on, the core of the HTML browser I use for displaying the action list will still have the issue. The good news is, that I’m already working on a new version of the add-on, that will use the browser built-in to the Java runtime. That should solve the issues.
      As a quick fix, you can dig in, and modify the FreeplaneGTD.groovy in your userdir, and add a “font-size:20px;” to the body tag in around line 317. That should increase the base font size of the entire actionlist. Play around with the size to see if it helps.

      And some more bad news, I don’t have much time to work on it, so don’t expect too much progress with it in the next month or so!

      best regards
      Gergely Papp

      1. Mozilla Firefox 53.0 Windows NT *

        Thankyou Gergely,
        applied the following adding row318:
        ‘body {font-size:30px; }’ +

        Optimal reading.
        Do not worry about addon update, with your suggestion I’m reading very well and capable of change it.
        Best regards
        Paolo (sfpc)

  7. Unfortunately I am always get the error “Selected node is not a task”. Where can I define that a certain attribute is a task? Best regards, Andreas

    1. Tasks can be defined either by using textual shortcuts or icons.
      Textual shortcuts are explained above, in short start your node with an *.
      Icons can be redefined as described above, but by default the ! is used to mark node a task.

  8. Hello Gergely,
    Thank you very much for this very useful addon.
    Recently I realised I can’t see the Ctrl+H evoked list of actions anymore. Before it was working well on the same map.
    Now I get a popup with: “error executing the script: nul”
    How can I troubleshoot please

  9. Great addon!
    only one issue in GTD ‘next actions’ window: with Freplane 1.7.3 version, the titles of summaries (project, context, who) are displayed after the ‘actions lists’.

      1. Great addon!
        only two issues. GTD+ 2.0.1. From Freeplane 1.7.3 to Freeplane 1.7.9:
        1. the titles of summaries (project, context, who) are displayed after the ‘actions lists’;
        2. clicking on link to actions after first page of “GTP Next Actions” does not jump to destination

  10. Mozilla Firefox 76.0 Ubuntu Linux *

    Dear Papp,
    i have the issue below when i launch the addon GTD :

    WARNING: error executing script /home/jeandenis/snap/freeplane-mindmapping/19/.config/freeplane/1.8.x/addons/freeplaneGTD/scripts/ParseShorthand.groovy – giving up
    org.codehaus.groovy.control.MultipleCompilationErrorsException: startup failed:
    file:/home/jeandenis/snap/freeplane-mindmapping/19/.config/freeplane/1.8.x/lib/freeplaneGTD/GtdReportViewController.groovy: 12: unable to resolve class org.freeplane.features.icon.factory.MindIconFactory
    @ line 12, column 1.
    import org.freeplane.features.icon.factory.MindIconFactory

    1 error
    STDOUT: May 22, 2020 9:08:14 PM org.freeplane.core.util.LogUtils warn
    WARNING: Error executing the script:
    BUG! exception in phase ‘semantic analysis’ in source unit
    The lookup for freeplaneGTD.GtdReportController caused a failed compilation.
    There should not have been any compilation from this call.
    STDOUT: May 22, 2020 9:08:22 PM org.freeplane.core.util.LogUtils info
    INFO: execute xdg-open file:/home/jeandenis/snap/freeplane-mindmapping/19/.config/freeplane/1.8.x/logs/
    STDOUT: May 22, 2020 9:08:23 PM org.freeplane.core.util.LogUtils info
    INFO: execute xdg-open file:/home/jeandenis/snap/freeplane-mindmapping/19/.config/freeplane/1.8.x/logs/
    STDOUT: May 22, 2020 9:08:23 PM org.freeplane.core.util.LogUtils info
    INFO: execute xdg-open file:/home/jeandenis/snap/freeplane-mindmapping/19/.config/freeplane/1.8.x/logs/

    could you please give me your advice to find a solution for this issue.
    thanks in advance for your help

  11. Mozilla Firefox 76.0 Ubuntu Linux *

    Mozilla Firefox 76.0 Ubuntu Linux *

    do you know where i can find your new addon update ?
    because i tried also with this version FreeplaneGTD+ v3.5.0-alpha2, but it’s doesn’t work.
    thanks in advance for your help

  12. Mozilla Firefox 76.0 Ubuntu Linux *

    Mozilla Firefox 76.0 Ubuntu Linux *

    I install the addon found in Github for freeplane 1.8+ and got the error below :

    STDOUT: May 26, 2020 4:08:14 PM org.freeplane.core.util.LogUtils warn
    WARNING: installation failure
    java.lang.Exception: Error in map structure: Expected exactly one child of ParseShorthand.groovy but
    got 0.

    thanks for your reply

  13. Thanks very much. Just left some feedback on the Freeplane sourceforge page as I saw some other posts there. Hope thats ok.

  14. Hey!

    First congrats on the most useful add-on!

    I recently installed the newest release: v3.6.0-alpha2 in Freeplane 1.8.7 on Windows 10.

    What happened to the Next Actions feature?
    – Ctr-H wouldn’t work.
    – Tools / FreeplaneGTD lacks any reference to Next Actions
    – The add-on splash page doesn’t hold any reference to Next Actions where key shortcuts are listed.

    Has this feature been discontinued in recent releases?

    It tends to be difficult to spot task nodes in a huge mind map, especially when other nodes get folded, so the Next Actions screen has proven to be extremely helpful to me in the past.


      1. Thanks a lot Gergely, for creating this tool – it is exactly what I was looking for!

        Some hints from a German user that a bit of had a hard (but worthwhile!!) time of getting it to run, mainly to others:

        1) Don’t bother if you can’t change GTD+ settings by Werkzeuge/Add-Ons:Add-Ons/Konfigurieren = Tools/Add-ons:Add-ons/Configure. This won’t work, which appears to be a problem of Freeplane’s German localization, rather than a GTD+ issue. You can use Werkzeuge/Einstellungen:Plugins = Tools/Preferences:Plugins instead, which has a section for GTD and works fine. Still there in Freeplane 1.8.8, maybe they’ll fix it some day.
        2) Don’t be mislead by docs and discussions related to earlier versions, which show a separate main window of GTD+ or suggest the keystroke Ctrl-H (see above). The “sidebar” mentioned, actually the key functionality of GTD+, is now accessed by Ansicht/Symbolleisten/Werkzeugleiste = View/Controls/Tool panel, and you have the GTD next actions tab in there.

        Was using Freeplane 1.8.8 with GTD+ 3.6.0alpha2, for the reference.

        Have fun!

  15. Many thanks for the tool. I was just about to download an update, when I saw that the release page can’t be found. Can you please correct that? Thanks in advance!

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