Forums

....does anyone else feel stressed out by all the productivity software and tools being bandied about?

- Which one is best?

- Can I sync this one with that one?

- Which device to I need to have in 3 years after I finally get used to the features?

UGH. I'm back to pen and paper for now.

:oops:

James Gutherson's picture

There are a few I like - If I had my choice, and constant access to a computer then ResultsManager/GyroQ from Gyronix combined with MindManager work the way I work.
At the moment however I can't use this and have gone analog. I use 3x5 index cards, some blank and some preprinted from [url]http://www.diyplanner.com/[/url] held in a Moleskine Pocket Memo Pocket (in a nice leather case from [url]http://www.pencity.com.au/product_info.php?cPath=54&products_id=381&osCs...).

As for portable devices I used to use a pocket PC but I don't have anything at the moment. I'm looking at one of the new HTC Smartphones once some phone coverage issues are sorted. I just saw a new pocket PC GTD app today called from memory 'nactionr' that I might trial when I get the new phone.

ccleveland's picture

I hear you, CW... I used a Franklin Planner, then Palm Pilot for a few years, then a Pocket PC, then a tablet PC. They all were somewhat useful. But now...I'm back to handy pen and paper...a logbook from www.bookfactory.com. And I'm more effective than ever.

CC

bflynn's picture

It sound like you too have more water than bucket?

I've tried many different things, but what I found most useful is a stack of paper. As each distinct task occurs, I make a Post-It note with the name of the major task, the next action and the current date. In the evening or the next morning, I review the stack and sort it. When I finish working on an item, I write another Post-It for the next step.

Use what works for you. High tech isn't always the best. You don't need a Microsoft Project Plan to change a light bulb in your bedroom.

Brian

ccleveland's picture

[quote="bflynn"]You don't need a Microsoft Project Plan to change a light bulb in your bedroom.[/quote]

True...but MS Project is so useful in planning that backyard soirée on Labor Day weekend! (Okay...my wife thinks it still a little overkill!) :twisted:

CC

James Gutherson's picture

[quote="ccleveland"][quote="bflynn"]You don't need a Microsoft Project Plan to change a light bulb in your bedroom.[/quote]

True...but MS Project is so useful in planning that backyard soirée on Labor Day weekend! (Okay...my wife thinks it still a little overkill!) :twisted:

CC[/quote]

But i bet she's pleased in that windup/lessons learned meeting the next day when you can report you've come in on time and under budget :wink:

Sporkman's picture

If you're into writing yourself notes, you could always open a free web email account (such as through yahoo), then just mail yourself (i.e. to the same account) messages. Then your messages are stored & available to you on the web from anywhere. Plus you can search through them, organize them into folders, etc. I routinely use this method to pass myself data, files, etc to & from work, for example.

stephenbooth_uk's picture

[quote="Sporkman"]If you're into writing yourself notes, you could always open a free web email account (such as through yahoo), then just mail yourself (i.e. to the same account) messages. Then your messages are stored & available to you on the web from anywhere. Plus you can search through them, organize them into folders, etc. I routinely use this method to pass myself data, files, etc to & from work, for example.[/quote]

If you have a GMail account then you can also get Google Calendar. You can upload entries from Outlook to Google Calendar but there's no reliable sync mechanism (there are a few products that claim to sync Google Calendar with Outlook and other products but I'm not aware of any that work well). There is a Firefox plugin that works with GMail and allows you to implement GTD task management. Tasks are emails to yourself and it uses labels to implement the GTD functionality. It also pops up a 2 minute timer on top of any mail you open (regular or GTD labelled).

My employer insists on using Lotus Notes 6, which is fine except that it doesn't easily sync with anything (supposedly you can sync with a PocketPC via a product called Cadenza, but that fails with such regularity that everyone gave up). Right now I manually copy entries from Notes to Outlook on my work PC, use Yahoo! sync to sync with Yahoo! Calendar and Yahoo! Sync to sync that with Outlook on my home PC. I recently started carrying a Moleskine pocket diary that I write my appointments in. I also have a Blackberry that kinda syncs with Notes (via the Blackberry Server) although it does have a tendancy to double up appointments so if I enter an appointment into Notes it gets copied to the Blackberry at the next sync, then at the following sync it gets copied back to Notes as a new appointment and at the third sync the new appointment in Notes gets sent back to the Blackberry. Eventually it settles down but I spend about 30-40 minutes a week weeding out duplicates.

Stephen

adragnes's picture

Plaxo now has a mechanism for syncing calendars, multiple instances of Microsoft Outlook, Yahoo! Calendar, Google Calendar etc. It is not perfect, especially not for all day-events and repeating events, but it might be worthwhile to investigate.

--
Aleksander

garyslinger's picture

[quote="stephenbooth_uk"]

If you have a GMail account then you can also get Google Calendar. You can upload entries from Outlook to Google Calendar but there's no reliable sync mechanism (there are a few products that claim to sync Google Calendar with Outlook and other products but I'm not aware of any that work well
Stephen[/quote]

(No commercial relationship with these guys) - http://www.syncmycal.com/
Two-way (or one-way if you prefer), global or by-category, manual or automatic sync between Google Calendar and Outlook. I'm currently using it every day, and keep two distinct Outlooks, a Blackberry and a GCal account sync'd to the exact level I require (all my work appointments that that aren't timekeeping entries push to my personal calendar, only certain personal appointments (that affect my overall schedulability) are pushed back to my work calendar, and so forth).

The free version might be enough for you; I paid the $25 for the Pro version. They also have a Mobile sync tool for $25 you might be interested in - I can't vouch for it as I haven't used it, but if it's to the same standard as the Outlook/GCal tool, I think you'll be good.

Cheers,

G.

garyslinger's picture

[quote="adragnes"]Plaxo now has a mechanism for syncing calendars, multiple instances of Microsoft Outlook, Yahoo! Calendar, Google Calendar etc. It is not perfect, especially not for all day-events and repeating events, but it might be worthwhile to investigate.

--
Aleksander[/quote]

Plaxo has too much of a negative history to me (and I'm not alone in that). Just a thought.

G.

James Gutherson's picture

I'm using 30Boxes as my calendar and todo list now and a syncmycal version to connect with Outlook

garyslinger's picture

[quote="JimGutherson"]I'm using 30Boxes as my calendar and todo list now and a syncmycal version to connect with Outlook[/quote]

Indeed - I have a 30boxes account, but as Gmail is my main personal mail account, the whole google-world-experience was too good to pass up :) I have a couple of friends using the 30boxes syncmycal tool, which is actually where I heard about it first - they've had good results.

Cheers,

G.

genecx's picture

I am a Mac guy so I use iGTD for a simple to-do list and OmniPlan for project management. When I had my Blackberry, I would use it to add tasks when I don't have access to my laptop. The Blackberry syncs with iGTD, which I use to prioritize my tasks. I now have an iPhone (which does not have a todo list) so I have to send myself emails from the Notes app.

If I was still on Windows, I would probably use the Blackberry and Outlook for simple task management and MS Project (still the best PM app IMO)

TrueSolutions's picture

This might help those pen and paper folks:

[url=http://www.pocketmod.com/]http://www.pocketmod.com/[/url]

It helps you to create a booklet (to hold your tasks) from a single piece of paper. You end up with a foldable piece of paper that opens like a book.

Very simple but elegant.

smasche's picture

hey, many thanks fpor the pocketmod-link.
i'm a friend of simple 'paperware' and this can be a great help (not only for me)...

tcomeau's picture

[quote="TrueSolutions"]This might help those pen and paper folks:

[url=http://www.pocketmod.com/]http://www.pocketmod.com/[/url]
[/quote]

An alternative to Flash (and now Open Source) for Mac users is PagePacker.
[url]http://weblog.bignerdranch.com/?p=41[/url]

(Hey, if having a Mac makes you cool, and using pen and paper makes you a dinosaur, what does PagePacker make you?)

tc>

iandstanley's picture

[quote="cwcollin"]....does anyone else feel stressed out by all the productivity software and tools being bandied about?

- Which one is best?

- Can I sync this one with that one?

- Which device to I need to have in 3 years after I finally get used to the features?

UGH. I'm back to pen and paper for now.

:oops:[/quote]

Over the years I have been an avid Palm fan and have upgraded to virtually each new premium model as it arrived.

Gave up about two years ago when I did not like the T|X series and the Trio was too bulky.

Tried Pocket PCs -did not do it for me.

The question you should answer yourself is what do you want out of such a device

Do you need email on the go - then go blackberry - PocketPC phones I find can be troublesome to configure and keep in sync.

My personal setup:

* Diary - I use a the DayTimer Wallets [url]http://www.daytimer.co.uk/Wallets/Page_1/Products.aspx[/url]
* Notebook/Journal - Moleskine
* Portable quick capture device - either 3x5 cards or Davidco Notetaker Wallet [url]http://davidco.com/store/catalog/GTD-NoteTaker-Wallet-with-Accessories-p...

And now the techie bit ...

I use DMailerSync's USB software ([url]http://www.dmailer.com/site/products/dmailersync.html[/url]):
* Sync's with outlook - copies email, notes, tasks, calendar, contacts. Sync's IE's bookmarks and desktop files.
* Runs a client (bit like outlook) from the usb stick that allows you to send email chagne your calender etc.
* Saves me lugging my work laptop home :lol: