If you follow me even sporadically on twitter or via this blog you will know that I have something of a love/hate relationship with productivity and with systems for organising myself. This is a sort of personal research project for me and I present my findings here in some detail for your reading pleasure.
Since I last wrote about this I have given up on my trial of springpadit and gone back to diigo as an online bookmarking tool. I am now firmly committed to staying with diigo and have started to build up quite a collection of lists and tags. Springpadit was an interesting experiment and had some features I really liked but ultimately I ran into problems with it when trying to use the ‘springit’ feature in my web browser. Clicking ‘springit’ opens up a window that allows you to allocate tags etc to the current web page in the same way as diigo and Evernote but my frustration was that there was no way to search, browse or look at the tags you have already used without launching the website and searching my account. The last thing I need is near-duplicate tags (think ‘library’ and ‘libraries’, ‘sync’ and ‘syncing’ etc) and having to go to the website to avoid that of course defeats the purpose of the ease of the ‘springit’ feature. Eventually this became enough of an irritation for me to stop using it.
Diigo at the same point in the bookmarking process offers suggestions for tags (although I nearly always find them unhelpful) but also shows you what you used last time. This is really useful if you happen to be looking at a bunch of similar sites in a row as I usually am.
So, that’s bookmarking out of the way.
In terms of GTD apps, I was a fan of Remember the Milk because of it’s structure of projects and then tasks to support the project. However, I baulked at the price of ‘going mobile’ with RTM so stopped using it. This week I have started using Task2Gather and so far I’m pretty impressed. It also allows me to enter a project and then at least 2 levels of tasks to go under that project ( tasks as part of the tasks if you like). It’s web based so I can use it at work PC and home Mac and the iPhone app to go with it is free. It sits in an open browser window on my desktop quietly reminding me of what I’m supposed to be doing. It handles deadlines, sharing of tasks with others and apparently some sort of connection with iCal that I haven’t yet investigated.
I am still using the ShopListFree app on my iPhone to organise errands, things I don’t want to forget while I’m at the shops and of course, my shopping list. It’s still working well and I’ll be keeping it for the time being.
However, the most important thing I’ve done since my last post on this is get all my calendars talking to one another. I use the Microsoft Outlook calendar at work and iCal at home and on iPhone. I discovered this week that by using Google calendars as the intermediary I can get Outlook and iCal in sync. Wonderful. Has made a huge difference to the way I keep track of where I’m supposed to be as now ALL my appointments appear on BOTH my calendars without me having to remember to do anything other than sync iPhone and Mac at home (and I do that by way of charging iPhone most nights anyway).
Now, what am I supposed to be doing?