Monthly Archives: March 2010

★ Sunday chores, March 28th 2010

  1. Do the food shopping
  2. Put a load of washing on
  3. Mow the lawns
  4. Hang the washing out
  5. Clear out the photo studio
  6. Clean car out, maybe wash the car too
  7. Marinate ribs for dinner
  8. Fold washing
  9. Put bins out (recycling and normal bin)
  10. Work on code for SNOBS.com.au
  11. Cook dinner
  12. Relax

Let’s see how much of this I get done.

★ Sunday chores, March 28th 2010

  1. Do the food shopping
  2. Put a load of washing on
  3. Mow the lawns
  4. Hang the washing out
  5. Clear out the photo studio
  6. Clean car out, maybe wash the car too
  7. Marinate ribs for dinner
  8. Fold washing
  9. Put bins out (recycling and normal bin)
  10. Work on code for SNOBS.com.au
  11. Cook dinner
  12. Relax

Let’s see how much of this I get done.

Glyphboard iPhone app is awesome

Glyphboard iPhone applicationWhile rummaging through a load of RSS feeds the other day in an effort to avoid declaring RSS bankruptcy I came across this iPhone web application named Glyphboard.

The app itself is simple as can be, it’s sole purpose is to allow you to add some fancy glyphs to your email, text message, notes, etc.

To install the app you’ll need to open up Mobile Safari, navigate to http://mrgan.com/gb/ and follow the onscreen instructions.

To use the app, simply tap the icon to open, choose the glyph you’d like to use by tap and hold, select copy, and then you can paste it into whichever app you’re wanting to add the glyph to, eg. Mail, Notes, Simplenote, Tweetie, Facebook, WordPress, etc.

One of the best functions that web apps add to the iPhone is that you don’t ever need to update them as you’re essentially viewing a website each time you launch the app. The downside of course is that you’re accessing a website so it doesn’t work unless you’ve got some form of connectivity.

Anyway go check it out, it’s free!

★ App Review: Omnifocus vs Things

This whole ‘GTD’ / project / task management application search has been doing my head in the last few days. I’ve been watching loads of videos of how others are using both Omnifocus and Things, I’ve watched the introduction and training videos from both applications as well.

Anyway, here’s the test that I’ve done. I’ve put the same projects and tasks in both applications, I’ve also purchased both iPhone applications so I can test the mobile usage and sync capabilities of both apps.

So let’s get started with the positives of Omnifocus.

Network syncing is simple

This is probably the best feature of Omnifocus in my opinion. They’ve made it very easy for you to use Omnifocus across multiple devices, i.e. work Mac, home Mac, iPhone. You also have multiple ways of syncing your Omnifocus databases, if you’ve got a MobileMe account then all you do is pop your login and password into the Omnifocus preference pane and voila….it’s that easy.

The iPhone client is easy to use, and syncs across bonjour, webdav, and mobile me

Again, another great feature is how easy it is to use your iPhone with Omnifocus. This is particularly helpful if you’re a mobile office person, or if you use Omnifocus to manage your errands and household chores.

Growl integration for reminders while you’re working

Once you have all your tasks, projects, and other information in Omnifocus and have set start and / or due dates Growl will give you popup notifications that the task is now available to perform….or maybe needs to be completed if you’ve somehow managed to hit the due date.

I’m sure Omnifocus has other features which would stand out above these few I’ve mentioned, however as you’ll soon read I had a number of negative points which really hurt my usage of Omnifocus.

So here’s some of the negatives I experienced with Omnifocus.

Omnifocus seems overly complicated

There’s so much going on with Omnifocus and the various parts of the UI that it’s not the simplest application to just dive into and start working with straight away…and I’m not the sort of person who would normally sit down and read a user manual and run through loads of training videos just to get started with an app that I personally would use mainly for simple task management.

Contexts and perspectives aren’t obvious

I just don’t get contexts and perspectives in Omnifocus. I don’t really know what else to say here.

The iPhone version is expensive!

At $23.99 the iPhone version of Omnifocus seems very expensive to me, particularly if you’re using the desktop version as well as it’s really just to mobilise your tasks.

Final thoughts

Omnifocus seems to have been built for people with multiple jobs and somewhat complicated lives, it seems to be designed with more of a power user in mind and while it is relatively simple just to add single tasks and projects it can be less than intuitive as to how to manage those tasks from there.

If you want to check Omnifocus out there’s a 14 day trial here.

★ App Review: Omnifocus vs Things

This whole ‘GTD’ / project / task management application search has been doing my head in the last few days. I’ve been watching loads of videos of how others are using both Omnifocus and Things, I’ve watched the introduction and training videos from both applications as well.
Anyway, here’s the test that I’ve done. I’ve put the same projects and tasks in both applications, I’ve also purchased both iPhone applications so I can test the mobile usage and sync capabilities of both apps.

So let’s get started with the positives of Omnifocus.

Network syncing is simple

This is probably the best feature of Omnifocus in my opinion. They’ve made it very easy for you to use Omnifocus across multiple devices, i.e. work Mac, home Mac, iPhone. You also have multiple ways of syncing your Omnifocus databases, if you’ve got a MobileMe account then all you do is pop your login and password into the Omnifocus preference pane and voila….it’s that easy.

The iPhone client is easy to use, and syncs across bonjour, webdav, and mobile me

Again, another great feature is how easy it is to use your iPhone with Omnifocus. This is particularly helpful if you’re a mobile office person, or if you use Omnifocus to manage your errands and household chores.

Growl integration for reminders while you’re working

Once you have all your tasks, projects, and other information in Omnifocus and have set start and / or due dates Growl will give you popup notifications that the task is now available to perform….or maybe needs to be completed if you’ve somehow managed to hit the due date.

I’m sure Omnifocus has other features which would stand out above these few I’ve mentioned, however as you’ll soon read I had a number of negative points which really hurt my usage of Omnifocus.

So here’s some of the negatives I experienced with Omnifocus.

Omnifocus seems overly complicated

There’s so much going on with Omnifocus and the various parts of the UI that it’s not the simplest application to just dive into and start working with straight away…and I’m not the sort of person who would normally sit down and read a user manual and run through loads of training videos just to get started with an app that I personally would use mainly for simple task management.

Contexts and perspectives aren’t obvious

I just don’t get contexts and perspectives in Omnifocus. I don’t really know what else to say here.

The iPhone version is expensive!

At $23.99 the iPhone version of Omnifocus seems very expensive to me, particularly if you’re using the desktop version as well as it’s really just to mobilise your tasks.

Final thoughts

Omnifocus seems to have been built for people with multiple jobs and somewhat complicated lives, it seems to be designed with more of a power user in mind and while it is relatively simple just to add single tasks and projects it can be less than intuitive as to how to manage those tasks from there.

If you want to check Omnifocus out there’s a 14 day trial here.

App Review: Omnifocus vs Things

This whole ‘GTD’ / project / task management application search has been doing my head in the last few days. I’ve been watching loads of videos of how others are using both Omnifocus and Things, I’ve watched the introduction and training videos from both applications as well.

Anyway, here’s the test that I’ve done. I’ve put the same projects and tasks in both applications, I’ve also purchased both iPhone applications so I can test the mobile usage and sync capabilities of both apps.

So let’s get started with the positives of Omnifocus.

Network syncing is simple

This is probably the best feature of Omnifocus in my opinion. They’ve made it very easy for you to use Omnifocus across multiple devices, i.e. work Mac, home Mac, iPhone. You also have multiple ways of syncing your Omnifocus databases, if you’ve got a MobileMe account then all you do is pop your login and password into the Omnifocus preference pane and voila….it’s that easy.

The iPhone client is easy to use, and syncs across bonjour, webdav, and mobile me

Again, another great feature is how easy it is to use your iPhone with Omnifocus. This is particularly helpful if you’re a mobile office person, or if you use Omnifocus to manage your errands and household chores.

Growl integration for reminders while you’re working

Once you have all your tasks, projects, and other information in Omnifocus and have set start and / or due dates Growl will give you popup notifications that the task is now available to perform….or maybe needs to be completed if you’ve somehow managed to hit the due date.

I’m sure Omnifocus has other features which would stand out above these few I’ve mentioned, however as you’ll soon read I had a number of negative points which really hurt my usage of Omnifocus.

So here’s some of the negatives I experienced with Omnifocus.

Omnifocus seems overly complicated

There’s so much going on with Omnifocus and the various parts of the UI that it’s not the simplest application to just dive into and start working with straight away…and I’m not the sort of person who would normally sit down and read a user manual and run through loads of training videos just to get started with an app that I personally would use mainly for simple task management.

Contexts and perspectives aren’t obvious

I just don’t get contexts and perspectives in Omnifocus. I don’t really know what else to say here.

The iPhone version is expensive!

At $23.99 the iPhone version of Omnifocus seems very expensive to me, particularly if you’re using the desktop version as well as it’s really just to mobilise your tasks.

Final thoughts

Omnifocus seems to have been built for people with multiple jobs and somewhat complicated lives, it seems to be designed with more of a power user in mind and while it is relatively simple just to add single tasks and projects it can be less than intuitive as to how to manage those tasks from there.

If you want to check Omnifocus out there’s a 14 day trial here.

★ Reviewing my email handling policy

Email mailbox setupIt’s been a few months since I started with this new email handling policy so I figured it was time to take a look at it and show you some of the small changes I’ve made to it.

Ok, so to the right you can see an image of my main email account’s mailbox setup, pretty simple isn’t it.

The basic system works like this for me;

  • If it’s an email I need to respond to, and I have the answer at hand, then I quickly respond to it and then delete it.
  • If it’s a travel related email, ie. flight itinerary, hotel booking, etc. then I file it in the Wait folder till the trip’s been completed, then I print all the receipts out for our accounts department and after that they all get deleted.
  • If I’ve received an email that adds something to my To Do list, or becomes a project in my GTD app, then it gets filed in the To Do mailbox so I can reference them as the To Do gets done, or the project progresses.

So what about the Archive mailbox I hear you asking. Well at the moment the archive is basically a dirty great big mailbox full of emails from the last 4-5 years. Bit by bit I’m sorting through them and gleaning whatever information I need to, which then goes into a gorgeous little app called Yojimbo (review coming soon), and then the email gets deleted.

I’m hoping some time in the next couple of weeks I will have completed emptying the archive and will be down to a 3 mailbox system, ie. inbox, wait, and to do.

I was quietly surprised that I could actually employ the above tactics not only on my personal email accounts, but also my work email accounts. It’s definitely made email information management significantly easier, and much less time consuming than it was previously.

★ Reviewing my email handling policy

Email mailbox setupIt’s been a few months since I started with this new email handling policy so I figured it was time to take a look at it and show you some of the small changes I’ve made to it.

Ok, so to the right you can see an image of my main email account’s mailbox setup, pretty simple isn’t it.

The basic system works like this for me;

  • If it’s an email I need to respond to, and I have the answer at hand, then I quickly respond to it and then delete it.
  • If it’s a travel related email, ie. flight itinerary, hotel booking, etc. then I file it in the Wait folder till the trip’s been completed, then I print all the receipts out for our accounts department and after that they all get deleted.
  • If I’ve received an email that adds something to my To Do list, or becomes a project in my GTD app, then it gets filed in the To Do mailbox so I can reference them as the To Do gets done, or the project progresses.

So what about the Archive mailbox I hear you asking. Well at the moment the archive is basically a dirty great big mailbox full of emails from the last 4-5 years. Bit by bit I’m sorting through them and gleaning whatever information I need to, which then goes into a gorgeous little app called Yojimbo (review coming soon), and then the email gets deleted.

I’m hoping some time in the next couple of weeks I will have completed emptying the archive and will be down to a 3 mailbox system, ie. inbox, wait, and to do.

I was quietly surprised that I could actually employ the above tactics not only on my personal email accounts, but also my work email accounts. It’s definitely made email information management significantly easier, and much less time consuming than it was previously.

★ Getting started with Omnifocus

I’ve just started using Omnifocus to organise and manage all the little projects, tasks, and things I do so I thought I’d share a few thoughts about the app from the first 24 hours of using it.

Omnifocus looks & feels complicated

For a while now I’ve been half-heartedly using Things for task management. It’s nice and simple, without all the contexts, perspectives, and other bits and pieces that seem to clog up Omnifocus. That said I think Things is possibly a little too simple when it comes to more complicated tasks that have multiple steps and stages before they can be completed.

I’ve got a syncing feeling

I like the multiple sync options in Omnifocus. I have an iMac at home, I use a MacBook at work, and I carry an iPhone with me everywhere I go. Being able to sync using both Bonjour and Mobile Me makes it really simple to keep all my tasks and projects up to date whether I’m at home, at work, or on the road.

At this point in time I’m not sure whether I will stick with Omnifocus or just go back to using Things, both have pluses and minuses but at the end of the day whichever application allows me to manage all my tasks and projects easiest will win out. I’ll let you know which way I decide to go.

★ Getting started with Omnifocus

I’ve just started using Omnifocus to organise and manage all the little projects, tasks, and things I do so I thought I’d share a few thoughts about the app from the first 24 hours of using it.

Omnifocus looks & feels complicated

For a while now I’ve been half-heartedly using Things for task management. It’s nice and simple, without all the contexts, perspectives, and other bits and pieces that seem to clog up Omnifocus. That said I think Things is possibly a little too simple when it comes to more complicated tasks that have multiple steps and stages before they can be completed.

I’ve got a syncing feeling

I like the multiple sync options in Omnifocus. I have an iMac at home, I use a MacBook at work, and I carry an iPhone with me everywhere I go. Being able to sync using both Bonjour and Mobile Me makes it really simple to keep all my tasks and projects up to date whether I’m at home, at work, or on the road.

At this point in time I’m not sure whether I will stick with Omnifocus or just go back to using Things, both have pluses and minuses but at the end of the day whichever application allows me to manage all my tasks and projects easiest will win out. I’ll let you know which way I decide to go.

Getting started with Omnifocus

I’ve just started using Omnifocus to organise and manage all the little projects, tasks, and things I do so I thought I’d share a few thoughts about the app from the first 24 hours of using it.

Omnifocus looks & feels complicated

For a while now I’ve been half-heartedly using Things for task management. It’s nice and simple, without all the contexts, perspectives, and other bits and pieces that seem to clog up Omnifocus. That said I think Things is possibly a little too simple when it comes to more complicated tasks that have multiple steps and stages before they can be completed.

I’ve got a syncing feeling

I like the multiple sync options in Omnifocus. I have an iMac at home, I use a MacBook at work, and I carry an iPhone with me everywhere I go. Being able to sync using both Bonjour and Mobile Me makes it really simple to keep all my tasks and projects up to date whether I’m at home, at work, or on the road.

At this point in time I’m not sure whether I will stick with Omnifocus or just go back to using Things, both have pluses and minuses but at the end of the day whichever application allows me to manage all my tasks and projects easiest will win out. I’ll let you know which way I decide to go.

★ My iPhone (after the app cull)

iPhone Here’s my iPhone screen today, the 2nd of March 2010, after a big trial of different applications, how often I access them, what I’m using them for, and how easy / hard they are to use quickly on 3G.

Here’s a bit of a rundown of what is here, links to the apps, and why I’m using each of them. From left to right, then row after row;

Messages – well this is an obvious one, it’s how I receive SMS and MMS messages (well derr) but from what I’ve seen a lot of people have it on their home bar. I like having my home bar with just the 3 apps on it as I find it easier to use quickly.

Calendar – Kind of an obvious one, I use iCal on my MacBook and this syncs nice and easy without any questions.

Voice Memos – Being the sort of person I am, I always have random ideas at random times of the day. The Voice Memos app makes it easy to quickly voice the idea, quicker than typing up a note, for later exploration.

Settings – With all the flying and time zone changing I’ve done lately I decided to move the Settings app to the home screen so I could access it faster as I have been using it so much.

Flip Clock – When I’m in a hotel, or even in the office, I like to have a clock near by so I can see what time it is…sure I could just use the clock on OS X’s menu bar, but it’s not as pretty as a big screen flip clock.

Things – I use Things on my laptop as my task management app of choice, so it makes sense to use the same app on my iPhone as they sync over wifi easily, and allows me to manage my tasks on the go.

Simplenote – There’s so many note taking apps out there, plus Apple’s built in one, and most of them are pretty good from what I’ve seen and heard. Simplenote works well for me, is it better than any other note taking app???

NetNewsWire – I played around with a couple of other RSS feed readers and ended up sticking with NetNewsWire as it just worked quickly and without hassle, I also use their desktop application.

Foursquare – I’m addicted to Foursquare (blog article upcoming) so it’s a total gimme to have the Foursquare app on my home screen.

Ego – Ego is a cool little analytics app that allows you to check on your Feedburner subscription numbers, Twitter followers, Google Analytics, Mint stats, as well as a number of other services. It’s handy it you’re a blogger and can’t help but check your stats throughout the day.

Safari – Everyone needs a web browser, Safari is good and I use it regularly. Plus it’s not like you have many other options on the iPhone at the moment.

Hipstamatic – Hipstamatic is the coolest damn iPhone camera app. Just check it out, totally worth it, and check out the different ‘packs’ you can buy to expand the app further.

The only other apps in use are the Phone, Mail, and iPod apps that are on the launch bar (I guess that’s what you call it) and I like keeping it to three apps there only as it not only looks neater but makes it easier to use.

So there you go, a little run down on what I’m using, why I’m using it, and in some cases why it’s on my home screen.

★ My iPhone (after the app cull)

iPhone Here’s my iPhone screen today, the 2nd of March 2010, after a big trial of different applications, how often I access them, what I’m using them for, and how easy / hard they are to use quickly on 3G.

Here’s a bit of a rundown of what is here, links to the apps, and why I’m using each of them. From left to right, then row after row;

Messages – well this is an obvious one, it’s how I receive SMS and MMS messages (well derr) but from what I’ve seen a lot of people have it on their home bar. I like having my home bar with just the 3 apps on it as I find it easier to use quickly.

Calendar – Kind of an obvious one, I use iCal on my MacBook and this syncs nice and easy without any questions.

Voice Memos – Being the sort of person I am, I always have random ideas at random times of the day. The Voice Memos app makes it easy to quickly voice the idea, quicker than typing up a note, for later exploration.

Settings – With all the flying and time zone changing I’ve done lately I decided to move the Settings app to the home screen so I could access it faster as I have been using it so much.

Flip Clock – When I’m in a hotel, or even in the office, I like to have a clock near by so I can see what time it is…sure I could just use the clock on OS X’s menu bar, but it’s not as pretty as a big screen flip clock.

Things – I use Things on my laptop as my task management app of choice, so it makes sense to use the same app on my iPhone as they sync over wifi easily, and allows me to manage my tasks on the go.

Simplenote – There’s so many note taking apps out there, plus Apple’s built in one, and most of them are pretty good from what I’ve seen and heard. Simplenote works well for me, is it better than any other note taking app???

NetNewsWire – I played around with a couple of other RSS feed readers and ended up sticking with NetNewsWire as it just worked quickly and without hassle, I also use their desktop application.

Foursquare – I’m addicted to Foursquare (blog article upcoming) so it’s a total gimme to have the Foursquare app on my home screen.

Ego – Ego is a cool little analytics app that allows you to check on your Feedburner subscription numbers, Twitter followers, Google Analytics, Mint stats, as well as a number of other services. It’s handy it you’re a blogger and can’t help but check your stats throughout the day.

Safari – Everyone needs a web browser, Safari is good and I use it regularly. Plus it’s not like you have many other options on the iPhone at the moment.

Hipstamatic – Hipstamatic is the coolest damn iPhone camera app. Just check it out, totally worth it, and check out the different ‘packs’ you can buy to expand the app further.

The only other apps in use are the Phone, Mail, and iPod apps that are on the launch bar (I guess that’s what you call it) and I like keeping it to three apps there only as it not only looks neater but makes it easier to use.

So there you go, a little run down on what I’m using, why I’m using it, and in some cases why it’s on my home screen.