iphone + mac + Things = productivity!

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For years I've been wanting to implement a GTD-like system for tracking the dozens of projects I'm juggling at any one point in time. Everything I tried, however, was too daunting in terms of data entry and access, so I continued to muddle along trying to fit everything I needed to remember in the oh-so-random access memory of my brain.

Then I got an iPhone 3G for Christmas and everything changed.

Back when I first got my iPod Touch, I downloaded a pre-release version of a productivity tool called Things. It was free at the time, and it had gotten some good online reviews. But because I seldom carried my Touch around with me, it really wasn't particularly useful.

Now that I carry the iPhone with me everywhere I go, including to bed (the charger is in our bedroom), it makes a lot more sense to have the to-do list on it and easily accessible. (I find that I most often remember that task I simply must do today when I'm in the bathroom drying my hair in the morning.)

It turns out that not only have the developers improved and updated the mobile application (which now costs $9.99 if you didn't grab it when it was free), they've also just released a Mac desktop version. Both have clean, simple, easy to use interfaces. Even better, they sync perfectly over wifi--if both apps are open, and both devices are on the same network, they'll sync automatically without my having to remember to do a thing, or hook up any cables.

So far, the only real downside to Things that I've found is that it doesn't support the GTD concept of "context", which allows you to see all the tasks associated with a given physical or virtual context. They do support tagging, but there's not a quick and easy way to view everything with a given tag on the iPhone version. (A quick perusal of the forums seems to indicate that an upcoming update will support tags, so that may well fix the problem for me!) [Update: I figured out how to do it, though it's still not quite as nice as having it available from the first screen.]

So, maybe 2009 will be the year when I finally get at least a little bit organized! So far, it looks promising.

(I plan on doing a series of posts about the iPhone apps that I find most helpful; I've added a new iPhone category to the blog to collect them.)

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This page contains a single entry by Liz Lawley published on January 12, 2009 10:26 AM.

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