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For Software Addicts: Yes!MaybeNah!
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Articles In Category

July 20th, 2007

If I Complete A Digression, Did I Get Anything Done?

I’m drowning in ideas I have no time to pursue…! I think this is what some people mean when they complain of “information overload.” In my case, it’s more like “idea overload.”

I recently tried some of the “getting things done” software tools I’ve downloaded in an attempt to get my idea-log under control… but none of them really helped. I’m leaning to a href=””>iGTD since it’s free, full-featured, and actively under development, but honestly, the work of compiling my list of projects and trying to prioritize and schedule them, etc., merely made me even more aware of how swamped I am, and how far behind I am in the things I want to be doing!

I will certainly be getting some of these “things” done eventually, but it sure is harder as the projects pile up. And my wife keeps wondering why I’m killing myself over work I don’t even get paid for…! Now, there’s a conundrum that simply could not have existed before the web came along. Am I having more ideas for interesting projects now because there’s a potential audience that might be likewise intrigued? Or is my “idea center” being overstimulated by the vast number of other fascinating projects now so readily at my disposal? And is ADD merely a byproduct of living with the web? That is, are we more distractible today because web browsing can lead us onto so many irresistable, multi-nested, looping digressions? No wonder so many of us have trouble getting anything done! :-)

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March 7th, 2007

Vortex: New GTD Support Tool Debuts for Mac and Windows

December 31st, 2006

Getting Organized and Planning Projects: Another Rich Vein of Mac OS X Software

One of the problems I have had in picking a personal information management (PIM) application has been the large degree of overlap among various related categories. For example, where does a “To-Do List” application end and a “Project Management” application begin? Or how about daily journal software and applications that organize your notes? And let’s don’t forget “sticky notes” applications, “shoebox” software, “scheduling” applications, “file storage” tools, and so on.

Truth is, a lot of these categories are slowly merging, and that’s part of what holds me up: Surely the ultimate convergence will be upon us soon, so just wait a little while longer. Yeah, right. The problem with this kind of logic is that convergence is a trend that never stops, and if you never dive in and pick something to help you manage information and/or get organized, you never will. The reason convergence keeps going is that each new software idea sparks another one. Both users and developers participate in this amazing dance, and ultimately we all end up winners. This is why I stress the importance of avoiding lock-in. Whatever you choose, try to make it one that won’t let you switch to another one in a year or two, if the avatar horse you’ve chosen peters out before the finish line. With that brief intro, I’m going to start a new series looking at a category of software commonly known as “Personal Organizers.” These differ from PIMs mainly in their strict focus on project management, with the humble “to-do” list being the foundation for all of them. In 2006, there has been a rush to market by developers wooing converts to the “Getting Things Done” approach to personal organization. GTD, as everyone seems to call it, is the brainchild of David Allen, whose website and rapidly growing “flock” come across to the unenlightened as a serious religious movement. Obviously (I think), it’s not that, but just having arrived from Mars, it looks that way to me. GTD has numerous champions in the Mac world—in particular the popular 43 Folders website, which I first came to know as a champion of Quicksilver. It turns out that 43 Folders champions Quicksilver because it’s such a useful tool in adhering to the “GTD way.” Whatever you may think about David Allen and the specifics of his GTD prescription, most busy professionals today are definitely in need of help in Getting Things Done. Whatever tool or approach helps you with that worthy goal is worth adopting, and the arrival of so many helpful personal organizer tools will hopefully help more of us “get a grip” on all the “to-do” lists we’ve got floating around in our brain. What I’m referring to as Personal Information Managers (PIMs) are more “jack-of-all-trades” in their approach, recognizing that to-do lists are one kind of information we need to manage, but so are software serial numbers, online store receipts, web bookmarks, journal notes, blog entries, and so on. I’m starting the series with a software package that could almost be considered a PIM, and in fact I almost added it to that other list this evening. But ultimately, Process by Jumsoft is a Personal Organizer. Its focus is on helping you get things done, not on helping you organize all the information you have scattered around the house or office.

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December 18th, 2006

Actiontastic: Another GTD Tool with Quicksilver Integration

December 10th, 2006

Process: Project Management, Tiger Style

December 5th, 2006

Midnight Inbox: Is New GTD To-Do List Manager Up To the Task?

December 5th, 2006

Stapler: A Barely Functional To-Do List

December 5th, 2006

EasyTask Manager: A New GTD App Raises the Bar on “To-Do” Lists

December 2nd, 2006

Is OmniGroup’s OmniFocus Vaporware?

August 29th, 2006

Merlin: Yet Another Good-Looking Project Management Tool for Mac OS X

July 27th, 2006

OmniPlan: Omni Group Beta-Releases New Project Management App

May 2nd, 2006

Hot Plan: Yet Another Take on To-Do List Management

Just Say No To Flash