Task manager applications are great. They help you get things out of your head and easily accessible. One of the major issues with task manager applications is higher level planning, particularly on the fly decision about committing or not a new project. This is because you need in one look an overview of everything going one right now, including deadlines. This is something not easy to do only with a Task Manager and your electronic calendar apps. Also for what I am thinking about, a planning software is not that useful either. I tried OmniPlan for that purpose alone, maintenance is higher than I would like and I am still not convinced this is the best way of doing it.
Ever since moving all of my projects an tasks planning digital, I have used a dedicated task manager. I started with Cultured Code Things over 11 years ago with the very first beta; something like version 0.7b – can find my old e-mail about it. When it came out, Things was not only the most intuitive and beautiful dedicated task manager on the market but also the best (at least mac-wise).
Things Blog is announcing a give away for the latest version of Things for iPhone and iPad and a good amount off the Mac version. Been using Things for a long time (the very first beta in fact!). An excellent and very easy to use task management tool.
The team at Cultured Code has announced on their blog that they have reached 1 million copies of Things sold. In the same blog post, they let us know that version 3 of Things will be coming in 2014. Hopefully it will not know that same fate as the cloud sync version of Things which took over two years after the first announcement…
Things is powerful task manager. It comes with a simple and efficient interface and is fully scriptable (Apple Script). I have been using Things since its very first beta release. Certainly look forward to V3.
In the included figure, you can switch Things for your favorite task manager. However, at this time on the Mac I do not think you will be able to reach this level of integration and ability to deal with a large number of projects with applications other than Things and OmniFocus. No, a simple task-only list application won’t cut as it does not scale.
– Luc Beaulieu, Digital office part IV
Yesterday, (August 9 2012), Things version 2.0 was released on all platforms (Mac, iPhone and iPad). The major newsworthy portion of these releases is that after years of waiting (no kidding!), Cultured Code has finally and officially introduced a fast and scalable cloud sync on OSX and iOS devices. The beta version was quite reliable and I had adopted it as my main daily usage a few months ago. Going from the beta to the new official 2.0 release went like a breeze.
This version also introduces a new daily reviews which I really likes in the beta version and a more polished UI on iOS. Quite frankly the iPad version is simply gorgeous ever since it was released in 2010. Doing a weekly review on the iPad is even fun!
The presentation of individual tasks by Areas and Projects had been removed for a while in the OSX beta version but I assumed that the numerous peoples on the forum asking for the option to be reinstated has found a good hear within the developers; the preference pane now provides for this specific choice (which I turned on immediately).
Since I am still with the iPhone 3GS, I cannot comment on the integration with Siri and Reminders (as described by Cultured Code) but on OSX you can indeed pick one list from Apple’s app and have a two way sync (including display in the new notification center).
Kudos Cultured Code 😉
In the previous posts, we went over the hardware requirements and selection, software and finally mobile software. It is now time to address the sources of digital documents, the true inputs of the digital workflow.
Not so long ago, there was a single inbox for all incoming “stuff” that requires your attention. Stuff is here define as anything that needs for you to decide what to do with it, including throwing in the garbage. In the analog world, that single inbox was the good old paper tray: correspondence, various documents, business cards, memos, telephone notes… everything ended-up there for further processing.
For those who might not have read the first post in this series about the hardware side of things, please have a look: Digital Office I
Here is a list of the main software that I used regularly on the Mac as part of my digital workflow, including links to the most important one:
Working efficiently in the digital world is not as easy as it sounds, in particular as you get more and more files to deal with. Furthermore, while eliminated paper sounds like an excellent (and green) idea, it is not obvious to fully to eliminate all of it and yet still be productive without putting too much time on the gadgets themselves. I am have been toying with the idea of going fully digital around 2009 by bringing my notebook with me everywhere, including meeting. The truth is that many people around the table find typing and looking at a computer while having a meeting quite impolite. I further find it impractical. However the coming of the iPad change all that. The next few posts will look into the digital workflow I settled in since then.
The majority of graduate students that I had the chance to supervised (yes I consider student supervision as a core mission of being a researcher and university professor) have this spark in their eyes. Creative thinking is usually not the biggest problem they will face. In fact, for most of you getting tons of ideas is rarely the issue. Selecting, focusing and successfully bring one or a group of ideas to completion (meaning scientific publication most of the time) tends to be critical issue. As Vince Lombardi once said: “if you don’t keep score its just practice”.