Will Mcast.fm become the Dutch Jott?

May 22, 2008

Mcast.fm as a GTD capture tool.
Recently Mcast.fm went beta. Mcast.fm is a service which enables podcasts over your phone. When you call a number, podcasts are streamed to you.
Perhaps great for some people, but not for me. I’m happy with my iTunes, iPod and ice>Link plus setup.

But a feature which you cannot easily find on the site is a dictation like feature. Call the number, press #0 , start talking, and close with #.
And auto-magically an MP3 is added to your personal feeds on Mcast.fm.

Mcast

You can also see these memo’s on a RSS reader like iGoogle.

Mcast Feed

In my love for GTD, I have the Moleskine inbox when walking around, which I later transfer to a Omnifocus inbox. But I’m still missing the feature to put something in my inbox when driving my car. Or anyplace where I cannot easily write.
I wrote about Jott in GTD with your phone. This service is unavailable where I live.

Can Mcast.fm become this service? It will need speech recognition and some more.
If they will add this they will have a paying customer in me, when they charge for this. For now I will use Mcast.fm as a dictation service, which is a bit better than using your own voicemail….

I really hope they will explore this potential..


Farewell iGTD, welcome OmniFocus

December 4, 2007

I recently pre-ordered OmniFocus and started using it for actions, projects, contexts and other stuff . An actvity which I previously tackled with iGTD.

I was sort of happy with iGTD, but I had always issues with syncing. Regularly I had to interfere in task and calendar conflicts. More on Leopard than on Tiger. I was never certain why I had those conflicts. Additionally iGTD always felt a bit crude. So I decided to actively switch to OmniFocus. I had played a bit with OmniFocus already the last five months, but not used it actively.

I have used OmniFocus for two full weeks now.
I don’t regret it! Syncing with iCal, Mail (without MailTags) and my Palm is faultless, a much better experience than with iGTD.
The OmniFocus user-experience is also much better. The sidebar in project mode can contain folders and I really appreciate that extra structuring option.

Task notes and calendars were always taking way to much screen estate in iGTD. They are not visible in OmniFocus unless you want them to.
And I am really getting used to typing friday, tomorrow, today or next week in the Action field. I don’t need no stinking calendar!

Outline in planning mode is a nice overview of your projects, a feature which I haven’t found in iGTD and which I deemed unnecessary. But I started to use it for the big picture progress overview. Not GTD I guess, but still damn handy.

Leopard coolness: Attachments in actions can be opened with Quicklook!!

OmniFocus and Quicklook

Eye candy in my opinion, but nice nonetheless.

One thing I miss from iGTD is the automatic syncing. As far as I know OmniFocus can only do this manually, a thing which I often forget.

iGTD was a nice application, but I haven’t really missed it since embracing OmniFocus.


iGTD and OmniFocus again

July 11, 2007

I read in the MacSparky Blog about a nifty Applescript script. It transfers my iGTD stuff to OmniFocus.

It did not transfer everything. It had some issues. However I was able to play a bit with OmniFocus with some real data, which was nice.

Somehow I missed my due dates in the main window. However you can clearly see Merlin Mann’s influence in the un-distract-ifying way of life. It is there, you just have to enable it. If you look at the date in the Action you wonder how to change it. Hovering over it and a small calendar icon appears. Also a project does not seem to have a date. However hovering over it it is there.

But I’m not sure. Un-distract-ifying is all nice and dandy. But do I need it, if I decided to activate my OmniFocus window on my Mac? I already decide to have a look at is. So it may distract me. Actually hiding is more distracting to me. Perhaps I get used to it. For now I’m still leaning towards iGTD.

And OmniFocus needs a QuickSilver plugin. I don’t want another hot key, which does not add anything. I know you can immediately assign a project and context to it, but I don’t want that, since the inbox is fine by me. I can review it later.

to be continued…


GTD with your phone

July 9, 2007

Currently I’m digging GTD a lot. I see this working for me. Just noticed the Circle Six Design application Jott2iGTD How handy is that? Wow!
Great when your in your car. Call Jott. Speak note to yourself and hoopla. So I decided to give it a spin. Jott2IGTD needs a Jott account….

Bummer. US and Canada only.

Can’t wait for Jott to enter Europe…. I’ll be the first to sign up.


OmniFocus and iGTD

July 4, 2007

I said in a blog entry that OmniFocus was not released so I could not try that. However a couple of weeks ago I signed up for the OmniFocus beta. Yesterday I got a mail that I could download the Alpha.

Reading the reviews it seems most people like it. Some are missing priorities. I’m not using that right now in iGTD so that’s fine by me.

What I immediately noticed is the uncluttered and simple interface OmniFocus presented. Just like OmniGraffle it feels natural. With inspectors you can manipulate the Actions, projects or context. But without the inspectors it presents such a simple interface. Only when doing the review step you will need the inspectors I guess.

See the difference?

OmniFocus and iGTD

I’m going to play a bit with it and see if it is really better than iGTD.


Getting Things Done…at last

July 3, 2007

Too many things are asking for attention in my head. When I go to bed my head is still buzzing with things to do or finish, which does not help falling asleep…

In the past I used the Task application on my Palm to scribble things I had to do. However lately I stopped doing that, especially at work, because most of the time I’m behind my MacBook, where I used Stickies. Using Palm Desktop & Palm Hotsync on my old XP box did not help the integrated experience either ….

After reading Merlin Mann’s 43folders about Getting Things Done I decided to investe some time in it.

I bought the audiobook Getting Things Done by Dave Allen and listened to it while driving to work. It sounded sensible, so I decided to see if I could have an integrated experience where stuff is not floating and rotting all over the place. Virtual stickies, real stickies, Task Application, mail, paper, MY HEAD, MY HEAD.

I decided to have a go at GTD. I’m an Omni fanboy, but OmniFocus is not yet released so I used iGTD as a GTD tool. BTW OmniFocus has to be a lot better than iGTD for me to buy it…

iSync, HotSync, BlueTooth

First I installed Palm Desktop on my Mac and configured iSync to synchronize over BlueTooth then enabled Palm OS syncing in iSync. This will install the iSync Conduit in Palm HotSync. With this you cannot only Sync your Palm with your MacBook to the Palm Desktop calendar application, Palm Desktop task application etc. It also syncs with Mac’s iCal and the Mac Adressbook application. Sweet!! So no need to use the Palm Desktop applications anymore (perhaps for installing new Palm applications). Just use iCal and AddressBook. It syncs 2-way. And if you select in iSync “Put events created on Palm into:” to @inbox it will make the integration with iGTD smoother. However to be able to do this iGTD should be installed already.

If I now HotSync my Palm it syncs the Calendar and Tasks with my Mac (over BlueTooth) and vice versa of course. That’s nice.

iCal, iGTD, Mail and MailTags

I installed MailTags to Apple Mail since this will enable the iGTD integration. After enabling the mail integration in iGTD, whenever I receive a mail which needs my attention later I press F6 and it ends up in iGTD (and then iCal and Palm whenever I sync).

When entering a task in iGTD it will be synchronized with iCal and vice versa.

Hitting F6 when in a browser will create a task in iGTD with the current URL.

Hitting Apple-Space to enter QuickSilver, doing the dot maneuver to enter Text Mode. Scribble something, do the TAB and add it to the iGTD inbox.

Perhaps it sounds a bit overwhelming (or not), but it feels very natural once you start using it.

From my Palm, my Apple mail, just free format (QuickSilver or F7 Quick Enter), my browser or iGTD itself: with a few keystrokes I got it stored in iGTD and it syncs across the applications (Palm, iCal and iGTD)

However I set the iGTD syncing to “sync when losing focus” otherwise I would need an extra manual iGTD sync.

In practice

So when:

  • I’m asked to give my Divemaster number and insurance number in the swimming pool, I scribble a task on my Palm…. and forget about it
  • I receive a mail, which I should review later and act upon I press F6 inside Apple Mail…and forget about it.
  • I receive a IM message saying I should look at S3browse. I briefly look at it, decide to give it the attention it needs later, press F6 in my browser….and forget about it.
  • Suddenly think that I should really check the ATG Cactus patch. Hit Apple-Space to select QuickSilver, do some neat key presses and …forget about it…

A simple Sync on my Palm and everything is Synced and I can review it later.

Sweet Mac integration.

Let’s see if I get more things done…. Less insomnia would be nice too.