Productivity App: Advanced To Do Lists


A screen shot of my 2Do app for the weekend. The first set of tabs comes with the app (All, Today etc.) and are smart tabs that sort based on specific information in the task or project. Below those, you can see the “roles” tabs. Because I’m in the “all tasks” view, the app also displays the specific role in which I’ve categorized the goals/tasks I have listed for the weekend.

I’m a productivity junkie.

Modern life, with all its devices, information and demands means that if you’ve got your fingers in more than one pie (and most of us do) we can’t afford to waste a moment–and that if we’re very very good at optimizing, we might actually manage to grab a few zen moments in a day.

Lately, I’ve turned to one of the productivity classics, hoping to up my effectiveness. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People is far from new, but this means it has the advantage of having been tried by many people I know and respect–and it has generally come with high accolades. There’s a lot I like about it, including the idea that you work outward from the solid foundation of your principles, values and integrities. I have never taken the seminar–instead, I’m working through the chapters over time, trying to really incorporate and entrench the Habits as habits or paradigms. I want them to get as close to being second nature as possible, and that takes time. So for the next while, I’m concentrating in integrating, applying and making second nature the first three “individual” habits. Later, I’ll move onto the other three habits, once these feel well-established.

One of the things I sought, because I don’t have a lot of money and don’t want to buy pricey planners that are Covey-themed, was a to-do list or planner that might lend itself to the method of time management described in the book. I’ve purchased a variety of simple and complex ones through the years–and having gone through my collection, I found that the one that was best suited to my needs was the app 2Do. I don’t have the desktop edition, unfortunately (I came *this* close to buying it, but due to a complication with dropbox integration, I decided not to bother).

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Scrivener Scrivenings Part III: Index Cards App

These last weeks, I’ve mostly been blogging at my writing/copyright/etc. blog, and so alas, though my voracious love of all things useful in the app world has remained unabated, I haven’t blogged about it as much. Today’s post is inspired by three things:

  1. About five weeks ago, I downloaded the Index Card App for my ipad, which interfaces with Scrivener in a different way than does Plain Text, allowing for an extension of a different facet of Scrivener’s functionality into the mobile context.
  2. I notice that there have been a lot of referring searches to this site using the terms “Scrivener Index Cards”. Now, while this might be because people wanted to know about the index card function within the program, I suspect at least a few people who did the search might have been wondering how well Index Cards the *app* works with Scrivener.
  3. This pertains to a significant set of functionalities associated with the program, and so in the interests of at least touching on some of the major facets of Scrivener’s usability, it seemed worthwhile to do the post.

A quick bottom line: the Index Card app export/import function is useful for those needing to do planning on the fly, but it isn’t as well integrated as the Plain Text functionality. This meant that I had to keep referring to the instructions the first several times I wanted to make the transition. Not fatal, but definitely clunky and cumbersome. Still, it’s worth noting that I did it all the same, because I didn’t want to have to retype or re-order the index cards on my ipad, having already done it Scrivener. That’s still a lot more work. Finally, I’m not convinced that pulling the Index Card App collection back into Scrivener has any functional advantage (aside from consolidation of the project) over just typing in your changes by referring to the ipad, as Scrivener keeps the index card imports and exports segregated, as a separate “collection” from the main draft file.
Click through for the full review.

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App Review: 3 Time Tracking Apps

Eternity Time Log Lite icon

Please note: I have posted an update as of July 9, 2011, to this review, comparing Eternity with two other time tracking apps. Please click through at the bottom of this post for the full commentary. Thanks!

“I have measured out my life with coffee spoons…”

So, working at a law firm this summer, I’ve needed to track my time. My husband did a quick lookabout and found this app–Eternity Time Log Lite–designed for some productivity tracking purpose or something.

I’ve looked at other time measuring softwares (or at the reviews, at least), but have been unable to summon up the wherewithal to actually test too many of them out. The reason? Because I really like Eternity. It does pretty much everything I need it to do.

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