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Productivity, Motivation, and Personal Development Links – 25th January 2009

This weekend my @Home context has been getting a battering. I have knocked quite a few items off this list which included changing taps and replacing the floor in my en suite bathroom. Hopefully going to settle down for a nice move with my wife tonight and some well earned rest!

Here are my collection of links for this week.

  • My first link for this week is a link to a comic representation of Stephen Covey’s Time Management Matrix. I like this post, great visual representation that helps you get the time managament matrix with a smile.
  • My second link is a link to Motivating your Volunteers, a post from Rebecca Leaman on the Wild Apricot Blog. This is aimed at motivating volunteers in non-profit organizations but the concepts of Maslow can be used in many circumstances. I had a great Risk Management teacher when I was younger who was a real advocate of Maslow and reading this post stirred great memories for me.
  • My third link is a link to a a great thread on Lifehacker about analogue (low tech) capture devices. The good content is in the comments showing you what people use as their low tech capture device. As expected, the Moleskine is mentioned quite a bit.
  • My fourth link is a link to a good post from a GTD advocate about how they implement GTD. Nice post from somebody who started with Merlin Mann’s Inbox Zero process and then moved to GTD.
  • My fifth and last link for this week is a link to a review of PlutoPro. This is a Mac only GTD App that lives in your Menu Bar on your Mac. Looks quite a nifty lightweight app that has been added to my review list for another day.

I have a got a few GTD Application Reviews lined up for this week as well as some ideas for some more posts about my GTD thoughts. I have been listening to David Allen in my car over the past week whilst travelling and it has really sparked some great post ideas.

Hope you all have a great week.


Zenbe Free Email Review

I reviewed Zenbe Lists for the iPhone in a previous post so I thought I would take a look at the full blown Zenbe web based application.

Zenbe is a fantastic web based email application designed to cater toward Getting Things Done enthusiasts and those interested in productivity applications alike. It simultaneously mixes in-depth GTD organizational tenants with simple, easy-to-use e-mail grouping and daily work programming so that almost any audience is able to get as little or as much out of the app as they please.

The aesthetics of the program are fantastic, being beautifully designed while maintaining the functionality necessary for making the application something worth using as a time-saving device.

Every tool, window and icon is given a fresh, colorful look while simultaneously avoiding the very possible pitfalls of flashiness or cluttering. In its goal as an e-mail unification tool Zenbe also succeeds by outclassing any of the major sites in terms of look and usage.


Not only is there excellent functionality here but the look of Zenbe itself is also much more polished and pleasant to work from than the big players like Gmail or Hotmail.

Although this may boil down to a matter of personal taste it should definitely be noted that the designers have done an outstanding job of mixing impressive visuals with an ultimately simplistic, usable design.

Zenbe is packed with features that are sure to draw in a lot of potential devotees. The best overall idea is probably represented in the “Overview” mode which very easily ties every option into one single screen where the most heavily used tools are all displayed.

The easy navigation couples with other functions such as the aforementioned e-mail linking option (for Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, AOL and more) which allows for the removal of multiple inbox checking headaches.

E-mail itself is also much easier to sort and inboxes are easier to handle through Zenbe.


The program allows for file attachment browsing, viewing and organizing in a superior fashion than any competing e-mail service too, opting to let users deal with items away from the context of their original message.

Project sharing is easy to use through Zenbe as well and allows for collaboration on tasks, email, files, lists and calendars.

The best part of this system is probably found in the fact that Zenbe doesn’t require collaborators to even have accounts with their program making it so that sharing is truly accessible for anyone involved with a users work.

A comprehensive blog goes a long way toward keeping users up to date with all updates and news regarding Zenbe and this is a touch which should help fans to maintain faith in the program and its designers.

A forum is also hosted on the main page and lets new users and seasoned Zenbe users alike form a great community for discussing the program. Help and job posting sections are also listed to top off the solid interaction offerings.

There aren’t too many downfalls worth noting with Zenbe considering how many facets of a productivity application the developers have done right and no major complaints can be levied against the service with its alternative e-mail and e-mail grouping functions either.

For users interested in trying out a new productivity application Zenbe is one of the best choices currently available. From superb visual design through to comprehensive features and a great support community, Zenbe is certainly worth a look.

I would love to hear of your experiences with Zenbe.

The Hit List – New Mac GTD App Goes Public

I first saw the Hit List via a blog post over at The Unofficial Apple Weblog back in December 08.

Well, the application is now at public beta and you can download it to have a play with it.

Hit List

The Hit List has come from the Potion Factory, the people behind applications such as Voice Candy and Tangerine.

I would compare The Hit List more to Things than OmniFocus. It looks great, is clean and simple with a great polish. OmniFocus has features coming out of its ears and great integration options.

I have downloaded and installed The Hit List. I am also about to embark on a good look at Things 1.0 so I will report back with a review of both the apps.

Competition is always good and OmniFocus and Things do have a real competitor here with The Hit List. An iPhone companion application is a must so watch this space as I would love to be able to see The Hit List on the iPhone as well.

Take a look and I would love to hear any comments.

Jott Speech-to-Text iPhone App Review

Jott for the Apple iPhone is so simple and effective that it should have come as a built-in feature rather than a downloadable app. The program allows users to take notes through the simplest method possible: talking to their phone.

Perhaps the best feature of Jott is the obvious attention paid toward using the tool as an organizational program rather than just an advanced memo pad.

Users can record and store their voice notes (either in the original audio or as text; the format conversion which makes the app so appealing) and then sort them into to-do lists.

Once a task has been finished the iPhone’ss touch-screen makes crossing off the work as simple as making a quick horizontal line with your finger.

Those who adhere to GTD will no doubt find Jott an invaluable tool for their arsenal as it allows for easy creation of notes which can then be exported to your desktop (or laptop) for sorting into any other organizational software app used to sort out to-do actions.

The application is free but does require a subscription to the Jott service in order to use making it into something of a double-edged positive.

Sign-up is quick and Jott has a strict privacy protection statement in effect so users needn’t worry about much of anything.

Considering the lack of financial investment and the program’s potential for becoming an essential productivity tool, Jott is well worth looking into.

Merry Christmas to All

Just a quick note to wish all my readers a very Merry Christmas!

I am looking forward to relaxing over the next few days and being as merry as I can. My copy of Making it All Work by David Allen arrived today, so I will start to read it over Christmas and report all about it here on this blog.

Enjoy the festive season and get ready for the New Year!