Just a quick post to let you all know that the Nozbe GTD Application is now available for free download from the iTunes Store.
Nozbe has been up to now a web based application without any desktop client. The launch of the iPhone App has made Nozbe mobile, and surely appeal to a much wider audience.
Now, I do not use Nozbe myself, and the main reason has been due to the lack of the iPhone client. So, maybe now I will take a proper look at Nozbe as I do like the idea of having a Web App front end to my GTD system and this is what is currently missing from my OmniFocus set up.
OmniFocus is App based and I use it on my Mac. I would welcome the use of a cloud based web app and will try to get Nozbe working for me.
I have been using OmniFocus both on my Mac and iPhone since beta versions of both products.
I have had my gripes with OmniFocus on the iPhone, mainly due to the speed and I am glad to say that v1.2 definitely feels snappier, but still there is still some room for improvement before that annoying lag is removed from the application startup.
Here are a list of new features in v1.2 of OmniFocus for the iPhone.
The Nearby view now displays each context as soon as its distance is determined, rather than waiting to figure out the distance to each context before showing any results. It also scrolls much faster.
Checkboxes are much easier to touch.
When creating a new action, the keyboard appears immediately rather than sliding in after the screen.
On the home screen, Settings have moved to the Info button in the bottom right corner.
The Reset Database button in Settings will now reset the saved sync password in addition to the database, and will then take you back to the original welcome screen.
Syncing automatically compacts the database on a regular basis, but when syncing is not enabled there’s now a Compact Database button in Settings. (There’s also some text there indicating how many tasks are stored in how many zip files, so you can tell whether your database could benefit from compacting.)
Added underlying support for the new autocomplete settings for projects and groups which are coming in OmniFocus v1.6 for Mac.
Actions without contexts are no longer considered unavailable
Version 1.6 of the desktop app has just gone to Sneaky Peak so that will hopefully be due out soon, bringing with it improvements.
Zoho is a popular project management program which has only been available for desktop and laptop usage up until last year.
The addition of the iZoho iPhone application is meant to branch the service out to smartphone users who require access to the organizational software while away from the computer.
The release of iZoho effectively boiled down the existing formula of the program in order to provide an optimized experience for mobile users.
This effort has resulted in the iPhone version hosting only document, presentation and spreadsheet access, something which is still fairly impressive but ultimately of lesser worth than competing programs.
Users are able to open, edit or create new Zoho documents and organize their data through this format but are forbidden write authorization for the other two categories.
While it may be useful to view presentation and spreadsheet information the document-only usage of iZoho cuts the service off from being of any real use past a simple convenience for pre-existing Zoho users.
Although there is certainly nothing wrong with iZoho it’s difficult to shake the feeling that there are better uses of your time and effort while perusing the software.
Taken as what it is, iZoho is sufficient as a somewhat limited productivity app but fails in holding itself up against the competition and it’s own, non-mobile renditions.
Do you have any experience with iZoho? Please leave a comment and share if you do.
I have got quite a few reviews stacked up for release on this blog and I cannot believe that I have never published a review of Evernote before.
I did review the Evernote iPhone application a few months ago. I love Evernote and it really is one of those applications that I use on a daily basis.
Evernote is one of the most well-known organizational programs on the internet and is a great choice for users looking for a GTD application or just a better, general tool to help sort out their daily lives.
Its “remember everything” slogan encapsulates the main goal of the app; to provide an easy and convenient method of taking digital notes from the user’s daily life.
Visually, Evernote is outstanding. The simple yet detailed aesthetic cultivated by the developers makes the program very welcoming and a joy to check into.
Evernote’s main features are all clearly laid out and easy to access for new users or those who only ever really use the program at a basic, surface level.
Each form of the system from the no-download web access to portable phone usage looks and navigates extremely well so users shouldn’t be worried about how their operating system or choice in medium will be able to handle it.
The developers of Evernote have obviously spent a lot of time packing the program with important features. Interface support is, frankly, quite astonishing.
As mentioned before, Evernote can be used on the web, on a Windows or Mac Client and also on mobile devices including the Apple iPhone. The option of signing in and using the whole array of tools without a download is also great for users who wish to access the program from various computers.
Some of the more innovative aspects of the application include incredibly simple copy and pasting from the web (both words and pictures) into Evernote and text searching within images.
The “Endless Tape” view through Evernote Windows is also interesting in that it allows users to scroll through all of the ‘memories’ they’ve pasted into the program — a great feature for those who want to make sure absolutely everything gets sorted from within their various files.
Once notes have been taken it’s also quite easy to organize, store and peruse your various work which makes it an excellent choice for those who want to incorporate the program into a GTD philosophy of work.
There aren’t too many faults worth mentioning with Evernote when considering the large amount of attention and continued work that has obviously gone into the program. While it may have a fairly overwhelming number of features this is ultimately a pretty difficult aspect of the program to consider negative.
The community attached to the program should help to make the learning curve relatively gradual and exciting. In future versions it would be good to see a greater emphasis on sorting information into more detailed categories, tasks and next actions although users are still able to make this happen on their own accord with a bit of effort.
The support is pretty remarkable and it’s obvious that the popularity of the program has lead to a great, helpful community. From Evernote’s homepage users can peruse press releases, news, updates, tours and manuals along with a quick video tour which highlights the main program features for the uninitiated.
RSS feeds, Facebook fan pages, FriendFeed and Twitter options all help to further increase the level of involvement with the Evernote world that dedicated fans can choose to get into as well.
Users will no doubt be impressed by Evernote and its wealth of features no matter what kind of organizational tool they’re interested in.
Whether accessed through the website, offline mode or via a mobile phone the program is a great bet for the busy user interested in introducing a little more order to their day to day lives.
iPhone owners can pick and choose from a staggering number of productivity applications, many of which are excellent in their own right, but the aim of your organizational goals is usually the most important criteria for choosing the right download.
Round Toit is pretty much just another of many to-do list applications but it succeeds in finding a good way to channel all of your tasks into a solid, temporary holding tank.
I first heard of the term a Round Toit from Zig Ziglar who is told to carry one in his pocket as his business card. Then when people say that haven’t got around to it, he would give them his card and say “You have now”.
Round Toit succeeds in its work toward providing a fully realized grouping and sorting system for all types of data. The application doesn’t aspire to be something that it isn’t and focuses well on the specific task of collecting and organizing all sorts of data the user has collected.
Items can be prioritized in different manners and allow for customized alerts, deadlines and more while unsorted work can be filtered into organized and/or unorganized categories for later handling. All lists can be moved around or edited quite easily and the overall view is clean and pleasant to look at.
The application costs $4.99 to download but may very well be worth the entry fee for iPhone owners in the market for a new productivity application. Probably the best way to assess Round Toit is within its stated framework as a to-do list and nothing else.
Users expecting a fully formed GTD app will be disappointed with the lack of options but those interested in a fantastic, virtual dumping point for new work and memos will likely be quite pleased with what Round Toit accomplishes.
Those of you who are followers of the Getting Things Done methodology will full understand the importance of the instant collection of your tasks. David Allen, author of the GTD system talks about the Ubiquitous Capture Device, meaning a device that is with you at all times enabling you to use it to capture your thoughts.
I have been doing some thinking recently about the capture devices I use as part of my collecting strategy. I have been practicing GTD for around two years now and I always say that the biggest change and benefit brought to me is the ability to capture items as they enter my head so that I can collect these in my inbox and process them at a later date.
Another GTD term is Open Loops and I have written many posts that cover Open Loops. Just as a refresher, an Open Loop is a task that is not recorded. Each time you think, gosh I must do this, and gosh I must do that and do nothing about it, it creates a little Open Loop in your mind that takes up valuable processing power and causes stress. The empowerment of capturing your thoughts, as you have them is the biggest benefit that I have got out of GTD.
During the past few days I have been thinking about the various types of capture devices that I have used over the past two years and which have worked and which have failed.
There are two main categories of capture devices, the high tech and the low tech. By high tech I mean items such as iPhones, Blackberries, Laptops, and PDAs. Preferably running some task or GTD based software application. The low tech options include a good old pen and paper. The paper can form a notebook, stickies, journal, or daily planner. It really doesn’t matter as long as you can record your thoughts.
When I originally started implementing GTD I, like many others, rushed out and bought a collection of Moleskine’s. This is the techie in me who loves to go out and buy hardware, even when the hardware is a nice notebook. Moleskine’s are in my opinion the nicest notebooks that good money can buy. The quality of the finish and paper is second to none.
I bought the large notebook, small notebook and also some of the small Moleskine Cahier notebooks. I use my large and small notebook for day to day use and meetings. I teamed up the Cahiers with a throw away golf pencil and this made it into my back pocket as my Ubiquitous Capture Device.
This worked to a degree. As the Cahier notebook was an extra, it had to be remembered. It was not fully integrated into my life and there were times when I forgot it, leaving me without my trusty notebook to record tasks. I then ended up with around 6 dog eared Cahier notebooks “hanging around” and not really being productive.
Then, the iPhone and OmniFocus for the iPhone came along. I started to use this as my capture device. My phone is always with me so it ticked the Ubiquitous requirement of the Ubiquitous Capture Device. The problem is that it takes a minimum of 10 seconds to get the phone turned on, OmniFocus load, and be in a position to add the task. Doesn’t sound like a lot but when you have an idea or task in your head that needs recording it sure does feel like a long time.
There are two items that are ubiquitous to me. My phone and my wallet. These pretty much go with me wherever I go. I feel the most important part of selecting a Ubiquitous Capture Device is to get one works and you WILL carry it wherever you go.
David Allen uses a low tech Ubiquitous Capture Device. He uses a wallet that has a built in notebook with tear off pages and an expandable Rotring pen. This works for David Allen and I am sure it would work for us all. I have a really nice wallet that my wife bought me a few years ago and I am not replacing it yet but when I do, this is something I will look into.
In summary, my current tool of choice is OmniFocus as my Ubiquitous Capture Device on my iPhone. My phone is always with me so it fits the bill. The benefits of the high tech device is the ability to sync with my desktop OmniFocus so I never lose data but their is a speed trade off. Low tech capturing is much faster but you have to carry it, and also if you lose it, well you have lost it.
I would love to hear from all you about your Ubiquitous Capture Device. Are you low tech or high tech? Do you have any cool tips to share with us all about finding the ultimate Ubiquitous Capture Device?
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 applicationZenbe 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.
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.
Starting December 31st, 2008 we’ll take the 5 top nominations in each category and add 5 nominations from our list of iPhone bloggers, developers, and general web-celebrities for each category to come up with 10 nominated apps for each category. In addition, the 10 apps that get the most votes across all categories will compete for the title of Best App Ever. Please come back and vote for your favorite app in each category.
iXpenseIt is an iPhone application meant to help users to keep track of their daily finances through easy management of purchases and spending patterns.
By making excellent use of the iPhone’s built-in features iXpenseIt can help both organize your expenses and/or get you started on the path toward using any sort of money management tool.
The application keeps records of all inputted purchases and tracks the information in a number of useful manners. Users can choose to view their data through a variety of different displays.
iXpenseIt is capable of creating solid graphs of your spending patterns over whichever range of time you wish to see and thus provides a great manner of creating a visual representation of your finances.
Your data can be exported to your desktop as well, a feature which should help users to archive their spending information into monthly or yearly folders.
iXpenseIt also has the very useful feature of using the iPhone’sbuilt-in camera to capture photos of your receipts so that they can be digitally input before being thrown in the trash.
At $4.99 the iPhone application may be a bit too expensive for some to warrant downloading but it’s a fair price for what the software does manage to pull off. If nothing else, at least the price of the program can be the first item entered into it!