Tag Archives: iPhone

Evernote for Task Management

evernote_logo_center_4c-lrgOn Friday I mentioned my latest endeavor, Project Reboot, and how I was going to start digging into starting today.

To be honest I started a bit early – one can’t complete a project unless you know what needs to be done to do that I needed a tool to track it all.

Up until now I’ve been using the todo.txt setup that Gina Trapani first mentioned on Lifehacker. The tool has evolved a bit since then and now has both Android and iPhone clients and is being actively developed. It is a great tool and I can say nothing but good things about it.

Unfortunately for me, I started to notice a bit of friction with using the tool. This is nothing against the tool, just the way my workflow has begun to develop and change, and if the tool causes friction you won’t use it so I started to look for a replacement.

Enter Evernote.

I’ve been singing the praises of Evernote for quite a while now and I use it for a number of things but never really looked to it to handle my to do or task list. So when I took a few minutes and looked at it I saw it definitely had the potential.

  • It’s available on my desktop and mobile platforms and I can access it from the web if I’m on a machine that it isn’t installed on.
  • It’s got check boxes to I can easily mark things done.
  • I have the ability to group all the tasks for a project in a single note

Looks like a winner to me.

So I’ve begun to track things in my Evernote system. I have a master note that contains a list of all stand alone tasks and project that need to be completed. For those items that are projects the task item is a note link to the note that contains information about the project (which could include links to other notes) and the list of tasks that needs to be completed.

For those that are followers of the Getting Things Done (GTD) system this does allow for an easy weekly review of outstanding projects. A global search for notes that have unfinished tasks in them give a listing of all the projects and the master task list all on one screen.

I’ve only begun to work with this system but so far it seems to be fitting my style of work and as it’s a tool I already have open most of the day and am familiar with so it makes it that much easier to use.

That’s one small step for Project Reboot, next up my social media networks.

What do you use for task management?

Sorry, but I’m unfollowing you

Last week I posted about how I needed to get back on track with my targets for this year, posting and tweeting to be specific. So I started hitting my twitter apps on my iPhone, doing some check-ins and reviewing my twitter feed.

So far it’s been going pretty well, I’ve managed to increase my frequency back up to at least a tweet a day and redeveloping the habit I tried to establish at the beginning of the year. I also have to admit there’s a fair amount of “noise” in my stream and I need to do something about it.

Over the next few days I’m going to be carving out some time to “clean the stream” which mean that I will be unfollowing a number of folks. Please don’t take this the wrong way, I’m not doing this out of spite but out of a need to be able to actually make sense of my stream and gain some value from it. I’m also not going to declare “twitter bankruptcy” and just unfollow everyone as there are a number of individuals in my stream that I want to continue to follow. I’ll be evaluating everyone I’m following before I hit the unfollow button.

How do you make the cut? Here’s some of my criteria, in no particular order:

1. Be active

I’ve already begun this part of the cleaning process, if you don’t tweet why follow you? There are some exceptions to this rule, the school system, organizations and online services for example.

2. Tweet something other than just affiliate links

I love it when folks share things but if your entire stream is just a series of links that all lead to your latest affiliate program sorry but your fishing the wrong stream. I’m not saying if I see an affiliate link here and there I’ll unfollow you, only if the bulk of your tweets are that way.

Word of warning – don’t DM me with an affiliate link, I’ll unfollow you immediately.  See my Twitter Policy.

3. Respond if I DM you

I don’t often DM folks but if I do getting a response is cool and I appreciate it. I try to do this the best I can but sometimes you just can’t and I also understand that too. If you do respond, your stock goes up in my book.

4. Keep it clean

Most folks do this already but I felt it important to include it. I understand that folks should be able to express themselves in any manner they feel appropriate but as I often have folks look over my shoulder (including my kids) so keep it clean and I’m more apt to continue following you.

5. Tweet about things I’m interested in

I saved this one for last as when I took a quick scan of my stream earlier I think this is the one that most will trip on. When I first started using twitter I followed everyone and their brother trying to build a following (I follow you, you follow me) which helped build my initial following and has also helped create my current stream challenge. So if you don’t tweet about a topic I’m interested in out you go.

Once again, if I unfollow you keep in mind I’m not doing this out of spite but out of need and if for some reason you feel compelled to stop following me I understand that as well.

After I’m finished with this pass I’m going to let the dust settle and then determine if I need to do anything further to “clean the stream” or if I just continue on and let my Twitter Policy (which will also be reviewed and updated if needed) be my guide.

Do you “clean the stream” or just let it flow? Please share in the comments.

Do you jailbreak?

I posed this same question in August of last year shortly after changes were made to the while made jailbreaking an iPhone legal and at the time I had just upgraded to 3.1.3 and was fine be “locked up” once again.

All that changed a few weeks ago when greenpois0n hit the streets. It’s a dead simple process to jailbreak with that piece of software – so simple that the software found its way onto my system and my iPhone jailbroke in a manner of minutes.

So why jailbreak? Everyone has their own reason for doing it but reason number one in my book is because you can. I think it has something to do with the inner geek that most of us who work in technology have – a deep seated need to tweak and toy with things. I’m sure you’ve either seen it or experienced it – that urge to find a solution, to fix a problem, or just that “I wonder if I can do it,” moment – and then either gave in or watched someone pull it off.

That’s what happened to me – I saw the greenpois0n jailbreak and said to myself, “I wonder how it easy it really is?” It was then followed with a “why the hell not.”

So now I’ve got a jailbroken iPhone and enjoying those apps that seem to fit my workflow and personality a bit better than what’s in the official store. Isn’t that what it’s all about? Finding a solution to solve the problem – real or perceived?

So, do you jailbreak? If so, what apps are you using?

Will you switch to the Verizon iPhone?

So this week probably the worst kept secret around was made official, the iPhone is going to be made available on the Verizon network. For some this is big new for others it’s just “a yawner,” the real question is “is it enough to make you switch?”

I mentioned a while back that I had moved to an iPhone and so far I’ve been happy with the phone and while AT&T service is spotty at times just about everywhere I go I have coverage, even when I’m out with in the woods with the Scouts.

Is the coverage spotty enough to cause me to switch? No.
Is the Wi-Fi hot spot that appears to be available (iPhone 4) enough to cause me to switch? No.

One feature that I do use frequently is talking and web surfing at the same time and that feature is not currently supported on the Verizon network and that for me is a deal breaker. I use a lot of web based applications that do have mobile sites and I won’t give them up just to switch for a possible coverage improvement.

(For a break down of Verizon vs. ATT networks check out the article What’s the Difference Between AT&T and Verizon’s 3G Networks? over at Mashable.com)

Now, if I was already on the Verizon network? That would be a slightly different story but I’m not sure if I was in the market for a new phone I would jump on the iPhone wagon. It would’ve been nice though, to have a choice when I bought my 3GS.

So, will you be making the jump to the new iPhone?

Xmarks no longer marks the spot

Xmarks, a very popular bookmark syncing tool is closing its doors and shutting down the service on January 10, 2011.

I was a user of the service but when I made the nearly wholesale change over to Google Chrome it was no longer needed – I could sync what I needed through my Google account. That said the service was great and while I did use it I was very happy with it.

Todd Agulnick, the Co-Founder and CTO of Xmarks wrote up a great blog post covering the history of the company and how they came the decision to close the doors, including a mention of the browser syncing tools.

I’m sorry to see this company go – while I may not be a user of the service it did fit a need for folks that use more than one browser and I wish everyone an Xmarks the best of luck in the future.

Be sure to check out the Xmarks Shutdown page which has links to FAQs and further information along with suggestions on syncing services you can use in the future.