How to choose a to-do manager
Posted 02 July 2012 - 04:29 AM
Posted 02 July 2012 - 06:11 AM
Posted 02 July 2012 - 10:28 AM
Because Macs ship with Apple's products of Mail, iCal, and Address Book, most people have never utilized the huge amount of power and integrated ability that is in the Entourage module of Microsoft Office 2008 For Mac.
Entourage is a combination of Mail Manager, Address Book, Calendar, Notes, To Do, and Project application modules that are all COMPLETELY INTEGRATED. They are ONE PROGRAM to the user--not separate programs like Mail, iCal, Address Book.
Furthermore, it has a built-in, integrated Database module that allows you to LINK almost anything to anything. So, an Email can be LINKED to Calendar event, a Note, a Project, a To Do item, and/or a Contact. (The email can even be linked to multiple items.) Or a Contact could be linked to a To Do item. Any item to any other item(s). That is HUGELY POWERFUL.
Additionally, Entourage can LINK to an item that is outside of the Entourage modules (such linking to a WORD doc or any other FILE that can be found in the finder). Does any other software even come close to this much INTEGRATION BETWEEN THE APPLICATIONS and LINKING of attachments and links back to pertinent, related information (that the User choses!).
The Mail module is completely integrated with the Address Book such that all Contacts are shared between them. Double-click on the Sender of an Email to pull up all of their Contact info.
Use the Comment section of a Contact record to keep a note or log (OF ANY LENGTH) about that person. Alternatively, you can LINK to a separate NOTE(s) that you create to keep info relevant to that person.
So there are THREE LOCATIONS where you can keep lengthy information:
in the Comments section of any Contact record,
in a separate NOTE (linked or unlinked),
in some outside FILE (such as a WORD doc or other file) that you link to.
A "contact" doesn't just have to be a "PERSON." It can be a COMPANY (using the Work Name) and then LINK separate employees--individual persons--to it.
I make a "contact" as an inventory record of owned assets or purchased items, such as cars or electric shavers, to keep info about them. I just say Ford Van in the Company Name space. Then link it to the Ford Dealership contact and various mechanics.
I also make a contact for a website company--such as Macworld.com--to store passwords and history logs.
Besides LINKS, another strong feature is CATEGORIES (which can help with sorting/finding). You can make as many Categories as you want. Then any item (To Do, Email, Contact, Note) can have one (or multiple) categories assigned to it.
I have the least experience with the Projects feature. But Projects are very powerful, pre-formated views of your data that relates to that particular project.
I had a project of a Men's Tennis Team that showed all of the contacts that were on that team, all of the emails between us, and a calendar showing just the events relevant to that team.
I've been using Entourage for years.
Yes, this is old software. But I haven't found anything to replace it.
Microsoft has now apparently done an upgrade fix so that Office 2008 will operate on Lion OS. This gives some more life to Entourage 2008.
Microsoft came out with a newer version--Office 2010?--that drops Entourage and replaces it with Outlook (which does NOT have the Project module, nor any Linking Database ability?).
How well Outlook replaces all of the functionality that I just described, I don't know....but doubt.
However, I can't tell you anything about the syncing ability of Entourage 2008 (it's supposed to have some syncing) or the integration ability with iPhone or iPad (don't know if there are any Apps). Nor can I say about Outlook 2010. Sorry!
Posted 02 July 2012 - 01:53 PM
After a few weeks I also purchased the iPhone app so I can check the status of my projects on the fly. Excellent.
Mind you, this is a task management software not Project Management. But simple enough, Omni has Omniplan, much simpler than MS Project and you don't need to fire your Parallels/Windows machine.
Posted 03 July 2012 - 04:34 AM
On my fridge, my notes do not have dates. I just sort them as I go.
For non-temporal ToDos (things that need to be done, you just don't know when), I use Great ToDo List.
But in truth, if you ask 10 people which ToDo they like, you may get 11 opinions.
Posted 06 July 2012 - 08:34 PM
You can publish Due Reminders as a calendar, which you can then subscribe to in your calendar app.
You can also customize different Contexts to be shown in different calendars. You don't have to use GTD to understand the concept of Contexts, because the tutorials explain it so well. For example, I have contexts regarding my family shown in my Home calendar, contexts to be done at work shown only in my Work calendar, and so on. You can do this independently of publishing the Due Reminders.
OmniFocus is expensive, but worth every penny for someone who needs its features and abilities, like me. It's worked flawlessly for me for two years.
Posted 16 August 2012 - 05:38 AM
Apple's to-do list (Reminders) has no times, no links to persons, maps, emails, or URLs, and thinks that the only thing that matters is the "due date", as if scheduled things can be done ahead of time.
I realize that I am coming to this conversation a bit late, and perhaps you have already found a solution for your problem, but I have been using an app for years that does just what you are asking for. When creating a task, list, or project, you can add actions such as visiting a URL, placing a phone call, driving to a specific location etc. And what's great about the implementation of the feature is the ability to single tap these actions to perform them (launch a map, place a phone call, browse Safari). The app is called 2Do: Tasks Done in Style. It is a bit skeuomorphic by nature but surprisingly, not constrained or restricted by it. 2Do allows you to complete many of the same tasks that OmniFocus allows, with the exception of some of the extremely granular details. I find its interface super easy to adapt and get used to and it has been a life saver for me for years now. They have a OSX version in the works but currently runs on iOS devices (and Android) only. Highly recommend checking it out. I think it's $9.99 but I believe that gets you a universal app for iPhone and iPad. I have not used the iPad version but I cannot say enough good things about the iPhone client.
Posted 27 November 2012 - 08:14 AM
Posted 17 February 2013 - 02:21 PM