I”ve just downloaded the trial version of MyLifeOrganised as a few people have been going on about it and I thought it was pretty good to start off with. It took a while to set up but it was working quite nicely. I then found that it would sync with Outlook so did that and it messed my entire Task List up.
My Outlook tasks were nicely organised into my Category contexts a la David Allen and Getting Things Done which synced nicely with my PDA via Pocket Informant. I had 35 tasks organised into the various categories, I then copied over the relavant ones to MyLifeOrganised (manually – not synced as I used it as an opportunity to separate the wheat from the chaff).
Things were going well, with MyLifeOrganised I was able to add the top-level context (i.e. @ Emails) and then associates tasks and sub-projects (with their own tasks) to the context. This was excellent as it was much more powerful than the way that Outlook generally handles tasks.
I then decided to sync MyLifeOrganised to Outlook which copied over all of the tasks fine but in no Context what-so-ever, the contexts were showing up as separate tasks so now I”m left with a task list of 50 items with no context to them. This then auto-synced to my Ipaq and destroyed the contexts in Pocket Informant so I”m left with a mess of data.
I closed MyLifeOrganised down and when I reopened it all of the Contexts and projects had disappeared from that so again I was left with one big long list of tasks with no Contexts. It was only when I was faced with this huge mound of information in one large “To-Do” list that I realised the value of the contexts. Nothing made sense, I had no idea what I was supposed to be doing so I deleted the lot of them.
I guess it”s my own fault for relying on a technology-based solution (much to the horror of the GTD analogue advocates I”m sure) but I”m a geek. I work with technology everyday so it seems archaic to me to fall back on a paper-based solution.
So, what to do?
The problem with MyLifeOrganised is that it isn”t portable. I don”t have Outlook at home (primarily because it”s pants) and I”m not really bothered if anything syncs to my PDA as I can enter stuff manually on that (which isn”t really the point but what the heck).
I”ve decided to implement a web-based solution that”ll hopefully work nicely and I can access it from anywhere. Not too sure what format it”ll be in yet, I think I”m going to try and keep away from a Database to ensure full portability. And before everyone says anything, I”ve tried most of the WikiPads and they don”t seem to offer the functionality that I want, or just plain don”t work so I”m going to attempt to do something myself.
Ideally what I”ll come up with can be run from a USB Flash Drive to make it truly portable. So basically if anyone has any suggestions about features they”d like to see that are missing on their current system, functionality etc. please leave a comment and I”ll do my best to incorporate it. I shall keep everyone appraised of my progress!
Right, now all I have to do is try to remember the 37 tasks I had and write them down somewhere… fun!