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My Life Organised and Outlook [argh!]

My Life Organised and Outlook [argh!]

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.swearing

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.

Just as I”d got my GTD system up and running properly, was implementing it in every aspect and was considering myself on the verge of becoming a Brown Belt the system dies.

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! laughing

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8 Comments

  •  

    “Awww, I feel so sorry for you. I’ve mucked up something on my sync at the moment – it isn’t updating avantgo and now I have nothing to read on the loo (TMI – sorry)
    Have tried some online wikis but agree they fall short. Be interested what you come up with. Personally I want something that I can drag and drop all my ‘stuff’ and then sort it – just like David Allen’s PDF flowchart. I think that would be great ;-)”

  •  

    “Drag and Drop? That’s awfully web 2.0!

    An update on the MyLifeOrganised Fiasco. I managed to find a backup version of the initial file so I now have all my tasks back (and more somehow) but they’re not in the correct contexts in Outlook so I know what I’m doing this weekend!”

  •  

    “LOL – glad you found the file, at least you don’t have to start from scratch.
    Yeah web 2.0 – i like to think of myself as a futurist. My dreams and visions seldom match aith practicalities 😉 “

  •  

    “I am sorry about your troubles–i know how frustrating it can be.

    However, I don’t understand why you say myLife Organized is not portable. I run it from my USB key just fine and it’s an excellent solution. And the synch with Outlook is almost perfect.

    There are many options in MLO for the Outlook sync. It is true that it can be a bit overwhelming at first, but it allows you to set up just about any scenario that meets your needs. And once you set it up, it works very well.

    Good luck with everything.”

  •  
    Spencer Rosengarten
    June 1, 2006 at 7:30 pm

    “I’ve been trying to find MyLifeOrganised and the website for it (http://www.mylifeorganised.com/) seems to be down. Is there any other place you can suggest to find the demo of the program?”

  •  

    “You can run MLO off of a USB drive. Everything you need is in the directory, there are no stray DLLs anywhere. I did it for awhile, then decided that I did not like it much.”

  •  

    “Hi Spencer, I downloaded the trial version from http://www.mylifeorganized.net/

  •  

    “I haven’t tried MLO. I did investigate about 20 other apps, and eventually settled on ToDoList (http://www.abstractspoon.com) and love it. Since my work and personal items are completely separate, I only have dial-up at home, and don’t need any kind of sync, it made the most sense. It can be run from a thumb drive.Best web-based apps I have seen so far are Tracks (http://www.rousette.org.uk/projects/) and Tasks (http://www.taskspro.com/screenshots/). Both of these can be run locally if you have Ruby on Rails or Apache/PHP/MySQL installed, respectively… Better than any of these is to buy a Mac and put everything in kGTD. 😉 “

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