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Author Topic: "To-Do-Visual" or "Multi-Lists" - does this exist?!  (Read 9942 times)
tomos
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« on: November 05, 2007, 12:43:55 PM »

I think this idea is veering towards GTD which I didn't get into last year (was more of a Mark Forster follower)

It may well exist - I mean as software.

First:
My problem with To-Do-Lists is they dont work for me - on paper or software
On paper they breed (& get lost or pile up unread...)
On screen things get lost in tree-lists, "flat" lists are too long, tagging just doesnt cut it for me - with To-Do-Lists at any rate

The idea is simply that at one glance you can see all the major "areas" of work you have to do -
this suits me at any rate cause I fill an A4/Letter page nicely with the different areas -
which is what I've been doing for a while.
It's okay but I think it might be more successful like this:

In a software version you would be able to click on each heading & get a drop down list.
Could preferably be set up so you only see what you plan to do today - a la Forster's book - Do it Tomorrow -(plan it today)
Naturally when something's marked done it goes down to the bottom of the list.
Maybe a little icon by each heading that would toggle full screen/back to "multi-list"
"Areas" can be added/removed/disabled


...........................To-Do-Visual............................
PostJOB_KERRY
# cc bill
# Versicherung..............
# check has P. approved xyz...............................
# do corrections to geomap.......................
...............................
PhoneJOB_Longford
# Deeke
# MSV........
# P. re est
# estimate..................
# change fills.......................
WriteJOB_M.Survey Volume#9
# Central
# M.R.F.........
# what scan kaputt
# List new fig's & add to SQL-Notes
etc., etc....

I've actually considered making a flat box/frame from timber -
small index cards on the left, larger on the right,
when you look down on it it's a bit like the view of the table above.
But while timber can look very nice, it isnt very flexible smiley

does the software version exist?!
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Tom
tomos
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« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2007, 12:46:46 PM »

does the software version exist?!

or if it doesnt & you code this & make millions dont forget to give me a cut  tongue  cheesy
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Tom
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« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2007, 02:53:51 PM »

Quote
does the software version exist?!

From your illustration, I would think a spreadsheet would work well - something like Excel or any of the others.

This site has compiled an overview of 30+ of the software tools available to GTD users:

http://www.atpm.com/13.02/next-actions.shtml



I like Swift To Do list, after trying out some other programs its the one that I like and use.



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tomos
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« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2007, 03:28:23 PM »

thanks laughinglizard
thats an interesting read, unfortunately no screenshots Sad
so I dont get any sense of how they organise things
there I go with the visuals again

From your illustration, I would think a spreadsheet would work well - something like Excel or any of the others.
-
I probably shouldnt have used that table!
It doesnt really express what I want...
I'm not that familiar with the complexities of spreadsheets but I dont think it can do this:
-
In a software version you would be able to click on each heading & get a drop down list.
Could preferably be set up so you only see what you plan to do today - a la Forster's book - Do it Tomorrow -(plan it today)
Naturally when something's marked done it goes down to the bottom of the list...

or maybe it could?!

re Swift To Do list
"Todo lists organized using hierarchical tree structure with icons" scares me off
I can see that's a necessary [evil smiley] but me,
I just loose track of things in a "hierarchical tree structure" & everything go downhill from there
Thats even though I dont have a lot of different projects or things to do (just have to spend a long time doing certain things Wink)

< musing to myself!> maybe I'm approaching things from the wrong end but I do think my idea could help me..
« Last Edit: November 05, 2007, 03:30:45 PM by tomos » Logged

Tom
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« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2007, 08:48:18 PM »

Quote
thanks laughinglizard
thats an interesting read, unfortunately no screenshots Sad
so I dont get any sense of how they organise things
there I go with the visuals again

I would have liked to see some screenshots there too, but with overviews of 30+ programs listed, I can see why there aren't.

I'm very visual as well, so I know what you mean. I do well with Swift-To_Do-List, but that's because its so easy to use.
I'm told the mind mapping software is good for this sort of thing, but I haven't checked into it.
I just can't tackle learning a new program right now, I'm working on getting all of my stored information in one place, so I'm messing with Ultra Recall.

There's also a program called Papel - it uses a visual interface. Using the program is like using a stack of digital index cards, which are called ‘papels’. It isn't supported by the author anymore but it might be worth a look.

Description, screenshots and download here:

http://www.associatedcont...ree_writing_software.html

Have you thought about a white board or a chalkboard?  smiley
I like to draw and scribble on things and they are good for that.
I think they have paint that will turn any wall into a chalkboard.........but that's no software solution.
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tomos
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« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2007, 03:11:33 AM »

will have a look at Papel

reminded me of another "writing" programme
Notebox Disorganizer

which I thought might be suitable but I dont think so (nice programme though!)

EDIT: if I cant find a software solution I probably will go ahead & make something with index cards & timber  smiley
« Last Edit: November 06, 2007, 03:13:47 AM by tomos » Logged

Tom
app103
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« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2007, 02:53:02 PM »

Using the KISS principle, there is my ToDoList application, that I use for lots of things:



  • Creates 2 files...ToDo (.tdo) and Done (.don). You can easily make a copy of either and change file extension to .txt and use for other purposes, such as email attachments.
  • You can move things between sides easily, recycling lists when needed.
  • You can print the ToDo side (or Done) and stick it where you need it or take it with you. (very handy for grocery shopping)
  • Very simple, can adapt easily to most time management methods.
  • Everything is listed alphabetically, but you can easily add a prefix to an entry to create a priority ranking system.
  • Global hotkey to add entries. You can run more than one instance of the application, but only first instance will have the global hotkey. (you will get a message telling you it was unable to assign hotkey if you run more than 1 instance)
  • Minimizes to tray.
  • Single click of tray icon to add an entry, double click to bring up application window.
  • Accepts a command line parameter to open with a specific .tdo file. (great for making shortcuts to a specific list)
  • 100% portable, can be run from a USB thumbdrive. Does not use the registry for anything. Does not create any files other than your list files. (which are in pairs, .tdo & .don)
  • Small enough to fit on a floppy. (if you still use those)
  • Should work on all versions of Windows, 9x to Vista.

You can easily have a file for each type of task...one for phone, one for shopping, one for a project, RSVP list for a party, etc. and keep your lists where they make sense to you.

I made this because I needed it. I don't like getting lost in trees either. And I wanted something light that would run on my old PC without killing it.

By keeping it as simple as possible, it's very flexible and can be used for many purposes.

Using prefixes when adding tasks will allow you to add tasks with a priority, using a date prefix will allow you to order tasks with closest dated items at top, etc.

  • 1 small warning: it doesn't autosave your lists. (I am still not 100% sure yet, if I want to add that feature)

Use your imagination and make a system with it that works for you.

http://appsapps.info/todolist.php
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tomos
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« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2007, 04:05:16 PM »

hi app,
it's possible with multiple instances that could go the direction I want

and KISS, that's a new one to me
-
who you calling stupid, simple
NO
who you calling simple, stupid
NO
........

will go download that,
thanks!
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Tom
app103
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« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2007, 04:36:24 PM »

who you calling stupid, simple
NO
who you calling simple, stupid
NO

Since I was the one that wrote the app, it referred to me.  tongue
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Paul Keith
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« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2009, 02:54:28 PM »

Not sure what happened to this topic but tomos, if you're still looking for a visual to-do list and Workhack won't work for you...



...then you might be interested in using a docker, a launcher or even a more complicated script file and cheat this by creating a "steps" program list rather than a to do list.

Example: (Note I haven't really implemented this idea but I have took baby steps to know I currently find it a good substitute to a visual overview of any kind of notetaker/to-do program I currently use.)

This .txt file is called Focus Tools and I have this located in a subfolder named "RocketDock" under a folder I call "Personal Information Manager of Text" which is under a folder named "Daily View".

Now I use Launchy to index this folder so that when I need to open a text file rather than think "what application has all those files I set up to fit into that program's model?", I go "ahh...what's that name of the txt file I often view again?"

I find this much snappier since notepads are designed specifically for quick open and closing and you know it's a staple on most Windows OS. (Although I use Akelpad which autosaves and minimizes to tray and has a gray background which I prefer. On Linux, I use Leafpad)

Example:

Contents of my Focus Tools.txt

Quote
1. IGoogle
2. Motivational Music Video
3. RocketDock
4. Compendium
5. Tree List
6. Physical Notebook (Modified Version)
7. PopUp Wisdom
8. Google Docs
9. Google Calendar
10. Joe's Goals
11. The Form Letter Machine
12. FeedDemon

Step 1: Getting in the Mood

IGoogle - I have Activity Tracker and Days Since gadgets here. Used to be also where my Toodledo and Google Notebooks were until I switched to RTM and Notebooks dropped out. What I particularly use this for is to see the horoscopes gadget I have set up for IGoogle. I don't believe in astrology but reading these just sets my mind in the right mood to focus in whatever I set out to do.

Step 2:

Motivational Music Video - I hate listening to music while I'm doing something. That's why I set this up to listen/watch to prior to doing any work. Also helps me know if my Computer Vision Syndrome is acting up because it can be hard to constantly watch these videos all in one with fatigue'd eyes so it helps set up how I want to work towards what I'm doing. (Do I go full out or do I plan to rest?)

Step 3:

RocketDock - This is my safety net here. What I do is set myself up to always check RocketDock when I feel lost with all my data. Since RocketDock just indexes the .txts I use daily, I now have an overview of the .txts where I put a list of clues to where I can find my data. It's not that my data won't get lost, it's just now I have this overview of where I might put my data.

Where as before, I really really have to think where that stuff I want to do can be found in all the catch-all programs I used to use. Now, I deliberately set up ambiguous associations to each applications I use so that when I lose something, I have a particular guideline as to where to start looking or where to not look because I approach these programs in this order by daily focusing on the steps of programs provided rather than randomly inserting each piece to a certain application.

At the same time, if I do forget to check RocketDock when I want to, I fall back on this one .txt file to get me back to the Rocketdock process that I've set up because I've written it here. As an added bonus, if I don't check both files then I know there's something disorganized about me currently and it's not a case of me losing or mixing up the stuff I look for, it's about my mindset not being up to par to what I need to not lose or forget these items in the future.

In that way, it's a warning flare for me to possibly need to re-organize again and not just settle for finding the stuff I'm looking for and there's no getting past it because if I'm really organized and focused, I would have been able to click on either this .txt file or RocketDock to get me back into focused shape BUT if I'm not, then the inability to even click a single .txt file or open a launcher I constantly use is too inexcusable to not alert my brain.

If I do open RocketDock and choose to ignore the .txt file to the point of not even trying to click it, then I know I'm deliberately avoiding finding what I'm looking for. If I do click on this .txt file and followed it, then even if I can't see everything I want to look for, I would know whether I'm actually searching for it by following these steps in order or I'm wasting my time looking at an area that most likely doesn't even contain the parts I want to work on the most.

The rest are pretty much the software I use:

Step 4:

Compendium - I've posted so much about Compendium, you're probably tired of hearing it but this is my current catch-all program and I've already posted in another thread why I feel Compendium can give me the overview I need.

Step 5:

Tree List - This is actually tied to another .txt file I have in RocketDock called Memory Tools.txt.

Basically I use RTM as a Brain Dump To-do list and then use Go Nut Shell to cut my steps down:



...then I double-dump to Tree List so now I have both an online version and an offline version and I have an excuse to reread the To-Do list contents. Also Go Nut Shell and Tree List are much easier to organize than RTM though it's much easier to insert tasks into RTM and I now have both Compendium and a paper notebook as steps in between this so I'm not just following the steps of a program, I'm also constantly re-organizing and transferring this files between each other which helps strengthen my memory of where I might have put an item before and I also have two to three places where I have an item.

Step 6

Physical Notebook (Modified Version) - Just a bunch of paper notebooks. I hate having any systems when I'm out. I just want a pen and a paper where I write what I want to put into these stuff. I call it modified version because I have one specific notebook where I double-dump all the disorganized stuff before I move it into the PocketPC (sometimes I just prefer searching notes through ADB Idea Library or to the rest of these apps) The fact that I know I've organized my catch-all program prior to this is just a pro-active cheat that allows me to both follow these steps as well as ignore the steps. (If I ignore step 1 and start with the Tree List step, I'm also organizing this note. If I try to avoid this and backpedal, I'm still going to have to use Tree List to organize my catch-all notetaker so I know when I'm following these and when I'm paralyzed to the point where I can't even follow one .txt file step since a step is actually an action towards moving from 1 step to the next rather than focusing on one program in that specific step.)

Step 7

PopUp Wisdom - Now that I've organized. I'm tired. I don't want to listen to any long sound or the horoscope that's just repeated but...there still seems to be something on my mind but...too tired. Dull...can't focus. Can only digest mini-stuff. This is where Popup Wisdom helps me. (If I ever get to import my quote collection out of Compendium and Incollector  tongue)

The great part of using PopUp Wisdom as a transition program is that I don't have to use it exactly after I've done organizing. Anytime I'm feeling tired and assuming I have my quote collection, just click on it. Out pops an easily digestable focus keeping quote.

Close the box and it seems like I just procrastinated with a game or productivity site or some other stuff. Take this quote for example:

Quote
Know whether you're helping others or hurting yourself. You're more useful when you're whole and happy. If you need personal time, take it.

It might not be much but to me, that quote feels like I just read an entire Productivity Blog Article and I can just keep clicking on it and clicking on it and I still would have less pressure than having multiple windows open in my browser or having to constantly save those as bookmarks because they get too long or even procrastinate a bit further even when I want to stop because I'm getting to the good parts of a game and I can't save.

Step 8

Google Docs - Basically just a back-up of all the notetakers I've organized so far. It's kind of weird since many use Google Notebooks for this purpose but even before Google stopped developing it, I've always felt that they were more inclined to focus on Google Docs but not only that, if Docs stop developments, there's more demand for these kinds of services and even guys like Zoho get notoriety more for their Doc application than the rest of their suite. It just seems win-win at the time when I was using it. It also helps shave me some memory off my free Dropbox account.

Step 9

Google Calendar - I use this as my micro-journalling tool. Basically if I need some motivation, I opt for looking at the agenda view and how much I've done positive/negative things lately. (I created three calendars. Green for Something Good. Red for Bad and Yellow for Neutral)

Of course in order to do this I have to constantly add to the calendar and be in front of my PC since I don't use my PDA for that and don't have a wi-fi connection. It doesn't bother me though. I just write something on it when I feel like it and so far it has been working well and I've accumulated some random stuff already. It's also a good breaktime test. Add something to it between intervals and you tend to remember how tired you are because of the mundane of writing something down. Often times if I'm slipping to a procrastinative mood, I even find myself constantly wanting to put items to it. In this way, it both helps and hurts me because I might not get my work done but if I review the events I wrote, I quickly get an idea of when I started to slide down without needing to go through a paragraph of diary/reminders/motivation tools/journals that involve more reading and are easier to ignore.

Step 10

Joe's Goals - Just my motivation tool of choice. Anything I need a habit done, it's there. Also works well with avoiding gaining the bad habit of typing repetitive stuff to Google Calendar.

Step 11

The Form Letter Machine - As I've posted in this thread, I'm currently using The Form Letter Machine as my Q&A repository until I find a better program.

It's also an added plus for when to filter out my rss feeds for specific reading as well as in-line with helping me add repetitive thoughts to Joe's Goals while at the same time not really relying on it so when the site goes down (which it has in the past) I don't really need a habit tracker as much as form the habit of answering the questions located in The Form Letter Machine

Step 12

FeedDemon - When my mind is blank or I'm in a procrastinative manner, few things gets me both informed and procrastinating as feeds. As an added bonus, I often find new stuff to do when I can't think of stuff to do and I also discover new ways to organize the stuff that I'm currently doing. Just an overall win-win for me as a last step.

Additional impression:

The thing I really like about this, is that not only do I need not follow steps 1-12 and as long as I complete one step I'm adding to two items on the list but if I ever need to add or change some data and move them to another app, I no longer am caught dead in the water trying to fit an overview of stuff to it.

Now, I definitely have an added test on how well it fits to this list and at the same time, if I have to drop a program, rather than be pressured to know where to organize the items that I've already put there, the application's purpose is so cut down due to needing to be part of this list that not only do I no longer need to remember that I've already "dropped" that software but I now have a map as to where to put each specific data to because I have a list that's dependent on it working on a step-by-step manner rather than on 1 overview program where I'm screwed if it cannot accommodate the data I want it to or present it in a way I am most comfortable with.

By using a common .txt file, I pretty much have eliminated the problem of multiple user interfaces to my overview in regards to dealing with each program as a whole and as long as I keep that list in a "step-by-step" manner rather than a master list of all the applications I use or as table of contents for all my data, I'm getting a simpler overview until I want to dig deeper and that's where the specific programs come in.

Another plus is that I can simply copy paste the folder to a backup section and since this isn't a program that handles both the contents and the items within it, all I really need to do especially when I lost all my data is keep this note. Sure, I'm not as good as when I have all my data but I'm not particularly screwed out of an overview either since these steps are the overview, not the software or the OS or the desktop environment.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2009, 03:15:29 PM by Paul Keith » Logged

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app103
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« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2009, 12:39:00 PM »

I was just thinking of another application that might be more visual and keep you out of the trees. It could be just the style that would work best for you.

GoalEnforcer (link to my mini review)

Please see their website for additional info, as my review is a little outdated. More features were added and they now have 3 versions (starter/standard/hyperfocus) My review is for the standard version.

They do have a GTD template included with it, but you can also make your own if it's not quite what you had in mind.






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