View Full Version : Tablet (iPad), GTD & ADD


Jacksper
04-07-13, 08:17 PM
I am on a quest to organize my life to live a better life and become more productive. The exact goal of this: to find a system that gives the most benefit for my life and requires the least maintenance. So a simple and powerful system.

Currently, my radar is focused on "Getting things done" by David Allen. I am currently reading the book, as some of you might already know already, and while I am reading it I am applying everything. I already read a couple of chapters and applying this brought be enough benefit to decide that this is a good system for now to try and apply as a whole.

As I was pondering about what would be the best method to apply this system, I got the idea that an iPad could be great, since I already own a Macbook (which by the way is not so mobile anymore because of age) with some organizational software on it that's pretty neat (Things, Evernote, iCal and more), all of which is also available for iPad. I sold my iPhone a couple of years ago because I decided that I did not need it and in general I try to live without too much luxury. But, while reading the book, it became clear that it's very useful to have your organizational system with you all the time. Agenda's and todo books have never worked for me for more than a few months, so I thought I should go for it and just buy the iPad, because I see a lot of potential in it, if it doesn't I don't lose that much money if I sell the device second hand in 2-3 months after a trial period.

So, about 5 days ago I bought the thing; an 16 gb wifi iPad mini, the cheapest model. Advantages:
1) It's light and small, which is useful for the goal to carry it around all the time.
2) Having no internet all the time is mostly an advantage for me and there's wifi in the most important places, like university.
3) I can use less paper. On paper, things eventually get a mess and get lost.
It can show good overviews of all my tasks, finances, etc, so it does the organizing a bit for me, which paper doesn't do.
4) I put 20 lecture videos on it, so I always have something to study with me, which is nice for those short moments in between. I also have some study books on it.

Obvious disadvantage is that it's more expensive than other solutions to do this. But, since I've already tried to work with these for years I thought I would try something else, even if it costs some more. By the way I've got it fully insured for 8 euro's per month so I don't have to worry about it getting lost, broken or stolen, which is nice because these things tend to happen to me every now and then.

I set up my organizational system here and will start to really work with it this week. Let me describe how it works:
1) I make lists of things I have to do / ideas / things people tell me to do /etc every day and put these in a notebook. So, the first step is not iPad, because I don't want to wave that thing in front of everyone, I think writing is quicker and more natural.
2) I schedule only the urgent things in my iPad and put an X on the things that I've removed from my notebook (the other things I organize somewhere in the evening on my macbook, which is easier because I can do everything in one moment and because of the mouse and keyboard).
3) during the day I look to the iPad to see what kinds of tasks I have scheduled for today. I use reminders for important things, which is another great advantage of this method.
4) in the evening I look at everything that's been done and I update the schedule for the week with my notebook and with what pops up. This will be synced automatically with the iPad.

I'll put as much as possible in the "Things" app and avoid using too many other apps for productivity/organizing, to keep it simple.

I will keep you informed about how this experiment is going.

So, what do you think? Are there people who do a similar thing?

dvdnvwls
04-07-13, 08:41 PM
The downfall of GTD (if it has one) is not the fault of its creator, just a very tricky problem with adopting such a system: a person can spend all his time tweaking the system and making it work better, instead of actually, umm, getting things done. Spending a lot of time preventing yourself from wasting time. :)

So if you quickly develop a rigid system and refuse to deviate from it, I think it will have a better chance of helping.

If writing is quicker and more natural, why add in the electronic tablet? Isn't it just wasting time & space?

ConcertaParent
04-07-13, 10:14 PM
If writing is quicker and more natural, why add in the electronic tablet? Isn't it just wasting time & space? +1. I have a tablet, 2 iPod Touch, laptop and PC, but I mainly use an old-fashioned calendar to organize myself. Since you're using the paper notebook so much anyway, I would use that to organize instead of buying an iPad plus $8 every month for unnecessary insurance of a product that will soon be replaced with a newer model. If you really think buying an iPad is necessary just to organize yourself, just back-up your data regularly instead of wasting money on insurance.

dvdnvwls
04-07-13, 10:17 PM
Not that tablets are bad - just that if it doesn't convince you to throw the paper notebook in the trash, then it isn't yet a good enough tool for you to use.

Jacksper
04-08-13, 04:06 AM
Thanks for you replies, you point out some important things!

I see how the risk of GTD is that the system demands time to tweak, and I admit that I really would also be the person who would spend a lot of energy to improve it instead of actually work :o. So good point, I should try to avoid that, so I'll go for quickly making a system that works.

But the thing is, I already bought the thing, hehe :giggle:. And I think that the device may actually help in making the GTD system more simple. So, the experiment has already started! ;)

Good point on that notebook. However the iPad has another function than the notebook; the notebook is to gather all incoming tasks, appointments and ideas (on one page). The iPad (and macbook at home) are for structuring all tasks. Advantage is that the iPad is much better in making nice overviews, I can add reminders easily to keep me from forgetting and I don't lose it (I lose paper eventually). So, now I can throw away the paper every day.

So, in summary; notebook is a daily "gathering" tool, iPad is for structuring all tasks through the GTD system and frequently getting an overview of all tasks.

I see the iPad could make things more simple, but also more complex. Time will tell. And I will keep telling you about how it goes, might be nice.
If it doesn't work, I will sell the thing if it mostly creates unnecessary complexity and accept my loss of 50 euro's or so.

Hope it can be helpful!

stef
04-08-13, 04:15 AM
I LOVE my Ipad (bought it last may); I'm not even using it to its full potential.

however it just doesn't work for organization, for me - I "found" some lists i had started in the Notes application, completely forgotten I had even made them.
I just have to write everything down on paper.

I don't have it with me all of the time (it stays at home, not risking getting it stolen, lost etc)

then again I didn't buy it for that purpose, it was so I could go online at home without turning on a computer, after being on computer all day at work.

sarahsweets
04-08-13, 06:18 AM
I have bought and tried all sorts of electronic gadgets to try a "new and improved" system for organizing. Prior to the wonders of smart phones and tablets, I was guilty of ordering the "next best thing" in special calanders,whiteboards,list makers,special pens, etc. The joy of setting these things up gave me butterflies. But, 2 weeks into the newest system, I could never keep up with it, i lost interest, forgot,got bored. The only consistent thing I have ever maintained is a large block wall calander. If its not written there, it doesnt matter which device i use to remind me of something. It doesnt matter which calander app i check, I always need to look at the calander and write important stuff on it. I also carry a small flip notebook around me with important lists, numbers etc. Maybe there's an old person trapped in my body, but with all of the effort I had put into the newest and "easiest' user friendly gadget organizing, i could have actually accomplished something I had already written down in my notebook or on the calender.

mommaofmonkeys
04-08-13, 07:48 AM
I have an Android, I have a google calendar widget and a google keep, widget. I keep my to do lists and anything I think of while driving in google keep. It has an auto voice to text feature, unlike other note apps that take voice memos. I need to see things, not hear them. Plus it syncs with my online calendar and shares the calendar with my husband. Each kid, bills, potential activities has its own color.

We homeschool, there are all kinds of classes and field trips that we missed because I forgot. Now they go on a calendar that is grey and I can have not be displayed on a regular basis.

dvdnvwls
04-08-13, 01:20 PM
Thanks for you replies, you point out some important things!

I see how the risk of GTD is that the system demands time to tweak, and I admit that I really would also be the person who would spend a lot of energy to improve it instead of actually work :o. So good point, I should try to avoid that, so I'll go for quickly making a system that works.

But the thing is, I already bought the thing, hehe :giggle:. And I think that the device may actually help in making the GTD system more simple. So, the experiment has already started! ;)

Good point on that notebook. However the iPad has another function than the notebook; the notebook is to gather all incoming tasks, appointments and ideas (on one page). The iPad (and macbook at home) are for structuring all tasks. Advantage is that the iPad is much better in making nice overviews, I can add reminders easily to keep me from forgetting and I don't lose it (I lose paper eventually). So, now I can throw away the paper every day.

So, in summary; notebook is a daily "gathering" tool, iPad is for structuring all tasks through the GTD system and frequently getting an overview of all tasks.

I see the iPad could make things more simple, but also more complex. Time will tell. And I will keep telling you about how it goes, might be nice.
If it doesn't work, I will sell the thing if it mostly creates unnecessary complexity and accept my loss of 50 euro's or so.

Hope it can be helpful!

All good.

Really, there are only two systems: "This Works", and "This Doesn't Work". As long as you stay in the first of those categories, do whatever you want. :)

What I believe I want:

- Immediate easy entry of reminders

- A way of making those reminders come back to me at the time I need them (not buried somewhere that I'll miss them)

- A noise-maker to interrupt me at necessary times

- All my reminders in one place (no scraps of paper, no using two different programs, no using two different notebooks, etc)

Jacksper
04-11-13, 08:09 AM
I've been using the iPad for a week now. Advantages thus far:

- the best thing is the GTD app that I use. It really helps to stay on top of things, I don't have to remember stuff anymore. I think this is the greatest advantage, if you include reminders. All the things you say can be done with it, dvdnvwls.
- the agenda is nice too. all my appointments in one place.
- spotify is good.
- watched some lecture videos on it. Looking forward to be able to do this stuff in my garden when the weather is better (in a few days).
- I always have a camera with me, which was useful more often than I expected. It's also nice to show people some pictures every now and then

Risks:
- using the device too much, which is bad for worktime: certainly a risk, but I don't know what I can do on it so much (browsing on computer is easier, I don't install games on iPad, etc). Most apps that I have are productivity apps and spending time using these is mostly a good thing. \
A computer is more dangerous.
- using the app in social situations; I have a principle to not do this, unless it's good for the conversation, which is rare. So far I manage to do fine with this.
- getting bored with the device and stop using it; has happened before with a lot of other gadgets and other methods of organizing myself, so certainly a risk (the biggest I think). I think it's the biggest risk, so should pay attention to this. If this device really makes me more organized and productive, I should try to stick with it. Otherwise I should sell it in 2-3 months.

So, the first week was good enough. Hope using the thing get's more and more of a routine.

PhillipRogers
04-13-13, 11:17 AM
I am on a quest to organize my life to live a better life and become more productive. The exact goal of this: to find a system that gives the most benefit for my life and requires the least maintenance. So a simple and powerful system.

Currently, my radar is focused on "Getting things done" by David Allen. I am currently reading the book, as some of you might already know already, and while I am reading it I am applying everything. I already read a couple of chapters and applying this brought be enough benefit to decide that this is a good system for now to try and apply as a whole.

As I was pondering about what would be the best method to apply this system, I got the idea that an iPad could be great, since I already own a Macbook (which by the way is not so mobile anymore because of age) with some organizational software on it that's pretty neat (Things, Evernote, iCal and more), all of which is also available for iPad. I sold my iPhone a couple of years ago because I decided that I did not need it and in general I try to live without too much luxury. But, while reading the book, it became clear that it's very useful to have your organizational system with you all the time. Agenda's and todo books have never worked for me for more than a few months, so I thought I should go for it and just buy the iPad, because I see a lot of potential in it, if it doesn't I don't lose that much money if I sell the device second hand in 2-3 months after a trial period.

So, about 5 days ago I bought the thing; an 16 gb wifi iPad mini, the cheapest model. Advantages:
1) It's light and small, which is useful for the goal to carry it around all the time.
2) Having no internet all the time is mostly an advantage for me and there's wifi in the most important places, like university.
3) I can use less paper. On paper, things eventually get a mess and get lost.
It can show good overviews of all my tasks, finances, etc, so it does the organizing a bit for me, which paper doesn't do.
4) I put 20 lecture videos on it, so I always have something to study with me, which is nice for those short moments in between. I also have some study books on it.

Obvious disadvantage is that it's more expensive than other solutions to do this. But, since I've already tried to work with these for years I thought I would try something else, even if it costs some more. By the way I've got it fully insured for 8 euro's per month so I don't have to worry about it getting lost, broken or stolen, which is nice because these things tend to happen to me every now and then.

I set up my organizational system here and will start to really work with it this week. Let me describe how it works:
1) I make lists of things I have to do / ideas / things people tell me to do /etc every day and put these in a notebook. So, the first step is not iPad, because I don't want to wave that thing in front of everyone, I think writing is quicker and more natural.
2) I schedule only the urgent things in my iPad and put an X on the things that I've removed from my notebook (the other things I organize somewhere in the evening on my macbook, which is easier because I can do everything in one moment and because of the mouse and keyboard).
3) during the day I look to the iPad to see what kinds of tasks I have scheduled for today. I use reminders for important things, which is another great advantage of this method.
4) in the evening I look at everything that's been done and I update the schedule for the week with my notebook and with what pops up. This will be synced automatically with the iPad.

I'll put as much as possible in the "Things" app and avoid using too many other apps for productivity/organizing, to keep it simple.

I will keep you informed about how this experiment is going.

So, what do you think? Are there people who do a similar thing?

Surely tablet is much better option. I got Galaxy tab recently and it is a wonderful addition to my life

APSJ
04-13-13, 11:33 AM
I've been training myself to be more and more disciplined about putting *everything* into my pimlical app on my android phone, which includes lists of things that should be done immediatelly, things I want to start being reminded to do on a later date, as well as all appointments, tasks, etc. that have discrete times set.

The app has become sort of glitchy lately and I've been contemplating a replacement, though the thought of having to transfer everything is a bit overwhelming...

PhillipRogers
04-14-13, 08:39 AM
Surely tablet (http://www.robustbuy.com/laptops-tablets-android-tablets-c-551_1107.html) is much better option. I got Galaxy tab recently and it is a wonderful addition to my life

Yes these tabs makes our life bit simpler