My Favorite App

March 20, 2012 · 1 comment

In honor of the New iPad, I thought I’d blog this time about something other than software development and share with you my favorite app.

I believe Apple will continue to own the tablet market not because of their stunning hardware or great ad campaigns. They know what Microsoft knew and IBM didn’t twenty years ago when it was Windows verses OS/2—that third-party products make a platform. There are tons of awesome Apps at the Apple App Store and it will take a while for Android to catch up, although the one I will describe here is available for the Android.

I had my iPod Touch (4th Gen) for over a year. I got it right after I ditched my Dell for a MacBook Pro and I use it even more than my MacBook. With a Bluetooth keyboard and the right Apps I do word processing, email, and a ton of other things on it. It’s portable, reliable, and easy to work with.

While have many Apps that I use regularly, my favorite one is 2Do (http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/2do-tasks-done-in-style/id303656546?mt=8).

I’ve always been amazed when I see people writing tasks down in sticky notes. For me, to do list management is a vital part of being productive and managing my life. I’ve used many systems over the years, from the very first PIMs to Tony Robbins OPA (Outcome, Purpose, Action). I’ve gained a lot of knowledge from each system but I am most excited about for its the simplicity and power of 2Do.

2Do allows me to manage several task lists (called Calendars). I’ve gone from having many of these to just three main ones: Admin, Contact, and Develop. Admin tasks are the day-to-day tasks that can be urgent but not important—pay a bill, arrange travel, print materials, etc. Contact tasks are ones that involve someone else. Develop tasks are the important ones, like building course materials, updating my website, or anything that involves creating something that has value. It also includes learning tasks.

Virtually everything I do falls into one of these three categories. Notice that I no longer separate tasks related to work and my personal life, for me that’s a good thing.

I spend less than an hour once a week and a few minutes at the start of each day brainstorming and organizing the tasks in these categories and moving the ones I want to work on next into my Today Calendar. Then I check them off as I complete them. At the end of the day when I feel like I got nothing done I look at my Done Calendar and see all the tasks I did that day, which usually makes me feel better.

The way I really manage tasks is about a hundred times more complex than what I just described but this gives a quick sense of what I do. The main thing is to get the urgent tasks out of the way so I can focus every day on the most important things—the ones that add value to my life.

I’d love to know what are your favorite Apps or how you manage your tasks. Oh, and by the way, purchasing a New iPad is definitely on my list!

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

John Knapp September 29, 2012 at 1:30 am

Hey David! 2Do looks great. My recent favorite app for iPad is BulletPad. It’s a great way to capture thoughts and ideas as you have them… and let you expand on those thoughts using the outlining features. I like the way it keeps everything in one outline tree and think that’s its best feature.

BTW, Asana is doing some innovative things with task management. And their web app is technologically fascinating!

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