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  • Digital lists for out-and-about sync’d with my Mac

    I’m looking for a device that’s really good for running todo lists and possibly other stuff like support material. I have two basic requirements:
    • Really good simple syncing facility so that my Mac and this device are essentially one of the same. This should work over a whole—possibly complex—file and folder structure not one specific application for “GTD(tm)”. I’m starting to organize lots of stuff with folders in a bunch of creative ways and so I want that to translate
    • The device should be really good for typing and adding new stuff quickly. If I want to write 100 words on something—or several things—that shouldn’t be too much of a pain.
    If it made calls and sent texts, took photos, etc. all that is a bonus but I’m not too fussed about. I have a crappy phone already and I’m quite happy with it really.

    I was thinking a BlackBerry for the full keyboard but from trying to use their website I’m dubious about whether that company can actually produce anything that won’t be a pain to use. (I didn’t manage to find out any information about what their phones are capable of.) My general feeling about smartphones is that they seem to be toys with lots of clever modern features not necessarily good for real work out there in the field.

    I’m open to some really old tech—having the not significant advantage of being much cheaper—maybe even one of those old things with a stylus if somebody can assure me you can get some reasonable typing speed with that system.

    Another desirable would be for it to be linux-based with ability for you to develop your own software for it and get to a linux shell (then I could do rsync) but that might be a pipedream.

    I ask all this because I work primarily from the computer as a programmer so I like to do all my GTD from that. Having a paper-based system seems like a big investment and lot of work for not a lot of paper but of course you can’t crack open your laptop in the pub or the supermarket etc. so there’s a bit of a leak in the system. Well, I say a bit, I think it might be huge. Does anyone else suffer from this problem?

    Thanks in advance for any ideas

  • #2
    Well, there's this thing called a laptop that would do a lot of the things you want...

    An iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad would do most of want you want. Dropbox seems to be the best way to handle files and folders right now, and there's lots of apps that do that. Notebooks is a decent all-purpose app, but a little slow in syncing. There are undoubtedly Android hardware and software combos that play nice with dropbox, but I'm not well-informed.

    My feeling is that there is little justification for exploring the dustbins of electronic productivity, unless you need cheap and/or enjoy maintaining antique software.

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    • #3
      Well, there's this thing called a laptop that would do a lot of the things you want...
      My primary computer is a laptop but it’s hardly appropriate to crack open in the supermarket etc.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by olliesaunders View Post
        My primary computer is a laptop but it’s hardly appropriate to crack open in the supermarket etc.
        Yes, and that's what I was alluding to. Portable devices are not laptop computers, for a host of reasons, including form factor and battery life. To cite an extreme example of not getting that, I've run across people whose greatest desire is to run emacs in org-mode on their phones.

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        • #5
          Ah, I see what you are saying.

          Someone has recommended the Nokia N900 to me which I’m going to read about a bit more. But your point draws attention to the fact that I really have no idea what this technology can do or how it can be used other than it being a computer-like thing that is small and can carry my files, etc. So maybe I just need to get the thing and play with it.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by olliesaunders View Post
            Ah, I see what you are saying.

            Someone has recommended the Nokia N900 to me which I’m going to read about a bit more. But your point draws attention to the fact that I really have no idea what this technology can do or how it can be used other than it being a computer-like thing that is small and can carry my files, etc. So maybe I just need to get the thing and play with it.
            I've heard the N900 is a good phone, but Nokia has the same bet-the-farm problem RIM has, which is why I thought of Android or Apple. Have fun researching!

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            • #7
              iPhone is great, or iPad, have a look on the forum there's tons of comments on these. But best bet, go into a shop and have a look at one yourself, lots of shops have them on display now.

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