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GTD....without a BlackBerry - it IS possible!

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  • GTD....without a BlackBerry - it IS possible!

    My GTD system is pretty simple and straightforward - my work Outlook without the GTD Add-on that I can access at home via the web and everywhere else via my enterprise BlackBerry. Works well and although I love technology and new tools I have not sought to change this.

    Then last week my BlackBerry died . Took me a couple of days to work out that it wasn't fixable so my work is currently ordering a new one and will ship it from head office within the next few days. In the mean time I found an old Nokia handset in the drawer at home and am using that for calls.

    I'm not a slave to my BlackBerry - I have the email notification turned off so I need to physically check whether there are any new messages. What I've discovered though has shocked me. I actually thought to myself yesterday "this Nokia handset is rubbish - I can only make calls on it"! Not a comment you would have heard much just 5 years ago .

    It then dawned on me how much I use my BlackBerry to access my contacts, my next actions, my calendar, my notes, my personal Gmail and of course my work email. I AM actually much more productive with it as I have learned to make use of valuable snippets of time here and there when out of the office (which is about half the time).

    Having said all that the world hasn't ended and I have adapted my GTD system to cope, if only temporarily. Once a day now I print my next action lists which I carry with me and I have to really think ahead of time what other info I might need (like a telephone number) as I won't have access to the Internet whereever I am.

    So, strange to discover how much I actually like ubiquitous access to my GTD information and comforting to know that I can adapt my system if I need to.

    Simon

  • #2
    thanks for the story

    I'm considering moving from paper to a BB (or equiv), so it helps to know how useful it is to you.

    Comment


    • #3
      I made the Paper to BB move

      Hi Cornell, noticed your comment, and also just thought I would chime in.

      When I first started GTDing almost 2 years ago (has it been that long???) I was all paper. Part of that was that I wasn't sure if I wanted to spend all the money on a nice new PDA (that IT at work may or may not have let me set up), part of it was also just wanting to get used to the processes first, and part of it was enjoying writing on paper.

      However, last May, I was issued a BlackBerry (Pearl, if it matters) from work, linked to our Exchange server, and rather than carrying my own cell phone, a BlackBerry, and a Classic size planner, I decided to make the move to a primarily electronic setup.

      I'll also mention that I don't use the Add-in (IT again), but just plain vanilla Outlook 2002 (with an updated to 2007 coming soon). I've just customized a few task views, and use notes for my project lists and other short reference info.

      I will admit, I was a little hesitant to make the switch, for a variety of reasons. For one, I enjoyed the paper system. I liked the tactile nature of it, and I find that if I had that with me, it was very easy to do any system maintenance tasks (rewriting, project planning, calendar cleaning, etc.) I was also somewhat hesitant about the addictive possibilities of being "always on".

      So after 8 months, how do I find it? I love it. My lists are kept in Outlook, sync'ed to my BlackBerry, along with all my contact info, and the ability to keep in touch. I like having it all in a tiny package that I keep in my pocket. For example, last night I went to Indigo (large bookstore, a la B&N) to pick up a few books, and it was great just having my BlackBerry with me, with the list of books that I wanted to pick up. I used to keep my lists in my planner, the thing is, I wouldn't always have the full thing with me. Especially if I was just popping into a store randomly. This makes things much easier to keep at hand.

      Now, I'll admit, there are a few downsides. I miss my paper calendar, I liked that week on two pages view, but I'm not willing to carry another item just to get it back, and this way I'm not having to manage two separate calendars (for work events through Outlook and for everything on paper).

      The other thing I find is that I don't use the BlackBerry for Capture. Besides it's glaring omission of including a voice recorder function in the basic Operating System (seriously) it's just not the same as writing things out. That generally isn't a problem for me, though, as I've always got either a Blueline Notebook with me at work, or a Moleskine Pocket size with me elsewhere.

      So, that was my slightly long and rambling post, but I hope there's a few tidbits in there you might like.

      Cheers,

      Adam

      Comment


      • #4
        Adam,

        I have Palm 750. I think it's the same as BB. And I use it to capture everywhere. Check if BB has an option of writing as a drawing and that part becomes as easy as writing on paper. Plus you can always use a voice recorder when driving. The main advantage the phone is always with me even in a sauna

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Borisoff View Post
          Adam,

          I have Palm 750. I think it's the same as BB. And I use it to capture everywhere. Check if BB has an option of writing as a drawing and that part becomes as easy as writing on paper. Plus you can always use a voice recorder when driving. The main advantage the phone is always with me even in a sauna
          Hi Borisoff,

          They are similar except for one big thing, the BB does not have a touch screen, otherwise I'd be 100% with you on that.

          I'm keeping my fingers crossed for the next generation to have a touch screen (and QWERTY, or at least SureType) and a 3G connection.

          Phone in the sauna, eh? You must be everyone's favourite person

          Cheers,

          Adam

          Comment


          • #6
            Adam, then you should buy touch-screen enabled, QWERTY-type phone a-la Palm 750 instead of your paper planner and come to see me in a sauna

            Comment


            • #7
              [QUOTE=AdamMiller81;54753]
              So after 8 months, how do I find it? I love it. My lists are kept in Outlook, sync'ed to my BlackBerry, along with all my contact info, and the ability to keep in touch. I like having it all in a tiny package that I keep in my pocket. For example, last night I went to Indigo (large bookstore, a la B&N) to pick up a few books, and it was great just having my BlackBerry with me, with the list of books that I wanted to pick up. I used to keep my lists in my planner, the thing is, I wouldn't always have the full thing with me. Especially if I was just popping into a store randomly. This makes things much easier to keep at hand.

              Hi Adam

              When you mention Outlook lists in the Blackberry, are you referring to tasks, email attachments or something else?

              TIA

              Jack

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by JackC View Post
                Hi Adam

                When you mention Outlook lists in the Blackberry, are you referring to tasks, email attachments or something else?

                TIA

                Jack
                I can't speak for Adam but imagine from what he has already said that his set up is similar to mine - I have my Next Action lists as Outlook Tasks which I can see on the BB using the Task app although I purchased NextAction! which I find more functional AND I have my checklists of things as Outlook Notes which are also easy to read/edit on the BB.

                Hope this helps.

                Simon

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by sdhill View Post
                  I can't speak for Adam but imagine from what he has already said that his set up is similar to mine - I have my Next Action lists as Outlook Tasks which I can see on the BB using the Task app although I purchased NextAction! which I find more functional AND I have my checklists of things as Outlook Notes which are also easy to read/edit on the BB.

                  Hope this helps.

                  Simon
                  Exactly Simon. Checklists and Project Lists as notes, NA's as Tasks.

                  On a related note, is NextAction transferrable between BB's? What I mean is, if I purchase it, and then upgrade my BB, is the license transferrable or do I need to repurchase it?

                  Thanks,

                  Adam

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by AdamMiller81 View Post
                    On a related note, is NextAction transferrable between BB's? What I mean is, if I purchase it, and then upgrade my BB, is the license transferrable or do I need to repurchase it?

                    Thanks,

                    Adam
                    Well I am assuming it's the former but will be able to tell you for sure next week when I get my hands on my new BB (8300 I think). I'll certainly be arguing that case if I need to. I also need to transfer VR+ a voice memo recording and forwarding app I use (kind of like poor man's Jott). They've been pretty good to deal with in the past so don't expect any problem.

                    Cheers

                    Simon

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I am intrigued by the way you guys are talking about using Notes and Tasks in Outlook along with the Bberry. I have a BBerry 8703 and have not been able to find a system to use this that works. This sounds very simple and very workable however. Can you expand a little on this system in terms of how you have it set up. I have tried using paper with the Bberry but that is too cumbersome and I have tried using some 3rd party apps but they either do not work with the requirements of my office or they are web based and therefore it is one more place to put everything. This system sounds great because it all resides in Outlook and syncs with the Bberry. Thanks, LarryG

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by LarryG View Post
                        I am intrigued by the way you guys are talking about using Notes and Tasks in Outlook along with the Bberry. I have a BBerry 8703 and have not been able to find a system to use this that works. This sounds very simple and very workable however. Can you expand a little on this system in terms of how you have it set up. I have tried using paper with the Bberry but that is too cumbersome and I have tried using some 3rd party apps but they either do not work with the requirements of my office or they are web based and therefore it is one more place to put everything. This system sounds great because it all resides in Outlook and syncs with the Bberry. Thanks, LarryG
                        Hi Larry

                        I have implemented the recommendations in the GTD and Outlook paper that the David Allen Company has put together - simple as that. It really works!

                        Cheers

                        Simon

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by AdamMiller81 View Post
                          On a related note, is NextAction transferrable between BB's? What I mean is, if I purchase it, and then upgrade my BB, is the license transferrable or do I need to repurchase it?

                          Thanks,

                          Adam
                          Hi Adam

                          I got my new BB which turned out to be another 8800 like I had before and was able to install NextAction on the new device using the desktop manager and the saved files I downloaded when initially purchased. At first I couldn't find those files so emailed the S4BB support with a copy of my purchase email and they sent me a link to download the files again if I needed to. Great service!

                          It feels good to be connected and mobile again

                          Simon

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Borisoff View Post
                            Adam,

                            I have Palm 750. I think it's the same as BB. And I use it to capture everywhere. Check if BB has an option of writing as a drawing and that part becomes as easy as writing on paper. Plus you can always use a voice recorder when driving. The main advantage the phone is always with me even in a sauna
                            no bbs have a touchscreen (although I did see an iphone-like bb on some cutting edge market releases).

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by sdhill View Post
                              Hi Adam

                              I got my new BB which turned out to be another 8800 like I had before and was able to install NextAction on the new device using the desktop manager and the saved files I downloaded when initially purchased. At first I couldn't find those files so emailed the S4BB support with a copy of my purchase email and they sent me a link to download the files again if I needed to. Great service!

                              It feels good to be connected and mobile again

                              Simon
                              How much does NextAction for BB cost? I've been really considering the switch to a blackberry (after having owned 3 palms). My biggest concern is ease of syncing with Mac OS (my main, and only favorite, computer-based OS). I do not use Outlook. I only use Gmail (and occasionally mac Mail) for email. I guess the best software would be something that pulls information from gmail and google notebooks, but as of yet, I think the only way to access that, on a phone atleast, is via a phone webbrowser. Getting a phone PDA is pretty essential, but the syncing quagmire (what mac programs will it sync with) has been hellishly complicated in the past. I know there's a bb mac-based conversion program, but the fact that I don't use and microsoft products (just a preference choice after trying all of them out, not some "boycott" of the software) makes any "syncing activity" betweek Macbook and pda seem complicated.

                              Unfortunately, after playing the "reading reviews" game (which almost always clash with each other) and considering personality and life style differences (everything from sleep patterns, to work habits and needs), I've discovered that only by trying out a pda phone or just normal phone for 2-12 weeks is the only sure-fire way of knowing how efficient it is and if it will, ultimately, "work" with my own personal GTD system
                              Last edited by validatelife; 01-21-2008, 08:12 AM.

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