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Mac users: DayLite 1.5

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  • Mac users: DayLite 1.5

    I don't work for anyone in the tech industry (anymore!), but I have to report that I have finally found a native Mac solution that seems to work *perfectly* with how I use GTD. I've tried iCal/Address Book, Now-Up-To-Date, Entourage, Palm Desktop, LifeBalance, and maybe others which currently escape me.

    Combined with my aging Palm m500, I've looked in vain for something that's logical, beautiful, and, most importantly, makes GTD straightforward and natural. All of the above apps didn't do it for me, for one reason or another. If they're working for you: kudos, and ignore my rant.

    Today I downloaded the brand new version of DayLite from http://www.marketcircle.com and am delighted to see that it integrates perfectly with the Palm, and works like a true Mac application should. It's beautiful, simple, and more powerful than I'll need right now (which gives me room to grow). It doesn't get in the way. It's made for business users, and they seem to have hit the mark (with me, at least!).

    As I said, I don't work for the company or anything of the sort, but I had an itch, and this appears to completely resolve my issues and concerns.

    Has anyone else tried this app? Does it work as well as I'm seeing (having given it only a short (but fairly thorough) work-through)? Anyone have any horror stories to share about the program -- or vice versa? In short, is it worth the money?

  • #2
    Daylite

    I am really interested in your post. There has been some talk on another listserv. My current database manager thats designed for lawfirms Amicus says its coming out with a version 10 but refuses to say when and its been a year and a half. I think its just to keep us from going somewhere else. I am very pleased that Daylite now it does a palm sync. I think I will try it. Please post again and let us know how you are using it and what you think..

    Comment


    • #3
      I think Daylite version 1.5 has brought a number of improvements notably the Palm Sync. Realisticly I don't think you can build this type of program and offer it to the market without Palm Sync.

      I think the program is very well suited for GTD especially when linking projects and N/A's. I especially like the fact that the program wants me to think of the N/A. When quickly scanning my project list, it is very obvious to me if a project is lacking a N/A. Once done I stricly focu on my tasks. I also find it quite useful to take the step back for the weekly review. There are still a few bugs to work out, and I think it could still be easier to use, but I think they have a keeper.

      marc

      Comment


      • #4
        Marketcircle comment

        Hi,

        It's really nice to see that people familiar with David Allen's concepts are interested in DayLite. We are fans of David Allen's work and I think that you can see some similarities between our concepts.

        Thanks!

        Comment


        • #5
          Difficulties implementing GTD with DayLITE

          First, let me say that MarketCircle's DayLite is the best application I've found in Mac OS X for implementing GTD--but I have also run into some serious difficulties. I've outline these difficulties in an e-mail to Marketcircle, part of which I've copied below, in hopes that other GTD users might be able to either (a) encourage MarketCircle to make the following suggested changes or (b) let me know how you've been able to work around the difficulties I've encountered.

          Here goes:

          Currently, DayLite’s "Status" field has the following options for Tasks:

          New
          Determine Action
          Determine Delegate
          Delegated
          Deferred
          In Progress
          Other

          Done
          Done, Follow-Up Task
          Done, Follow-Up Appointment

          Cancelled
          Routine

          DayLite’s pull-down menu for sorting Tasks by Status, however, has only the following options:

          New
          Delegated
          Routine

          All
          Not Done
          Done

          It seems to me the above schema makes working with Tasks in DayLite difficult.


          Problems Directly Related to Using DayLite with "Getting Things Done"

          1) The “New” Status is redundant and confusing. Any “new” item, after all, requires someone to determine what to do with it (i.e., to “Determine Action”)--or to route it in a multi-user environment for someone else to “Determine Action” or “Determine Delegate.” Why, then, have a “New” Status? (Significantly, DayLite does allow a user to set “Determine Action” as the default for new Tasks--which has helped to minimize confusion at my business.)

          2) The pull-down menu for sorting Tasks by status is incomplete: it does not have every currently built-in Status that might characterize a Task. (The pull-down menu for sorting Timeblocks by Status, in contrast, has every possible Status a user can check for a Timeblock.)

          3) It is impossible to simultaneously view Tasks of several different (but not all) Statuses--a user interface problem that makes working with long lists of Tasks exceedingly difficult. To see more Tasks of more than one Status, a user must either sort multiple times, which makes inefficient use of time, or view All tasks, which makes inefficient use of screen real estate. Neither option is truly workable.

          Working with Tasks could be made much easier--and DayLite enhanced--by doing the following, which I would be open to discussing further with Marketcircle staff, in the event the company is interested in implementing the following but would like additional input. I have tried to be as thorough as possible:

          A Two-Fold Solution to enhance viewing Tasks by Status
          1) Re-do the Sort by Status pull-down menu for Tasks. Instead of including every possible Status marker, however, use only the following categories:
          Action: @Location [i.e., all Tasks marked with ANY
          “Action:@{ParticularLocation}” Status,
          as explained below.]
          Action: Deferred
          Action: Waiting for...
          Action: Projects [i.e., The task is part of a project.]
          Action: Someday: Abilities
          Action: Someday: Tools
          2) Re-do the Task View to include every task requested in the "sort" from the pull-down menu described in 4a, above--but WITH A FOLDER VIEW directly correlated with Task Status. Creating a "folder view" need not necessitate equipping the database to function with folders; the physical location of each item in the database is irrelevant for this to work. Instead, the following behavior would need to be programmed: a folder would appear any time a Task with a corresponding Status exists. When no task with a particular Status exists, no folder with that Status label appears in the Task view. This behavior should be automatic. Moreover, clicking on a "folder" should expand it, much like the “List view” for folders works in Mac OS, making Tasks with the Status specified by the folder name visible beneath the folder. This would enable simultaneous viewing of Tasks with different Statuses--fixing a current limitation in DayLite.

          A Three-Fold Solution for enhancing the function of “Status” in Tasks
          1) Create sub-menus when classifying a Task by Status. Thus, instead of “Done, Follow-Up Task” and “Done, Follow-Up Appointment,” the user would select “Done” and then have three options: Complete, Follow-Up Task, and Follow-Up Appointment.
          2) Allow users to specify "locations" under the "Actions” menu, below. All user-specified locations would follow the @ sign; the Someday: Abilities and Someday: Tools categories would be permanent.
          3) Use the following Status menu. The Action:@{ParticularLocation} classifications, below, are those I use personally. As long as users could enter these locations--and have each one automatically create a separate folder in the Task view list whenever a Task was classified as Action:@{Particular Location}--the following would work wonderfully. (For instance, I personally use the following locations, in addition to those below: @Church, @Computer: ON-line and @Computer: OFF-line, and @Prayers.)
          Determine Action
          Determine Delegate
          Action
          @Agendas
          @Anywhere
          @Calls
          @Computer
          @Errands
          @Home
          @Office
          @Read/Review
          @Waiting For...
          Someday: Abilities
          Someday: Tools
          Deferred
          Follow-Up Task
          Follow-Up Appointment
          Delegated
          Follow-Up Task
          Follow-Up Appointment
          Done
          Complete
          Follow-Up Task
          Follow-Up Appointment


          Problem Related to Column Sorting in DayLite

          The View columns on Contacts, Organizations, Groups, Opportunities, Projects, Tasks, Timeblocks, and Notes seem to allow sorting by only one column at a time. This further handicaps the Task view, described above, but it also handicaps other views, as well.


          Possible Solution

          Marketcircle may want to consider allowing users to specify sorting priorities; for instance, a user might want to specify the following sequence of priorities for sorting Tasks: “Sort by Status, then Project association (if any), then Priority, then Category, then alphabetical by Task”; the following sequence of priorities for sorting Contacts: “Sort first by Category, then alphabetically by Last Name, then alphabetically by First Name”; or the following sequence of priorities for sorting Opportunities: “Sort first by Category, then by Stage, then by Expected Close Date, then alphabetically by Title.”

          Marketcircle could implement this by building in a Preference of “Sort Depth” (a numerical quantity), in an Application Preferences pane. Then, a user could simply click the columns in the order he wanted them sorted--with the first sorted column receiving a circled “1” to graphically show the sorting order, then the second sorted column receiving a circled “2,” and so on. If the user had specified a sorting depth of 2 and he clicked a third column, it would reset to “1,” and the previously selected “1” would reset to “2.” The previously selected “2” would then no longer be selected. If the user had specified a sorting depth of 3, however, when he clicked on a third column, a circled “3” would then appear in it, to note that it would be sorted third. As long as these sorting priorities were remembered by the program, this drawback would be solved.

          An alternative would be for Marketcircle to build a Preference with which a user could choose to disable the current style of “clickable” column sorting (also described above) and, instead, specify column sorting orders for Contacts, Organizations, Groups, Opportunities, Projects, Tasks, Timeblocks, and Notes, each separately.


          Problem Related to Viewing Tasks Under Projects (Also Related to GTD)

          In DayLite, "Projects" allow for tasks at the same level only. Currently, this necessitates I use FastTrack Scheduler 8, because it allow subtasks, preserves contingencies, auto-forwards tasks, and recognizes conflicts. This makes DayLite’s Project-handling capabilities underpowered, which is a shame given the extensive capabilities DayLite has elsewhere. This problem, however, is low-priority, as other programs exist to compensate. The prospect of being able to do all of this work in one application, however, is very appealing.


          Possible Solution

          First, in my opinion, Marketcircle should insure that DayLite maintains the ability to link Tasks to Projects (from the Task view, not from the Project view). This gives DayLite a usability advantage over other Project management programs, which typically allow links only from the Project to the Task.

          Second, Marketcircle should cannibalize the sub-project schemas of FastTrack Scheduler (the easier of the two major closed-source Project Planning programs) and/or Microsoft Project (the more difficult of the two major closed-source Project Planning programs); then incorporate them into DayLite Projects.

          Third, Marketcircle may want to create a Gantt Calendar view for DayLite.


          While some of the above may only make sense to DayLite users, it does highlight some difficulties I've been having making DayLite--still the best of the solutions I've found on Mac OS X--work fully with GTD.

          Feedback is definitely appreciated!

          Sincerely,

          Matthew

          Comment


          • #6
            Easy Work-Around to This

            Try creating custom Categories [Preferences -> Classifications -> Categories] which correspond to the GTD categories, and remove any unsuitable task categories. Then you can filter tasks by Category (and by Status = Not Done).

            If this works for you, then be sure to save it as a custom window template.

            Comment

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