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Up-To-Date MLO vs AP Comparison?

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  • Up-To-Date MLO vs AP Comparison?

    Just wondering if anyone has seen a recent comparison between My Life Organized and Achieve Planner? The two products have so many features now that I would like to see a review on where the gotchas are for each product instead of trying them out myself and not hitting some of those areas until it's too late and I've bought it.

    If I look at their individual forums, there seems to be very little activity on the AP side. I wonder if it's beginning to lose steam vs MLO?

    Thanks

  • #2
    I don't visit AP forums. But this year they had releases in January, March, April. Wondering whether that means little activity. Or do you mean the activity of forum posters?
    In that case one distinction might be that AP kind of enforces it's ways, while MLO is more flexible in terms of people using it in different ways.

    MLO doesn't have calendar.
    While AP also has outline view, MLO is much more of an outliner.
    AP doesn't have any search, doesn't import and only exports to Excel, MLO is much more powerful in all of these respects.

    As for views on the data, MLO is more flexible when it comes to filter out the data you wish to appear. It allows to setup many powerful filters.
    AP is more flexible when it comes to what for data/columns you wish to see in the view, since AP is column based, but MLO only displays item text and date due in the todo list view.

    MLO has task dependencies (don't show X until Y was completed) and "complete subtasks in order".
    MLO has archive functionality.

    MLO is outliner / tasklist.
    AP is database storing tasks, projects, wishes, goals, thoughts, motivational images, result areas, wishes, contacts, metrics,..... (though certainly you don't need to use them all).
    Last edited by Tomas D.; 07-02-2008, 03:01 AM.

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    • #3
      There are a number of fervent MLO advocates on this forum. I tried both MLO and AP before going with AP. Since I made that decision, both applications have evolved considerably, so I still test out MLO periodically to ensure that I am comfortable staying with AP.

      I participate on the AP forum and make frequent suggestions to make AP work well with GTD.

      Tomas has done a great job starting the comparison. I agree with a lot of what he wrote. A few of his comments have prompted me to make the following responses:
      Originally posted by Tomas D. View Post
      As for views on the data, MLO is more flexible when it comes to filter out the data you wish to appear. It allows to setup many powerful filters.
      AP is more flexible when it comes to what for data/columns you wish to see in the view, since AP is column based, but MLO only displays item text and date due in the todo list view.
      I have found the filtering capabilities in AP to be quite powerful. What keeps me with AP is that I do have the ability to create views with my own customized columns that I can filter.
      Originally posted by Tomas D. View Post
      MLO has task dependencies (don't show X until Y was completed) and "complete subtasks in order".
      MLO has archive functionality.
      AP has always had task dependencies. It has MS Project-like power in these dependencies. You can do many-to-one, one-to-many, finish-to-start, start-to-finish, finish-to-finish, and start-to-start dependencies, and you can specify time lags.

      MLO bills itself as more intuitive and quicker to grasp. I think that this is true. You can get up and running in MLO faster than with AP.

      In the final analysis, what keeps me with AP is the flexibility of the column-based views. For any action or project there are a handful of fields that I always want to see. For me those fields include: start date, due date, person assigned to it, and context. With AP I can create a view that shows me exactly what I need to see all in one screen. If I want more detailed information, I can double-click on the item and deal with it in greater complexity. With MLO, I have to click around to find what's important for me to know.

      AP has the flexibility to show me just what I want, just the way I want it. The tradeoff is that AP has greater complexity and takes longer to learn.

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      • #4
        I forgot to post that while I have AP for years, I have only started using it more seriously during last few days so that I don't have much experience with it yet. I apologize for any omissions or mistakes.

        Initially (years ago) AP seemed extremely complex. Now that I have just opened it without any deep unnecessary analysis and input some data, it suddenly all started making sense. I didn't have to use what I didn't find use for, I have quickly changed some views to match my needs, and found it, surprisingly, not sure if fairly simple but definitely not fairly complex as I though it would be.

        At the moment I'm using both MLO and AP. AP for major projects, MLO for all the rest. My reasons are mainly the progress tracking in AP, perhaps the calendar, and that I always wished to have these two areas (major projects, and all the other tasks and projects and routine and recurring items) separated - it's what works for me right now.

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        • #5
          Thanks for the input folks. Sounds like they are both still progressing considerably.

          I think I'll give them both another full test drive. I'm starting to think that the reason why I never fully committed to MLO is because it was difficult to see the Importance and Urgency of my tasks, and impossible for more than one at a time (to see why they were ordered in that manner). With AP I can see Deadline, Priority (A...1...) for many tasks at once.

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