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Using hand held devices for email - How?

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  • Using hand held devices for email - How?

    I'm new to GTD and trying figure out some things. I am soon starting in a new job and simultanoisly trying get started with GTD. I have had sophisticated Nokia phone and have clearly been under utilising most of its functions. Among many other things I'm trying to figure out my needs re new hand held device, but I am confused: iPhone, BB other devices have been praised for their great email usability which makes sending and receiving emails when/where-ever easier. However, the point of GTD is not to receive and send messages all the time. Can someone share a best practise on how to empty inbox once-day but still make most of the devices great functions? And what else should I be thinking about when choosing a new phone?

  • #2
    Originally posted by NuMi View Post
    I'm new to GTD and trying figure out some things. I am soon starting in a new job and simultanoisly trying get started with GTD. I have had sophisticated Nokia phone and have clearly been under utilising most of its functions. Among many other things I'm trying to figure out my needs re new hand held device, but I am confused: iPhone, BB other devices have been praised for their great email usability which makes sending and receiving emails when/where-ever easier. However, the point of GTD is not to receive and send messages all the time. Can someone share a best practise on how to empty inbox once-day but still make most of the devices great functions? And what else should I be thinking about when choosing a new phone?
    Having used earlier devices, the iPhone (and perhaps BB too) gets high marks for supporting modern standards like imap and html mail, and not crashing. I still handle most of my email on my computer, and I do most of my GTD-related activities on my computer as well. Unless you have a pressing need, I would wait until you start your new job to make changes in the technology you use. Getting the GTD habits established is much more important than gear.

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    • #3
      iPhone is not for email only

      The good things about modern equipment, iPhone Blackberry GooglePhone, is not the "send an email while on the road" but more that you have the complete power of the internet at your fingertips, all the time (but also the distraction).

      I get the most use off my iPhone by using toodledo, which syncs all task in the background to the web. That way, I can always look at my lists without having to actively synchronize them.

      Further I sync both my google calender and my work (exchange server) calendar to my phone, so I can see my work and private appointments side by side.

      Having only one address book to maintain is a plus also.

      I have a 40 minute commute to work and back, so another I use my smartphone for is catching up on webrelated reading. You can use something like instapaper for it. It has a native iPhone application.

      Having email on the road is a good thing, but I don't use it to often, because I try to empty my inboxes before I leave the office.

      Hope this gives you some ideas.

      Greetings from Germany

      Huibert

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      • #4
        re: Smartphone - Best Practices

        The form factor and functionality of the smartphone is still limited as far as a full-scale, all-in-one solution for most people who practice GTD. Until the full features of the desktop operating system become capable on such devices (probably in about 1-2 more years), they will be quite limited in helping GTD users with the higher-horizon planning, clearing the decks, and processing things into their proper places.

        The best practice for a smartphone with these limitations is to find one with functionality that makes for the fastest capturing of your ideas and a way of viewing--by context--the tasks you need to accomplish each day, as well as a way of marking them complete. You will primarily use your smartphone for collection and working off of your lists.

        Use a computer-based (or paper-based) solution for brainstorming, higher-horizon planning (e.g., mapping out your projects), processing things into their appropriate places (e.g., Actionables, Reading, Projects, Someday-Maybe, etc.). Your computer-based (or paper-based) solution should also be what you use for your Weekly Review. Think of the Weekly Review as the "War Room" and the smartphone as your on-the-ground implementation of those ideas. You need something with that larger horizon to plan -- computer / paper. But you can use your smartphone to crank through tasks, remind yourself of important things to remember, and--if fast enough--to collect thoughts during the day.

        I would also follow mcogilvie's advice to wait until the new job starts before purchasing anything; especially since some of those technological decisions may already be made for you before you arrive.

        Hope that helps.

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