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Why do we need to sync our smartphone to do list with a web based one or desktop one?

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  • Why do we need to sync our smartphone to do list with a web based one or desktop one?

    Ok i been fiddling with enough smartphone todo list on the iphone and android as well as the web.

    So it suddenly occur to me, that one selling point alot of them make is that the tasks are synchronized across the web so that you can do it in different location.

    my question is that how many of you switch between smartphone and desktop very consistently for this to be helpful?

    in my opinion the smartphone one is portable enough for you to review it as your single manager so you don't really need another one.

    fruit for thought.

  • #2
    Originally posted by humblepie View Post
    So it suddenly occur to me, that one selling point alot of them make is that the tasks are synchronized across the web so that you can do it in different location.

    my question is that how many of you switch between smartphone and desktop very consistently for this to be helpful?
    I go back and forth between my Mac desktop and my iPod all the time and can't even imagine not having both. I use Omnifocus and while it's good for the doing part the iPod/iPhone version falls down in review and in capture.

    For me the critical component of a portable version is the ability to quickly see my contexts and actions and check things off as I do them. I need a quick overview of which context has the most things to do in it because I can usually choose to move to a different context anytime. I also need to be able to quickly see if there are any overdue items and what is due soon. Flagging is not something I use often but when I do I need to quickly pull up all flagged items and then both set and delete flags easily. For that the iPhone version works great. If I need to add a quick action I can but the iPod keyboard is not designed for fast typing.

    When I am in the house back at my desk I can type much faster on a real keyboard so editing and adding actions and new projects is easier. The real key is during weekly review. I use the OF review function to go over every project in sets (active, stalled, pending and on hold) and that is not part of the iPod version at all. Without that structured review I get lost as I typically have over 600 projects in my system and several thousand next actions. Many of those are on hold but I still need to review them. Synch is critical because I don't want to have to re-enter or update info when I switch from one to the other.

    I use the bonjour synch on my system because I am not comfortable using cloud services for that function. So I separate cloud vs sync.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by humblepie View Post
      in my opinion the smartphone one is portable enough for you to review it as your single manager so you don't really need another one.

      fruit for thought.
      Arguments against your position:

      1) Back-up
      2) Ease of viewing, especially the big picture
      3) Ease of entry, e.g. from other programs
      4) Ease of reorganization
      5) Why should I pull out my iPhone when I'm working at a computer or using my iPad?
      6) Back-up

      I don't know how many people have told me they lost all their information when they lost their phones. Never happening to me.

      Comment


      • #4
        thanks for the feed back. for one i dun really find reorganization tat difficult on an iphone but i think the big picture could be an issue.

        i for one have never lost a phone (except once when it was stolen) and while i think cloud sync provides the best form of backup, there are people who like to sync it once the apps are launched.

        if i want to collect a thought into an actionable task, this actually slows me down.

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        • #5
          Agree 100% with mcogilvie.

          I work mainly from a desktop so my cloud-based system is perfect - I can access it on both my work and home computers and when I'm away from both, I use my iPhone.

          Comment


          • #6
            Personal Opinion

            Smart Phone - Perfect for "Reviewing" and "Doing." Not so great with the other parts of the GTD system.

            Ex. What takes me a whole "drag-and-drop" motion on my iMac takes me about 7 taps on my iPhone.

            Conclusion: Smart phones (or any equivalent) is only a useful part of any good system.

            Comment


            • #7
              +1

              Originally posted by bradenchase View Post
              Smart phones (or any equivalent) is only a useful part of any good system.
              Great! I agree!+1

              Comment


              • #8
                Globalization of system

                Originally posted by PeterW View Post

                I can access my system on both my work and home computers and when I'm away from both, I use my....
                I use an Android but it's pretty the same

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                • #9
                  I'm not convinced we do need sync on our smartphone devices.

                  A well designed app should be able to capture our thoughts without excessive tapping, tagging and shuffling stuff around different lists. It seems to me, the fact we need to sync at all is a tacit admission that the tools we have so far have in fact failed. All to do apps, including the major league players are just a rehash of the same old interface. A field here, and sub page there..... with no clear design statement and cohesive view of the whole.

                  This is a direct consequence of taking a computer desktop app and shoehorning it into a small smartphone space.

                  We need a new improved way of pushing stuff into our smartphones with minimal fuss, with the software actually doing the organizing for us. That way, I could leave my desktop behind and actually get on with doing stuff for real...

                  I can see a need for backing up data, but not for sync itself. I want all my data in one place, with me at all times, without the need to sync back to a master workstation which lets me input things better than I can on the phone....

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    one reason

                    One reason: dropping your phone in the toilet.

                    TonyMo, based on what you're describing, you may want to take a look at Rexwireless (if your smartphone is a blackberry). Much smartphone software IS a rehash... because it has to be extremely intuitive for people to get hooked on it during their 15 day free trial. If something required a ton of new learning (e.g. emacs org-mode), most people wouldn't bother to give it a shot.

                    If you are willing to learn a bit, Rexwireless' software suite can do more for GTD implementation than any software I have ever seen. Yes, Outlook can do a lot of amazing stuff, but it's tough to use for GTD.

                    JohnV474

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      i fully support the idea of having one app in one place for all my todo's so much, that i made that the premise of my own to-do app! I think if you are a "hard core" GTD follower, with an extremely sophisticated system, then that may not work. but, if you are a general GTD user, or even a casual user like myself, then i think syncing and multiple lists just add complication, really. i think for 80% of the people out there, just having one nice, but easily sortable, list of tasks in one place is just fine.

                      the other driver besides added complexity with syncing, was added cost. most of the "top-tier" to-do apps that sync cost a fair amount, at least in terms of app store prices. also, my impression is syncing is a technical minefield - in pre-research, pretty much any to-do app that had syncing had negative reviews about how their syncs fail.

                      and thus, i made taskList. i think it qualifies as a "nice" GTD app. it's not re-inventing the wheel, as perhaps what TonyMo is looking for. but, i think it does what it needs to, in a clean interface, and with as little complication as possible. i am thinking about sync, but it is at the very end of my list of features to add (and, non-sync related backup of some kind is on that list, too - and much ahead of some kind of full-featured sync).

                      if you are an smartphone user, when do you not have it with you? mine is sitting right next to my keyboard, now. it's with me when i sleep, even. so, i believe NOT having sync can be more of a selling point than having it, for the majority of people.
                      Last edited by kelstarrising; 08-05-2010, 09:26 AM.

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                      • #12
                        I suppose it depends on you like your system. Personally I like to keep all my support material digital and in the same place as my projects. This wouldnt be possible on a phone. However having made my lists on a desktop, i still want to see them when i go to the shops or whatever, so I sync them.

                        However if you just like lists of lists of lists, then your phone will probably do the whole job for you.

                        That said you'd be advised to sync it somehow to make sure its backed up.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Entering data with a keyboard is a different level of efficiency than anyone's smart phone. Capturing "on the spot" is easily and quickly done with paper.

                          With Omnifocus, the applications for a Mac descktop, an iPad and the iPhone/iTouch, while not identical, are sufficiently similar enough to avoid the issues raised. Snyching these is easy, and provides back-up in the clouds. Each one has its strengths and is best for certain locations or times of day.

                          I completely disagree with the naysayers. Others mileage may vary.

                          rdgeorge

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                          • #14
                            keyboard efficiency

                            I agree that entering data with a keyboard is in a different league compared to a smartphone, in terms of efficiency.

                            On the other hand, compared to capturing on paper and then later typing at high speed on a keyboard, many (myself included) can enter data into a smartphone far faster than we can write by hand.

                            Now, if there were a way to carry a full size keyboard around and enter data at will, I would probably ignore the geek factor enough to do so.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by JohnV474 View Post
                              I agree that entering data with a keyboard is in a different league compared to a smartphone, in terms of efficiency.

                              On the other hand, compared to capturing on paper and then later typing at high speed on a keyboard, many (myself included) can enter data into a smartphone far faster than we can write by hand.

                              Now, if there were a way to carry a full size keyboard around and enter data at will, I would probably ignore the geek factor enough to do so.
                              If you have an android phone id highly recommend Swype, which is a slightly different way of using a keyboard. Rather than hunt-and-peck the keys, you slide your finger from one key to the next and it predicts it for you. Personally I find it at least twice as quick as normal typing. That said other people have reported its not for them, so as ever try it and see.

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