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GTD on a MacBook Pro

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  • GTD on a MacBook Pro

    Hey guys, I need your help here.

    I'm seriously thinking of changing my pc laptop to a new Apple MacBook Pro 15". I've always used used a pc and so this is a big decision for me but I reckon I should make the switch now as I do have to change my current laptop.

    I currently use 'Microsoft Outlook' for my GTD system on the pc and use Outlook tasks for everything, categorising tasks into the various GTD contexts that I use.

    So guys my questions are as follows:

    (1) Switching from PC to MacBook

    Have any of you made the switch from a pc laptop to a Mac and how have you find the conversion? Would you recommend it? How easy has it been to learn the Mac operating system? Any problems with it?

    (2) Microsoft Office for Mac

    As I mentioned I use Microsoft Office every day for both business and private use. I believe you can also get the full Microsoft Office suite for the Mac, is that right? Is it exactly the same as using it on a pc?

    (3) Microsoft Outlook & GTD System

    I use the 'tasks' facility on Microsoft Outlook for my GTD system, categorising tasks in to the various GTD contexts that I use, eg@Work, @Home etc etc. I find this system so useful and rely on it for my daily time management.

    I also drag & drop emails from my inbox into the relevant categorised tasks so that I can then view them by categories.

    Does Microsoft Outlook on the Mac give me this exact same functionality? Can I categorise tasks in the same way and then drag and drop emails into tasks as I do on my pc? Can you set reminders for tasks?


    I'm pretty sure that I want to switch to the Mac but it's the whole 'Outlook' functionality that worries me.

    Really looking forward to hearing from you all to see how you are getting on with this, what's everyone using for GTD on a Mac, what recommendations, feedback & advice you have for me.

    Thanks - Andy

  • #2
    OmniFocus

    Hi there

    I can't really speak for how Outlook works, but generally for the Mac I believe OmniFocus is the best way to go (it is also listed on davidco.com). It is designed specifically for GTD and as far as e-mail go there are ways to directly import a link to an e-mail as an attachment to an action. OmniFocus is also available for iPhone and iPad and syncs seamlessly between them.

    Another popular option for GTD on Mac is a program called Things. Many people prefer it due to its more stylized setup. Personally I don't find it as feature rich as OmniFocus and it has terrible sync functionality so far. In short, I don't think you can go wrong switching to Mac and I don't think you can go wrong switching to OmniFocus for your GTD setup. It will be a change (for the better I'm not the right guy to tell), but there is nothing to fret as its a setup tailor suited for GTD.

    /John

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by aeastham View Post
      (1) Switching from PC to MacBook
      (2) Microsoft Office for Mac
      (3) Microsoft Outlook & GTD System
      1) I switched 5 years ago when I ruptured my Achilles tendon and was basically stuck in a chair with a new 15" Macbook on my lap. It took a little while to re-train keyboard habits, but when I got back to work one of the first things I did was replace my desktop pc with a mac. I highly recommend you consider a 13" laptop as well as the 15" one. I recently got one of the new 13" MB Airs and it is really a pleasure to use. Full screen mode for things like calendar and mail and swipes to move between them make it extremely productive. I do not miss extra screen real estate at all. If you have an Apple store in your area, it's worth spending some time playing around.

      2) I have the newest version of Office for the Mac, and the UI looks a lot like the newest PC version. I don't use all its features by any means, but I have seen zero problems in exchanging files with admin types who use the pc version heavily.

      3) I don't use Outlook, but I looked at it when I installed Office. It has pretty much the same functionality as the pc version. The problem for me would come with connecting to the rest of the world. I have multiple devices, and Outlook's ability to share and sync is very limited for everything but Exchange. I expect Outlook mac will lag behind pc's even there. While I understand the attraction of an all-in-one solution, I think there are better options.

      Comment


      • #4
        Why do you want to switch from PC to MacBook?

        Originally posted by aeastham View Post
        (1) Switching from PC to MacBook
        (2) Microsoft Office for Mac
        (3) Microsoft Outlook & GTD System
        Why do you want to switch from PC to MacBook if you don't want to leave a Microsoft world?

        There are many reliable notebooks with Microsoft Windows 7 that will give you the same functionality for a lower price.

        Comment


        • #5
          I'm also wondering why you want to switch to Mac, especially if you love(?) using Microsoft Outlook for GTD.

          I use a PC and Outlook at work with a GTD setup because I don't have a choice. It works well enough, but at home, where I also have a PC. I use toodledo.com (website and iPhone app), which works well with GTD and to me is better than Outlook. (I have to split work and home for GTD because of the security requirements at my job.)

          I've always thought that Office on the Mac was an afterthought for Microsoft, and my experience with Entourage on the Mac a few years ago was not encouraging (pretty interface, but very sluggish).

          If Office for Mac isn't as good, you could always run Parallels or similar on a Mac and then run Outlook for PC on top of that. Probably would work well, but potentially expensive.

          If I were switching to the Mac, I'd definitely take a look at Omnifocus or maybe Things or Hit List. I've tried OF and it's good, especially the iPad app. I'd also check out toodledo.com on either PC or Mac. Wunderlist is another good GTD program for PC or Mac (iPhone, Android); it has far fewer features than Omnifocus but is simple to use and supposedly will get recurring tasks and other new features at some point.

          Comment


          • #6
            Relax

            The differences between Mac and PC are nowhere near what IT tells you. The main thing that helped me when I learned Mac was the video tutorials. Apple has many on their site and they are short, focused, and easy to understand. Often talking about things you already understand (e.g. WiFi) but explaining it with the Mac terminology and visuals (e.g. preferences vs. control panel, Finder vs. Explorer, Dock vs. task bar, etc). Those alone are worth their "weight" in gold. Before I mess with any new program (often before I even download the trial) I search for and watch some tutorials about it.

            Microsoft Office is pretty much identical. There are some differences but mostly they are interface related as OSX is considerably more flexible. And there won't be any compatibility issues because you are working and saving in .docx format, not importing and exporting to and from, like you do with iWork (or anything else for that matter).

            I've used Omnifocus for my lists but didn't like it. It's by far the most feature rich GTD application for the mac but in my experience, many of those "built-in" features are better and more elegantly handled by standalone applications. I'm currently using Things (all platforms) and have been quite pleased. It's significantly cheaper than omnifocus as well.

            As a side note, I've been quite pleased with dropbox, which is where I have my digital "Reference." You could do that on a PC too, so that's not really a Mac thing but I keep receiving more and more benefits from Dropbox (for free) so I do some advertising for them. Check it out – http://db.tt/3dCxfot

            Comment


            • #7
              Omnifocus, GTD and you

              A pdf by this name is available from the Omni website.

              There are also some demo videos on the Omni website.

              Michael

              Comment


              • #8
                "If Office for Mac isn't as good, you could always run Parallels or similar on a Mac and then run Outlook for PC on top of that. Probably would work well, but potentially expensive."

                Try Virtual Box, it is what my partner and I use on our Macs if we want to use any windows products.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by AndrewGM1 View Post
                  If Office for Mac isn't as good, you could always run Parallels or similar on a Mac and then run Outlook for PC on top of that. Probably would work well, but potentially expensive.
                  My experience of Parallels was it was too sluggish. You can of course use BootCamp and boot into a native windows environment but then it's not clear why you bought the Mac ?

                  Michael

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I've had a MacBook since late 06' and OmniFocus has been essential to my overall success in every area of focus in my life. At first I was just a student learning the system and now can ride the (metaphorical) OmniFocus bicycle with no hands.

                    OmniFocus on my iPhone has been essential to my recent success and will always consider myself a student in the DA GTD & OF fields.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I have a PC at work and a MacBook Pro at home. I do use Omnifocus for personal stuff but an in house system I built at work for work stuff.

                      I believe Office 2011 for Mac is the first version they really "got right" for Mac. However, you need to check with your system admins because the new Outlook will only work with Exchange 2007 or greater. We unfortunately only have Exchange 2003 so I use parallels and install office on a Windows 7 virtual image. It works great most of the time and sometimes can be a little sluggish.

                      Bobby B.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Office for Mac is not Office for PC, trust me. Outlook for Mac is no where's near as powerful as its PC brother, esp. in task management. The program is weak, weak, weak and you should definitely look elsewhere for your planning needs. All that said, Mac is amazing and I think you'll find strong agreement on that!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I know I'm a little late, but I thought I'd chime in.

                          Two weeks ago my hard drive crashed in my Dell XPS 8000 (3rd Dell in 3 yrs). Before the hard drive, I had other issues w/ the computer.

                          Being a web marketing consultant, I decided to go to the dark side and get a Mac. I bought a Mac Pro workstation (the thing is HUUUGE).

                          I underestimated the transition from a PC to Mac. It wrecked my workflow. I'm still trying to get back to 100% speed. Right now, I'm at 70%.

                          That being said, I still would make the change.

                          I'm using Omnifocus (14 day trial). So far, I'm "ehh". I really do miss my Netcentrics plugin.

                          But I hope to get up to speed w/ OF.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I underestimated the transition from a PC to Mac. It wrecked my workflow. I'm still trying to get back to 100% speed. Right now, I'm at 70%.
                            David switched from PC to Mac this past year and he said it took a few months to really feel like he had it down like he did before. All new speed keys to learn, things to setup, etc. It's my fear of moving to Mac as well for work, even though I use a Mac at home.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by webmktco View Post
                              I know I'm a little late, but I thought I'd chime in.

                              Two weeks ago my hard drive crashed in my Dell XPS 8000 (3rd Dell in 3 yrs). Before the hard drive, I had other issues w/ the computer.

                              Being a web marketing consultant, I decided to go to the dark side and get a Mac. I bought a Mac Pro workstation (the thing is HUUUGE).

                              I underestimated the transition from a PC to Mac. It wrecked my workflow. I'm still trying to get back to 100% speed. Right now, I'm at 70%.

                              That being said, I still would make the change.

                              I'm using Omnifocus (14 day trial). So far, I'm "ehh". I really do miss my Netcentrics plugin.

                              But I hope to get up to speed w/ OF.
                              Post back here if you need advice there are lots of mac specific people and some who are ambidextrous.

                              Michael

                              Comment

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