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  • #61
    Originally posted by fwade View Post
    However, there's a bigger question - how do you decide when to schedule your gardening or errands in the first place?
    Using common sense. I am a salesperson and my clients and prospects can only be reached between 8 - 5, Monday - Friday. So I don't plan on gardening or buying groceries when I'm supposed to be working.

    There's nothing in GTD that says you can't review all of your context lists first thing in the morning to determine if there's a particular context you need to make available to yourself during the day.

    I call this sort of thing "analysis paralysis." These problems you posit are easily solved. I don't think most people have trouble deciding whether to go to work, buy groceries, do gardening, or go to a funeral -- unless they analyze it to the extent you are here. If the unexamined life is problematic, I'd say the overly examined life is as well.

    Originally posted by fwade View Post
    For people who aren't time constrained, this probably isn't a problem, but for those who are time starved, it's likely that their busy lives may lead to them forgetting to go do the errands, and never set the time aside to do the gardening.
    You're focusing on one aspect of GTD -- context lists -- and ignoring much of the rest of it. The GTD methodology takes into account context, time available, energy available, and priority when choosing what to do. It also includes examining one's long-term goals and life's purpose to determine what should be on your lists.

    If you are "time-starved" and unable to find time for gardening, and gardening is really important to you, GTD makes it easy to determine what's out-of-whack. If your boss is overloading you with work such that you can't pursue personal interests, the best way for that to become readily apparent is for you to see all of your commitments objectively collected in an easily reviewable format.

    As I am getting on my feet with GTD, that's the first thing I've noticed. I am a salesperson and my job often requires a lot more than 40 hrs per week. I am president of the board of a small arts non-profit. My girlfriend and I own a house together, we have four pets (two of whom have health issues), I have hobbies including drawing and writing, I have friends and family to whom I want to devote time, a close family member with a serious illness, my own health to manage...

    Do I get to join your "time-starved" club?

    Seriously, GTD has helped me in this regard rather than the opposite. As I've been getting on my feet with GTD I've been finding that GTD has revealed where I am over-committed and I can see in concrete terms the tough choices I need to make.

    Originally posted by fwade View Post
    But if you are - I don't see a better way than making a schedule of activity that reflects your priorities and intentions.
    Well, I am and I do see a better way. I am now keeping a complete inventory of my commitments in appropriate buckets, reserving my calendar for those things that are truly date- and time-specific. And I'm finding that it is making it easier for me to manage my "time-starved" life because I can truly see all of my commitments and the choices I need to make.

    Comment


    • #62
      So we're clear, Francis -- I'm not arguing that you must change the way you do things. The only person who can truly judge how to manage your commitments is you. But I've tried things your way and found it less effective than GTD. Just as you are advocating for your own views, I am doing the same with mine.

      Just so we're clear. It's all good, and it's cool that you came by to share your views. There is still no need for you to duck.

      Comment


      • #63
        Originally posted by Folke View Post
        So, how do we choose contexts. One influencing factor, obviously, is the contexts of our hard appointments and deadlined actions. The other main factor is priority! Another important factor is the "economy" of switching - the physical effort, distance etc, the mental effort and mental refreshment etc.
        You totally forget the fact that for many folks a significant portion of your tasks are "work as it appears" and that will affect what context you must go to or be in.

        I live and work in the same place, within limits of work as it appears I can choose any context at any time. How do I choose contexts? By checking the time I have available, and the quick read of my lists I do each morning along with my calendar review so I know what contexts have the most tasks and may need a little working time.

        But for me the world can change dramatically depending on what I see out the window at first light. Ram stuck in fence, suddenly getting him out, getting the fence rebuilt or gate off and new wire welded on becomes the primary issue of the day. Horse down colicing, decision time, is it a vet call? Yes, but vet is how many hours away? Do I shoot the horse now to ease her suffering or not? Yes, well then now we have to deal with the body. Is the backhoe working? Yes, and at the end of the day you've done absolutely nothing that was originally on the list but you've handled the emergency as best you can with the tools available.

        During lambing I know not to have very many projects active at all as my entire day is spent dealing with work as it comes, handling new lambs, tagging, weighing, being a sheep midwife as necessary and so on. This lambing I'm going to be adding a major project of data collection and testing using LambTracker and probably programming and bug fixes in between lambs as we work out the inevitable problems. So lambing may be 5 months away but I already know that I can't schedule much of anything then because daily stuff will take over.

        You choose your contexts (within reason) and that is also one reason that even though we may have ubiquitous e-mail with our smart phones it is still useful to segregate tasks by application and location and tool. It's a lot easier to look at the ewe in labor, figure you have about 15 minutes before you really need to do anything and make a couple of quick phone calls before your hands get messy. If those calls were all jumbled and not in a separate place it would be harder to use those bits of time. Or like now, when I am filling water tanks I can usually do some looking up of stuff on the net or phone calls while I am waiting. If my actions are small enough and well defined in a context I can sometimes move 8-9 projects one step forward just while I am waiting for water tanks to fill.

        That sort of work is impossible if it's on a calendar somewhere.

        Comment


        • #64
          Originally posted by Oogiem View Post
          You totally forget the fact that for many folks a significant portion of your tasks are "work as it appears" and that will affect what context you must go to or be in.
          ...
          But for me the world can change dramatically depending on what I see out the window at first light.
          You are right. For me, those things would be priorities, too, to the extent that I allow them to be, for example, putting out a sudden fire or saving the life of that ram. It certainly falls under "priority" for me, but I agree that it is much clearer to point it out separately as this is a "sudden, undocumented priority" as opposed to the "recognized priorities" in my list. My bad.

          Comment


          • #65
            Task/ Todo software

            Originally posted by TesTeq View Post
            I haven't noticed this pattern. Never! Can you give any example except for Microsoft Outlook?

            What do you think about the dynamic scheduling in the Above & Beyond PIM?
            TesTeq - which pattern are you referring to? The quote didn't seem to apply to your comment so I got a bit lost...

            I'll check out Above and Beyond - never heard of that one.

            The problem, in general, that cool task and todo managers have is that they aren't integrated into Outlook, or Gmail or other email clients. People have a tough time learning new habits that involve opening new software, no matter how cool.

            In other words, they are quite used to processing time demands by reading email, and dealing with messages in their software of choice. They have a tough time using new software and essentially shifting the management of time demands from one location to another.

            The software looks promising, however, at first glance. It has some features I have never seen before!

            Comment


            • #66
              Context needs to be "understood" before being defined/chosen

              Originally posted by Folke View Post
              Very interesting comments, fwade.
              Thanks - I have been banging my head against many of these issues for a long time... Trying to close the gaps between my experience, books like GTD, and the hard research.

              Originally posted by Folke View Post
              What I am striving for, and succeed with differently well depending on which app I am using at the moment, is to have the following collected on one single "dashboard" ("white index card"):
              • Appointments today, with exact time slots
              • Hard deadlines today, with exact time if applicable
              • Tentatively decided tasks for today (can be changed later at my discretion)
              • Things that I want to be constantly aware of today, just in case

              Yes, it is strange. Although I am not a time planner, I believe it would be fully feasible - and economical overall - to develop an app that serves both purposes, and lets the user have access to lots of automated "plasticity" for the "soft" actions, while leaving the "hard" ones in place and automatically avoiding calendar clashes.
              I think you are right on point here. Hopefully, there are some software developers tuning into this forum! Most of what I see is awfully disappointing, and reflects no attempt to rethink... which is the starting point for great software. My impression is that there are lots of people working on new software... but they can't automate what they don't understand. Enter Steve Jobs...

              We SO want the same thing! I have to believe that there are millions who are suffering because of bad software design, which leads to bad habits.

              I heard that Blackberry made a switch a few years ago from shipping their new products with ALL the notifications turned on, to all of them (apart from the phone ring) turned off. That small change on their part (if it's true) probably saved millions of dollars of productive time. How tragic, and amazing!

              Originally posted by Folke View Post
              This is really a key question that pertains to the original topic of this thread. There seems to be an enormous amount of confusion in GTD app forums about this. Many people almost seem to believe that you are not allowed to choose a context; that contexts somehow come and go all of their own accord, and that all you are allowed to do is adapt to them. Priority comes as #4, they seem to believe, if all else fails. But they have forgotten that this is only true as long as your decision has already been made to stay in that context.
              I think this goes back to something that was said in this forum. There are different kinds of contexts, and they need to be sorted out once and for all.
              Originally posted by Folke View Post
              So, how do we choose contexts.
              Some are spatial... some are software based... some are energy based... some are "priority" based... some are temporal... some are urgency based... etc.

              It's obvious, isn't it, that one's understanding of contexts shapes everything? This applies whether you use a calendar, list, memory... whatever. You need to choose the type of context (e.g. spatial) as well as the actual contexts (@home.)

              Our discussion so far highlights the importance of this understanding and the subsequent choices.

              Originally posted by Folke View Post
              As far as I understand it GTD does not answer this question. According to David Allen I am always in @context but I've yet to see the answer why and how I've arrived there. Magic? Is there a higher power that imposess @context on me? No, I choose contexts to get things done!
              What a great quote! This is the kind of thing that researchers should be working on. Much of the academic research is fails to address the real problems that people have and tries to solve problems that people don't have or care about. I have a list of 80 papers in my website's time management library if anyone would like to take a look at what I'm talking about. And these are the BEST papers.

              The vast majority don't reach the depth of our conversation in this forum, unfortunately...

              Comment


              • #67
                At the risk of beating a dead horse, resurrecting it as a zombie, and... uh-oh...

                Originally posted by fwade View Post
                I have to believe that there are millions who are suffering because of bad software design, which leads to bad habits.
                In my experience the problem is not poor software leading to bad habits, but bad habits leading to poor use of available tools. If you accept the premise that we are constrained by the tools that exist then I could see why one would clamor for better tools. I don't accept that premise. I've made the mistake of becoming obsessed with tools. Turns out I was trying to avoid the hard work needed to improve my lot in life.

                During those times in my life when I've been most productive, whiz-bang tools had nothing to do with it. It was purely a function of being fully present in the moment and engaged with what I was doing.

                Originally posted by fwade View Post
                I think this goes back to something that was said in this forum. There are different kinds of contexts, and they need to be sorted out once and for all.
                I don't see how that can be done. Not with the contexts you and Folke have discussed. Spatial contexts, temporal contexts, emotional contexts, energy contexts... these things shift like sands in a desert sandstorm. They will never "settle once and for all" because life doesn't "settle once and for all." Well, until life ends, that is.

                Originally posted by fwade View Post
                Some are spatial... some are software based... some are energy based... some are "priority" based... some are temporal... some are urgency based... etc.
                Person, place, and tool contexts may not be perfect but they're fairly objective. If I'm in my car driving to the groceries, I'm in my "errands" context. At the office, sitting at my desk, I've got my "calls," "computer," and "office" contexts available. If my boss is in town (he actually lives four hours away and manages me remotely for the most part), I've got my "boss" context available.

                Some of the other types of "contexts" you're talking about are subjective, like "energy," "urgency," and even "temporal." Whether or not I have enough energy to do something effectively, for example, or whether I even have a choice, is a judgement call and there is no formula in existence that can assist me in making that choice. Heck, if I'm doing a task I've never done before I may not be able to predict how long it will take and must sometimes take a guess as to whether it's important enough to try it in the time I have available.

                Sometimes you just have to be willing to make your best guess and not pine for software that will calculate every variable for you. Such software doesn't exist and even if it ever does come to fruition I doubt it will be as effective as some would hope.

                Originally posted by fwade View Post
                It's obvious, isn't it, that one's understanding of contexts shapes everything?
                I will again state I think you (and Folke as well) are overthinking things. While there is value in understanding the myriad intricate processes that take place within our bodies to allow us to walk, the one thing such understanding won't do is to help us to walk. Most of the work of walking must take place at an unconscious level. In a way, so too must our choices about what to do. Our best bet is to grasp our roles, goals and life's purpose well enough that we can trust our instincts to guide us. Otherwise we let ourselves in for analysis paralysis, which diminishes rather than enhances our effectiveness.

                Comment


                • #68
                  Balance and Proprortion

                  @bcmyers2112

                  When you are arguing against something here, and are mentioning my name, I must say I do not recognize myself at all in your description. Maybe our backgrounds are too different to even be compared, I don't know.

                  Overthinking. Analysis paralysis. Etc. Perhaps I have been more fortunate than some to have a strong gut that I have always trusted. I did not need a David Allen to tell me to trust it. If I had waited that long I might have been dead already. I am not paralyzed, never have been. I think analysis is great fun, though, and more importantly it is a way to clarify things, eliminate misconceptions and illusions, and define concepts that are clear and strong enough to be of practical use.

                  I think much of your arguing is too theatrical, too black and white, and you talk as if you assume that we are on opposite sides. I'd say I am on the gray side. Poor software vs bad habits, for example. We probably all have our fair share of both bad habits and bad software. And both of them could be improved. Why would an effort to make improvements need to be limited to only one of these? What's wrong with seeking improvements everywhere?

                  You say that some contexts are objective and others subjective. I, too, prefer them to be as objective and firm as possible. Now, how objective is a "calls" context, really? Did somebody super-glue the phone to your ear? Is it impossible to switch to the "computer" context that is right in front of you? And why would fwade's temporal contexts be subjective? If a certain shop is only open from 12 to 4. isn't that a very concrete and objective temporal context? Or "weekends" or "mornings" (fuzzier edges, but still at least equally clear and objective as "calls"). You also mention energy contexts, and yes, I agree that these inner contexts are much harder to define, but hard does not mean impossible, and besides, you do not necessarily need to define them to be able to use them. Remember that even David Allen thinks it is possible to feel with your gut whether you are tired or not.

                  What you say, and what I agree with 200%, is that our decisions are "judgment calls". Exactly my opinion. The best we can do with all or software and pencils and methodologies is keep "notes" that will be useful for us at the time we need to make those judgment calls. Why wouldn't we want to have good tools for keeping those notes?

                  Comment


                  • #69
                    Originally posted by Folke View Post
                    When you are arguing against something here, and are mentioning my name, I must say I do not recognize myself at all in your description. Maybe our backgrounds are too different to even be compared, I don't know.
                    If I have misrepresented your POV, I apologize. For what it's worth, it wasn't deliberate.

                    Originally posted by Folke View Post
                    I think much of your arguing is too theatrical, too black and white, and you talk as if you assume that we are on opposite sides.
                    Well, I was a theater geek in high school.

                    Originally posted by Folke View Post
                    I'd say I am on the gray side. Poor software vs bad habits, for example. We probably all have our fair share of both bad habits and bad software. And both of them could be improved. Why would an effort to make improvements need to be limited to only one of these? What's wrong with seeking improvements everywhere?
                    Simply put, I can't control what software developers will come up with but I can direct myself to improve my habits. Also I think I'm satisfied to use software to do what you have referred to as "GTD as if on paper," whereas you have indicated you feel that is less than satisfactory. I've found a software tool I really like: Evernote. You have pooh-poohed the value of being able to send an email to Evernote and "convert" it into a next action whereas I find that of great value. I'm perfectly OK with the pooh-poohing -- you have a right to your opinion about the value of certain software features or lack thereof, and I don't take it personally. But I feel I'm equally entitled to my opinion and many of the software features you're clamoring for don't bang a gong with me. I think we're just going to have to agree to disagree.

                    Originally posted by Folke View Post
                    You say that some contexts are objective and others subjective. I, too, prefer them to be as objective and firm as possible. Now, how objective is a "calls" context, really? Did somebody super-glue the phone to your ear? Is it impossible to switch to the "computer" context that is right in front of you?
                    No, of course these things aren't set in stone. When I say certain contexts are objective, what I mean is the person, place, or tool is available to you or it isn't. If a next action requires me to be at the office -- say because there's a hardcopy brochure I want to send to a prospect that is in the marketing storeroom -- and I'm at home, objectively speaking that context isn't available to me. And while many of us always have a phone with us these days, I can't expect to reach a customer at 2 am. So, again, that is an objective context; I can either make a call or I can't. And yes, under certain circumstances I might choose to email rather than call someone who is on my calls list. I never said these things are set in stone. What I said was that choosing what context to be in is often simply a matter of common sense. If I'm supposed to be at the office, I should be at the office. If I'm out of certain groceries on a Wednesday, I should stop by the grocery store after work.

                    Originally posted by Folke View Post
                    And why would fwade's temporal contexts be subjective? If a certain shop is only open from 12 to 4. isn't that a very concrete and objective temporal context?
                    Yes, it is. As I already stated, however, a "temporal context" could be subjective if one is trying to determine how long one will need for a certain task. That can vary depending on one's energy level. And I'll repeat the example I already gave: tackling a task I've never done before. I might guess that it will take two hours but could run into an unexpected problem and spend twice as long on it as I thought I would.

                    Originally posted by Folke View Post
                    What you say, and what I agree with 200%, is that our decisions are "judgment calls". Exactly my opinion. The best we can do with all or software and pencils and methodologies is keep "notes" that will be useful for us at the time we need to make those judgment calls. Why wouldn't we want to have good tools for keeping those notes?
                    OK, maybe I'm not understanding you properly. Are you saying you want things like priority, energy level, etc. explicitly codified in your lists? It's something I've heard other people clamor for, and have encountered a couple of digital tools that allow such codification. I don't see the value -- to me such codification over-complicates things. Things like my energy level and my emotional state can vary from moment to moment. But at any given point in time, certain contexts simply are or are not available to me.

                    If I have misrepresented what you are saying I apologize and if you are inclined to help me better understand your POV I would like that very much.

                    Comment


                    • #70
                      Calendar management programs development pattern.

                      Originally posted by fwade View Post
                      TesTeq - which pattern are you referring to? The quote didn't seem to apply to your comment so I got a bit lost...
                      I am talking about the "calendar management programs development pattern" as invented by you: "most calendar management programs are add-ons to email programs."

                      I think that very rarely calendar management programs were developed as add-ons to email programs.

                      Can you give any example except for Microsoft Outlook?

                      Comment


                      • #71
                        Originally posted by TesTeq View Post
                        What do you think about the dynamic scheduling in the Above & Beyond PIM?
                        I think dynamic scheduling is the work of the devil. It's so bad in so many ways I can't list them all, but forcing time estimates and priorities is surely a gtd sin.. At first I was surprised that Above and Beyond was still around, but I guess it's like COBOL, with a long tail.

                        Comment


                        • #72
                          Originally posted by bcmyers2112 View Post
                          If I have misrepresented your POV, I apologize. For what it's worth, it wasn't deliberate.
                          No problem. I have probably accidentally misunderstood yours, too, from time to time. Piece, brother


                          Originally posted by bcmyers2112 View Post
                          Simply put, I can't control what software developers will come up with but I can direct myself to improve my habits. Also I think I'm satisfied to use software to do what you have referred to as "GTD as if on paper," whereas you have indicated you feel that is less than satisfactory.
                          Good point. We are in control of ourselves but not in control of software developers. On the other hand, if we are lucky, we might be able to get some developer to develop exactly what we want without us having to do more than shout a bit in a forum somewhere (whether that be email/Evernote/attachments support or improved context filtering etc)

                          I would guess, though, that both you and I, and maybe even the vast majority, would sneer at 90% of the feature suggestions made by fellow users in most app forums. We all want what we want, but usually do not share the dreams of others.

                          As a curiosity, may I mention to you something that may come as a surprise to you, that I currently have only five contexts defined, none of them overlapping. I get by with that, but I do indeed have some "realistic dreams" about how it might be possible to refine the use of contexts.

                          Originally posted by bcmyers2112 View Post
                          No, of course these things aren't set in stone. When I say certain contexts are objective, what I mean is the person, place, or tool is available to you or it isn't. If a next action requires me to be at the office -- say because there's a hardcopy brochure I want to send to a prospect that is in the marketing storeroom -- and I'm at home, objectively speaking that context isn't available to me. And while many of us always have a phone with us these days, I can't expect to reach a customer at 2 am. So, again, that is an objective context; I can either make a call or I can't. And yes, under certain circumstances I might choose to email rather than call someone who is on my calls list. I never said these things are set in stone. What I said was that choosing what context to be in is often simply a matter of common sense. If I'm supposed to be at the office, I should be at the office. If I'm out of certain groceries on a Wednesday, I should stop by the grocery store after work.
                          I am a strong supporter of GTD. I believe in the principle of making a judgment call based on the current factual situation as a whole, whether we call it context or environment or preconditions etc. I suffer mentally when I see the "idea" of situational decision making being ridiculed and cast aside, and replaced with arbitrarily pre-programmed time scheduling or priority scheduling, which is what we see in most apps, even those that call themselves GTD.

                          As you indicate, some contexts are clearer than others, and "coding" is always extra work. I think we can agree that whatever "coding" we do must be worth our while. For it to be worthwhile it must be clear enough what the codes (or tags or levels or classes or contexts or whatever we call them) mean and how we will use them, and this in turn generally means they must be factual/objective enough in some sense. And it must be something we can make good use of often, i.e relevant to the choices we need to make.

                          I find this a very interesting territory. I think it is possible to do much more (make it both easier and clearer) than most apps do, and I also believe that this is an area where the "GTD camp" could win over a number of people from the "time allocation" camp. But be that as it may. That's probably best discussed in a separate thread. I do believe, though, that the absence of a more "structured" philosophy and methodology regarding the situational choice is one of the reasons why some people find GTD confusing and unsatisfactory. They are asked to give up their precious time scheduling, and what do they get instead? The instruction to "look at the list and follow your gut"! That may perhaps be enough for you and me, who do what the heck we want anyway, but I would never dream of giving such an instruction to anybody who is asking for answers. People will automatically stop listening to all your details when they had their fill, but up to that point they want to satisfy their every need for structure. And I do think GTD has additional potential here.

                          Comment


                          • #73
                            The zombie horse was destroyed yet came back to life yet again...!

                            Originally posted by Folke View Post
                            That may perhaps be enough for you and me, who do what the heck we want anyway, but I would never dream of giving such an instruction to anybody who is asking for answers. People will automatically stop listening to all your details when they had their fill, but up to that point they want to satisfy their every need for structure. And I do think GTD has additional potential here.
                            You may be surprised to learn I was a convert from the A-B-C/1-2-3 Franklin-Covey priority coding, daily-list-making, arbitrarily-scheduling-everything school.

                            Also, I don't do "what the heck I want" all the time. Sometimes I do things I have to but would rather not. I have a job. I have a boss. I'm practically married (I have been living with the same woman for nearly 12 years). In fact, I don't want to do laundry right now but if I don't when my girlfriend gets home it's going to be an issue. (Would that fall under @Home or @Hell Hath No Fury? If the latter isn't a context perhaps it should be.)

                            (I kid, I kid. My girlfriend's a sweetheart. Generally.)

                            Comment


                            • #74
                              Here I'm is, the Zombie Woof

                              Originally posted by bcmyers2112 View Post
                              You may be surprised to learn I was a convert from the A-B-C/1-2-3 Franklin-Covey priority coding, daily-list-making, arbitrarily-scheduling-everything school.

                              Also, I don't do "what the heck I want" all the time. Sometimes I do things I have to but would rather not. I have a job. I have a boss. I'm practically married (I have been living with the same woman for nearly 12 years). In fact, I don't want to do laundry right now but if I don't when my girlfriend gets home it's going to be an issue. (Would that fall under @Home or @Hell Hath No Fury? If the latter isn't a context perhaps it should be.)

                              (I kid, I kid. My girlfriend's a sweetheart. Generally.)
                              Just to be clear: When I said "what the heck I want" I was referring to the methodology by which I obey my wife

                              Interesting to hear that you have been using the Franklin-Covey method. And you've probably heard of, or been taught, several other methods as well. And I have been to all kinds of courses (leadership, business planning etc etc) where similar topics are often at least touched upon. And I have met people with gigantic calendars and their whole lives laid out like a corporate project plan. David Allen has that kind of background, too, and so do many GTD followers/supporters. And we have probably all experimented with lots of variations of setups. Maybe the likes of us think of many of our daily choices as a matter of "trusting our gut", "using our intuition" etc simply because we have long ago forgotten how we found the pros and cons of all the alternatives. But not everyone has this kind of trial-and-error or reflective or educated background. Some have "no background" at all except that they have found that their lives seem to have turned into a chaos, and they want clear, structured instructions. It simply is not a good enough instruction to tell an anxious student to "trust his gut". (Nor to say such things to colleagues with academic tendencies.)

                              Comment


                              • #75
                                Add-ons

                                Originally posted by TesTeq View Post
                                I am talking about the "calendar management programs development pattern" as invented by you: "most calendar management programs are add-ons to email programs."

                                I think that very rarely calendar management programs were developed as add-ons to email programs.

                                Can you give any example except for Microsoft Outlook?
                                I don't have hard research to back this up, but here are the examples I have been exposed to:

                                Outlook
                                Gmail
                                Yahoo mail
                                AOL mail
                                Maybe Lotus Notes?

                                There ARE lots of programmers out there who are developing calendar management programs but they aren't likely to succeed for the reasons I stated before. People don't like dealing with tasks / time demands in more than one place, and at the moment email is the primary conduit for task triggers - so the email Inbox becomes their task list, and using a separate task list program or calendar program involves too many new habits.

                                There are also lots of people developing new email programs with embedded calendar capabilities but they also face an uphill task, because the majority are using programs and apps that they will only switch away from reluctantly.

                                Gmail took a long time to catch on, and it's a pity that they have essentially copied the Outlook model of development.

                                I pity the developers who are working on the many todo and calendar apps for this reason - some of them have fine ideas but they don't go far enough to compel the user to switch. They'd need to make a quantum leap (in philosophy) to convince people to switch away from the "email-first-and-everything-later" mindset.

                                Several months ago I had an interesting conversation with a developer on this very topic... but I sensed that they were very busy rolling out and testing new features.

                                Unfortunately, I can't find anyone on the Internet talking about this topic... but new todo apps keep rolling out every week or so, but they are trapped by the same problem.

                                IMHO!

                                Francis

                                P.S. You had mentioned Above and Beyond, which I checked out and may write a blog post to highlight - it has some _very_ innovative ideas...! It's a good example of what I'm talking about. Incidentally, it's interesting that the ideas it uses haven't entered the mainstream and been picked up by other new calendar programs.

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