For years I have read article after article on “Getting Things Done” and other productivity and organizational strategies. Without exception I have found them clever but impossible to implement in a way that integrates with my life.
You see I want a system that works for me in my personal life, my family life and my work life. I want it to conform to my life, not the other way round and above all else I want a system that doesn’t take more time to maintain than it saves. It’s just possible that my Droid Eris and the Android operating system has given me what I need.
I used to have an excellent memory. I didn’t have to take notes when taught things and I didn’t have to write down reminders or task lists. Two kids and a hectic job have changed that. There are just two many appointments, and tasks that need done every week. I can’t keep them straight in my head any more.
Written task lists are handy, but they don’t actively remind you and they need frequent re-writing. They’re also easy to lose. Electronic task lists in Outlook are great at reminding you about things, but not much use as soon as you move away from your computer.
Enter the Droid Eris. A mobile phone that can sync its Calendar with Google Calendar. Since Google Calendar offers a program to sync with Outlook, I loved being able to keep all my appointments in one place, whether it was the boy’s latest Doctor’s appointment or an important meeting.
But what about my To Do lists? Android and the cloud came to the rescue again. Using a program called Got To Do on the Eris, I can sync my task list with the ToodleDo task list web service and there’s another program that lets me sync ToodleDo to Outlook Tasks.
It was a nuisance to set up but once in place it requires very little up-keep on my part. All I have to do is remember to update my appointments and tasks as new ones occur. But it doesn’t matter where I do the updating.
I am close to achieving Information Unification via the Android platform. I think the only element missing. The two most important elements are in place. Now if I can find a way to sync my notes and my contacts with Outlook and Google too, I’ll have achieved productivity Nirvana.
I can now remove all that clutter from my brain and free it up to work on the important stuff instead of trying to remember who I was supposed to email about what today or what my Son’s teacher’s name is.
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