Posts Tagged

productivity

Getting Things Done, as a concept carved by David Allen in 2001, has aged fast. Users of the method have been shaping its recommendations to fit their needs, but, most importantly, they did so to catch up on how technology could help them get things done with less friction. Apps have also developed their own ways to support some sort of easy path to achieve productivity and the starting point from Getting Things Done soon deviated into several personal methods.

As a Mac user, I’m very familiar with the dispute between Omnifocus and Things, being a previous user of the latter and considering the jump to the previous until I reached out for the web and found Nirvana, which felt like a better deal coming from Things, which manages tasks with Next Actions and Today lists, rather than Omnifocus with its Forecast and the reliance of due dates.

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The modern browser is becoming more than just a tool to get to the internet. It’s now almost synonymous with our usage of a computer itself. Most of the things we do are online, and a lot of times, each task requires certain websites to do the job.

OverTask, an extension for Google Chrome, wants to help you sort through the websites you visit when you are doing anything. It’s been getting a lot of buzz about its ability to automatically “convert tabs into tasks”. It’s unclear how that works, but we were intrigued and took it for a spin.

Unfortunately, OverTask seems as confused in its execution as it does in its idea.

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Along with spreadsheets, presentations are one of the main “attractions” of the corporate-style workplace (warning: sarcasm). These multimedia productions should be engaging, but sadly, few of us have the presence of delivery, nor the content, to provide something truly compelling for the audience.

And then there’s the start-to-end in-computer construction and delivery of a presentation, which can often be a struggle — magnified, if you need to collaborate with colleagues. Within a team, the collection and organization of the required media can be a stilted process if you are working remotely, and getting the finished product to function properly anywhere outside of your chosen native software is often the cause of much frustration.

Bunkr is a new web-based platform which is hoping to ease most of these presentation-related pains. The French startup aims to provide all the tools needed to create your slideshow, from the cherry-picking of content, right through to the publication of your masterpiece in browser-friendly HTML5. But can one cloud-based service really offer the all-round game to make presentations easy?

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Having to juggle both household responsibilities and work, productivity is always in flux for me. I’d usually sit down and focus for more than two hours, but there are instances when I’d get so distracted that the day ends with so much left undone.

I’ve tried reading up on several productivity systems, one of which is David Allen’s infamous work-life management system, Getting Things Done®. This system works well for so many people to such an extent that they would use GTD apps to fit it into their workflow. Nozbe is a web app that adheres to the GTD productivity system and has since helped thousands of people become more productive since its inception in 2007. What’s more, the app recently got a design overhaul that aims to sharpen its core feature set and introduce new features as well.

Let’s see what the latest version of Nozbe (1.7) has to offer, how it works, and if it is successful in helping users apply and adopt basic GTD principles.
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As the sole proprietor of my own business, I find it can be really hard to stay on task and get work done. In fact, even writing this review, I have other things I want to do. That being said though, it’s important to have end goals set in mind. Lots of studies show that people who work towards something are happier than people who just go to work and try to make it through the day.

iDoneThis is quickly becoming an indispensable tool for me. It’s a free service for individuals, and is a great way for companies to work together to keep each other on track with projects. Read on to find out why I think everybody needs to sign up for this service, whether they’re self-employed or work in a large corporation.

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Calendar apps can often be confusing, and with so much of our lives tracked in social networking apps like Facebook, they’re rarely complete. Monday is the answer to that issue that you’ve got to try. It’s a clean and elegant calendar app where you can create appointments, manage tasks, and track social events within a beautiful interface. It’s beautiful, simple, and convenient — qualities that most calendar apps lack or overdo.

Monday has certainly delivered more than just good first impressions. I’ve been using it for the past few weeks and I can say that it’s made scheduling and task management a delight. Though you need an invitation to access Monday, its feature set and the overall pleasant user experience makes the wait worthwhile. Let’s take a look and see why you should give it a try.
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Recent statistics show that Chrome is solidly in third place in the “browser wars”. Perhaps the main reason for Chrome’s rapid growth over the past four plus years is the Chrome Web Store. The plethora of extensions and apps available for Chrome packaged in an accessible online store has enticed many users to make the switch.

I recently switched back to Chrome specifically for the productivity extensions. There were a few extensions I couldn’t live without and some I recently encountered having a good ol’ time perusing the Web Store. The result is a set of 15 extremely handy productivity extensions for Chrome. So, in some kind of order, here they are…
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Beeminder is a goal tracking service that is not quite like anything that has gone before it. It can be used to log a wide variety of things you might do, from the number of times you go to the gym each week, to how dedicated you are to clearing out the clutter from your inbox.

I’ve been a fan of Beeminder since my girlfriend introduced me to the site. I fell in love and started using it to track the number of articles I was writing and various other goals. Seeing a graph indicating my progress is often all the encouragement I need to stay on track and stick with what I’ve set out to do, and I decided to catch up with Beeminder co-founder Daniel Reeves to find out where the idea came from.

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Getting stuff done — that is, getting ALL your stuff done, and on time — is something we all struggle with, even with the bevy of productivity tools available to us on web and mobile platforms. And sometimes, having a long list of things to do seems more like a hurdle than a solution — which is perhaps why Brussels-based designer-developer Vincenzo Ruggiero decided to build an app that focuses on helping you clear your task list rather than fill it up, and it’s called Postpone.

Postpone is a new to-do list app that lets you schedule tasks for when you actually need to do them, instead of creating long lists that become impossible to tackle. Sporting a clean interface, a simple workflow and some neat collaboration features, Postpone is suitable for users who are new to productivity tools as well as those looking for a new way to wrangle their to-dos – but just how helpful is this app when it comes to actually getting things done? Let’s take a closer look and find out.

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It would be fair to say that, in the last year or so, email has entered something of a renaissance period. At one stage, not so very long ago, developers were concentrating their minds on how they could replace the decade-old electronic mail system. Now, though, most have realized that email isn’t going away any time soon, and their response has been to innovate with email clients.

The most prominent example of this has been Mailbox. Now owned by Dropbox, this iOS email app has shown one new way in which we can organize our huge flow of incoming messages. For those yet to encounter Mailbox’s basic concept, the sorting process in Mailbox is based upon priority, providing one-finger sorting into categories like Later and Important. Given that Mailbox had a one-million user waiting list during its private beta phase, this idea clearly appeals to many people – including those who don’t have an iPhone.

It is no doubt with some of these people in mind that Handle was created. Handle is more than just another way to access your inbox, though. Billed as a “Priority Engine,” this private beta provides task management, itinerary tracking and an email client all rolled into one.

But is this integrated approach helpful, or a recipe for confusion? Time for a test… (more…)

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