A New Way to GTD
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that I usually write about technology that I have used and am excited about. And you also know that I am absolutely sold on the GTD (Getting Things Done) methodology.
However, this post is not so much about what I am using now, as what I began imagining the day the new Apple iPad tablet was introduced. Caution: Dreaming Ahead.
Let me first get something off my chest. The naysayers out there have already started their whining about the iPad and it isn’t even available for sale yet. Does this sound vaguely familiar? If not, then you must not have had any interest in the iPhone just before it was launched. I was there, purchasing the original iPhone on the day it was released, and while there was much hype, there was an equal amount of outcry from the press and blogs about what was wrong with the iPhone. And it didn’t stop until months after the version 1 release. Funny, but you don’t hear much complaining anymore, and the masses are grabbing up iPhones at an alarming rate, overwhelming the already abysmal AT&T network.
Wew – now I feel better. Back to dreaming. For the past year, I’ve been using OmniFocus as my GTD application and am loving life with all it has to offer in both its OS X client and iPhone applications. It is hands down, the best GTD available for the serious player.
Only one problem with OmniFocus – it has no Windows client or web-based application. That means, if you want to use a real keyboard and large screen for your GTD, you have to have a Mac computer. And since most of the business world is still hamstrung to Windows, if you want to use OmniFocus for serious projects at work, you need to purchase a MacBook. Pretty hefty investment for one application, though from experience I can tell you it is well worth it. But I understand that not everyone can make that kind of investment in GTD.
With Apple’s new iPad announcement this week, I believe that is about to change. Instead of laying down $1000+ on a MacBook, how about $499 for an iPad. Just today, macnn reported that OmniGroup has already begun development of several applications, including OmniFocus, for the iPad tablet. And you can read more details on their plans for iPad development on the Omni Mouth Blog. Think about the difference this would make in your work life. Carrying your GTD on a 9.5″ screen would be nearly the same experience of carrying a MacBook at a fraction of the cost and size. What about a planner design that holds your iPad on the left side and note pad on the right. While in most meeting environments, laptops are considered intrusive to the exchange of ideas and information, an iPad within your planner would likely cause more envy than raised eyebrows.
I know your iPhone already has your calendar, email, contacts, and GTD, but think about it, wouldn’t a large screen be a major advantage? And while typing still might be taboo during a meeting, just having your GTD tasks and notes available without squinting and constant scrolling the screen would be way cool!
Since we’re dreaming – here’s another thought. I was so excited when I thought of this that I immediately fired off a post on the OmniFocus Forum. What about incorporating handwritten notes into OmniFocus, via the iPad and a stylus. During a meeting, open your project, start a new note entitled, “Weekly Status Meeting” and then hand write your notes on your iPad tablet. You now have all of your notes from all of your project meetings in your GTD without having to retype them. Later, you can create tasks right from your meeting notes. No more paper (think Green), and no more transcribing or scanning to get your notes into your trusted system.
Wow, I better stop – now I’m thinking about all those Excel worksheets I can have at my fingertips, turn the large screen sideways and everyone can see the numbers. And Gantt Charts, Metrics, and WBS – oh my ! To the naysayers out there, let’s give Apple a chance to prove itself once again, they do have a pretty good track record of late. And to all the new iPad developers, especially the OmniGroup – get to work !!! Thanks for reading, John.