Trials and Experiments

There are many times with many things where I can be afraid to try something new. Trying something not in my comfort zone can be downright frightening. Other times, I’m plagued by the friction that comes from doing the new thing. But for all of the reasons not to do it, I still want to try them: I’m curious about new things, new possibilities, and wonder if there are better tools out there for me to use. And I’m easily distracted by new, shiny things.

Recently, tried using new task management apps.1 There have been updates to several apps, most notably Todoist and OmniFocus. I wanted to see what benefits they could offer me over my current app, 2Do. There was a huge group of people that really started loving 2Do on iOS. Many users switched over. But for many [private] reasons, there had been a slowdown in development. And I’d be lying if I said it didn’t worry me a bit; after all, it’s one person doing the entire app.

So in this slowdown, I wanted to experiment to see what else was out there. The first point of friction was moving select things over; most apps don’t have easy ways of export/import. The second was the nomenclature: can often get lost with naming conventions until I have an equivalency to something that I know, something that is familiar. With those things out of the way, I could try doing things in a new way.
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The Daily

Slack has recently become a focal point of my daily interaction: I have many friends who use the service, most of which I’ve never met in real life. It’s been a valuable personal communication tool with them, and I’ve appreciated every second of the time with most of the groups I’ve joined.

But while Slack touts it as “Team Communication”, it also has become a great tool in becoming my personal information center. I get information from many sources through Slack. There have been several apps that I’ve just flat-out replaced by using Slack with other integrations. Things like RSS readers, daily weather alerts, and even notifications of new Drafts actions are all piped in to various channels in my personal Slack group.[1]

My friend Seth and I were conversing about how we could use Slack more in this way. What information could we have delivered to us? What could we include that would eliminate a need for this? Productivity is always a discussion that needs to be revisited, but you need to have a discussion about why you need something, if it can be thrifted from your daily life, or if you can make it better.

Seth came up with a brilliant idea: What if we could take several things — calendar, tasks, and notes — and combine them into one note into a specific channel, and that’s the first thing we look at in the morning. This would be run before settling in for bed, so that you can capture those last minute thoughts before passing out sleeping.

And with so many things that Seth and I talk about, it sparked some thoughts of how this could happen. After a little bit of time, I had a general concept of what I call “The Daily”.

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Making 2Do Lists Better

I’ve recently traveled a few times for personal trips with my family. It’s been really great to get away, and I’ve appreciated the time spent not working or stressing out about my house.[1]

I specifically made it a point for these trips to focus on the pre-travel things: packing, getting the house ready, and making sure that we left with everything and with no stress.

Normally, I would make a small list in Drafts of things I needed to pack. I might keep it in Drafts, or I would use a checklist action and workflow to move it over to my Travel list in 2Do.

And while that worked, I really wish I had the new features that come with the release of 2Do v3.8.3. Continue reading “Making 2Do Lists Better”