As I am in the thinking mode, one thing I am not good at is sticking to one tool for planning instead of using multiple tools. Just to get my head straighten, I thought it would be better to write it down, so here goes.
1. iGTD (22.214.171.124) from fasticon/James Wondrack – great little GTD tool for Mac. It synchronises with iPhone app Todo (1.6.1) through Appigo Sync (0.9.6 Beta) and Mac’s own to do items displayed through iCal and also on iMail. iGTD2, the replacement to iGTD caused problems in the past with synchronising. With my intention of keeping all things simple, I took the decision to stay with iGTD as it met all my needs at the time, and continue to do so.
2. Mindjet MindManager for Mac is not as extensive as the version for PCs. But nevertheless a great tool that I have been using since 2005 (Mac version since 2008). I have a template for monthly, weekly and daily planning that I built. But I do not use this on regular basis, which is not excusable.
3. Salesforce.com – this is my latest tool, which also provides a calendar with tasks.
As they say, three is a crowd. Here is how I plan to use these tools in 2010.
a. All tasks except sales related will go on iGTD.
b. Monthly and weekly planning with daily monitoring will be through Mindjet. The relevant tasks need to be manually added from iGTD to Mindjet, duplication of effort nevertheless. I am at ease with how Mindjet display information, which I find easy to absorb than typical to do list reports, which iGTD produces.
c. All sales related tasks will be on salesforce.com for edocr.com. Need to make a decision about how I will manage Northern Startup 2.0 commercial activities. On one hand, salesforce.com may provide the solution (low cost contact manager and familiarity from edocr.com use case). On the other hand, supporting local startups such as Manchester based JavelinCRM (more expensive but with mailchimp integration) is vital for my conscious. But it would have to be a commercial decision at the end.
The key to success in all this is consistency. It’s not about how great the individual or combined tool set is. If you do not consistently use these, the end result will be a mess leading to less effectiveness as an individual and team player.
There is another tool that could perhaps play a role. Tiyga, a product from another local tech startup, which helps you record how you spend time. It has ability to let you plan ahead and then monitor progress with weekly analysis of your performance. Whilst it has been a great product, and I have test driven many variations of it over the last 3 years, the problem I find myself with is lack of consistent usage, which comes from poor self-discipline. And it’s also about micro-planning and monitoring, which require a mindset change. Unfortunately, I am less disciplined than when I had a 9 to 5 job. One thing is for sure, I am going to give it another shot in 2010.
The key objective of all this is to be the most effective you can be, with the fixed time available. I hope I will be more disciplined and effective in 2010 than I have been in 2009 thanks to these tools plus a strong will to make a key difference in 2010. 2009, from both Northern Startup 2.0 and edocr has been a year of commercial trials. 2010 is about making it happen! Wish me luck folks!
Do share your thoughts on what tools you use and their effectiveness.
It looks like iGTD has merged with Things. For the time being, I will continue to use iGTD and consider migration later on.