Tuesday, February 4, 2014

How do I (usually) use it

Hi all,
Sorry for the long silence in the blog and in app updates - it has been a pretty busy after-the-new-year period - at work, studying, private life and other projects :). Though it puts off a bit the planned functionality, I prefer to look at it as an opportunity to have a little rest and take an overview look on the app - hope it will bring fresh ideas to further development. Meanwhile, did a little update to the other app - the 'A-to-Z Notes' free version. The app is pretty simple and not as rich as other note-taking apps, but has its audience. And I myself find it useful in practise)

That being said, the actual reason of this post is I wanted to share the way I use the app myself.

First of all, don't know if comes as a surprise to anyone, but most of the daily task work I start from the week plan. Not the Eisenhower matrix. In fact, many users say they like the app due to the matrix, but I almost never-ever open the matrix. This is because all the actions I enter end up in the 2nd quadrant: important and not urgent. So, all of them are colored red. I don't use the advanced filtering of the FTF and Actions pages, because I go through the week plan for today, top-down - actions are already ordered there for my use. Not sure if it is the best way to plan/work, but it is how it is now.

As you know, actions are listed in the lists by priority from A at the top to F at the bottom. For an action to come into today's section of the week plan, I usually add it from a Role. So, the main planning starts and goes via the 'My Roles' section. I find a role of interest, add a goal I want to implement being in this role, then write the action(s) needed to reach that goal. The actions are then given priorities (and maybe days). I usually do the planning for today in the morning or a day or two before the day needed. Often actions I couldn't finish today get transferred to tomorrow. For some actions I do the planning ahead of the week, as it is supposed to be the best. But, unfortunately I still can't reach that point organisation when all the things would be done ideally and not describing the ideal way but the way I happen to do it.

Most actions I use are simple actions - no recurrences. There's one action, though, that has an 'every day' recurrence set - do the morning warmup exercises. I don't do them everyday (I wish I did), but they are in the top of the list as a reminder :). And when I do, I cross the action and feel good accomplishing something. After using this action for quite a time, I came to a conclusion that we need to add another type of action into the app - good 'Habit'. This is needed for long-lasting general actions like 'doing exercises'.

The recurrence type I use (and like) most is 'Once until done'. This is for the action types that should be started and finished whenever you finish them - no special schedule is required. If not done, it appears on today's week day in the week plan, every day until you do it. Feels like it's swimming with you into the next day) Ongoing work tasks best fit into this category.

If an action is a complex one (a project), I use the 'Next Action' function, as a convenience guiding functionality. For it to work, the actions must have already be ordered by priority. Often I write down a project's action steps in the details, then use the 'Details to actions' menu option - this divides the actions auto-magically into required sub-actions.

Since I've wrote a long text already, will stop now and continue in the next post :) Hope it's not very cumbersome and an apparent picture can be made out from the description. Not sure if it will be useful, just wanted to share :)