OpenFiction [Blog]

Productivity tools

Posted in Uncategorized by scarsonmsm on August 3, 2009

I’m a sucker for productivity tools.  On a good day, I’d say it’s because I deal with a pretty high volume of unstrutured tasks and information at work, on a bad day (and probably Lori would concur) I’d say it’s because I am time and task-management challanged.   Either way,  I am always on the lookout for a silver bullet, or as it ususally turns out, a few of them.

I’ve settled on a new set of tools that has been stable for the last six months or so (somewhat of a record, so I thought it worth noting).  Right now I’m using the following:

FreeMind:  Open source mind mapping software I use at the highest level to track all of the activities in my domain at work.  I probably refer to it about once a week, just to make sure I am not letting any ideas or initiatives fall by the wayside, and to recalibrate my focus in the coming week.

GanttProject:  Project management tool I use for anything that requires some level of planning.  I’m sure I don’t use half of its capabilities, but it’s perfect for the kind of lightweight use I make of it.

Evernote:  After bitching about the license and using another digital notes program, I’ve decided the benefits offered by Evernote outweight any concerns I have (and I think they may have either clarified or modified the license somewhat).  Either way, Evernote is incredible and had helped me to really keep my e-mail inbox uncluttered (since I used to park e-mails with important information in my inbox).

Toodledo:  My work to-do list.  It’s the least favorite of my current tools, mostly becasue it doesn’t have a local client for my laptop.  I am still offline or in situations with spotty connectivity (such as on the MBTA’s service commuting home) that having to maniputlate the list online is a problem.  If I can find a list that has a nice local client and syncs with the iPhone (oh yeah, and is free) I’ll likely switch.

So I try not to lose track of things in FreeMind, plan what needs planned in GanttProject, take notes in Evernote, and draw together to-dos from Gantt and Evernote in Toodledo.  And for my home to-do’s with Lori, we use Zenbe lists.

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