Articles

My thoughts on OmniFocus 2 versus 3

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A new major update for OmniFocus is just around the corner: OmniFocus 3. The predecessor is award winning and one of the most recommended productivity suites for the Apple ecosystem. So, what’s it all about?

I have been a regular user of OmniFocus for many years (since OF1 days,) so I’ve seen many iterations and new feature upgrades. The third major revision comes with many new features and an updated look-and-feel.

The public release is due for May 30th, but here I have some early thoughts on how OmniFocus 3 improves over 2.

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Combine handwritten notes and recordings with Notability

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When going digitally with your paperless workflows and the Apple Pencil, the need for a great note-taking tool comes pretty soon. The Pencil is a great piece of hardware, but its built-in iPad apps feel pretty lacking.

Notability comes with more features. The note-taking app optimized for the Apple Pencil can work with loose pages of notes, lecture slides, books, and virtually anything convertible to the PDF format.

It also features some rather unique audio recording tools, which allow you to record a meeting while taking notes on it. Later, you can watch the note-taking process as a video while listening to the recording.

I take a look at this app, to see how it compares to other applications when comparing things like the look-and-feel of handwriting, and more.

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Elegant GTD on Mac and iOS with Things 3

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Things 3 is the third iteration of Things by CulturedCode, an international company with its headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany. Things is a popular task management software made for the Apple ecosystem. In its previous version, Things 2 has been around for years and grew to be one of the major solutions on its supported platforms. The suite is available for the Mac, iPhone/Apple Watch, and iPad.

The updated version comes with a new interface, a redesigned workflow and its own solution to task management. They promise the new iteration to be easier to use, more reliable and just in the right spot to serve for all your productivity needs.

As one of the main players for personal task management, can it hold up to its high expectations?

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A close look at the GTD beast OmniFocus 2

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With its initial release in early 2008, OmniFocus grew to be one of the most prominent task management suites on the Apple ecosystem. It is an often recommended solution for task management, especially in the lines of Getting Things Done.

But, it also comes with a high price and learning curve. Complex applications often need to be studied, customized and understood, before being able to use them.

Is OmniFocus worth the effort, and can the solution help you with your productivity needs? This article will cover this productivity suite in all details.

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Get nagging reminders and timers with Due App

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There is an important document to hand in, so you create a reminder for it. Unfortunately, it pops up once, while you do something different, and there is goes. Next, it is already to late, as it got forgotten or buried below other notifications.

Due is an app which tries to solve this and similar issues. Despite its generic and hard-to-Google name, it tries to find its own niche. It focuses solely on ways to literally remind you: With nagging repeating reminders every few minutes, customization for alerts, and more.

I take a look at this app to see in which niche it fits and why you should consider dropping your money on it.

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How to find the best to-do list to boost productivity

When looking at options for to-do lists, there are so many tools. How to choose the right one? What are the best options for which kind of user?

Different apps are for different users. They focus on a different core audience. A user should not adapt to an app. The app should adapt to the user. Therefore, it is wise to select a task management suite after the available features. Minimalistic vs. feature packed? Simplicity vs. customizability?

This article will go over some of those decisions. Which are the important things to consider before choosing an app; and which different methodologies result in what different needs. Last, some recommendations suited to different user groups are given.

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Improve productivity with Apple Watch sleep trackers

Your body plays a big and important role in life, and also in your work. If your body disagrees, you won’t be able to focus, and won’t be able to do efficient work.

A crucial factor is sleep. If not well rested, concentrating will feel hard. While possibly being able to physically come to work, the actual work will definitely not be very efficient, or as efficient as it could be.

Try to improve your productivity by having a good sleeping schedule and hygiene. There are many smaller things which can help with this. Tracking your sleeping time will give insight on what to improve. Using a smartwatch, like the Apple Watch, can help further.

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How to write structured to-do lists?

After creating the habit of using to-do lists, they can get messy. What to put into a task management app? Where to start when structuring tasks, sub-tasks, and projects? Most apps have a variety of features, but it is hard to use them properly, especially for a beginner.

Especially if having a large amount of tasks, to-do list apps or task management systems can get out of hand. There are many things to do at once, but not everything can be done at once. Maybe stuff cannot even be done because something else needs to be finished first. Maybe there is a date attached, from when a task can be worked on.

Having a proper structure helps to create trust in the system and workflows, gaining security. It helps to be reliable and not forgetting tasks. Finally, it helps to tackle work which would be overwhelming, otherwise.

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Declutter your email inbox with Sanebox

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If one would try to summarize SaneBox with one catchphrase, it would be: Automated machine-learned email rules. This services’ goal is to minimize disturbance from the e-mail inbox. It does so by filtering unimportant emails into other folders. These rules are trained in the background without the need for user interaction.

SaneBox will figure out by itself, which e-mails are important. By analyzing the headers of previous e-mails, it will set up rules to sort your e-mails for you. It can also be used to snooze e-mails, get reminders for unreplied e-mails, automatically file e-mail attachments to Evernote, and more. Mind you, SaneBox is not an e-mail client. It is a platform agnostic service and will work entirely in the background.

How does it work? Will using SaneBox result in less distraction by e-mails? And why would one pay for custom e-mail rules? In this article we will discuss everything around SaneBox.

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Getting the most out of the Apple Pencil

The iPad as a 9.7 to 12.9 inch tablet is a great companion in daily life, including work. Many productivity applications like task management tools and writing apps can make it a great replacement for a laptop for light work and in meetings.

The Apple Pencil, which is now available for any iPad (non-Pro bought after Spring 2018 or any previous iPad Pro), is another great addition to this. While often discussed along the lines of art and drawing, it can be used for handwritten notes, document annotations, and more.

In this article, I look at five recommended apps for different use-cases. I take a look at something to replace traditional handwritten notebooks, something for directly working with PDF files, and then some integrated solutions for larger projects and notes spanning multiple documents or notebooks.

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