View Full Version : Do you use Pocket Informant's Hierarchical tasks?
02-02-2006, 04:07 AM
I've been doing GTD for a few years now, but have recently begun using Pocket Informant as my main tool for storing my GTD lists. It's a great tool, as many others on these forums have mentioned, that is feature-rich, flexible, very user-friendly, and works really well with Outlook. I'd highly recommened it, although I'm still learning how tweak it to work best for GTD.
One PI function that seems very appropriate to GTD is hierarchical tasks. However, this function doesn't seem to have been mentioned on this forum on any of the past threads on PI. It could be because it is a relatively new function.
So, I'm wondering, have any of the PI users out there found hierarchical tasks useful for GTD? If so, how have you implemented it?
I have a few ideas, but would like to hear what more experienced PI-users do first.
I have tried around with the hierarchical task list in PI, but I was not satisfied.
Now I stick with the pigpog method of organizing projects and next actions.
This, for me, is the perfect fit in a digital GTD implementation. Bridging projects and their actions where before was a huge chasm in my system.
You can either google it yourself or follow this link
:: emp ::
03-04-2006, 03:34 AM
Thanks for the tip, emp.
I've also tried the pigpog method for a while, and found it helpful. The one thing it doesn't do too well (at least the way I implemented it) is to let you see just a simple list of your projects, without the Next Actions getting in the way.
I'm finding that if I have each NA as a sub-task of the project, then I can choose to view NAs when I'm 'doing', and then just the projects when I'm 'reviewing'. Or even both at the same time.
But the downside is that is taking much more time than the pigpog method to keep my system up-to-date.
Is anyone else successfully using hierarchical tasks?
03-04-2006, 03:39 AM
Just for the record, here's a link to a post with a few other ways I've tried linking the project list with my next action lists: http://www.davidco.com/forum/showpost.php?p=32148&postcount=14
As you can see, I still havn't found what I'm looking for!
03-07-2006, 10:14 AM
Mike, I have Pocket Informant, and it is an awesome program. The developer supports it heavily as well.
I can't say I've effectively used the hierarchical tasks. I tried it once before, and though it is effective I think I tried to take it too far with way too many sub tasks and sub sub tasks. I was probably overthinking it. With all the software I've been through lately, I'm about to try to run GTD solely on my Pocket PC once again, so I may go back to using a task hierarchy. It's too bad Outlook doesn't have this functionality.
I have used this - in fact relied on it while using my PDA for GTD. PocketInformant is absolutely brilliant, and has so much power, which I think makes it the ideal digital organiser (especially when combined with PocketBreeze and ContactBreeze). But the fact that Outlook couldn't sync with it (and as far as I can see nothing else can, either) made it less useful when I was at my computer. I think Outlook tended to mess up my lists actually, but I can't say that for sure...
Nowadays I've shifted back to paper, and I've found that my notebook also has very good native support for hierarchical lists :grin:
03-17-2006, 02:38 AM
Thanks for all the advice on Pocket Informant. Here's a bit of feedback on my experience.
After playing around with hierarchical tasks for a few months, I've got stuck on two limitations:
ADD PARENT TASK
- It's difficult to add a 'parent' task. So, if you create a next action, and then later decide to add a parent task (e.g. a 'project'), you can't just select 'add parent' as you can for 'add child'. The way I got around this was to duplicate the next action, make one a child of the other, and then edit the parent into a project. As it sounds, this was quite a cumbersome method.
- In addition, I found that I was spending a lot more time than with previous methods on managing next actions and projects. In particular, locating the two tasks that I wanted to link, and having them on the screen at the same time was quite challenge. PI makes it very easy to find one task, but there's no method that I could find for running 2 searches at once.
For example, if I had a project, say, 'Drink cup of tea' in my 'project' category, and a next action 'Put kettle on' in my '@Home' category, I could tell PI to show me all my Projects and @Home actions and I would get over 100 results. Then, if i filter on 'kettle' I don't get the project. Perhaps PI lets you filter on more than one word (e.g. 'kettle' OR 'tea'), but that still requires knowing the title of each. In short, this method is not as simple as PigPog in terms of creating an easy connection between project and Next Action.
On top of these two points, I then found that when I'd created a lot of hierarchical task connections, PI kept crashing. I removed and reinstalled PI, to find that the hierarchical task relationship were not saved in settings! (I should have backed these up separately).
I would happily have put my data back, and investigated the crashing problem with the developers, but combined with the above mentioned challenges, I've decide to switch back to the pigpog method.
Incidentally, I've found that PI makes the pigpog method very easy, as you can edit the title of a task, without even opening the task. Nice!