I've been using the newest communicator from Nokia, the E71, for the last 2 weeks, and have been trying to incorporate it in my GTD implementation. Below are my findings, for anyone who may be interested in purchasing it.
First off, some comments about the phone:
- one of the best smartphones I've had and I've had plenty, including HTC KJam, its ancestor the Nokia E61, HTC S620 (Tmobile Dash), Blackberry Curve, HTC Touch Dual etc.
- I personally find it's perfect as a phone, which was my main requirement (and the reason why I've left HTC and windows mobile). Nokia knows how to make good phones, with good reception, great battery life of 3 days, great design (slim and light) and sturdy.
I use Outlook as my main GTD application, where I keep all my appointments, tasks, contacts, notes. I sync my phones with Outlook for the purposes of portability.
The important thing to note is that, as far as GTD is concerned, the S60v3 software of Symbian it carries is handicapped in some respects:
- Syncing: Nokia PCSuite synchronizes very well, without conflicts. Unfortunately, it does not synchronize categories in tasks.
- Contacts: work very well, and easy to use on the phone. Start typing the contact name or number and the list filters through.
- Calendar: the calendar aspect works well for me. This includes time-specific appointments (doctor's appointment) and day-specific (change car oil today). I get all my appointments and whole-day tasks as inputed into Outlook, with reminders and all other details syncing perfectly back and forth.
- Tasks: this is where things get complicated:
1) PCSuite and Nokia E71 do not support task categories
2) You cannot have tasks with no due date. All tasks without a due date are assigned by default today's date, when you first sync.
To work around the tasks issue, I do two things:
1) I separate my tasks in two types:
- the ones I will work in the current week are assigned a current-week due date and thus will appear in my tasks list on the phone, on the day assigned.
- The ones in my F and S/M list are assigned a future date, so as to not appear in the current day's list on the phone. I review the due dates during the weekly review, accordingly.
I don't have tasks with no due date.
2) for location specific tasks (such as @out) I include the @out in the task description. For example, a shopping list for the supermarket appears as:
@out-Supermarket: 1) milk, 2) bread, 3) cookies, 4) ...
I can search all calendar items using the Search feature of the Nokia E71 for all @out items, and thus get to my supermarket list easily.
For my other contexts (@h, @c) I use outlook anyway to find my N/A. So the important actions to get to, from a portability point of view when I am out and about, are the @out actions.
When I add a task while on the go, it syncs with no category. I then process those categories with no task after syncing, or during the WR.
I know it sounds like a cumbersome system, but in reality it works well for me. The important thing is that I have a dependable phone first, which can secondly assist me in my GTD implementation. I went for a Nokia due to this dependable aspect, which I found was not the case with Windows Mobile phones.
By the way, it appears that 3rd party applications for Calendar and Syncing are in the works, and should be appearing soon. So there's still hope to fully implement GTD correctly in the near future, without the work-arounds.
Hope this helps someone.