Migration from life balance to a true GTD'ish Thinking Rock

Reviews of ThinkingRock.

Migration from life balance to a true GTD'ish Thinking Rock

Postby ckpinguin » Fri Oct 17, 2008 1:31 pm

Hello there

First of all, a big THANK YOU VERY MUCH to the whole ThinkingRock team making this awesome software and releasing it with an open licence. I don't exaggerate if I say, this program changed my life. Maybe you are interested in some details of an LB to TR changer:

Since two years I was using LB with a GTD-like setup (and paid several full-versions). It worked pretty well, since there was a fully working palm-version, which I had to sync on every day 5-6 times at least (before/after coming to the office and before/after going home). That's already the first drawback since from time to time there are issues with corrupt data resulting of wire problems or so. To get rid of corrupt data, I always lost about two hours restoring, syncing, system-checking etc.
So up to last month, I cumulated for myself the following list of negative points about the LB system:
    - Syncing efforts and resulting problems
    - It's not really made for GTD (more for covey-inspired systems)
    - Paying for 3 versions (palm/pc/mac) several times (updates) became expensive a bit
Don't misunderstand me, LB is a brillant piece of software, as it really can help you balancing your life.

So after a little search and forum watch, I switched to TR, what took me total 3 days (about 10 hours of work): To move all my tasks by using a script, that made my LB-tasks from xml form to thoughts form. Then to work through those +500 thoughts to organize them again in GTD-style. Several aspects of TR helped me to maintain more or less the same "form" of my todo's and projects:
    - Using "topics" for the life-areas (job, social contacts as partner family etc., life goals, housekeeping stuff, gtd meta stuff etc.) Those were the cake-pies in LB before.
    - Having recurring tasks for things like cleaning the house, watering plants, grocery errands etc. Although I really think the ASAP's also should be capable of being subsequently recurrant
    - Being fully GTD-centered, it was easy to follow the process in order to get all thoughts into the system.

Of course there still are some bugs (as also is in expensive corporate software) and a big chunk of flexibility missing in reports. Even creating a new ASAP tab is not possible, so you have to edit "multiple" and filters each and every day. But compared to the problems I had before, this is nothing.

Personal conclusion: Since some days now, it's starting to boost my productivity more than LB ever did. Period. That's the final killer argument for TR. And the miracle is: I don't really know why it works. Maybe just because it's a new system and thus motivated? We'll see, but I have a certain good feeling, that this wîll go on working like this.

Greets

Chris
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Postby JavaBob » Wed Oct 22, 2008 11:22 am

That was brave: Transferring 500 Next Actions to a new application is a significant sign of trust. I would have made a slow transition by winding down LB and starting up TR. Anyway it seems to have worked for you.

You mention that creating new tabs does not work. What is the problem?
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Postby ckpinguin » Wed Oct 22, 2008 2:25 pm

JavaBob wrote:That was brave: Transferring 500 Next Actions to a new application is a significant sign of trust. I would have made a slow transition by winding down LB and starting up TR. Anyway it seems to have worked for you.

You mention that creating new tabs does not work. What is the problem?

Of course, I have tried one pie-slice first (means one project of the highest level i.e. "Housekeeping" or "Job") before doing the big chunk. Anyway, it was at the same time a very good review-all, I was able to close many unused tasks and projects.
As I read your answer, I guess tab creation should be possible? I thought it's just not implemented, so I'll try that again, maybe I was doing somethin wrong.


BTW, I think I know now, why TR is boosting productivity compared to LB: In LB, when you're in balance, nothing forces you to take any next steps. And since there are always many steps, you tend to postpone many of them or effectively ignore some. In the GTD paradigm, one shoul tend to have as few as possible "next steps", but those steps should be small, possible tasks, where one more ore less knows exactly, what to do.
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Postby Claire » Thu Oct 23, 2008 3:33 am

Thank you for this review.

For the tabs creation, did you look at http://www.thinkingrock.com.au/helpmanual/topics/GettingStarted.html#setupra on how to set-up the Review Actions screen. When you create a new Tab under the Options/Preferences, you need to move the cursor out of the field to get the tab created (a small issue we have not resolved yet).
Claire
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Postby ckpinguin » Thu Oct 23, 2008 8:08 am

Ouch! Thanks a lot Claire, I should've tested more, I really did not realize the "+" button at that option-screen ;-)
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