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Outlook Tasks and Blackberry

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  • Outlook Tasks and Blackberry

    Finally started implementing GTD mainly using my Blackberry with Outlook Tasks for my lists and defining my own Categories. A paper based system just isn't for me
    Here are all the items I currently have in my Tasks, as they appear in Outlook sorted by Category:

    Category = In Basket
    [the Notes contain ‘Stuff’ that needs to be Processed.]
    Category = NA-@Computer
    (BFC) Write down specifications for file cabinets (# of drawers, size, layout).
    Category = NA-Calls
    Call Doctor's office to get another Jiu Jitsu postponement fax.
    Category = NA-Shopping
    Buy square tissue box for desk at work.
    Buy Q-tips for desk at work.
    Buy Rye Crisps.
    Category = Projects
    (BFC) Buy File Cabinets
    [Notes: Write down specifications for file cabinets (# of drawers, size, layout); Ask wife to pick 3 file cabinets that fit my specifications and meet her atheistic requirements; Decide which of the wife’s 3 file cabinet options I prefer; Buy selected file cabinets.]
    (UFC) Ultimate Fighting Championship on 8-8-09
    [Notes: 06-22-09: Buy UFC tickets for 8-8-09 in Philadelphia, PA; Figure out how to get to UFC on 8-8-09; Book hotel and other activities.]
    Category = Someday/Maybe
    Books to Read
    [The Notes contain the list of all the books I want to read someday.]
    The notes in my Project Tasks contain all the related NAs, past, present and future. They also get copied and pasted into their own NA Task with the initials for the Project in parenthesis. When I complete a NA, I delete the separate NA and write the date of completion next to it in the Project notes. Learned this method from reading the forums ;]

    Note that I can’t use any plug-ins or apps because, although this is GTD for my personal life, it is my work Blackberry and Outlook.

    I’ve encountered some problems:
    1. I am in-between GTD and my old system because I’m not able to ‘Collect’ everything in one sitting. Doing mini-runs where I Collect and Process when I get time. Sometimes I only get one item done. Not sure if this is correct.
    2. Since I used Tasks a lot in my old To Do List system, I already have a bunch of Tasks without Categories that need to be ‘Processed.’ For most I’ve created an “IN BASKET” Category with one task entitled “GTD IN BASKET LIST.” I will process the items on this list from top down as I get time. Most stuff in there will qualify as Reference Materials related to Projects.
    3. Synchronizing my work and home Outlooks via my Blackberry is not easy. Work synchs wirelessly and home synchs wired (which requires manually turning off wireless synch for tasks and contacts every time I want to synch!). Sometimes things don’t synch after I change them. Maybe it’s because home uses Outlook 2002 and work uses Outlook 2003.

    Any input from fellow GTDers that are using straight Outlook Tasks and their Blackberry?
    Last edited by tuba; 06-23-2009, 11:23 AM.

  • #2
    Hi tuba,

    I am implementing GTD for years on my BlackBerry Bold and am using NextAction! ( ) in conjunction with BlackBerry Desktop Manager sync and MS Outlook. It works pretty fine for me. I even got the Pro version of NextAction! which has Voice Actions (very helpful for quick tasks which I don't want to type), but the Standard Edition is fine too.

    NextAction! supports contexts, projects and even someday / maybe lists. It sync's seamlessly with my desktop and with some tweaks it works with the Netcentrics Add-In as well.

    Contexts with a leading "@" are sorted on top of the list and I can quickly access or switch contexts and projects with just a click. Completed next actions can be hidden or even deleted in bulk. Integration into the original BlackBerry Tasks app is also available in case you really want to enter more than the GTD-specific data to a task. So you could add a reminder to a next action for example.

    There is a lot more to talk about NextAction! but I don't want to go too far into details. Check out the website or the free demo version if you want to know more. Sorry, for the long text though