Checking out My Life Organized—reviews please?

Discussion in 'PUBLIC: Discuss Tools & Software for GTD' started by SDH, Apr 29, 2018.

  1. SDH

    SDH Registered

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    For work, I use Outlook and OneNote heavily and it works great for me. However, for personal, I like to keep everything entirely separate, except OneNote. I have work notebooks and one or two personal notebooks. I love to be able to do my mindsweeps in OneNote and then send things as tasks to my task management program. For my personal life, I’ve tried a wide variety of task management apps and am currently using Things 3. I use TaskClone to move things from OneNote to Things 3. However, since I use a PC as well as iPad/iPhone/Mac, it bugs me sometimes that I can’t access Things 3 on my PC. I also feel like the goals/areas of focus/projects tracking on Things 3 could be better. I’m intrigued by My Life Organized—it looks like it has the ability for me to do my project planning in advance, listing a bunch of tasks, but only having the next available task actually show up in my daily task list. Is that the case? Do any of you use MLO and, if so, what’s your experience? It’s not cheap so I’m not inclined to pony up just to try it out and find out it’s worse for me that Things 3.
     
  2. HuwEvans

    HuwEvans Registered

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    I've been using MLO for almost a year now. Before that, was using Toodledo. I switched because Toodledo ios client was lagging behind in development, and I was looking for an app that excelled on the iPad - which is my main device, but also on iPhone and PC. Right now, this is definitely the best option I've found for GTD on these platforms - although not perfect (will anything ever be?), I'll touch on that at the end. Where this is really good:
    - easy to enter tasks as they arise into inbox wherever you are in the app (force-touch on iPhone as well)
    - easy to process tasks in your inbox. When I process tasks, I add contexts, a flag, a star and then move to whichever folder I have for that "group" of items.
    - all of these are configurable, here's how I use them:
    Contexts: I use this for three things. Firstly, the usual @context for the location that makes sense, eg. @home @work. Then a two letter code if the task relates to one of my team members, eg. HE or JF. Then a +number for estimated time, I use these: +15 min, +30 min, +1 hr, +2 hr.
    Flags: Again you can define these, there are seven you can set up. I use this to highlight what I'd like to achieve This Week, Next Week or Today.
    Star: If something is really important I will Star it. Useful for that urgent task that comes in. All of my views show Starred items at the top - so I can't ignore them :)
    Folder: You can setup any needed folders to keep tasks together or as separate as you'd like to. For example, I have a Family folder, a Bills folder and a Household folder. I also have a Later folder, which will hide tasks that are moved to it - until I proactively review them.
    You can make any task a folder, and can nest as many tasks as you need to as sub-tasks (there may be a limit here, but I haven't hit it yet). You can make any task or folder a project. You can also make any task or folder a goal (I haven't used the goals function yet).
    You can make any task or folder "complete sub-tasks in order" which will then allow you to display only active actions.

    Things I love about MLO:
    Simple and easy to manage large lists of tasks.
    The iPad app is really easy to move around. For example, if you have a view created to show today's tasks, but can't remember the context of a sub-task - if you change view to show all tasks the app doesn't lose the context - so it shows the same task in your full list of tasks, so you can easily understand where that task has come from.
    Sync between iPad, iPhone & PC has been rock solid. You do have to wait for a few seconds when the PC app first loads, to let the sync complete, but the iPad and iPhone will push-sync.

    Things I'd like improved:
    Time needs to be better implemented. This is the same of all so-called GTD apps I've seen. There isn't a quick way to enter how long the task will take, and then sum those times in a filtered view. What I'm trying to do here is to see my today view, and see that I've picked 16 hours of tasks to do - so I'll need to better prioritise at the start of the day.
    - I wanted to ask if Things 3 does this any better?

    Let me know if you have any follow up questions. I've been overall very happy with MLO.

    - Huw
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2018
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  3. SDH

    SDH Registered

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    Thank you. I’ve been playing around with it and the feature it has that would make me make the switch is the fact that it gives you the next action when you’ve completed the one before, without having to put dates on things to make them show up. I’m struggling with Things3 in that I have a lot of project tasks outlined ahead of time but I’m forced to either put dates on individual tasks or look at every project individually frequently to see what I have next. I really like in MLO that I can do my project planning ahead of time without having to guess at dates for later tasks, and still have those later tasks show up on my daily list when I finish everything before them.

    However, I’m struggling to pay the cost (since I just bought Things3 a year or so ago) and having to transfer all my stuff from Things3 to MLO when Things3 doesn’t offer a good way to export tasks...it would be a major undertaking!
     
  4. damo

    damo Registered

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    I’ve used MLO for years and love it. They’ve stuck doggedly to native apps only as web apps have emerged, but to be fair, this means the apps are highly optimised for fast use, and they work very well.

    I use the mobile app as my main todo despite having moved to a Mac and not having a desktop client any more.

    It’s strong in GTD and next actions. The UX is really quick. It’s weak in presenting a high level macro view, and in not having a web app.
     
  5. almet

    almet Registered

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    1. Sharing of data files in local teams. TDL has a single file which can be checked out. MLO seems to have a central file and each user their file which can be synced to this central file if I understand it correctly. TDL may be simpler to manage with a central file but I wonder does the MLO approach enable multiple users to edit simultaneously? Perhaps you know better than I here.
    2. Good search function. Like the quick find in TDL, but immediately shows all instances of what you are typing in real time.
    3. MLO has an option for ticking when a task is a project or a folder. This enables a couple of things. When ticked as a Project it can then be reviewed as such. Ticked as a folder and it can then be removed from certain views. In TDL, I think folders usually show up as tasks in list view. And if I remember correctly are also counted as tasks in the bottom right of the window. Perhaps there is an option to skip them from such views.
     

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