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GTD + Notes question (slightly OT) Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
This isn't really related to OmniFocus, but could be applied to any normal "todo" program.

I'm trying to get things done. And, I'm pretty confident that OF could work as my inbox cleaner / scheduler. But, there is one other piece of my daily activity that I would like to do, and I have no idea how to integrate it (or if it's possible)

Outside of todos, I need to track the state of several projects. And, by state, I really mean the details. I need to search through notes I've taken so that, when I get a call on one of them, I'm able to quickly bring myself back up to speed. One of those downsides to brain dumping, is finding a way to get quick recall again.

So, do any of you have any suggestions on how to have a hierarchical collection of information, that is not related to a task, yet have it be quickly searchable, linkable, etc?

I could just use a collection of text files, but, I'd rather use a tool (preferably OF), to hold everything (Todo's & information) in one place. Now, these projects do eventually get "done", so I would eventually archive them. But, I think I need a little more room and formatting than just using the notes associated with a task in OF -- or -- I could be wrong. I have not used OF much at all . . . and I've been hesitant to get started because of this . . .

Thanks in advance!
 
Holding to-do's and project information in one application is difficult. I've tried a lot of applications and (obviously) use OmniFocus for my GTD stuff. I have settled on DEVONthink to store project information, and everything else in my life. I'm somewhat of a rookie with DEVONthink and have found the learning curve somewhat steep. However, the other PIM applications don't match up to the power of DEVONthink (although I do like Eagle Filer a lot).
 
I don't use it myself, but from the traffic on the forums, DEVONthink does seem to be the main contender for that kind of thing.

(If I had to pick a runner-up, it would probably be Evernote.)
 
For implementing GTD you can use this web-based application:

Gtdagenda.com

You can use it to manage your goals, projects and tasks, set next actions and contexts, use checklists, schedules and a calendar.
Comes with a mobile version too, and with an Android app.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian View Post
I don't use it myself, but from the traffic on the forums, DEVONthink does seem to be the main contender for that kind of thing.

(If I had to pick a runner-up, it would probably be Evernote.)
I just got DEVONthink (DT) working correctly this morning in DEVONthink To Go (DTTG) on my iPad so that I can do this (totally operator error which is why it wasn't working).

So far I can see two ways of doing this, I'm sure that there are probably more creative ways though.

This shows you how to do this using OF and DEVONthink as well as OF and DEVONthink To Go on your iPad.

1. Make a note in DT and name it with whatever you want to name the project. Then send the note using the provided script as a "reminder" to OF. Go into your OF inbox and delete the appended "Reminder:" label from the new action that was generated from the script so that the note title is the same and convert it to a project. The link back to the original DT note will now be in the new project notes field. Sync both DT and OF to your iPad and you now have the note working. You can go into DT and add to or change the original note and as long as you sync DT with DTTG all changes will carry over.

2. Make a note in DT with whatever descriptive title you want. I suggest starting the title with "[Note]" just so it will stand out as such. Link it to OF using the reminder script provided with DT. Remove the appended "Reminder:" from the note and move it into your project, setting the context to "Note". It will now show up in your project as an action without a due date and will start with [Note] so it will stand out. This way you can have multiple notes for your project instead of one long one and you can include many different formats in the multiple notes such as pictures, pdf's, text, etc, etc.

[edit]
* The only set-back with any of this is that if you create a text note in one folder (Global Inbox for example) and then sync with DT and move the note to another folder that note will not show up in DTTG when you sync it again unless you convert it to rich text. Rich text notes can not be edited in DTTG so you will lose the ability to do further edits (add more information) to the original note. DEVONthink is aware of this and has said that it will be fixed shortly. However, if you create the text note in the proper folder and never move it you will be able to continue to edit it in either DT or DTTG and it will sync properly. (I do not know if this is an intermittent bug or not but it has been consistent for me)
[end of edit]

** I don't want to mislead anyone here, you can also create a note in DTTG on your iPad. But, you will have to wait until you are back at your Mac and sync the note that you created in DTTG to DT so that you can then run the script to move it into OF. You can not run the script from your iPad.

Some may ask - why not just use the notes field in OF for this. If all you are going to have is text notes then I would agree that the OF note field is great for that. But I have many project's that have large PDF's, engineering drawings, schedules, budgets (spreadsheets), pictures, etc., that I can use this method for and have very quick access to them through OF. Yes, I can go into DT to see them but I have a large folder structure in DT with only a few hundred folders at the moment, but I just started using DT and DTTG. It will multiply very quickly and being able to just select the link in the OF active project will just make it much faster to get there.

Last edited by atreinke; 2010-11-07 at 04:04 AM..
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by atreinke View Post
* The only set-back with any of this is that the initial release of DTTG does not allow you to edit a note on DTTG that has been sync'ed with DT. You can edit in DT but not on DTTG. The next release (hopefully) is supposed to fix this lack of functionality in DTTG but for now if you create a note in DT, sync it, and then want to add more info to it later you will have to do it in DT on your Mac.
I think you might be overlooking something here, as the above is not accurate. Editing notes in DEVONthink To Go that are sync'ed with DEVONthink works very well-not sure why that is not working for you.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Jones View Post
I think you might be overlooking something here, as the above is not accurate. Editing notes in DEVONthink To Go that are sync'ed with DEVONthink works very well-not sure why that is not working for you.
Greg, you are correct with a small exception. You can edit plain text notes on DTTG that have been sync'ed with DT, but not rich text notes. There is a small bug in DTTG that if you move a sync'ed text note in DT from one folder into another it will not show up on DTTG unless you convert it into a rich text note. Once you do that it is no longer editable.

I have a habit of taking notes quickly and just saving them in my Global Inbox. Then at the end of the day I go home and do a sync. This then works as a reminder that I need to go into each note and review it so that I can make any corrections or add anything that I may have left out before I "move" it to the correct folder. This habit works well for me but unfortunately once I move the note I must also change it to rich text so that it will show up on my iPad in DTTG. I asked about this in the DTTG forum which is where I was told that it was a minor bug and would be fixed soon.

Thank you for pointing this out, I know it has been only a little while since DTTG has been out (week?) but I have gotten so used to how I have been doing it that I just took it as the norm for now. But, if you start a text note in it's proper folder and never move it then yes, you can continue to edit it as long as you keep it as a text note. I will edit my previous post. Thanks.

Last edited by atreinke; 2010-11-07 at 04:04 AM..
 
Although I've had a free copy of DevonThink Pro for years, I have only recently been giving it a go, thanks to Rob and Greg for kindly giving me some directions (over in the Applying OmniFocus Forum) on how to incorporate DT with OF. I also recently purchased DTTG.

However, at the moment I still prefer using iDisk as a method of linking reference files into OF rather than the workarounds for DTTG.

The main problem I've got with DTTG is that it insists on storing locally to an iDevice, which for me isn't really practical. I'm hoping that in a few releases time it'll behave more like iDisk, ie. downloads on demand and provides a link which can be put in the notes field that allows OmniFocus to open the relevant document directly within OF's own browser.

As far as notetaking goes, I found DT to be a bit limited, so I requested the developer of my favourite note App to incorporate the Send to OmniFocus function. An update with this should be released in a couple of weeks time so I'll post over on the iPad forum when it's available. Sadly he's a bit resistant to creating a desktop version for the Mac App Store!

I'm looking forward to seeing how DTTG develops.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by atreinke View Post
Greg, you are correct with a small exception. You can edit plain text notes on DTTG that have been sync'ed with DT, but not rich text notes.
You probably are aware of this already, but for those that don't know-this is an iOS issue. One cannot edit RTF(D) documents on an iOS device with any app as Apple has not (yet) included support for RTF(D) editing.

Quote:
There is a small bug in DTTG that if you move a sync'ed text note in DT from one folder into another it will not show up on DTTG unless you convert it into a rich text note. Once you do that it is no longer editable.
You do not need to convert the note, just change is somehow and save it (e.g. add a space at the end of the text). The bug doesn't pick up that the document has been changed, which is why it doesn't sync back. Saving the text note will trigger the sync, and move it to the new folder.

Quote:
Thank you for pointing this out, I know it has been only a little while since DTTG has been out (week?) but I have gotten so used to how I have been doing it that I just took it as the norm for now.
Glad to hear that at least it is working for you, even with a few bugs. I've been using it in the beta cycle for a year now and it has become indispensable for me. It's just so curious that some users are having so many issues with syncing, etc. that never showed up with the beta team.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by endoftheQ View Post
The main problem I've got with DTTG is that it insists on storing locally to an iDevice, which for me isn't really practical. I'm hoping that in a few releases time it'll behave more like iDisk, ie. downloads on demand and provides a link which can be put in the notes field that allows OmniFocus to open the relevant document directly within OF's own browser.
Interesting, as this is precisely why I don't care for using iDisk, or DropBox, to access my documents on the go! I just find 3G too slow to access large documents. Also, I still have to deal with Edge a good bit of the time, which makes a cloud approach totally unusable.
 
 


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