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Restarted my Mac and the got the file -- so thanks, but I do think it's a great idea to post it.

Oh and a big shout out to RATZ, who was my savior whilst trying to get a handle on Life Balance... : )

I just allowed all types of files. You should be able to upload zips, rars, docs, and pdfs.

btw, I like your workflow diagram. It's prettier than Allen's

Last edited by scot; 2007-09-01 at 08:02 AM..
Shucks. I uploaded it for you and DHM made a graphic of it.
Thanks for all the help getting the file up.

I don't think I ever would have arrived upon GTD without Ratz.

I had a person from work recommend GTD to me when I asked how they kept up with all the information at work. (At the time I was in a job where 50 to 150 emails a day was the norm. And all these emails I was expected to do something with.) I didn't take his advice. I would fool around with todo lists in outlook (at work) and try to manage. But never had a watertight system.

A couple months later I was looking for Task software for the Mac & Palm and ran into LB forums. I was searching through the forums and found RATZ beginners guide to GTD. Through his implementation on LB, I was introduced to GTD. Suddenly, here was a practical nutz and boltz system. I bought the GTD book, and it clicked.

Not only did I buy the book, but bought the LB software as well.

That was in the LB boom... the forums had a lot of activity and there was an incredible energy about the software. Old RATZ has posted 2,111 posts on that board. I wonder if the LB developers ever realized how much business RATZ gave them. And how much GTD people there were using their system.

Unfortunately, their attitude was always... it's fine if you use it for GTD, but we don't want to develop the software toward any system. We want people to put whatever system they want in it.

All the while, people using LB for GTD were purchasing the software and duct taping it to use it for GTD.

It's really sad... and almost a pride thing. There is a huge GTD marketing engine that is out there. Millions of people are looking for tools to implement GTD into it. All a company has to do, is built the GTD tool. But all these productivity companies say the same thing. We don't want to force anyone to use GTD. We want people to use whatever system they want with our software.

And the same thing happens. All these people out there, looking for ways to implement GTD, have to Frankenstein their own solutions into software to make GTD work. (basecamp, don't forget the milk, blah blah)

And all this time... a huge pile of money is out there, for the company that can build the definitive GTD application. (my vote is on Omni right now)

LB had their shot. At least 5 years of suggestions to nudge LB toward GTD. 5 years is more than enough time.

For me, RATZ beginners guide to GTD was the missing piece that I believe is David Allen's one flaw in the book:
No concrete examples with real world projects.

Last edited by SpiralOcean; 2007-09-01 at 06:20 PM..
The problem with LB isn't that it isn't GTD enough. It's that the interface is ugly, inconvenient to use, and geared toward the palm. Also, it doesn't have strong printing support, and doesn't seem to be developed at a particularly rapid pace.
Originally Posted by sprugman View Post
The problem with LB isn't that it isn't GTD enough. It's that the interface is ugly, inconvenient to use, and geared toward the palm. Also, it doesn't have strong printing support, and doesn't seem to be developed at a particularly rapid pace.
I'll agree with you on that. OF is very GTD, but still flexible. It's the small differences I love about OF!

1. The ability to type in characters to select contexts or projects.
(LB it was all mouse and drop down. Which is the path to insanity)

2. The Search Algorithm that OF uses for finding contexts.
(In quicken, it will match words, but if you have duplicate items, like Home Calls and Home Computer, you would have to type out the entire word 'Home C' to choose the calls. In OF, just HC. Quicken is one of those pieces of software where they have no passion for details. And the experience of the user suffers.)

3. The ability to select multiple items. LB can only work with one item at a time.

4. The search box that allows you to work on the results. Brilliant.

5. A real Inbox! Beautiful!

6. Built upon a robust database that remains quick and efficient. LB... I'm not sure what kind of database it is, but I've always assumed it was something like just a text file with records. No querying.

7. Projects built into the system! This was huge for me. In LB this is what I had to do to create a project:
-My project (completed projects)
--My project (active Projects)
--My project (default context)
---my first task

So every project had to have that heirarchy! That's entering three tasks just for the project holder! It had to be that way so I could go to active projects and see all my projects, and just the projects. Create tasks that had a default context, so the tasks inside wouldn't have a context of active project.

Another path to insanity.

All these things were suggested to LB. And they almost laughed at each one. Citing, they didn't want to make LB GTD focused and many people use LB in many different ways.

8. Cool interface and icons! Real attention to beautiful icons. I love it.

And that's just a couple, the list goes on.
Originally Posted by sprugman View Post
The problem with LB isn't that it isn't GTD enough. It's that the interface is ugly, inconvenient to use, and geared toward the palm. Also, it doesn't have strong printing support, and doesn't seem to be developed at a particularly rapid pace.
I think the problem is both of those.

It wasn't GTD enough. I wouldn't be using OF if it wasn't GTD. Then it would be like the plethora of other list management software out there. Too general.

And the UI design issue that you brought up.
I feel compelled to add my 2 cents here. My experience is much like SpiralOcean's. I was looking for a GTD program that could sync on a Mac, a Palm and Windows. Life Balance was the only program I found that fit the bill. But without Ratz's help in the forums I don't think I would have gotten the system to work for me as it has for the past two years.

I'm now looking at OF and it's clear that my experience with LB has greatly helped me. At first, OF seemed a bit overwhelming but after a few days I'm getting the hang of it. And finding Ratz here and people who have walked the same path is certainly an additional incentive.

Here's to you Ratz!

I've been a Life Balance user for years and have it working well with GTD using ratz's advice. I tried out OF when I got an iPhone but couldn't get OF to work right with multi-level repeating tasks. When the subtasks were done the parent task wouldn't appear for me to check off. I have a number of these and not being able to do that anymore was going to be a serious limitation. Life Balance has since come out with an iPhone version so I'm set.
I agree with beirne that there is a problem with multilevel repeating tasks in OF. I have tried different approaches and none are really satisfying. I have to enter an action telling me to go to outline mode to check off the parent item as done. Not very elegant. Maybe there is a better way, but I don't know it.

I'm using OF with a Palm and the syncing with the Mac Calendar and from there to the Palm Tasks is sufficient for my needs. Since I'm probably going to give in and get an iPhone, it will be even better then, at least I hope so.

I have not once regretted leaving Life Balance even though I was quite hooked and a bit uneasy at the prospect of starting over with something else.


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