Anyone watching the net lately will be well aware of Tom Hank’s typewriter app hitting the iOS appstore and smashing records for the productivity and overall categories. I’ve left it a couple of weeks before profiling the Hanx Writer App and alternatives.
This is the final post within the three week Productivity series, and also falls as Week 30 for the #52Tech Series.
This post is a random collection of further systems and tech associated with some of the topics covered over the productivity series. You will find tools to help out in email zero’ing, timing and prioritising tasks and further resources on productivity.
Some tasks are easy to prioritise – they must be done first because other tasks lead off, or are dependent on their completion. But others aren’t as easily prioritised and ordered into our days.
Today’s posts look at some productivity systems which can help in decision making and prioritisation of work tasks. At the bottom, some tips also. And being a #52Tech post as well, naturally there are a couple of good apps for that.
Here’s a new (very) app and webservice targetting the Evernote (possibly ex-Springpad) market.
Centrallo has the catchphrase of “Your Life Centralised”. I’m not yet convinced, but it certainly shows some promise for several functions I find useful as a writer.
Centrallo was earmarked in an email to me as the “next generation Evernote meets Dropbox”. It’s currently on soft-launch, so you can pick it up free from the iOS app store (coming to Android soon, I believe). The marketing department appears to have done a good job – there are several reviews appearing on the net recently:
- Phonedog review – this reviewer takes a planner-organiser look at the app.
- Mark Carrigan review – looks at using Centrallo as an Evernote alternative for Getting Things Done productivity hacks.
There are a couple of statements in the above reviews which I disagree with, particularly on the declaration that Centrallo has a better editor than Evernote – there are a couple of problems I’ve encountered here after using Centrallo’s iPAD app for two weeks now, which I’ll pinpoint below. But also, the reviewers do pick up on many great points about the app – including sharing, and the structural approach to lists.
So, what you’ll get below is not an organiser or planner viewpoint of Centrallo as it sits in current development, but that of a writer’s review. For writers in the planning or outlining stages of writing projects, Centrallo provides one particularly beneficial feature above Evernote, the tree structure.
Warning: because I remain an Evernote fan, there will also be some comparisons, especially as Centrallo is vying for that market. But there’s room on your iPad for both, so use them!
Centrallo Features Comparison
This is a very early feature comparison, given Centrallo is only at version 1 at pre-launch.
|Storage and Plans:
*This is a real issue for me, as the addition of images or PDFs or using audio notes means I’m quickly filling my storage up.
|Storage and Plans:
|Interface, Structure and Sharing of Notes
*Viewing new notes can be a little jilted currently. After selecting a note from the left-hand note list, the view panel displays on the right. You then expect to be able to select another note from the same left-hand list, and have it’s contents refresh into the note view panel. Instead, you are taken back to the Centrallo initial notebook and notes list, and are forced to select the lists again.
|Interface, Structure and Sharing of Notes
|Getting Notes In:
||Getting Notes In:
* I believe webclippings are an important function for most writers looking for an overall notes database.
* On the current iPAD version bullets and numbering are frustratingly buggy, with linewrap not working as a bullet, and bullet selections dropping down to the bottom of notes.
Okay, My Verdict
Thumbnail gallery - click to enlarge.
Centrallo is at very early stages yet, and still has some UI and functional bugs to iron out. It’s storage capacity and plans do not make me particularly happy to use the system to centralise my overall life and work with either.
However, in using it over the last two weeks, I grew very much in love with the promise shown – that’s solely because of one feature – the structural tree-like organisation of notes into multiple levels of folders. I tested this out by making a Fictional Series Bible. I wanted to include everything from note templates, to multiple levels of various elements to track through the writing of a novel series.
My brain works in structured trees, possibly because that’s how Microsoft designed Windows Explorer. I like to be able to drop notes into lists and folders, and then have sub-folders and more, to categorise those sub-sections. Evernote allows for only one level of structure – the notebook stack, and forces me to arrange via tags or to create many more notebooks to cover my bases. Centrallo comes though with flying colours in allowing me some natural structure to my work efforts.
So, I give it a big three thumbs up. Take a look at my gallery of images, for a quick view of some of these elements.
Centrallo – this is a referral link, which will give me an extra 25MB of storage. Please gift me, as I will run out.
#52Tech: This was Week 27 post in the #52tech goal – to investigate and share one technology post once a week for 2014. You can find all the posts indexed via the #52tech tag, or top menu option at hunterswritings.com
Entrepreneurial writers (which is all of us nowadays) often need to juggle various tasks and deadlines for projects. Even a regular book launch can benefit from some project management regarding timelines, tasks and milestones.
Beginning next week this blog will be running a 2-week series on productivity. As a lead-in, for this week’s #52Tech post I am featuring some apps which will let you chart out your tasks for larger projects.
In Week 8 of the #52Tech series I listed several habit tracking apps. In April through the A-Z Blogging Challenge on the ‘H” Day I listed some habit tracking apps specifically for writers, and also linked to a growing list of overall Habit tracking apps maintained on Listly.
Today’s post features four more habit tracking type apps, but this time some also have an additional life-logging application, reporting back the correlations between your routines and work.
For this week’s #52Tech post I will profile a new writer’s app on the block – Story Planner for iOS.
Story Planner has been brought to you by Literautas, the makers of the two writing challenge apps previewed here in January and iDeas for Writing discussed last year.
Here is the index to all the tools, services and apps listed or profiled in this 26 day post series.
An additional index post today will publish a full A-Z Listing of all the POSTS throughout the series. You can also find these posts under the #26Tech tag.
The Z post for #26Tech A-Z Challenge features one beautiful iOS app – iZen Garden.
The Y post for #26Tech A-Z Challenge features a listing of apps or webapps which allow for collaborative and social project gathering online – on a wall environment.
There is some overlap with a few previous posts in this series, so where apps have been featured previously, you will be diverted to those posts. But there are also a couple of new apps worth playing with here.