Batching tasks together is not a new concept – it’s a very old and practical one. But there are several permutations to the approach, which will be discussed in today’s post.
The previous post discussed action plans in the large, and then jumped to very small action types.
Now we come to actually tackling them – we have a list of tasks to do. But which ones first? And what’s the next action?
Today in the Productivity Fortnight+1 series we are looking at actionising our tasks – from action plans down to taking really small actions with productivity systems which can work to make getting tasks or setting habits done.
Week 2 of the Productivity series of posts. Today, I’m going to briefly look at focus.
The previous posts defined productivity as being something we’re passionate about getting accomplished.
The next few posts begin to drill down on those high level dream goals and chunk out into actionable chunks. Along the way, we’ll look at quite a few productivity systems.
Yesterday’s post looked at what productivity is, and tried to keep the definition simple. This next post takes it one step further, exploring why we want to be productive.
Welcome to a fortnight+1 of themed posts on Productivity, which is a big word meaning many things for many people.
In the next three weeks’ worth of posts I’ll be rounding up many different productivity systems, profiling some productivity-slanted apps, and having some fun.
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
Coming up soon: a fortnight (possibly 3 weeks) of productivity posts. As a teaser, today’s #52Tech post provides one productivity tool which blends digital with old school paper: Standards.
There is little doubt that many people receive positive benefits from maintaining a regular if not daily habit of journal writing, in some form.