The search for a better todo list

I had been using Trelo for my todo list for a while now.  After hearing CCP Grey talk about OmniFocus on his podcast, I wanted to give it a try.  It’s Mac only though, so I spent a couple days trying to get a virtual hackintosh up and running, which made me remember why I hate Macs so much.  That’s another store for another day though.

I came across MyLifeOrganized, which seemed awesome at first, and spent two days transferring everything from Trello into it.  As far as desktop apps go, it was pretty good.  Not exactly what I wanted but good enough, better than Trello for a GTD system anyway.  The trouble came when trying to sync it with phone apps…. it was the height of palm pilot technology.  You can only sync to one device and you have to kick it off manually, or pay for a fairly expensive cloud sync.  The app isn’t cheap either at $50, and then you have to pay $25 for the mobile app, plus the monthly cloud service to make it all work.  Way too expensive.

I tried some cloud services… IQ-something, Zen-something, and some other web2.0-ish names, that try to implement GTD by far too simple or far too complicated methods.  All I really need were an inbox, projects, and recurring tasks that don’t still show up as a current task if they’ve already been completed today.  Task ordering and next task by project would have been nice but it turns out that’s rather difficult to find.  And it had to be reasonably priced, which is another thing that’s difficult to find in a GTD tool (I guess the thought is that people who use them are manager types and can be gouged).

I settled on Todoist.  It’s cheap at $2.50/mo (cheaper than MLO’s cloud sync alone), the apps are free (and available on every platform), has a really good filter system, plus gamification in its karma feature.  The only thing it’s missing is a project next task feature, but it’s pretty fast to manually set a few tasks as high priority and include them into the dashboard.  It might even force me to think about my day more, so it might turn out to be a plus.

I’m actually kicking some butt, ticking off at least a dozen things from my todo list a day (and only adding about 10), so by the end of summer I might actually be caught up ;).

100 Mile Hike – 2015 Life Goal

20150124_130117In 2013, a buddy and I kayaked across Lake Michigan to North Manitou Island, which I’ll write about at some point.  I’ve been looking for a new personal accomplishment since then, but unlike some of my friends, solo kayaking in deep water isn’t really my idea of a relaxing time.

I love being on the island, and I had originally played with the idea of doing a solo week there with a lazy lap around the island.  People have done longer trips there for sure, but how many people have done more than one night out in the wilderness by themselves?  A week alone on an island would certainly be an accomplishment.

I want to go in the spring before the weather gets too hot and the insects too large.  The ferry will only run if there are enough people to make the trip worthwhile, and only if the water is fairly calm.  The shipwrecks around the island can attest to how temperamental the Great Lakes can be.  I don’t want to take the risk of being stuck on the island longer than planned, especially when carrying only the bare minimum of food to save weight.  What about the same experience without the ferry?

So I decided that I would do a week in a forest on the mainland.  Michigan has a ton of public forest land. If I’m going to spend a week in the forest, I may as well spend that week hiking and get a little taste of what I would experience on the Appalachian Trail (one of my life goals).  I think 100 miles in a week is a difficult but attainable goal, and an accomplishment not many people can claim, especially with how sedentary our country is.  I certainly don’t know of anyone personally that have done a hike of this length.  So that’s my goal for this year.