Wow, not much time left before the holiday season is there? How organized are you? We've already started shopping, but you know how it is; there are always a few people you've forgotten about. With this in mind as well as reports looming due to end of year projects and training at work, I've got to get a handle on things. Spending some time online, I came across the David Allen Company. In a nutshell, they provide products, education and information which improve your personal and interactive productivity. Part of the training includes their Getting Things Done (GTD) seminars. I'm not going to get into detail, as this is supposed to be a BlackBerry review, but I will say this:
David Allen says the five stages of mastering workflow are "Collect, process, organize, review, do."
Okay, okay, here's where the BlackBerry comes in. NextAction!, part of S4BB's lineup, helps you apply Getting Things Done with your BlackBerry. Admittedly, I'm not that familiar with the David Allen solution. Having a very basic grasp on the concept, NextAction! seems promising, as they say it let's you bypass the shortcomings of the native Task/to-do applications with regards to the Getting Things Done program. So, I guess the first thing to get done, is for you to join me after the jump!
Takin' Care of Business
NextAction is available for any Berry running on an OS of 4.0 and higher. It's even available for the Bold, Storm and Pearl Flip. Devoid of any graphics or colour, the application focuses solely on helping you get to work.
Using NextAction you can create filters, or categories, and assign your tasks to the appropriate filter. What's great is that NextAction is also compatible with the native Task Application, so entries can be viewed and created in either program. Looking at the first screen you should see Context and Project. Initially, the only context listed is Business, but you can quickly list additional contexts; I've added Family, Sports, Home Projects, CrackBerry and more. The context will be listed alphabetically. Next is Projects, this section is more complex, as you and only you can decide how to manage it. You can list projects by department, immediacy, ease of execution- the possibilities are endless.
Let's have a look at creating a new Next Action. Inputting data is very simple, as it takes the GTD approach; "no prioritization, only one context per action." Perhaps I haven't learned enough about the approach, but I like to set due dates, and a status to my actions or tasks.
create actions, then assign contexts and projects
Once you have your life planned out, you can customize what you want to view by selecting contexts and projects. The actions that are not related to the project or context currently viewed will be hidden. NextAction can also work with Outlook, ACT!, Novell Groupwise; any environment that supports task synchronization.
As time goes by, and actions are created and completed, you may want to have a look back at your accomplishments, or even your progress to date. In order to view these reports, you'll have to download TaskReports < link http://www.s4bb.com/the-beta-program/#taskreports >, currently in beta. Here, you can choose from a variety of reports and graphs to view your progress. Why this wasn't included in NextAction, I don't know.
many options available, even reports
one of the many reports available from Task Reports
NextAction promises to bypass the shortcomings, but I found quite a few more that make me second guess this solution.
Though you can create projects and contexts to filter your actions, you cannot mark complete, set due dates or set priorities in NextAction! You have to jump to the native Task app to do so. Actions can be created in the task menu. You have to select the appropriate Context under Categories field or the task won't be available in NextAction. Confused? Me too. To view reports, I have to download yet another application. So that's 47.7KB for NextAction! AND 106.1 KB for Task Reports.
an action viewed in the Task application
Last Action...the Conclusion.
Shortcomings bypassed, but more work has been created. It's great that I can now assign categories, but I shouldn't have to switch back and forth between applications to fully manage a task/action. Clicking on GTD Reports in the menu tells me I have to download another application, why not combine the two? For what it does, I cannot fathom putting a price of $49.95 on NextAction! Again, maybe I don't have a grasp on the GTD approach, but so far, it's not for me. If you'd like to check it out and see if it's for you, there is a free trial available. Well for my next action, I'm going to learn more about Getting Things Done.
For more information on NextAction!, click here < link http://software.crackberry.com/product.asp?id=6737&n=NextAction%21>
assigning context and projects to actions
- compatible with the native Task application
- sync with Outlook, Lotus Notes and more
- constantly having to switch between NextAction! and Tasks
- having to download another application to view reports