CHECKMARK. The app, which is available only on the iPhone, allows you to set location-based reminders. The images above, taken at various times, show notifications flashed by the app.

To do: Install to-do apps on phone

(I wrote this for an article on digital to-do lists for the Sun.Star Cebu Weekend)

I arrived home to the ding of my phone reminding me to run 5K and finish writing this article on to-do lists and a blog post on Inbox Zero.

My phone flashed the reminders because it detected, through global positioning system (GPS), that I was home.

Beyond calling, today’s phones have become our main computer. For many people, it already is the main device to read or send e-mails. Increasingly, it is how people access social networks like Facebook.

If there’s one task phones are really good at, it’s keeping to-do lists. Even before smartphones, people were already keeping to-do lists via the SMS editor, alarm system, calendar feature or the rudimentary notes facility built into some phones to keep track of tasks.

CHECKMARK. The app, which is available only on the iPhone, allows you to set location-based reminders. The images above, taken at various times, show notifications flashed by the app.

CHECKMARK. The app, which is available only on the iPhone, allows you to set location-based reminders. The images above, taken at various times, show notifications flashed by the app.

Productivity apps are a dime an unli-SMS bucket today and you’d have a hard, albeit fun, time figuring out which app works best for you.

What makes the task of choosing an app even harder is the tight competition for features and users, with developers releasing updates every few months or so in a frenzied apps race where users, millions of users, are the top prize.

Continue reading →

INBOX ZERO. Merlin Mann, who cooked up Inbox Zero, said, "Just remember that every email you read, re-read, and re-re-re-re-re-read as it sits in that big dumb pile is actually incurring mental debt on your behalf. The interest you pay on email you're reluctant to deal with is compounded every day and, in all likelihood, it's what's led you to feeling like such a useless slacker today."

Tabula rasa

What better way to start the year than with a clean e-mail slate?

I went through my e-mail accounts on New Year’s Day to process it back to Inbox Zero – the state it was in weeks ago, which I wrote about in a blog post here.

INBOX ZERO. Merlin Mann, who cooked up Inbox Zero, said, "Just remember that every email you read, re-read, and re-re-re-re-re-read as it sits in that big dumb pile is actually incurring mental debt on your behalf. The interest you pay on email you're reluctant to deal with is compounded every day and, in all likelihood, it's what's led you to feeling like such a useless slacker today."

INBOX ZERO. Merlin Mann, who cooked up Inbox Zero, said, “Just remember that every email you read, re-read, and re-re-re-re-re-read as it sits in that big dumb pile is actually incurring mental debt on your behalf. The interest you pay on email you’re reluctant to deal with is compounded every day and, in all likelihood, it’s what’s led you to feeling like such a useless slacker today.”

It took me less than a day to process the e-mails that had accumulated in December. It took much less time because I had done the grunt work in September. For weeks after that initial work, I was able to maintain the Inbox Zero state of my main e-mail account with regular reviews.

Continue reading →