I wrote about the Hit List the other day and described it as the perfect GTD solution. The Hit List is an absolute Hit but there’s a but and I thought I should tell you about that as it’s important.
I was reading articles on my iPad and thought I should make an item a task and when I went to switch I went oh no. The Hit List has no iPad application. It does have one for the iPhone application which operates beautifully and logically in IOS 7. However, it has no iPad application.
The iPad is Essential
In my workflow my iPad is essential if not critical. I work primarily on my Mac but I tend to do most of my heavy duty reading and research on my iPad. As such, I’ve been very used to just jumping to whatever task management system I’ve used and entered what I’ve needed to enter and move a long.
This sudden jolt that led to a touch of bewilderment had me baffled. I absolutely love the Hit List. However, I wondered if this lack of a task management system on the iPad could possibly be a show stopper for the Hit List.
To fill the void I just created the tasks with Firetask. I could have done it in OmniFocus but I thought I’m not spending another lost minute in OmniFocus 1. In my view there’s bad and then there’s bad. Possibly in its day OmniFocus 1 might have been perceived as good. By who I don’t know but we’re light years from that now.
Breaks a fundamental Tenet of GTD
So Firetask cut the mustard but again this kind of approach defeats the purpose of GTD. GTD is really all about flow and having confidence in your trusted system. To break your tasks between systems isn’t the end of the world. However, you’re working with two very different systems yet fortunately both being GTD.
Now I had some tasks in Firetask and the bulk of my tasks in the Hit list. I didn’t bother moving my tasks to the Hit List but left them in Firetask. I accomplished what I set out to do and not one task went unattended yet this is not good flow.
The Hit List is Excellent but…..
Because I have so taken to the Hit List so fast and positively this problem has really hit me hard. If I could just look at this system as if it existed in the world of the Mac and the iPhone it would be ideal for me. I love the way it works and displays information. It is very intuitive.
However, the iPad has become a lot more than anyone imagined for it. It’s a full work machine. Add a keyboard to an iPad Air and you have a full scale, powerful computer that you can be very productive on.
For me and my workflow, the iPad is essential. It is not a nice to have item but it is crucial to how I complete things. There’s much to think about here.
From my research and what I’ve heard the developer is primarily absent. The app itself is viewed extremely positively. That the developer just sort of abandoned ship after he released The Hit List and it became extremely popular has been viewed poorly. He did appear a couple of years ago, delivered the iPhone app and a promise to deliver an iPad app and has disappeared again. So, who knows.
The Critical is so Messy
The critical element in GTD, that being Task Management is a mess on the Mac currently. Omni has a good iPhone app and some feel an excellent iPad app. However, their desktop app is dreadful.
All the other task managers really are lacking in some essential way. I’ve used basically all the significant task management systems and the Hit List is by far the best. However, not without a developer and not without an iPad app. It’s unfortunate but true.
What I do in this important category I’m not sure yet. I know I’m not the only one faced with this dilemma. Some people have task management systems they really like and if it works for them great. However, GTD is not a strict model yet the success of the model lies in the adherence to the principles of the system. Your workflow, if it follows the model, will probably be kept fairly tame and you’ll be in control.
In the end, I might have to return to OmniFocus. This is a substantive company that is around. They have good IOS products and I know they’re trying to get an up to date Mac product. Yet, I can’t see myself working with their current Mac product.
Dilemma’s do happen in the Mac ecosystem. Overall, the Mac ecosystem is very sound and things work nicely. The dilemma I face has nothing to do with Apple though. It all has to do with the third party players. This situation is one in which you have to carefully weigh the risk of going with a small, independent third party player and a substantive company. Stay tuned as I’ll let you know what I eventually do.