Capture Good Ideas Wherever They Arise

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Mitch Wagner
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Re: Springpad
Mitch Wagner   6/2/2011 2:52:28 PM

magneticnorth - we're doing a bit of blogging here now and then about life issues for marketers. And I'm a huge GTD addict. Checking out new productivity tools is my favorite way to waste time. :)

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magneticnorth   6/2/2011 3:46:50 AM

I'm a sucker for free stuff so for me, Springpad is one of the best capture tools out there for the iOS. Syncs with an online account and stores locally for free unlike Evernote.

If I may say so, I never thought I'd see a GTD-ish post on this site.

Mitch Wagner
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Daniel, I haven't explored keyboard options for the iPhone. There aren't really any, other than one or two self-contained apps where you type into the app and then cut-and-paste it into another app. 

That is one of the ways the iPhone is a closed system. You can't swap out keyboards the way you can with Android.

I don't really find this to be a problem. I think the iPhone has the best soft keyboard available. But that's not saying much; soft keyboards are inherently awkward. 

I like using the Dragon software on the iPhone and iPad too, but I haven't stuck with it, mainly because it requires opening another app (the Dragon app) and then cutting and pasting into whatever app I was working on. There are rumors that iPhone 5 software, being announced next week, will include voice recognition integrated into the OS, so, for example, you could dictate a mail message without leaving the Mail app. I'd like that. 

Mitch Wagner
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ivka - That's interesting. I know a lot of people prefer specialized tools in real life, because the universal ones are never quite as good as the separate ones. But using multiple specialized software for what seems to be the same task, really does feel like not the most effective idea.

Could be you're right. I enjoy fussing with this kind of thing, trying out new software utilities and services. Many people do--but many don't. 

I had this underscored for me when I was giving a presentation about Twitter for marketing at a recent company meeting. A plain-spoken co-worker asked me how to do something in particular with Twitter. And I said, ah, there's a tool for that, and mentioned some web service or downloadable software. And he rolled his eyes and said, great. ANOTHER tool. And I realized then that I'd already mentioned two or three twitter tools I use regularly, and now I was bringing up another, and many people don't want to work that way. 

(I have two twitter clients I use regularly on my iPhone alone, for example. Tweetbot because I like it, and Osfoora because Tweetbot doesn't let me add people to and remove them from lists on the fly.)


Daniel Dern
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What I wish I had was a buffered audio capture directly to my brain (as long as it was secure and purgeable).

Absent that, I use too many scraps of paper. I've also taken to using the free Dragon Dictate for the iPhone from Nuance, which turns my verbal notes into often-accurate-enough text which I then email to myself.  (The app has some constraints you need to know about; fortunately, I put it through its paces for a review I did a few months ago. In particular, there's a 60-second session limit -- but no visible countdown timer!)

I'm also going to explore more voice recording on my iPhone -- more work to transcribe after-the-fact, but easier and not injecting speech recognition mistakes, versus DD4iPh.

I also want to look for more keyboard options for the iPhone -- is there a better virtual one than Apple's?

And I'm still looking around for that brain implant. Or perhaps as part of my next tooth implant...



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How I capture Ideas
B2C2D   6/1/2011 5:15:29 AM

As I can't structure the flow when it happens I use whatever I have to write, draw, photograph, sing or play it and in most cases I draw it in a mindmap. I use mindjet also to further work out the idea in more detail.

Damith Wanigasekera
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Mitch as crazy at it may sound yes i do take the recorder to the shower :)

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Ellis, I was very reluctant to try Evernote, just because I'm quite conservative and have a hard time coming to believe that I need new things to complete old tasks. But people around me were saying how convenient it was, so I decided to give it a try for a couple of weeks, and I never regretted that.

Ellis Booker
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While Evernote can run through WINE on Linux, it is very slow. There's also a Linux-native, open source clone called Nevernote, but I've never tried it. Maybe I shall. 

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I've come to realize recently that I'm unusual in that I often prefer to use multiple, specialized tools where most people prefer to use just one.

That's interesting. I know a lot of people prefer specialized tools in real life, because the universal ones are never quite as good as the separate ones. But using multiple specialized software for what seems to be the same task, really does feel like not the most effective idea.

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