For several years now I’ve been trying to find a way of keeping on top of everything that I need to get done. To be honest, I didn’t think I had a problem until I read David Allens book “Getting Things Done” (GTD). It was whilst reading that book that I realised that I spend most of my time worry about what I need to get done and what I might be forgetting to do and not enough time actually doing things.
I’ve had several attempts at trying to follow the GTD methodology but so far they have all failed and I’ve reverted to just relying on the good ole grey matter to remember what I have got to do. I’ve tried using software to help me – iGTD, Midnight Inbox, OmniFocus, Outlook, iCal, Google Calendar – but the problem with a lot of these is that they are either platform specific (I need my laptop with me) or are calendar based (a lot of what I need to remember is not date specific).
Other attempts have been centered around a notebook that I try to remember to take with me. This has inevitably resulted in my failing to remember to take my notebook with me and therefore forgetting to update it what I have it to hand again.
I am now embarking on another attempt to follow the GTD methodology. This time I’m resting my faith on a relatively new entry into the GTD software arena: TheHitList form a compay called Potion Factory. A couple of nice features that I’m hoping are going to make this easier for me to get along with are:
- iCal syncing (I have all my calendars synced – iCal, Google, Entourage, iPhone)
- Repeating tasks (cleaning fish tank, mothly invoicing, etc.)
- Timer (hopefully no more getting distracted!)
- Future iPhone support (I may forget my notepad but I NEVER forget my iPhone!)
As great as this software is shaping up there is one striking feature that I think this app – and all other GTD apps – really needs. Task Locations! So I’ll go out to run some errands, get home and realised there was some else I could have got done because I was in the area but didn’t because I didn;t think of it whilst I was there – if I had a map on my iPhone of tasks in my current location I could get more done in less time.
I’m not sure of how the iPhone app UI is going to look for TheHitList but I came up with a (very) rough Photoshop version of what the desktop app might look like.
This example is showing the Today list selected and the map with the number of tasks for today on their locations. If you had general list selected it might show the tasks for today in red with tasks in the future fading through to grey for tasks without a specific date. With this type of functionality you’d be easily able to see if you’re going to a location for a specific task whether or not there were other things in the area you could do at the same time.
I’ve just been playing with Google Maps for Guernsey again and I’ve noticed a few discrepancies. Firstly, Google doesn’t seem to have any information regarding one-way roads in Guernsey. This means that although the driving directions will give you the shortest route, the route may take you the wrong way down a one way road. This is quite significant around St Peter Port where the roads are narrow and twisting and, if you’re not familiar with it, not being able to follow directions can get you hopelessly lost.
Another, possibly more significant error, is that there is at least one missing road, possibly more:
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Strangely, Yahoo Maps has got both the missing road and the one-way information. Yahoo it seems is using Navteq sourced data whereas Google is using data from Tele Atlas. I’ve just submitted the information to Tele Atlas about the missing road, but I’m damned if I’m going to submit all the missing roads corrections.
In the last few days Google has added roads to Guernsey. It appears that they have got the data from Guernsey Digimap, as there appears to be better coverage that from any of the GPS device manufacturers I have seen.
If it is the case that the data was provided by Digimap then it may mean that we may be getting higher resolution images. I know Digimap offered images to Google in the past but might they have just accepted the offer?
Two points to note about the roads:
- Some of the roads are tracks that are closed to traffic (much to my annoyance).
- In the map and terrain views the coast line is very rough.
- Searching for a road name in Guernsey you need to search for: “road name, parish, Guernsey” or “road name, parish” otherwise it doesn’t find it.
The route finding appears to work quite well, although with local knowledge of traffic and junction layouts mean I wouldn’t necessarily choose the route Google suggests. It is, however, more than adequate for visitors.
One of the really neat features of Google Maps that I use quite often is the ability to alter driving directions if you don’t like the given results. I’ve just written up my recent trip to the UK on my R1200GS and one of the features of the site is having a map displaying the route for the trip.
Doing a simple driving directions gives the basic route that I took but it doesn’t include the wrong turns and deviations that I made. In Google Earth the only way to change a given route is to manually modify the line, which take hours. With Google Maps I can modify the route to take account of these deviations but it doesn’t allow you to save the changes… unless you know Google-Fu!!!
It turn out the url to view a Google Map is also the same url used by the Google Maps API to access kml files. The process to save a modified route to kml is as follows:
- Get the basic driving directions
- Modify the route as you wish.
- Click the Link to this page link.
- Copy the email/IM link.
- Paste link back into your browser address bar.
- Add &output=kml to the end of the url & hit enter/go.
- Save the kml wherever you wish.
Following the comment from Nicole (25-04-2009) I have done a bit of playing around with Google Maps and exporting KML. When you create a route in Google Maps use the right click Directions from here / Directions to here and the right click on the map and select “Add destination”, when you come to use the above method to export the KML file, only the starting point and the first destination will be included in the exported route.
If you want to export the full route, you need to set the start point and the final destination and then “drag” the route to the intermediate destinations in-between. If you use this method and the export the KML file will include the full route.
I’ve noticed recently that Jersey has recently had an update in Google Maps so that it now has roads and road names. Although it doesn’t yet appear to have driving directions. This is good news for Guernsey, as it was only a short time after Jersey had an image resolution update until Guernsey got the same treatment.
The only worrying thing at the moment is that it appears that the west coast of Guernsey and the north of Jersey seem to have a degradation of coastal definition when viewed in Map mode.
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