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After reading "The Checklist Manifesto"



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sherryterry1

Posted: Dec 03, 2011
Score: 2



As an RN in Surgical Services, I can attest to the "Checklist" method. I have not read the book but can well imagine the "nurse observations!" I do have to say, I have learned a lot about time mgmt (not enough!) from working in medicine. I, too, have a "routine" or checklist (in my mind) for every patient I care for. I do it religiously, regardless of their level of illness or sugery. Another thing which is ALWAYS done to avoid errors is a "Time Out." Everything in the OR is stopped (which in an OR can be cRaZY with so many people). It requires complete silence, we ID the patient, the surgeon, the surgery, the allergies & the antibiotics given. We absolutely cannot start surgery without doing it; it is actually the OR RN's job to conduct the time out & is grounds for dismissal if you fail to do it! Repetition is a great tool & the great surgeons rarely deviate from their routine. Just thought I'd add a little up close & personal....
mpcollins64

Posted: Jan 03, 2012
Score: 1



I just came across this forum topic today, while looking into how to set up projects in here, and I saw some of the consternations that you guys have been having with it. I did some playing today and came up with a couple of possibilities.

Utilizing just Toodledo, I tried setting up a page in TD's notebook with a pre-built list. It only allows some HTML, so I created a list template. For simple lists within a TD task, I can copy the template into the note of a task, then modify the various items.

Along with Toodledo, I also use Evernote and Google suite of office items and I have them all set up with the various structure stems (folders/notebook names, labels/tags names), matching to each other as closely as possible. Utilizing some of the other suggestions here, a G spreadsheet, a G document with a table, or even a G form can be created with the expanded project or outline items in it. Using the first or second type would provide you with a column for checking off items. You would then share the item, setting it up so that only someone with a link can accees that item. When that link is generated, copy it into the TD note area. You can then click on it, without having to even open the note, and you are taken right to it. Utilizing the Google office items means that you can both modify your structures when needed from wherever, plus you can then access them from all devices, including smartphones, without having to store multiple copies everywhere.

Please feel free to let me know if this works for anyone here. And please feel free to let me know of any improvements that you might have as well.

Ciao.


This message was edited Jan 03, 2012.
christinainisland Post deleted
Dave

Posted: Feb 23, 2012
Score: 1



Very happy to find this thread. Loved the book and don't feel that Toodledo is great for checklists. I loved Listpro http://www.iliumsoft.com/listpro and used it a great deal on my old Windows Mobile phone. They released an iphone app but no Android one, and don't seem too excited about expanding the platform. It really is excellent app and hope they do keep developing it. The only other checklist app that I have seen a lot of excitement is Listmaster http://www.onlinelistmaster.com/screenshots.aspx which does have an Android app and iOS. Anyone use it for their checklists? I have been using Evernote for this type of info, but it isn't great for lists. Sure you can have checkboxes, but I wouldn't say it is great for lists.
nathanb131

Posted: Mar 02, 2012
Score: 1



Dave,

I also miss Listpro. Was my favorite app on the treo and am still looking for it's replacement with Android. It was quick, intuitive, and robust. I kept my shopping, packing, routines, gift ideas, music/book, etc etc. Now it's many years later and all that info is in separate platforms.

Because there isn't a good alternative, it has forced me to consider what a 'checklist' really is in order to decide where to store it.

I've categorized what used to all be in Listpro as such:
-Routines
-Tasks
-Reference
-Working Lists

-Routines: This thread and that book are generally about routines. A list of things that guides you through a process or keeps you from forgetting something. For me, those don't necessarily need to be 'checked off', just referred to. Therefore they can usually just be text. Like if it's a packing list, do I really need to be able to check off 'socks' instead of just seeing the word in order to prevent me from forgetting to pack them? I keep a 'routines' folder in toodledo for this. The 'checklist' can be a note if it's just something to be referred to intermittently (like trip-packing). For recurring lists I want to pop onto my radar like regular tasks (like weekly cleaning), they are tasks in that folder and the list is in the notes of that task. These won't change much, just evolve slowly over time, so that don't have to be that easy to get to and quickly edit (like a grocery list does).

-Tasks: General GTD. Obviously I use Toodledo for that.

-Reference: This is where I miss Listpro the most. There was just something about it that made it so fun to list everything in there. Now my music-to-get, movies-to-watch, books-to-read, want-to-do etc reside in different places. My 'inbox' for this is in a toodledo folder called 'infotainment'. Currently I use Amazon wishlists for most of this...though I'm not sure I'm completely happy about that.

-Working Lists: Now here I'm talking about shopping lists and stuff like that. Lists that are constantly being added to and used (but in a different way than tasks). Sure this could also be contained within the notes of a weekly 'grocery shopping' task. The problem is friction. I need to be able to very quickly jot down line items in lists like that because they occur to me randomly and if they take more than a couple of clicks to enter then I will NEVER enter them! Toodledo (and all it's Android clients) is just a little too cumbersome for me to add 'apples' to my grocery list when it occurs to me.
I want this to be a real checklist, not just a text note. Don't want it to be robust-but-cumbersome task manager....
My current solution for this is Wunderlist. The web and android interface are a joy to use and oh so simple! I love to use it so much that I took a whack at putting my gtd in there but that didn't fly. But I still use it for groceries and things like that.

Though I'm still looking for that listpro replacement so I can converge some of my info back into one thing... it's almost silly to see that there are so many powerful list programs out there but after listpro they just don't fit right.

Thanks for the link, I'll check that out.


This message was edited Mar 02, 2012.
Tim

Posted: Mar 02, 2012
Score: 0



I have used Checkvist (checkvist.com) and like it a lot for lists. I tried it as a Toodledo replacement (I'm a tinkerer) but it ended up being short in a few areas. But as an outliner and checklist maintainer, it's pretty robust (very strong keyboard shortcut support).
Dave

Posted: Mar 02, 2012
Score: 2



Nathan, I completely agree with your post. You used Listpro for the exact stuff that I did. I have emailed Ilium a couple of times about its future but get one sentence answers, which is frustrating. The company pretty much cut off communication with the outside world a couple of years ago when they were having issues getting listpro for ios out and it took a LOT longer than they had anticipated. Very sad. Listmaster is the app that most people have replaced it with, but I loved the desktop app of Listpro. Reference lists are excellent there. Now I use Evernote for most of this stuff (even packing lists and things like that) but it isn't the same. I use it since I can easily add hyperlinks or link other Evernote notes. Very easy to use bullet points or checkboxes. You can even add tables (I use this for my auto maintenance and then use a note link to the receipt, also saved within Evernote.

I have used Wunderlist but never liked it. It is a bit too simple for what I need, it is a task app, not a list one. Keep me updated if you try any good apps.


This message was edited Mar 02, 2012.
nathanb131

Posted: Mar 02, 2012
Score: 1



Thanks for the response Dave.

What I miss most about my old Lispro/Treo combo was the quickness. Back in the day, I could jot that quick entry into the list with so little time and attention with that quick OS, touchscreen and keyboard combo. It was perfect. It spoiled me.

Of course modern smartphones are better in other ways, but this isn't one of them. It wasn't until I went to a Blackberry for work that I realized how killer of a combination a keyboard and resistive touchscreen was for something like Listpro.

I only use Wunderlist for a few working lists just because entering ONE quick item at a random time in the day is the best I've found (for android). You are right though, it is way too simple for us OCD gtd'ers for the other stuff.

I've revisited Evernote a few times and maybe I should again. It just doesn't 'feel' right to me and I don't really have a rational reason for that. I really love OneNote and it's hard to use something else as an 'anything you want it to be' wiki after using OneNote. I love evernote's entry and access ubiquity and frequent updates. But like almost all other modern smartphone apps, there's a hint of lag to it that bothers me.

It's frustrating. Four years ago I had a really nice reverse-checklist for groceries in ListPro. It had all my normal items that I could filter by store and section and I could just flag what I needed for the latest trip. Now, I'm back to just using an electronic version of a blank sheet of paper (wunderlist) just so I can quickly enter something. Sure, there are dozens of specialized grocery listers on Android that do this. I really liked Grocery IQ.... but I got tired of the forced closes, the intermittent lags (probably when loading ads)...just all the extra stuff I didn't need.

Packing list.... same thing too.

Sorry for the rant, I am glad that I'm not alone in this!

I did stumble across My Life Organized. http://mylifeorganized.net/ It has a listpro like design but might be too gtd specific to work as a real checklister.

Do you think it's just an interface limitation for capacitive screens that we can't have a quick but robust checklister which allows seamless indenting?


This message was edited Mar 02, 2012.
nathanb131

Posted: Mar 02, 2012
Score: 1



I did look into Listmaster for android. It looks like it might be good enough. Though $7 without a free trial version? That's pretty steep!
Dave

Posted: Mar 02, 2012
Score: 0



I have tried mylife organized but it never felt right. It is in the middle of list/tasks app but doesn't do either well for me. It has a lot of capability and some people swear by it.

I agree that Evernote doesn't feel perfect. My "lists" have become notes more often than lists, but it does ok so far. I felt more organized with Listpro, the layout was pleasing. Since it has such a big following I wouldn't be surprised if someone develops an app that uses Evernote as a backend and is a list app.

As far as groceries my wife and I have used OurGroceries for over a year now and it syncs perfect. I have it on android and ipod touch, while she uses it on Blackberry. It is simple and excellent (oh and free!).

As far as the limitation of screens, the part that bugs me more is when you bring up your list and then your keyboard pops up and takes up half of the screen. It never bothers me with other apps, just the list ones. That is the only time I miss a real keyboard.

Overall Palm was an excellent system. David Allen did a great tutorial on just using the basic tools for excellent GTD. It was very fast. Listpro was just icing on the cake.I had it on my old WinMo phone, but I think it was better on Palm (just like Agendus, best PIM app).

I am surprised that Listmaster doesn't have a trial. I found a recent video review - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rO6_RuDkUI and it looks promising.
nathanb131

Posted: Mar 05, 2012
Score: 1



Thanks for the video link. It was really helpful, wish it showed more about nested outlining and hierarchy organization within the lists instead of just how robust it is with item options. That may be the best capacitive touch screen option we are going to get. What I really liked about listpro was that I could enter in new items 'inline' without having to pop open the line entry. Then I could easily drag and drop single or multiple nested items around the hierarchy with my stylus. That was such a nice combo of ease of use and powerful capabilities.

I think I just might try evernote with shortcuts to lists on my Android for now. I hate the idea of dropping $7 on an app that is rock solid but I won't like the way it feels enough to actually use it like I did with listpro.
Salgud

Posted: Mar 05, 2012
Score: -1



I hate the idea of dropping $7 on an app that is rock solid


Strange. That's exactly the kind of app I prefer to drop $7 on!
nathanb131

Posted: Mar 05, 2012
Score: 1



Haha, good point. I happily pay decent money for good software. I should have said that I'm not paying more than $1 on a mobile app without trying it first. I'd rather have a trial on a $10 app than a no-trial $5 app. Though I guess there is the return policy. Anyone every use that as a way to test drive software?
nathanb131

Posted: Mar 07, 2012
Score: 1



Dave, question for you. Have you found a list app after Listpro that not only allows multi-level outlining but collapsing of those trees? From all I see of Listmaster, it doesn't even support outlining.

For me, that is the killer feature of a really good lister. Because if you are going to bother with a checklist, then it should be pretty thorough. If it's going to be thorough then it will be really long and annoying to actually use if you can't collapse in the sub-items. If it's short...well then ANY app will do.

Example: Travel checklist. Ideally, it would be of major categories (like electronics, work clothes, gym clothes,toiletries, itinerary logistics etc). Because I don't like to forget minor things like fingernail clippers, it means a that this list is up to 4 layers deep and like 50 items long....

Do I stop and check EACH ITEM every time I pack? No way. It's just a reminder run-down, like the Checklist Manifesto prescribes. I loved how with Listpro I could quickly scan a category and it's subsets, checking off any stragglers, and then being able to check off the entire tree. Then collapse that tree...so I wouldn't have to scan through 50 items for missing checks on my way out the door. Instead, I just peak at the 6 or so major categories and if they are all 'checked' then I would KNOW I didn't forget a thing and didn't have to 'run-down' the list several times when packing.
nathanb131

Posted: Mar 08, 2012
Score: 1



Found a pretty decent answer to my own question. I finally found several multi-level outliner apps in the market, but only 2 that were easy to deal with on the phone: Checkmark by Greenbeansoft and iRT Gtasks Outliner(in beta).

They both sync with Gtasks to store the lists. It's a little strange to have way more metadata on the mobile version of the sync than the annoyingly simple gtasks online. Also I hate that I can't 'collapse' trees in gtasks like these mobile apps do.

Since I always have gmail open I'm intrigued about using it as my list app, I've always avoided it for tasks but for lists with simple meta-data but complex outline structure it's actually very slick.

Also, both of these apps say they will sync with a desktop version of Natara Bonsai. Those of you that used to have Palm OS will remember Bonsai as a ListPro alternative that wasn't quite as pretty to use but more powerful. So I guess it's possible to have very close to a Palm OS listpro experience with these apps if you want to do desktop syncing again.
Dave

Posted: Mar 08, 2012
Score: -1



Thanks for posting Nathan. The guy who wrote Bonsai has written an app called Outliner for Android that will sync with it soon. Have you tried it yet? Look for Outliner by Alfred Fritz in the market. I remember seeing Bonsai back in my Palm days but never used it since I had Listpro.
nathanb131

Posted: Mar 09, 2012
Score: -1



I did try Outline. I'm surprised it's written by the Bonsai creator. It's very slick. Though I think there are too many steps involved in checking off items or adding them. The way I use lists feels more smooth with Checkmark, on the Android anyway.

Right now I'm doing a lot of playing around with checkmark-gtasks to see if that's a viable solution to all my non-gtd lists (packing, books, etc). Though the best solution is one where 70% of the data entry and list structuring is done on the pc and just small adds and checking off is done on the phone.... Gtasks won't even allow me to collapse trees, that's annoying.

Maybe I will try to find my old desktop version of bansai from one of my ancient archives... But thinking of that is making me wonder if there's anything that will sync with the desktop version of listpro....
Dave

Posted: Mar 09, 2012
Score: -1



I haven't found anything that syncs with Listpro. Agree that 70% of entry needs to be done on the PC. I haven't anyone who long term works off of their phone, especially for the weekly review. I am sticking with Evernote for now. Very tempted to get List Master since the web client looks nice and the iOS version has had rave reviews for years.

Another aspect that is high on my list is the future probability of the app. Evernote has serious funding and supports every platform out there. I wouldn't be surprised if some great list apps come out for it soon. There is a GTD app in production called ZenDone and there was a great app before on iOS called Egretlist (Evenote purchased the company so maybe they will develop it more). Overall, it is very unlikely I will be stuck without their capability in the future. Love using their desktop client too. Toodledo is in a similar situation, they have a large userbase and developed my multiple people full time. If I move to a different platform, odds are very good for a Toodledo client. Lastpass is another app I would lump into this group of great support.
Bobkopf

Posted: Apr 03, 2012
Score: 1



My list/checklist needs are fairly simple - the one I use most often is a "going out of town" list - not so much a packing list as a chores list - things I have to do before leaving so the house and cats are secure and survive until I return.

For this simple list I have just been using the note ap in my iphone and ipad. Syncs well between the two.

For more detailed checklists - I create them in evernote or word or excel - and have them as PDF's. I put these checklists in my dropbox (easiest way to get the file on my ipad) and then anotate the PDF (use it as a background) in Note Taker HD - the advantage to me of marking up the pdf is that in addition to physically checking an item off - if I make other notes or add things on the fly I have a record of those changes that I can add to the master document when I return to my office.
lammeyjf

Posted: May 16, 2012
Score: 0



I just saw this thread today.

I create checklists in Toodledo by storing the template list in a note. I then create a new task and create sub tasks using a batch and paste a copy from my template note.

I get a checklist I can check off as I complete the list of tasks.
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