ForumsGetting Things Done®Have you used Life Balance?

Have you used Life Balance?
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Posted: Jun 12, 2009
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Life Balance ( has a great implementation of Contexts, along with a simple but powerful "Hotlist". But, it's not perfect.

Contexts (or "Places") can be nested so that a context can include other contexts. For example, I work out of my home, but I also have an office at my company building. I can have a Place called "Work" that includes "Home office" and "Office". Anything assigned to either of the offices will show up when filtering by "Work". This gives me an overview of all my Work. For finer control, I filter by one of the offices. Another example would be "Shopping" which could include "Groceries", "Hardware", "Clothing". Yes, this could be done using Tags in Toodledo, but then there's no way of linking specific tags to a context. Also, Life Balance allows you to assign a task to "Anywhere" which shows up no matter how you are filtering, eg. personal reminders like "Get up and stretch" (which, BTW, can be scheduled to repeat every hour, or even in increments of minutes.)

In general though, the main list includes all contexts, and is dyanamically sorted by due date and time and the importance of the task relative to your bigger picture. It can even take into account how "balanced" you want to be. For example, if it's important to you to be physically fit but you've been neglecting your exercise, then your scheduled exercise activities (which you've been ignoring) go to the top of the list.

You can specify the hours that a context is available, or "open", and the list automatically filters out all "closed" contexts. For example, a context of "Business hours" would be, say, 8:30am to 5:00pm, Monday to Friday, and any tasks assigned to that context (eg. call taxation office) will appear only during that timeframe. You can even set a "lead in" period so that a task will appear in yellow before it is due, then turns green when it is due, and then red when overdue.

Overall, very well done. But I no longer use it.

I used it for a while on my Treo 650 but Life Balance had some serious limitations. It wouldn't directly integrate with the Tasks or Calendar in Outlook, and it wasn't easy to access and synchronize their desktop client from multiple computers. Also, I had some problems with crashes, and their development team is very slow at implementing changes. I'm sure that they are busy enjoying the beautiful scenery and spending time with their pets ...

When I changed to the iPhone about a year ago, Life Balance was not available for that platform. Now they offer an iPhone version but it is poorly executed, eg. adding a task requires you to scroll to the bottom of your list. And, they don't offer a web version.

It would be great if Toodledo could incorporate some of the features of Life Balance.

This message was edited Jun 12, 2009.

Posted: Jun 12, 2009
Score: 0 Reference
I never did like the idea of a program deciding what it thinks is my appropriate next action. I did trial it a couple of times and never "got it".

That said I do like the idea of nested contexts and actually use them via search in TD. I have custom searches setup for my "mega" contexts so I can quickly see groups of contexts.

Unfortunately the iPhone app does not support searches. I've requested either super-contexts be added OR searches be added to the iPhone.
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