ETP for the iPad: Beta Testing Signup and Usage Poll

iPad App In Progress Internet collaborator Al Briggs and I have been making progress on the Emergent Task Planner iPad App! Al’s doing the heavy lifting on the IOS programming side, and I’m providing the sparkly graphics as the curmudgeonly designer. As you can see, it’s in pretty preliminary shape, just testing the graphics presentation and internal guts, but we’re starting to pick up momentum.

Right now, we’re trying to figure out the best combination of features to provide on the App, and we’ve discovered that we have different ways of using the form. This is where we need your input!

After the jump, you’ll find a description of how I use the ETP, with Al’s Beta Testing Signup link at the end.

How I use the ETP

I’ve come to understand that people use the ETP in different ways, and it’s important to us that we account for as many ways as possible by providing a good set of features. Since this is an electronic version of the ETP, there will be things we can do on the iPad that we can’t on paper, but paper is the starting point. Here’s the way I currently use the ETP:

Step 1: Fill in the Date

Step 1: Fill in the Date First things first! When I’m ready to start my work day, I grab a blank sheet and fill in the date. I probably grab some coffee too.


Step 2: Fill in Working Hours

Step 2: Fill in the working hours Next, I decide when my day will start, and fill in the hours along the left side of the Day Grid (the left column of the form).


Step 3: Review Long Term Goals and Projects List

Step 3: Review Longer Term Goals Next, I look at my medium and long-term goals list. I’m currently using Trello to manage this. I pick a few things from this list that I’d like to make progress on.


Step 4: Review Short Term To-Do Items

Step 4: Check Short Term To Dos Then I look at the to-do list on my desk, which sits in one of my index card stands so I can see it rise above the desktop clutter. This list tends to be chores, groceries, and other sundry items that I want to keep top-of-mind. Sometimes I will list things to ponder here, since it’s prime real estate.


Step 5: Pick Three Important Tasks (Possibly More)

Step 5: Fill out Task for the Day I’m ready to pick three important things to get done. For me, these are ongoing creative projects that produce a tangible result or income. I may also include a significant chore in the top three as well. If I can get three things done, that’s great. Fantastic. I add extra tasks as stretch goals, if my time doesn’t get gobbled up by something else.

I also consider yesterday’s ETP sheet, and decide if there are tasks from it that need to be in the Top 3. If they’re not that important, then they’ll be dropped. If they are still important, though, they live for another day.

Step 6: Schedule Meetings and Log Activity

Step 6: Schedule and Log Once I get working, I use the Day Grid to mark meeting times and work chunks. I usually also mark the end of day too, to give me an idea of how much time I have remaining. I use circled numbers with corresponding circles on the task list to show which tasks are actively worked on.


Step 7: Keep Notes

Step 7: Keep Notes As the day goes on, other things might pop up and new tasks will come into being. Since the ETP is intended to be your desk-side companion, it provides ample space to write down to-dos and phone numbers and what-have-you.


Step 8: Review

At the end of the day, I have a record what got done, what didn’t get done, and where my time went. Then I use it to mark my Big Picture task lists (trello) and cross-out anything that got done on the index card to-do. I’ll use the ETP sheet tomorrow in Step 5, transferring any undone tasks to the day.

POLL: How Do You Use It?

The part of the ETP form where Al and I diverge is in the Day Grid. I’ve stopped using the rectangles for any notational use, but he uses them for writing in numbers. Also, we apparently diverge in what we write down in the Day Grid. So, we welcome any stories from users of the Emergent Task Planner with regards to how YOU use the Day Grid.

Signup for Beta Testing

Al Briggs has set up a Google Form for you to sign-up for beta testing of features and what not:

Al Briggs and Dave Seah are working together on bringing some PCEO goodness to the iPad starting with the Emergent Task Planner. Please provide your email address and details of your ipad and ios version here to apply for an invitation to become a beta tester on the project. I’ve invited you to fill out the Beta Sign up form. To fill it out, visit: Dave Seah’s iPad Adventure

So that’s it! We’re kind of winging this as we go :) Realistically speaking, we’re really in an alpha stage: defining conventions, trying things, and implementing the feature set. But our goal is to converge rapidly on a minimal, useful app as quickly as possible, and then take it from there.