Monday, April 13, 2009

iPod Touch Life Balance Review

I have been a long time Life Balance user. This program works the way I think and has a lot of great features. They also have a great forum with lots of material for first time users.

In a nutshell, Life Balance is a to do list manager that uses an outline to keep your list in and gives each task an assigned task. Each task is given an importance relative to its parent - a much different idea than most to do list managers. Places can be given hours of operation, so you can eliminate tasks that are not possible based on the time of day. Tasks can also be assigned a due date or a routine with a variable lead time for each task. Locations can also contain locations - sounds weird but has some great applications. For example, you could have a 'Home' location that includes your Home Office, Errands and Yard Work locations. Looking at 'Home' is an overview of all those tasks. Then you can decide to hit the yard, office or road and switch to the smaller list of items.

The other part of the program, one which I do not use, is to weight the tasks based on how balanced your life is. I prefer to use a 'pure' to do list based upon the priorities I setup for each project/task. However if you want to get a better work/home balance you can use this to push your weaker areas up in priority.

Overall I have to say the iPod version is very close to the Palm version. There is a lot of functionality there, some of which had to be replicated because other built in apps were used.

There are a lot of screens to flip through to enter a task, however this seems to be the norm for iPod apps. Not sure I can blame them. I do not like the way you pick a date for a new task. Instead of 3 or 4 different spinners for different parts of the date (month, day, year) you get 1 spinner with the complete date. Not bad if you are setting a date a few days in advance, but a pain if you are setting something a month or more in advance.

I miss the color coding/icons for past due or future events. This was great and let me know what needed my attention and what I could put off. Future events sometimes get a bump in priority over one-time items on the to do list.

There is no purge on the iPod. It is available on the Windows desktop, but that is somewhat annoying when you are used to having it right there on the unit.

The other problem I have is syncing the app with the desktop. I can send/receive the file with no problem. Syncing always times out. I have not changed anything on the desktop so it should just be pulling in the changes from the desktop. Maybe the latest upgrade will fix that.

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