This manual gives you an overview of the concepts used for Organize. It shows in several examples how these concepts are implemented on the iPhone/iPad and how you can use the powerful mechanisms behind Organize.
If you are looking for a solution for a specific problem, please take additionally a look at the Organize Users Manual for your specific platform.
Efficient task review
Usually most of us have a busy schedule. When something comes up that is no immediate problem we just want it out of the way - and an efficient reminder, when we have more time to deal with the issue. And as we all live in a complex world, this not only happens for a project or situation at a time, but in most offices constantly with several parallel running projects. This is in short, what Organize is all about.
Collections - Projects, Folders and Meetings
Reminders are always bound on a date. But what happens if you need another person to complete a task? It's great you have a reminder, but when that person is not around at that time, the reminder is pretty useless.
Many tasks or items are not bound to a specific time, but are only interesting in specific situations. If you want to discuss marketing spendings with Steve, then you should definitely be reminded of that task when you next see Steve. Contexts make that possible.
AID - Action, Information, Decision
When working in an office you are usually confronted with three types of information you need to remember:
- Actions: This is something where you (or somebody else) needs to do something
- Information: This is something you want to remember. Information can either be generic (i.e. a link to an article you always wanted to read) or project specific (i.e. background information on the customer or project you're dealing with). Sometimes you also want to remember when this information came up or was presented to the customer, so you can later on reference this occasion (like in meeting minutes).
- Decisions: This is where you want to write down the details of a decision and - usually even more important - who was involved in the decision. This is also very important for meeting minutes to have a written reference for the decisions made by all participants.
Throughout Organize you will find the letters AID in every list and as selection on every item. It's a basic concept we incorporated in every aspect of the application. You will not need this features in every situation. In this case you can simply ignore the AID buttons and filters. But it is especially helpful if you use Organize during meetings to make a short reference on the tasks that are assigned to you (and others using RACI - see next chapter), information that was discussed during the meeting and decisions that were made.
RACI is a form of responsibility assignment matrix used in project management to clearly define who has what role on a task:
- Responsible: This is the one (or several people) actually doing the task. In most company projects this person is also the one held responsible for the outcome. If he misses the due date he has to answer for it!
- Accountable: The accountable signs off the work done by the responsible. This can be either because the accountable is the boss or customer who orders a products, or it is a special compliancy department in larger corporations.
- Consulted: The people listed here have to be consulted during the implementation of the task. Usually they are not actually doing the work, but they are only assisting to avoid problems, i.e. because they have done something similar the responsible should do before or they need to use the resulting product later.
- Informed: Those who receive updates on the progress of the task (most of the time only a completion information).
The responsibility matrix (RACI) in Organize is tightly integrated with the context system. As contexts are usually people, locations or areas of interest they are well suited to be assigned as RACI roles. This makes it later on easy for you to search tasks assigned to a specific person using the "Next Steps by Context" view.
Getting Things Done - short: GTD - is a book by David Allen. It describes an organizational method - also called GTD - that is easy to implement for everybody and quite sufficient for personal use. The basic ideas are described at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Getting_Things_Done - but we can also recommend everybody to read the book.
Organize supports you with the GTD method in several ways
- Inbox: Quickly create new tasks and get them of your mind. You can sort the tasks later when you have enough time for it.
- Context: Assign one or more contexts to each task
- Regular review: Use the "Review Next Steps" view to get an overview of upcoming tasks and reminders. You can set individual Start Dates, Due Dates and additional Review Dates for each tasks - including repeating review dates - so you get i.e. weekly reminders of tasks that are not time critical until you find enough free time to complete them.
GTD itself is not based on any tools, but the author recommends you to start with real-life folders instead. However you can easily rebuild this folder based system with Collections using Organize.
The term dashboard is known to most of us from the automobile industry. In your car dashboard the goal is to see everything you need to see to drive safely at once. And all the not-so-important stuff goes into the background.
Organize includes a Project Dashboard that gives you all the information you need about your most important projects at a glance.