OmniFocus, 2Do, and Todoist comparison (3)- Todoist

I think I will settle down with Todoist for a while after a long search of a to-do app.  Although some functions are lacking, Todoist has many key features which I think a to-do app must have. I am going to start with the pros of this app:

  • Works on all platforms. I am a Mac fan using iPhone, iPad, and iMac at home. However, I have to use Windows for my work for many reasons. The fact that it works on all platforms matters to me. Todoist is the only to-do app which has this flexibility among the three (OmniFocus, 2Do, and Todoist).
  • Flexible attachment file format. You can attach all kinds of files to a task, with no limitations like 2Do. This is of importance when working on different platforms. I can attach a word file from my phone, and work on the file on a computer.   
  • Relative cheap option compared with other cross-platform solutions. I am working at a University as a researcher, so I am qualified for the educational discount. I only need to pay $14.5 a year for one account. If I want to add accounts for my students, employees, or my spouse, I also only need to pay $14.5 for each account. However, the company just announced that they are going to increase the price for future users (from $29/year to $60/year for business users, and $29/year to $36/year for personal users). I suggest grabbing your subscription as soon as you can.  

Cons: 

  • For the iPhone app, there is no passcode locking functionality.  I mean, seriously? I cannot setup extra passcode for the Todoist app? This should be a default function for these kinds of apps which deal with sensitive personal information. For me, this is the only but huge concerns.
  • No action function like 2do. As I mentioned here, I think this function is really convenient and a must have for a to-do app. Todoist provides link function instead, but it is not as intuitive as the action function. For example, you can type tel: xxx-xxx-xxxx and it will become a link for making phone calls. But I cannot pick up numbers directly from my contacts. Typing adds chances of making mistakes. 

Just like what I mentioned, the company is going to increase the price start from Dec 1st, 2018, and all the current users are going to pay the legacy price in the future as long as the accounts keep active. For the business accounts (including the educational accounts), the legacy price applies to all the current and future users. This is truly a great deal! I suggest to subscribe for one year before price increases, and you can decide whether you want to keep using it in the future. it would be good to open a business account because the price now is the same for personal and business users. By holding a business account, you can add new users for your colleagues or families with the same low lagacy price in the future. 

OmniFocus, 2Do, and Todoist comparison (2)- 2Do

During my to-do list app searching, 2Do is my favorite one. This app initially developed for iOS, and this is the best thing about this app. You can manage your to-do list on your smartphone without a computer, as it was designed for that purpose. Other than that, there is one essential functionality that the OmniFocus has never had so far: Action.

When you plan to call your mom for something at a specific time, you can just create a task and pick up the action: call. You can either choose a phone number from your contacts or type in. You don’t need to leave the app to make a phone call; instead, you can click the green bottom. This function is also available for some other todo list apps (e.g., Appigo Todo), but 2do make this function looks great.

Another thing that I like the most is the pricing strategy. The starting price of 2do for iOS was $6.99, and the company provides discount periodically. I got the iOS version for $2.99. This is not the best part. The best thing is that they NEVER ask for an upgrade fee.  Instead, they increase the price of the app with the improvement of the functionality. I consider that this is an appreciation for the loyal customers who were willing to support them in the very beginning.  The iOS version is now free for download. If you want the pro version (you will!), you can get it from in-app purchase for $19.99. For the Mac version, it is $49.99 now (the lowest price was $14.99), and I got it for $24.99. Since they always provide discount every couple months ( especially Thanksgiving and Christmas), I highly recommend that you should wait for the discount if you are not in hurry.

Now I would like to start the cons of this app:

  1. For Apple and Andriod users only. 2Do has the similar issue as the OmniFocus: it is limited to specific platforms. 2DO provide solutions for Windows and other Unix-like OS users, which is Email to 2Do, years after the first release of this app. With this function, you can designate an Email account which their server should catch todo tasks for you (left figure). And then you can decide what types of Email should be caught as a task(right figure). You can even use the subject line of the Email to assign tags, lists, actions, etc, for that task. In the beginning, I was very excited about this function. With this function, I can email to myself to create a task from a Windows computer. For example, if I want to create a task while I am working on a Windows computer, and can send an Email to a designated account with title “todo: call mom list(Personal) due(today) tag(Home) action(call, 8008888888)”. However, I realized (you probably also noticed) that it is still too complex since I need to type a lot of (correct) information in order to put the task in the correct place.

2. There is no For Web version. This is the biggest issue in my opinion. A Web version would make this app perfect. However, it took the developer of this app (I believe that there is only one developer for this app) years to build for Mac version and Android version, and I don’t think that he is planning to build and maintain a Web server.

3. Limited file attachment options. Only voice memo and photos could be really attached to the task. Although you can attach file-link to a task, it is not that convenient in some circumstances. Especially when you work on different devices frequently, and the file is for only one-time use (in that case you don’t want to waste your time putting it on your cloud drive, creating the link, and deleting it after using it).

I think that 2Do works for people who :

  1. manage their to-do list on a tablet (a phone screen is too small for me). If you have a tablet which you can access all the time, I think 2Do is for you. It is powerful, beautiful, and the price is also affordable. For Mac version of this app is not necessary but a plus.
  2. consider beautiful User Interface is a MUST. 

To conclude, 2Do will be the best to-do list app if it has a For Web version, period. 

OmniFocus, 2Do, and Todoist comparison (1)- OmniFocus

After reading the book Get Things Done, I started to apply the GTD concept in my life. I tried different Apps to help me during the past few years and ended up with Todoist. OmniFocus, 2Do, and Todoist are the three that I used the most. These apps have their advantages, and many websites have introduced them with beautiful demo pictures. Here I just want to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of these three apps from my point of view and hopefully can help some people who are looking for todo list apps.

Let me start with OmniFocus: OmniFocus is a popular to-do list apps with a long history. I had used Omnifocus 1, and I also purchased OmniFocus 2. They recently deputed OmniFocus 3 for iOS. The advantage of this app is that it is robust and highly customizable. Their official website has detailed instructions to help everyone “quickly” get started with this app. you can also find many Pro website teaching you how to write AppleScript to automate some of your workflows. There are also websites to provide a variety of themes so that the entire software interface looks better for your taste.

Below I list the reasons why I think this software is not good for me:

1. This software was first developed only on MacOS. The earliest Omnifocus was only available for Mac, and later for iOS, and is currently under development for the Web version. This is the biggest problem in my opinion. Because they first made a computer version of the software interface, the whole program is designed for the interface of a computer. For their iOS version, the concept of the design makes me feel that it should be used to assist the Mac version (not a standalone app). Nowadays, everyone is using handheld devices to handle their todo list. You will find that it is difficult to create and manage the to-do list on your smartphone. You need the Mac version.

2. Another big problem is that the OmniFocus is currently available only on the Mac and iOS system.  Microsft Windows computers can’t run it, and this excludes 90% of computer users from this powerful tool. The Web version is still under construction, and I would say that it will take another good year (if not two) before it becomes useful.  Although they currently have some solutions for people who use both Windows and Mac systems, I am very dissatisfied with its functionality (too complicated). I believe most of the users will feel the same.

3. This software is not cheap. At the current update speed, they release paid upgrade about every four to six years. For Mac version, there are regular and professional versions, for $39.99/$79.99, respectively. The upgrading fee from an old version is $19.99. /$39.99. For iOS versions are also regular and professional versions, for $39.99/$59.99, respectively.  The upgrading fee from an old version is $19.99/$29.99. In the future, the Omnifocus For Web will require an additional monthly fee. I don’t think the price for that would be low.

4. The learning curve is steep. I consider myself is a person who loves to play with computer software. However, although I spent a significant amount of time on OmniFocus, I still don’t master this software! It makes me wonder whether I am playing this software, or I really use it as a tool to improve productivity.

I think that the OmniFocus works for people who :

  • rely on Apple products for both personal life and work
  • use a computer as the primary tool for handling to-do items
  • are Willing to spend time tweaking the software

Omnifocus, 2Do, Todoist 三款待辦事項軟體的比較 – Omnifocus 篇

自從讀了Get Things Done這本書後,我試著用了幾款不同的todo軟體,希望藉由GTD系統幫我處理生活工作的大小事其中用的最久的三款就是Omnifocus、2Do、Todoist。這幾款軟體各有各的好處,很多中英文網站都有介紹過。我想要從我的觀點來討論一下這三款軟體的優缺點。

 

先從比較早就被我淘汰的Omnifocus開始:Omnifocus 算是一款老字號的待辦事項軟體,我在Omnifocus 1的時候就已經接觸它,Omnifocus 2也買來用了,這款的優點就是功能強大,自訂性強。他們官方網站有詳細的說明書幫大家”快速”上手這款軟體。網路上也有很多進階的教學文,例如如何寫程式(applescript)來自動化一些工作流程還有網站提供各樣的佈景主題,讓整個軟體介面看起來更符合你的口味。

下面我列舉自己認為這款軟體被我淘汰的幾個原因:

1.  此軟體最早只在MacOS 上開發。最早Omnifocus只有for Mac版,後來才出了for iOS,最近正在完善for Web的版本。這也是我認為Omnifocus問題最大的地方。因為他們是先做了電腦版的軟體介面,所以整個程式是以如何在電腦這個介面下最好操作為考量來設計的,所以他們的for iOS版本,設計的概念就讓人感覺是用來輔助for Mac 版本。現在大家都是以手持裝置為主力的情況下,這樣的產品讓大多數的人用起來都不習慣。

2.   另一個大問題是他們目前只有for Mac 和 for iOS版本,所以Windows 電腦無法直接使用,直接把90% Windows電腦使用者排除在外。正在開發的Web版本也不知道要何年何月才會完工。以他們開發的速度,我認為一兩年內Web版不會完成。雖然他們目前有提供同時使用windows與Mac系統的人一些解決方案,但是我試過後非常不滿意(太複雜),相信大多數的使用者也會有同感。

3.  這個軟體不便宜,以目前他們更新版本的速度,大約是四到六年會要求使用者付費升級For Mac 版本有普通版和專業版兩種價格,要$39.99/$79.99,舊版升級要$19.99/$39.99。For iOS 版本也有普通版和專業版兩種價格,要$39.99/$59.99,舊版升級要$19.99/$29.99。未來For Web 正式上線也會需要額外付月費,我想價格也不會便宜。

4.  這個軟體的上手速度太慢,有很長的學習期。我自認是一個愛摸索軟體的人,可是Omnifocus花了我很多時間,我還是無法百分百發揮這個軟體的全部價值!讓我搞不清楚我是在玩這個軟體,還是真拿它當增加生產力的工具。

我認為Omnifocus適用的人群是:

  1. 一般生活與工作都是以 Apple產品為主力
  2. 主要處理待辦事項的工具是電腦
  3. 對於軟體自定性有執著,且願意花時間調校摸索

我相信99%的人都不屬於這種!

用Google Cloud搭建免費30GB Nexcloud個人雲

現在google cloud 開放北美(維吉尼亞州除外)最低階VM (f1-micro) 執行個體永久免費,加上30GB傳統硬碟也是永久免費,所以可以使用這個服務來搭建自己的個人雲
頭一年使用還有三百美金的額度供你使用,可以多多測試一下進階的服務。
要注意的是流量(流出才收費)只有頭1GB是免費的,另外如果CPU 負載過高,系統會自動幫你提速,提速的部份也不是免費的。
由於頭一年有300美金,所以可以用第一年來評估這些額外費用是否划算!

具體搭建方法網路上有很多
Google cloud申請很簡單 可以參考下面的網頁http://kuanzi9487.blogspot.com/2017/09/gcpgoogle-cloud-platformserverserver.html

Nextcloud的安裝可以參考下面這個
Install NextCloud On Ubuntu 16.04 LTS With Nginx, MariaDB, PHP 7.1 And Let’s Encrypt SSL/TLS

世界的起源與神

人類一直以來都在探究的世界的起源,或說宇宙的起源。唯物主義告訴我們,一切物質都是本来存在的。在宇宙大爆炸之前,世界就是一個奇點。那奇點是怎麼產生的? 奇點的前身又是什麼?無神論的科學家會告訴你:不要問,很可怕  這個議題沒有討論的價值。以科學的角度來說,這樣說是沒有錯的,在宇宙大爆炸之前,時間、空間、各種現有的作用力都是沒有意義的,對人類來說討論這種問題的確意義不大。畢竟所有目前已知的定理在那時候都是沒有意義的

從聖經,神所啟示的話中我們可以知道,世界是神造的。無神論的科學家會說,如果世界是神造的,那神又是哪裡來的?其實這個就直接指向了科學家對於奇點的看法,而且神也早在聖經中告訴我們了。神是本來就存在的(自有永有的)。無神論的科學家可以接受物質是自有永有的,卻無法接受有一位自有永有的神創造了這個世界。這證明了信神不信神,與科不科學無關,只跟信不信有關。

若不是神的撿選,無人可靠自己的力量信神。

你們得救是本乎恩,也因著信。這並不是出於自己,乃是神所賜的; 也不是出於行為,免得有人自誇    – 以弗所書 2:8-9

真理與自由

約𦒋福音八章三十二節–

你們必曉得真理,真理必叫你們得以自由。

提摩太前書四章八節–

操練身體,益處還少;惟獨敬虔,凡事都有益處,因有今生和來生的應許。

以前研究所的時候上了一門有關老化的課程,主要討論的是什麼造成人與動物的老化以及肥胖。其中一個學生在課堂上總結了目前的發現:好吃的、輕鬆的,通常都帶來不好的結果,造成加速老化或肥胖。例如:油炸食物、甜食、不運動對身體都是不好的。做人真是辛苦,想輕鬆,滿足口腹之慾是不會有什麼好下場的。

真理帶給人自由,是真自由。在身體健康方面,大家都很能接受不能放縱自己,要常運動,少吃油炸食物與甜食。可是一但提到靈的健康,又喜歡高舉“只要是我喜歡,有什麼不可以”的大旗,認為靈的健康是相對的,各人可隨自己的意思任意而行。大部份的人看起來好像很自由,但是仔細一看,很多時候其實只是被世界的潮流無目標的往前推進,還有的就是對財富、名聲永無止境的追求。每個人都應該要問問自己,有不被潮流帶著走的自由嗎?

以聖經為依據,好好思考何為神善良,純全,可喜悅的旨意,隨時都把神擺在最高的位置,才能保守自己活在神的真理當中,得享真自由!

第八年

時間過的真快,轉眼我就已經在美國待了八年了。

成年後超過三分之一的時間是在美國渡過的,都快忘記在台灣的生活了。

每天都要面對以前不敢想像的英文環境,漸漸的也不感到害怕。

每天都很忙很累,也不能像以前一樣的享受私人的時間。

不過看著小孩一天一天長大,一切的辛苦都值得了!

求主繼續帶領我與我們家下一個八年!