I confess to being a productivity app junkie on my handheld devices, which now include a 3G iPad, an iTouch, and a Blackberry Tour. Not that this makes me much more productive, if I’m totally honest with myself, although I do know with utter certainty all of the tasks that are clamoring for attention on any given day. But, with prices generally ranging from free to a few bucks, I can experiment without running up the kind of tab that I might if I wanted to test full-feature versions on a laptop.
My favorite for work-related projects is Things, which just meshes nicely with the way I think about and compartmentalize, well, things. I have it on my Mac, iPad, and iTouch, and they mutually sync — did I say it is my favorite? Whereas for home and personal tasks, which tend to be much more scattered and less project-based, I have gravitated to the simple Stickies on my Mac. Amazingly, there was no easy way to get those onto the handhelds… until I found SyncStickies [apparently defunct as of July 2012]. It is pricey at $7.99 and still a work in progress — for example, at the moment it only goes from Mac to iPad, not the reverse, and I can only be sure it has synced by opening individual entries on the iPad to see if they have updated — but they are all there, properly color-coded and with whatever wacko symbols I might be using in a particular note.
I also have some free-form stuff:
And then there is iMandalArt. Its basic structure is a three-by-three grid, expandable around the central cell, and then around each peripheral cell, and then around each of those, and so on. Metaphorically, it is a bit like zooming in on a fractal tic tac toe grid, but one filled with successively-narrowed ideas and words, instead of Xs and Os, and not at all game-like. To an accomplished user, this probably sounds naive at best, since I am sure I don’t yet get it. So here are some links to other places that may give you a clearer picture:
The good news is that I can run the iPhone/iTouch version of iMandalArt on my iPad, although at 2X scale it starts to pixellate a bit. The better news, based on a reply from Kenzo Yamaguchi of HMDT Co., Ltd., to my email query, is that a full iPad version is under development (see photo). I’m looking forward to exploring it more fully.
UPDATE November 21, 2010: There is now a video hint of what iMandalArt HD will look like (below). The pace is very fast; the whole thing is only 20 seconds long; and the titles and in-app text are in Japanese, so I had to watch several times, but the flavor of it — and the changes from the iPhone/iTouch version — are intriguing. Spectacular use of all that extra screen space!
I’m feeling a reversion to childhood, thinking that Christmas morning will never arrive.
SECOND UPDATE February 6, 2011: Rather than trying to reach an intuitive understanding through an organizational perspective, you might want to consider the aesthetics of iMandalArt.