Tag Archives: Apple

The all-new MandalArt app

About four years ago, I discovered an iOS app called iMandalArt that offered a distinctive way to think about goal setting and task accomplishment. It was based on what I subsequently learned is the Lotus Blossom technique, often described as a form of brainstorming or mind mapping.

MandalArt_i_HDWhen I wrote my first blog post about the app, iMandalArt coming to an iPad near you, my perspective was largely shaped by a bunch of popular productivity apps, for example, Things. Let’s call it a seeing-the-world-through-GTD-colored-glasses outlook. I knew that iMandalArt was somehow different, but I confessed that I was pretty sure I didn’t “get it.”

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What does the App Store know and when did it know it?…

…with apologies to former Senator Howard Baker.

Apple’s newly-opened App Store is as familiar and comfortable as a broken-in pair of shoes because it closely parallels iTunes. But here are a couple of things to keep in mind:

Like iTunes, the App Store is free-standing, not a Website, which means you have to install it on your computer. For my MacBook Pro that meant updating to OS X v10.6.6. Initially, I missed this caveat in the grayish “fine print” under the confetti-like image (below) on the announcement email. As a result, I spent a few frustrating minutes on the Apple Website, before I saw the you-need-to-upgrade, pseudo-redirect message on one screen. The rest was easy.

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iMandalArt coming to an iPad near you

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:

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Steve Jobs and the Seven Geniuses

… or how I amused myself while waiting in line at the Apple Store.

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