Month: March 2014

Going, Going, Gone

Govan Shipyard is going through some major changes, one of which is the demolition of the cranes which have dominated the Clyde landscape for years.

Back in January there were four cranes still standing.

Roll forward to the start of March and there was just one left.

And today…all gone.

The cranes aren’t that old having been built in 1974 but were deemed not fit for purpose going forward and hence scrapped. While one of the cab’s has been passed to the Scottish Maritime Museum in Irvine and parts of the cranes will be displayed at Fairfield Heritage Centre at Govan it’s a shame that these landmarks will no longer be seen or heard. The Times They Are a-Changin’.

All Change

It was good to have F1 back this morning and hopefully a return to more exciting races after last years procession. The changes this year are vast and are acting almost as a reset button on who has the best car. The result of the changes are a set of ugly cars that sound very different to the last few years but have seen a fair amount of change in qualification this morning.

F1 Teams - Australia 2013 compared to 2014 qualifying

F1 Teams – Australia 2013 compared to 2014 qualifying

Comparing 2013 and 2014 Australian from a team perspective shows just how much change has taken place. Renault in last place shows they are toiling and their struggles in testing have transferred onto Australia. Kimi won for them in Australia last year! Red Bull have actually done better than most expected but the surprise for me was Ferrari – expected a bit more after pre-season testing. Great to see Williams and McLaren improving after a torrid year and well played Toro Rosso too. Simple take away is Mercedes is the engine to have and Renault have a bit of catch up to do.

What about returning drivers?

F1 Drivers - Australia 2013 compared to 2014 qualifying

F1 Drivers – Australia 2013 compared to 2014 qualifying

A great day for Hamilton, Rosberg and especially Ricciardo. As for Vettel I don’t think you can blame waved yellows or conditions as Ricciardo was consistently quicker than him throughout qualifying. Hulkenburg proved his class and Bottas showed promise in the Williams. The other positives were the young guys coming in and performing great – bodes well for a competitive season.

Alonso must have a sense of deja-vu and if Ferrari don’t improve I can see him move next year. Button was disappointing and Grosjean must wonder what the next year holds for him.

I’ve got high hopes that this will be a cracking season, partly after last years dominance by Red Bull and Seb Vettel and also due to the unreliability that the cars have and also the potential for more overtakes due to the regulation changes. Roll on 6am tomorrow!

Todoist

I lasted 4 months. Omnifocus was too rich for my needs and Wunderlist not enough. I switched to Reminders as it synced between iOS and Mac and app’s like Fantastical displayed the todo’s alongside my calendar. It was working well apart from one thing – iCloud. Last weekend saw my Reminders yet again get out of sync. iPhone different to iPad and different to the Mac. So frustrating and coupled with some annoying usability issues it was time to look elsewhere again. After looking at the usual options I plumped for Todoist and one week later it’s working out well.

Todoist - Karma

Todoist – Karma

The most attractive feature of Todoist is that they have clients on every platform. Every doesn’t just mean iOS, Android and Mac. Web, Windows, Outlook – in total there are 13 different platforms and devices from where you can manage your to-do’s. Thankfully the sync works quickly and I’ve had no issues with entering, updating and closing off to-do’s across all platforms.

Unlike so many applications at work, Todoist works well on Windows so I can keep on top of things no matter where I am and what device I’m using. On all platforms Todoist provides a clean interface and a quick way of entering to-do’s. Date support is great and also understands plain english so entering a recurring task is as easy as writing ‘every 7 days starting next wed’. You can also write ‘due date after 6 months starting 15 March’ which means the to-do will recur not every 6 months from the March 15th but 6 months from when you completed the task that was scheduled on the 15th. A small detail but one I really like.

Karma is Todoist’s way of showing how productive you are being. A bit gimmicky but coupled with colours against projects it provides a nice overview of what you complete and when. Labels and filters across all platforms also allows you to implement a fairly comprehensive GTD workflow if you are that way inclined. Projects can be nested as well as tasks so you can break down a to-do into as fine a detail as you want.

Todoist on iOS

Todoist on iOS

I particularly like the iOS interface. Easy to add/edit a to-do with quick access to labels, priorities and reminders. Making a change to the date brings up some common options too – switch to tomorrow, next week or pick another date. Very nice and Android is much the same, just not as pretty.

While Todoist is free and allows you to sync across all clients there is a paid element which add’s Reminders, Notes and Labels & Filters for $29 a year. After a couple of days use I paid for the year to get the three features and it does take the flexibility of Todoist to another level. Reminders can be received via e-mail, SMS or push notifications and have worked flawlessly over the last few days. As mentioned, Labels and Filters allows you to build a sophisticated GTD workflow if you want to…or just add more relevant filtering. Again the filters are available across all platforms making it easy to stay on top of tasks. Multiple Notes can be stored against a to-do which is nice for tracking progress on a task and you can also attach files to the to-do.

One aspect I won’t use is collaboration with others on projects and to-do’s but overall I couldn’t be happier with Todoist. I’ve finally found a to-do manager that has flexibility coupled with speed without being overly complex.

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