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iPod Touch + OmniFocus is all that and a bag of chips

WHERE HAVE I BEEN?

First and foremost, my apologies for being vacant for so long. At some point in time I was getting so wrapped up in the toys I researched that I became captive to them. They took me to a hidden island where I finally escaped but not without permanent damage to the right side of my body. Plus I’ll never eat another coconut in my life. Ever.
I’ll have to tell you about it some day.

iPod Touch Home Screen

iPod Touch Home Screen

Discovering the iPod Touch

As I sit here recovering, typing with one hand I might add, I must tell you about my latest discovery. Actually two. Let’s start with the iPod Touch.  I know, I know.  I’m a Johnny Come Lately on this technology – guilty as charged.  But I have to get this off my chest, OK?  At work the Blackberry is still commonly used, particularly in my area where the iPhone and 3G are not available. So, what’s a loyal Apple guy like me to do? After some research I uncovered the dubious plot of purchasing my iPod Touch and with the proliferation of WiFi in every nook and cranny, I determined I would save millions from data costs that the Blackberry requires. So I picked up the 32GB iPod Touch for about $399, later purchasing a car mount/charger (which my kids love) and a travel charger.

Let me confirm all the reports – the iPod Touch (or iPhone in those markets) is truly a wondrous item. Using the App Store, I have nearly 80 apps (with plenty of room to add more, I might add). Ranging from recipes to games to productivity apps, I cannot say enough about the Touch.  Whether you use a treadmill or armband, the Touch is also a great workout companion.  The Nike+ app for the Touch allows you to run to a designated playlist, keeps track of your pace, mileage and will also alert you to new personal bests with celebrity voiceovers like Lance Armstrong.  The Safari allows up to 8 different screens to access and the integration of contacts to mail to Google Maps is incredible.  I recommend the Google Mobile app as well since you can access your RSS feeds through Google Reader fairly seamlessly.  And, did I mention you can combine your various email accounts into the Touch.  I can actually rifle through emails much faster on the Touch than on my desktop.

OmniFocus

There are so many great free apps for the Touch, but when it came to productivity, I wanted to shell out a little bit of money and eventually decided upon OmniFocus. Incorporating Getting Things Done mentality, OmniFocus has a simple interface but allows you to enter projects and tasks – and you can place the projects within Folders of like kind.

OmniFocus app

OmniFocus app

In my organization, we set annual goals and 90 day plans, similar to most of you. Using OmniFocus, I put my annual goals as Folder titles and then my 90 day plans fall into my projects within those folders. Next action steps are attached to the projects and now each week I can easily look at my projects. If there is no action item in that project, then I know I must add some tasks to keep it on track. Not only can you attach timeframes to your tasks, you can also assign them to your overall project.  OmniFocus alerts you to items that are due soon (based on your preferenes) and also shows items that are overdue as well as those you have flagged for a higher priority, etc.
OmniFocus for the iPhone/Touch syncs with the desktop version of OmniFocus for an add’l $79, but I have not gone that route just yet. Using the Touch has been more than adequate for my needs – but I could be tempted to go the desktop route some time in the future.

Saves Money

I could probably start a whole series of other things I’ve discovered for the Touch.  As you can see, you can actually take screenshots with no app or download needed.  It has its own internal speaker but I highly recommend headphones.  Apple recently released a headphones/microphone combo that is nice.  The mic is OK, but it can allow you to use your wifi and convert your Touch into a phone using an app called TruPhone.  Seriously!
I would close on this simple fact – when you combine the costs of data packages you’ll spend annually, the affordability and flexibility of the Touch just can’t be beat.  My 32GB model has allowed me to download the apps I’ve mentioned, close to 2,500 songs, at least 8 movies and many podcasts.  And I still have 13 GB left, if not more.  For my money, the iPod Touch is a great value in today’s market and will save you money over the long haul using wifi versus cell phone networks.

iPod Touch – Valentine’s Day is over, but I confess – I love you.  Let’s go grab a cup of coffee.

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