LightArrow Partners With Box to Turbocharge Your Personal Organization and Business Productivity

box_partnership_seal_blue(1)Organizing your life and business can be difficult, especially when there’s so many appointments, events, meetings, and projects that you’re juggling. And as a matter of course, you have supporting documents for many of your projects and meetings, and it’s always difficult to find those documents when you need them. You can print them and store them in file folders that clutter your office space or you can save them to your hard drive and risk the chance of hardware failure and losing them for good. So what’s the solution for keeping these documents stored safely, easily finding and retrieving them when you need them, and making them accessible wherever you go? LightArrow and Box have teamed up to solve these problems. Imagine you’ve started a new project and you have a weekly meeting to discuss all the logistics. Your boss calls you while you’re at the airport and needs to know the specific details about deadlines and the roadmap. You can pull up the project in LifeTopix then and there, and access all the supporting files containing the weekly meeting notes from the LifeTopix project. Or, perhaps you’ve moved to a new city and you need to start preventive care for your pets. Instantly access a Health project in LifeTopix and locate photos or scanned documents of your pets’ vaccination records. With LightArrow’s new integration with Box, you are now able to easily associate your files that are stored in the cloud with Box to LifeTopix projects, products, events, trips, visits, notes, services, service providers, metrics, subjects, and assets.

BoxImage.001

Imagine having the ability to link tasks, checklists, appointments, reminders, bookmarks, files, audio, photos, videos, notes, expenses, services, and shopping items to your projects. And picture how impressed your boss will be when you answer his or her questions on the spot, while on the go. And if you’re using more than one iOS device, you can also use Box for device-to-device sync — keep data on all your devices the same.

So how do you get started?

  1. Go to www.Box.com and set up an account if you don’t already have one.
  2. Create and store your important documents and files in Box.
  3. Go to the App Store and purchase LifeTopix.
  4. In LifeTopix, tap Settings and then Logins for Integrations.
  5. Under the Box section, add your Box account.
  6. In the LifeTopix Notes + Files topic, add your Folders and Files from Box by tapping the Folders and Files tiles.
  7. Associate your files with LifeTopix projects, products, events, trips, visits, notes, services, service providers, metrics, subjects, and assets.

Want to learn more?

Find detailed tutorials about our integration at the LightArrowInc YouTube page by following the links below. Associating Files and Folders | Device-to-Device Sync Find information about LightArrow Apps at the Box website by following the links below. LifeTopix | My.Agenda | Pro.Notes | My.Notes | My.Shopping

Introducing Integration of Box with LightArrow Apps

box_partnership_seal_blue(1)The LightArrow team is very excited to announce that we’ve developed a partnership with Box, and we’ve integrated all our personal organization and business productivity apps with Box services. Box services integration enables LightArrow app users to use LightArrow apps and Box services for:

  • Device-to-device syncing of LightArrow apps.
  • Backing up and restoring LightArrow app data.
  • Accessing online folders and files in Box for easy access while mobile.
  • Downloading, viewing, emailing and printing files from Box while mobile.
  • Associating files from Box to LightArrow items, such as projects, products, events, trips, visits, notes, services, service providers, metrics, subjects and assets.

Watch the tutorials below to learn about the integration and how you can take advantage of the new features.

LightArrow Apps – Using Box for Sync and Backup/Restore

LightArrow Apps – Accessing Files and Folders from Box

The LightArrow App Engine 7

The Box integration is built into the LightArrow App Engine 7, which is used by all our apps, providing a common set of functionality across all the apps. The LightArrow App Engine currently supports Dropbox™, SkyDrive™, and Google Drive™, and by adding Box services, LightArrow opens the features to millions of existing Box users. The LightArrow App Engine 7 has over three years of development and constant improvements with feedback from users.

Learn More at the Box Website

LifeTopix | My.Agenda | Pro.Notes | My.Notes | My.Shopping

Migrate Bento’s or Other Apps’ Data to LifeTopix on iOS

You might have noticed lately that some of your favorite productivity apps are being acquired and shut down or just simply discontinued. Astrid, Catch Notes, and now Bento are just a few examples. Luckily, we’ve made it easy to import and export data from .csv files. This post includes the information you need to know if you plan to import data from Bento or other apps.

Will LifeTopix Meet My Needs?

We encourage you to research LifeTopix to evaluate if it meets your needs. The Bento App Store Description includes the top 10 uses of Bento. Below, I’ll describe many of these uses and mention the equivalent in LifeTopix:

  • Organize contacts / clients -> LifeTopix People + Services topic
  • Track projects / deadlines -> LifeTopix Tasks + Projects topic
  • Special events / parties -> LifeTopix Events topic
  • To-do items -> LifeTopix checklists and tasks
  • Lists of things / collections -> LifeTopix Home + Assets topic
  • Products / inventory -> LifeTopix Home + Assets topic
  • Expenses -> Finances (payments included) topic
  • Organize music / movies / photos -> LifeTopic media topic
  • Passwords and logins -> LifeTopix bookmarks
  • Sync – > LifeTopix device-to-device sync and AirAccess

Migration Details

You can’t migrate all of your data, but you can import several types. We recommend that you store your media files, such as photos and videos in Dropbox, and then associate these items with LifeTopix projects and other objects.

The objects and fields that you can import into LifeTopix from a different application are described below, and all required fields are indicated.

Note: Using the formats and spreadsheets described here, you can also import large amounts of data into LifeTopix. And keep in mind that you can import shopping items that belong to multiple shopping lists from just one .csv file — this also applies to log items and checklists.

The spreadsheet names must match the names indicated below.

Log Items

Spreadsheet Name: LogItems.csv

Log items are primarily used for fitness and health metrics.

Spreadsheet Example

LogItemsExcel

Fields
Field Details Required?
Log Item Name Any name. Yes
Log Topic Name Must be a valid name already in LifeTopix such as “Activity Log.” Yes
Log Entry Will match values in activity log. Yes
Log Comment Any comment. No
Log Time custom cell format: yyyy-MM-dd HH:mm:ss Yes

Tasks for Trips, Visitors, Events, Service Providers, and Projects

Spreadsheet Names: ProjectTasks.csv, EventTasks.csv, TripTasks.csv, VisitorTasks.csv (The name indicates which type of object they will be imported into – Projects, Events, Trips, or Visitors.)

Tasks are primarily used for things to do for projects, trips, visitors, and service providers.

Spreadsheet Example

ProjectsTasksExcel

Fields
Field Details Required?
Name Any name Yes
Description Any description No
Status Not Started, In Progress, On Hold, Completed, Canceled Yes
Priority Low, Medium, High No
Due Date yyyy-MM-dd HH:mm:ss No
Start Date yyyy-MM-dd HH:mm:ss No
End Date yyyy-MM-dd HH:mm:ss No
Effort (in hours) Hours No
Categories Will attempt to match values. If not already created, will create them. No

Checklists

Spreadsheet name: ChecklistItems.csv

Checklists are primarily used for things to do or items you need to check off such as packing lists.

Spreadsheet Example

ChecklistItemsExcel

Fields

Field Details Required?
Checklist Name Any name Yes
Item Name Any item Yes
Checked Yes or No No

Shopping List Items

Spreadsheet name: ShoppinglistItems.csv

Shopping list items are primarily used for grocery shopping or other shopping lists, such as business or personal items.

Spreadsheet Example

shoppinglistitems

Fields

Field Details Required?
Shopping List Name Will attempt to match values. If not already created, will create one. Yes
Product Name Will attempt to match values. If not already created, will create one. Yes
Seller Name Will attempt to match values. If not already created, will create one Yes
Unit Price Will import as number, but display as dollars and all other currency symbols are removed. No
Unit Will attempt to match values. If not already created, will create one. No
Quantity All reasonable numeric quantities accepted. No
Total Cost Will import as number, but display as dollars and all other currency symbols are removed. No

Important Note about Date Cells

It is very important to format the date cells with this format: yyyy-mm-dd hh:mm:ss as a custom format or your date values will not migrate, as shown below.

Custom Date Format

How do you import?

Save the spreadsheets as insertcorrectname.csv and the email them to yourself. In the email message, tap and hold the name of the .csv file and then open it in LifeTopix. LifeTopix will display messages similar to the following. Accept them and continue.

 Import Messages

Next, verify that your items migrated correctly.

Questions?

If you have any questions about importing your data, please ask in the comments or contact support. We’re here to help. Good luck!

Bento is a registered trademark of FileMaker, Inc. Catch Notes is a registered trademark of Catch.com, Inc. Astrid is a registered trademark of Yahoo.

Migrate Astrid Tasks and Shopping Lists to LifeTopix on iOS

Now that Yahoo is shutting down the popular Astrid to-do list and shopping list app, you’re probably wanting to know what to do about your tasks and shopping lists. We have a solution. You can easily migrate your Astrid tasks and Shopping lists from Astrid to LifeTopix (or the starter app, My.Agenda, with in-app purchases).

Migrating Astrid Tasks to LifeTopix Tasks

LifeTopix Astrid Replacement

Astrid logo is the property of Yahoo.

If you have basic knowledge of Excel, then you will find this painless and simple. You’ll need access to Excel or a different application that supports .csv files, your Astrid username and password, and access to your email.

The steps below explain how it’s done:

First, go to the App Store and purchase the LifeTopix app. It is located at: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/lifetopix-12-topics-to-organize/id399076264?mt=8.

Next, on your web browser, go to http://www.astrid.com/home/export (link no longer available) as shown in the following screenshot:

Astrid Export

Click Backup my data and your data will be emailed to you in a zip file. When you receive the email, download it. It’s important to change the extension of the to .zip or the file will not open correctly. After you change the name of the file, double click it to extract it.

You will notice that separate files are extracted. You will be interested in the file named tasks.csv. It contains all of your tasks and shopping items. Open this file with Excel or a different program for spreadsheets. This file contains all of your tasks and shopping items in the following format:

Astrid Export

The format that LifeTopix accepts is shown in the following image. Create a separate spreadsheet called ProjectTasks.csv with the following columns. It must be named ProjectsTasks.csv.

Astridspreadsheet2

This spreadsheet can include your tasks and shopping lists (or) you can choose to convert your Astrid shopping items to LifeTopix shopping lists, and I will discuss this further in this post.

Astrid LifeTopix
Title Name
Created By No Conversion
Assigned To No Conversion
Created On Start Date (custom cell format is yyyy-mm-dd hh:mm:ss)
Due Date Due Date (custom cell format is yyyy-mm-dd hh:mm:ss)
Importance (3, 2, 1) Priority (low, medium, high)
Repeat No Conversion
Lists No Conversion
Description Description
Completed On End Date (custom cell format is yyyy-mm-dd hh:mm:ss)

Now place all your tasks into this spreadsheet with the fields mapped as directed above. You can add information to the blank columns if you prefer. You will notice that shopping items are indicated by the “Lists” column. I’ll discuss a separate spreadsheet for these items.

Note: it is very important to format the date cells with this format: yyyy-mm-dd hh:mm:ss as a custom format or your date values will not migrate. An example is shown below:

Custom Date Format

Save the spreadsheet as .csv and email it to yourself. In the email message tap and hold the name of the .csv file and then open it in LifeTopix. LifeTopix will display the following messages. Accept them and continue.

 Import Messages

Now confirm that your tasks are migrated as shown below:

Tasks Migrated from Astrid to LifeTopix
Now that you’ve successfully migrated your tasks, I will show you how to migrate your shopping items.

Migrating Astrid Shopping Items to LifeTopix Shopping Lists

This spreadsheet will include your shopping items only and we suggest you map the data as follows:

Astrid LifeTopix
Title Product Name
Created By No Conversion
Assigned To No Conversion
Created On No Conversion
Due Date No Conversion
Importance (3, 2, 1) No Conversion
Repeat No Conversion
Lists Shopping List Name (e.g. Astrid Shopping List)
Description No Conversion
Completed On No Conversion

Your spreadsheet must be named ShoppingListItems.csv and it should be created as follows. You must enter a shopping list name into the first column and a product name; however, the other fields may stay empty if you choose. I chose to change the name to “Astrid Shopping List” so I could identify the items easily.

Shopping Items from Astrid

Save the spreadsheet as ShoppingListItems.csv and email it to yourself. In the email message tap and hold the name of the .csv file and then open it in LifeTopix. LifeTopix will ask you to confirm the import and continue.

Your resulting list will appear as follows:

 ShoppingListScreenshot

Questions?

If you have any questions about importing your tasks, please ask in the comments or contact support. We’re here to help. Good luck!

LifeTopix 7.0 and My.Agenda 2.0 Guided Tour

Team LightArrow is very excited about our new updates of LifeTopix and My.Agenda. Our new updates include several new features to maximize your productivity at home, at work, and while you’re on the go. Keep reading to learn how you can take advantage of the latest features.

Shopping Improvements

We’re super excited about the Shopping topic’s complete redesign. I encourage you to explore this topic and experience the new features for yourself, and I’ll touch on the highlights here.

The Shopping topic is now so feature rich, it’s available as a stand-alone app for those who only wish to manage shopping and coupons. You can find the stand-alone app at the Apple App Store (My.Shopping).

You’ll first notice the new view of the Shopping topic. It’s redesigned to make it easier to add and view shopping items, shopping lists, things to sell, gifts for others, gifts received, coupons, products, and sellers. You’ll see the shopping items, lists, etc. that are due or coming due in the What Matters Now “ribbon” and items you haven’t purchased yet in the Open Shopping Items “ribbon.” The plus sign makes it easy to add shopping items on the fly from this view. The following image shows the redesigned Shopping view.

LifeTopix7-1

LightArrow apps support multiple shopping lists for those who prefer to manage their shopping into separate lists. For example, you might want to create back-to-school lists, grocery lists, business list items, home improvement items, etc. A great feature included with the Shopping list view is the ability to view items by seller or category. The categories you create are completely configurable by you; therefore, you might create categories by grocery aisle, type of grocery item, price level, etc — whatever makes you more productive. You can also view your lists by open or bought items to ensure you’re not returning to the grocery store, office supply store, or mall to pick up the items that you forgot to purchase.

Another great Shopping List feature is the ability to share lists via email with a friend, spouse, housemate or partner. They can open a list directly in their LifeTopix or My.Agenda app from their email. Also, if you’ve set up device-to-device sync and both users are sharing the same Dropbox folder for data, you can share and collaborate using the same shopping list. The following image shows the redesigned Shopping List view.

LifeTopix7-2

Another great addition is how coupons are managed. The coupon management is intended to save you time and money by helping you keep track of coupons and their expiration dates.

For stores that allow electronic versions of coupons, you can take photos of the coupons and access them directly from your app. You can take note of your coupons and add an expiration date. When you’ve added a date tag for coupons, you’ll know immediately when they are going to expire because they will appear in the “What Matters Now” section of the Shopping view as well as the Agenda view. The following image shows the redesigned Coupon view.

LifeTopix7-3

Notes + Files Improvements

We’re equally excited about the Notes + Files topic’s complete redesign. I encourage you to explore this topic and experience the new features for yourself, and I’ll touch on the highlights here.

Notes + Files is now so feature rich, it’s available as a stand-alone app for those who only wish to manage notes, checklists/to-do lists, and online files and notes. You can find the stand-alone apps at the Apple App store (Pro.Notes and My.Notes).

You’ll first notice the new view of the Notes + Files topic. It’s redesigned to make it easier to add and view notes, files, checklists, and drawings. You’ll see the notes and lists that are due or coming due in the What Matters Now “ribbon” and items you recently added or updated in the Recent Items “ribbon.” The plus sign makes it easy to add note items on the fly from this view. The following image shows the redesigned Notes + Files view.

LifeTopix7-4

The drawing capabilities in LifeTopix and My.Agenda have spectacular improvements. The drawing tools have been combined into one control, and a landscape view is now available. Drawing tools include 24 beautiful colors with alpha options; linewidth choices; eraser; clear; undo; print; and email capabilities for drawings. Printing is also available for notes and drawings. Users can now share their drawings via Facebook and Twitter directly from the drawing view.

The following image shows the redesigned drawing view.

LifeTopix7-5

People + Services Improvements

If you’re thrilled about the changes to the Shopping topic and the Notes + Files topic, then you’ll also be excited to see the changes to the People + Services topic. People + Services can now be your central portal for finding information about and contacting your friends, family, colleagues, clients, and service providers.

You’ll notice that we’ve also updated the view with a “ribbon” showing Recent Items and Groups. The following image shows the redesigned People + Services view.

LifeTopix7-6

Imagine the possibilities for keeping in touch with family, clients, friends, and other colleagues. From a central location, you can see their phone number, email address, birthday, anniversary, notes, association with LifeTopix items, and last Twitter and Facebook message for each of your contacts that you’ve set up in LifeTopix or My.Agenda. Instantly, you can send a text message, email, Tweet, or send a Facebook message. You can keep categories — allowing you to easily find your family members, clients, or friends by group. And, as always, the contacts work with your iOS calendar.

The following image shows the redesigned Person view.

LifeTopix7-7

Dynamic Schedules

When scheduling tasks, you can now select the option of Dynamic. If you choose this option, each task is only created after the previous task is cancelled or completed. The Pre-Create option creates all the tasks at once. The new option, Dynamic, is very useful for tasks that need to be completed in a pre-defined or designated order.

Dynamic Schedules

Custom Month Schedules

Custom repeat schedules are now available for tasks and appointments (events). After selecting the month option, you can select specified dates or days on which the appointment or task occurs. This is very useful for events or tasks that are repeated, but occur on varying days.

Custom Month Schedule

Repeat Schedule Preview

We added a preview for scheduling events, as shown in the image below. This ensures that you’ve properly set up a recurring appointment, class or meeting.

LifeTopix7-8

Copy a Project

Due to popular demand, you’re now able to copy a project. The category, description, and starting and end dates are copied to the new project. The following image shows how to copy a project:

LifeTopix7-9

Search

Searching has been improved, our apps now search the content of notes, allowing you to find important information that you’ve added to notes. Also, checklist item titles have been added to search.

Unified Login Management

LifeTopix and My.Agenda include integrations for Twitter™, Facebook™, Dropbox™, SkyDrive™, Evernote®, Toodledo®, and Asana™. To make it easier to enter your credentials for these apps and services, we’ve included a new view for managing your login name and password. To find the new view, go to Settings and tap Logins for Integrations. The following image shows an example of the new view.

LifeTopix7-10

Near Me / Maps Improvements

The Near Me feature includes significant improvements. You can now set locations for service providers, which allows you to better plan your errands to save time and gas. For example, you might add locations for your favorite dry cleaners, grocery stores, markets, or other providers — and refer to them in the Near Me view so you can make sure to locate the providers that are close to your current area while running errands. You will also notice when you’re specifying locations for providers and other items, that the search has been improved.

Refer to the following image to see an example of search when I enter the term “grocery.”

LifeTopix7-11

Photos, Audio, And Video Clips in My Calendar

You now have the option of viewing photos, audio, and video clips in My Calendar. To add or remove the view of these items in your calendar, tap the filter icon in the upper right of the calendar to view the screen shown in the following image. Check the boxes for the items that you wish to view.

LifeTopix7-12

Bonus Theme Colors

If you create an App Store rating from your LightArrow app, the app will provide you with bonus theme colors. The colors are a surprise; however, the following image shows where to start.

LifeTopix7-13

Paid Amount in Bills

When creating a bill payment, you can now enter the paid amount. This is useful to track when the paid amount is different than the amount due. The payment list screen displays the due amount along with the paid amount and the payment template displays the balance.

Full Screen View of Notes Text

We understand that many of you would prefer to see a larger screen version of your notes; therefore, we’ve allowed you to do just that. The following image shows the expanded screen, and how to collapse the screen back to the previous view:

LifeTopix7-14

Smart Conversion

We’ve added the ability for you to convert your device reminders to tasks and shopping items. For example, you might ask Siri to create a reminder for picking up milk to create a device reminder, but this item is better suited as a shopping item. To convert it, tap the icon with the three green dots (or) tap and hold the item to proceed with the conversion. The following image shows an example of converting the item from the Agenda view.

LifeTopix70-15

Additional Alerts

There are now more options in Settings for reminders (alerts) on device calendar events. The following options were added:

  • Remind 15 minutes before
  • Remind 30 minutes before
  • Remind 1 hour before
  • Remind 2 hours before
  • Remind 4 hours before
  • Remind 12 hours before

The following image shows an example of the new settings.

LifeTopix70-16

User-defined Startup View

Now you can define the view that is launched at the time of starting your app. You will find this setting in the My Settings view.

Keep in mind that this setting only takes effect when the app is first started; therefore, you will need to close LifeTopix or My.Agenda and start it again.

Your options include:

  • Home
  • Hot List
  • My Topics
  • My Calendar
  • Recent
  • My Inboxes
  • My Contexts
  • Near Me
  • My Apps
  • Engage
  • Settings
  • Help Center

The following image shows how to specify the default view:

LifeTopix70-17

Reorder Apps in My Apps

The My Apps view allows you to launch other apps from your LifeTopix or My.Agenda app making it easier to launch your favorite apps from one location. You’re now able to reorder these apps as you please by tapping the reorder icon in the upper left, and then dragging and dropping the app into your preferred order. The following image shows an example.

LifeTopix70-18

Miscellaneous Improvements

Defect fixes and speed improvements have also been applied to this release, as well as the additions below:

  • Comment field added to shopping items.
  • When viewing the calendar by week, the app autoscrolls to the first item.
  • Checklists now include due dates.

We hope this helps you understand how to leverage the new features in LifeTopix 7.0 and My.Agenda 2.0. Enjoy!

Best Practices for Getting Things Done — Master Organizing

Read the latest version of this post at: GTD Basics – Methods for Organizing Actions and To Dos in LifeTopix

LifeTopix and My.Agenda are personal organization apps for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. Both apps are especially useful for those who utilize David Allen’s Getting Things Done® (GTD) method. The GTD method is an excellent method for organizing your life and getting things done. And it’s not just for your work life. I recently stumbled upon this post from April Perry that mentions how GTD enabled this mom to really enjoy her family.

GTD Lady Post It

We’re constantly incorporating features that are useful for GTD, and we enjoy sharing our best practices for using these features. In this post, I’ll show you how you can use LifeTopix’s features for the Organizing phase of GTD. Keep in mind that our starter App, My.Agenda, can include many of these features discussed by purchasing the Get Things Done Pack as an in-app purchase.

Note: The screenshots in this post were created using an unreleased version of LifeTopix, which will be coming soon to the App Store.

What is GTD?

If you’re not familiar with GTD, it’s “the groundbreaking work-life management system by David Allen that provides concrete solutions for transforming overwhelm and uncertainty into an integrated system of stress-free productivity,” according to David Allen’s website. Allen lays out five key phases of the GTD process, which include 1) Capture/Collect, 2) Process, 3) Organize, 4) Review, and 5) Do. This post focuses on the Organize phase of this workflow.

What is the Organize Phase of GTD?

When you consider organizing, think about how you would divide your home life and work into various areas. Consider how you would sort your life before you get started. In an earlier post, we discussed using LifeTopix to define each collected item as actionable or non-actionable. Once you’ve completed processing items, you can begin organizing them (or this may be done simultaneously for some items). During the Organize phase, you divide your items into various areas.

Major sections include the following areas:

  • Projects – Actions that require more than one step to complete.
  • Calendar Items – Actions that must be completed at a designated day and/or time.
  • Next Actions – Items that only require one step, such as “call mom.”
  • Waiting For – Items that others need to complete that affect you or your work.

Allen suggests that you also organize your reference material, which are items that do not have any actions associated with them.

Reference material might include:

  • Checklists
  • Items without actions, but need to be retrieved at some time
  • Notes from meetings, classes, etc.

Projects in LifeTopix

During the Capture and Collect phase, you collect items that are subsequently processed during the Processing phase. You might have placed them in a holding area via the LifeTopix Quick Inbox and then converted the items to the proper type of object — such as a Project.

Allen suggests that you create projects for actions that require more than one step. For example, if you’re starting a landscaping project, you will have several tasks such as 1) choose three landscape design firms to obtain bids, 2) set up appointments with landscape design firms, 3) choose designs, and so on.

When using LifeTopix, your first step for organizing your projects is to define project categories (under Manage Categories in Settings) that are relevant for your life. Built-in categories include Education, Health + Activity, Indoor, Media, and Outdoor, as shown in the screenshot below.

Project-Categories-LifeTopix

You can add more categories or delete the default categories — LifeTopix is very flexible allowing you to define what works for you. You can further organize by creating subcategories under your categories. Once you’ve created your categories, you can create a project and break it down into tasks, as shown in the following screenshot.

tasks-projects-lifetopix-gtd

As a side note, you can view your tasks by Open, Undated, and Overdue. And you can assign a status such as In Progress, On Hold, Completed, Canceled, or on Hold, if desired.

Calendar Items and Next Actions

Actions that must be completed at a certain date and time, such as classes, meetings, doctor’s appointments, kids’ activities, etc. are handled easily by LifeTopix. Specifically, LifeTopix allows you to define these items by Appointments, Bill Payments, Events, Dated Notes, Occasions, Medications, and Activity/Wellness. By simply accessing LifeTopix’s Calendar View, tapping the plus sign, choosing Quick Add, and selecting one of the options, you can choose to create dated items such as Trips, Visits, Attending Events, Hosting Events, and Occasions.

LifeTopix gives you a variety of options for Next Actions. You can choose to use reminders, tasks not associated with projects, or to-do lists to organize items that only require one step.

Waiting for Items

At times, completion of your tasks might depend upon the completion of a different task by a family member, friend, or colleague. Or, perhaps, you’ve delegated your tasks to someone else. This is when Waiting For items come into play. LifeTopix handles these items by allowing you to add owner(s) to a task as shown in the following screenshot.

TaskOwner-LifeTopix

You can view all tasks for each person through the People + Services topic. It’s a good idea to create a LifeTopix Group for contacts to which you frequently assign tasks for easy access.

Context Tags

When using the GTD method, it’s necessary to consider the context of your captured items. The context defines how and where the item will be completed. How defines the tools, such as @laptop and where defines the location, such as @home.

In LifeTopix, contexts are completely configurable to meet your needs and items can include zero or more contexts. You can configure tags in the My Contexts view, which is shown in the screenshot below. You can also access all the items defined with these contexts directly from this view.

GTD Contexts LifeTopix

Reference Materials

Reference materials are items that aren’t actionable that include data and files, which may or may not support your projects. LifeTopix allows you to associate several types of objects with projects — allowing quick and easy retrieval.

With LifeTopix, you can associate Checklists, Bookmarks, Local and Online Documents, Audio, Photos, Video, Notes, Expenses, Services, and Shopping items with Projects, as shown in the following screenshot. This eliminates the need to file these items into physical paper folders and files using large filing cabinets.

Reference_Materials_LifeTopix

And with LifeTopix, you can back up your data to Dropbox™ or other services, allowing you to feel secure about your data. In addition, LifeTopix supports Google Drive, Dropbox™, SkyDrive™, and Evernote™ — allowing you to access files or notes from these services in context with your projects.

Review and Do Phases

A future post will discuss the Review and Do Phases in depth, but keep in mind that when you choose actionable items to complete when you review your action lists daily, you can simply set the Due Date to the current day — with or without a specific time. If you choose not to include a time, keep in mind that your calendar will consider a task without a date as an all-day event, which results in a blocked out day to others viewing your shared calendar.

When you’ve added a due date, the Agenda view will show all the tasks in a list view that are due on the current day. The following screenshot shows the resulting Agenda view after tasks have been given due dates.

Agenda-LifeTopix

Take note that the items that you view on the Agenda view are completely configurable by you. you can choose to show or hide Device Reminders, Appointments, Bill Payments, Events, Expenses, Notes with Date Tags, Occasion Reminders, Projects, Quick Inbox Items, Checklists, Reminders, Shopping Items, Shopping Lists, Tasks, Trips, Visits, Health Stats, Medication, Nutrition, Activity, and Wellness.

More Information

GTD is a great system for managing your busy home and work life. If you’d like to know more about best practices using LifeTopix for GTD, refer to the following posts:

Best Practices for Getting Things Done — Prioritizing Tasks in LifeTopix
Best Practices for Getting Things Done with LifeTopix Categories and Contexts
Best Practices for Getting Things Done — Capture and Collect
Best Practices for Getting Things Done — Processing
Best Practices for Getting Things Done — Doing Phase
Best Practices for Getting Things Done — Weekly Review

Your Turn

We enjoy hearing from you. Please share your best practices for using LifeTopix.

GTD® and Getting Things Done® are registered trademarks of the David Allen Company. LightArrow Apps are not affiliated with or endorsed by the David Allen Company.

Best Practices for Getting Things Done — Processing

See a newer version of this post with video at: GTD Basics – Methods for Clarifying Actions and To Dos in LifeTopix

LifeTopix and My.Agenda are personal organization apps for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. Both apps are especially useful for those who utilize David Allen’s Getting Things Done® (GTD) method. We’re constantly incorporating features that are useful for GTD, and we enjoy sharing our best practices for using these features. In this post, I’ll show you how you can use LifeTopix for the Processing Phase of GTD.

What is GTD

If you’re not familiar with GTD, it’s “the groundbreaking work-life management system by David Allen that provides concrete solutions for transforming overwhelm and uncertainty into an integrated system of stress-free productivity,” according to David Allen’s website.

Allen lays out five key phases of the GTD process, which include 1) Capture/Collect, 2) Process, 3) Organize, 4) Review, and 5) Do. This post focuses on the Process Phase of this workflow and describes the many ways that you can process your collected items.

What is the Process Phase in GTD?

In an earlier post (Best Practices for Getting Things Done — Capture and Collect), we discussed using LifeTopix to capture everything that’s floating around in your head. Once these items are in your trusted system, they need to move to the next stage of the workflow, which is Process.

During the Process Phase, you define each item collected as actionable or non-actionable. Non-actionable items are reference items or items that you can delete. Actionable items can be further defined in LifeTopix as described in this post.

Generally, those who follow the GTD process take an hour or two out each day to perform the Process step.

How do you use LifeTopix to Process?

During the Process Phase, you define each item collected as actionable or non-actionable. Keep in mind that LifeTopix is very flexible so you’ll find that you can create objects and categories that are suitable for the way that you work.

The following diagram shows the choices for the Process Phase in LifeTopix.

GTD Process Phase

Non-actionable Items

Non-actionable items include items that you cannot or will not act upon. These might be objects that are not important, not your responsibility, or items for reference — such as background materials in the form of notes, document files, audio, or video. These items might never make their way into LifeTopix in the first place and generally reside in your email or voicemail inboxes. If you find non-actionable items in LifeTopix during a review, you can easily delete these items if they’re no longer needed.

LifeTopix includes features enabling you to organize your important reference materials. For example, you can associate local files; checklists; bookmarks; audio; photos; videos; notes; shopping items; and online files from Dropbox, Google Drive, SkyDrive, Evernote, Toodledo to projects so you’ll always be able to find reference information associated with your actionable items.

Two-minute Rule

Generally, during the process phase you focus on making decisions, rather than completing actions; however, if an item can be completed in two minutes or less, then you can go ahead and act immediately.

Items To Do Soon or ASAP

During the Process Phase, you decide which tasks to do right away and soon. If you would like to learn more about prioritizing when using LifeTopix, see Best Practices for Getting Things Done — Prioritizing Tasks in LifeTopix.

LifeTopix to-do lists (checklists) are very suitable for small items that you wish to complete soon. If you’ve defined projects with associated tasks in LifeTopix, you can choose to complete the next action that helps you complete the project. You can define to-do lists on the fly directly in the Agenda view or you can define a task list. Task lists can include dates if you wish to view them in your Agenda or on your calendar. In addition, you can choose to use online tasks from Asana, Toodledo, or Google.

Items With Dates and Times

Many objects in LifeTopix can include dates; however, generally when using the GTD method, calendar items should be used for objects that occur at a fixed place or time, such as meetings, doctor’s appointments, or social events. The LifeTopix calendar is the logical place to place these items. Simply tapping the plus sign allows you to add events you’re attending, events you’re hosting, appointments, reminders, occasions, and device events. With LifeTopix, you can also use your online calendars (such as your device calendar, Outlook, or Google calendar) and manage those items via LifeTopix. LifeTopix becomes the central place for viewing multiple calendars.

Ticklers, Items You Wish to Defer, Items To Do Someday

Items without a clear due date, items with a due date in the future (ticklers), or items that you wish to do someday (such as learn to speak another language) can be placed in the Quick Inbox as a holding area. These items should be reviewed often.

Alternatively, you can create tasks (as task lists) or as a part of a project in the LifeTopix Tasks + Projects topic. These tasks can remain undated and you can review them regularly.

Projects

In LifeTopix, projects can be used for just about anything you dream up. You can create any type of project for work or your home and tag the project with an appropriate user-defined context tag. For example, in LifeTopix you can create Health projects; Event projects (for a wedding, graduation, etc.); Education projects; Work-related projects, and more.

Delegation

For items you wish to delegate, you can email them directly from LifeTopix to the recipient and he or she can open them directly in their LifeTopix app on their device from their email inbox. The ability to share is available for Projects, Trips, Notes, Tasks, Shopping lists, Checklists, Visits, Events, and Appointments. Another option for sharing includes using a shared Dropbox account with team members or family members and using Cloud Sync. And if you wish, you can use Toodledo or Asana for your task management, which allows you to share with team members.

More Information

GTD is a great system for managing your busy home and work life. If you’d like to know more about best practices using LifeTopix for GTD, refer to the following posts:

Best Practices for Getting Things Done — Prioritizing Tasks in LifeTopix
Best Practices for Getting Things Done with LifeTopix Categories and Contexts
Best Practices for Getting Things Done — Capture and Collect
Best Practices for Getting Things Done — Master Organizing
Best Practices for Getting Things Done — Doing Phase
Best Practices for Getting Things Done — Weekly Review

Your Turn

Please comment on how you use LifeTopix for the Processing Phase.

GTD® and Getting Things Done® are registered trademarks of the David Allen Company. LightArrow Apps are not affiliated with or endorsed by the David Allen Company.

LightArrow Reveals Vision for the Company’s Future — iOS, Windows 8, Android

LightArrow CEO Interviewed on Vision — Shares Priorities for iOS, Windows 8, and Android in the Enterprise

LightArrow, Inc. co-founder and CEO Adi Mishra talks to *second screen INSIDER about LifeTopix, and shares the vision for the future of their apps and the company’s relative priorities for iOS, Android and Windows 8 platforms for business apps.

Watch the interview below or watch the original at *second screen INSIDER:

Adi Mishra from Angel on Vimeo.

Your Family Calendar, All in One Place

Organizing your calendar and schedule is a big challenge when you have a lot going on — and most of us do. And if you’re a mom who’s organizing the whole family, it’s even more challenging. Learn how LifeTopix and our starter app, My.Agenda, come to the rescue.

Transcript

Organizing your calendar and schedule is a big challenge when you have a lot going on — and most of us do.

And if you’re a mom who’s organizing the whole family, it’s even more challenging.

Between Zumba, baseball games, meetings, carpools, and clubs, you feel like your drowning and it’s practically impossible to keep it all straight.

This is when LifeTopix and our starter app, My.Agenda, come to the rescue.

LifeTopix is a central hub for your tasks, projects, shopping, events, travel, and more. My.Agenda is a starter, more economical version of LifeTopix that enables you to start small and expand as your organizational needs grow.

As the central hub of your life, LifeTopix works with all your calendars, including Outlook, Google Calendar, Yahoo Calendar, your device Calendar, and others. You just need to configure these items in your device’s Mail, Contacts, and Calendars Settings.

So Why LifeTopix?

You might be wondering why you would use LifeTopix instead of your standard device calendar or a free online calendar.

There’s lots of ways to justify it – with 12 big reasons. The 12 Life Topics, which are intelligently designed topics that manage more than just calendar events.

These topics are connected and in one place, which eliminates the app hopping that you do when you install a flock of apps to do many different, disconnected things.

For example, when your contacts and service providers are linked to your calendar events and other items, you can easily contact them if you’re running late in just a few simple taps. You never have to open your device’s contacts or search for an email address again.

And don’t worry about getting lost with LifeTopix’s location services, you can always view your destination on the map.

LifeTopix keeps the whole family on the same page because it uses cloud services such as Dropbox, SkyDrive, and Google Drive for device-to-device sync. Because of this, LifeTopix or My.Agenda becomes the perfect place to share your kids’ doctors appointments, playdates, sports, and other events with the whole family.

And LifeTopix gives you other options for sharing. You can share items via email, text, or social media with friends or family members.

Before you get started with Cloud Sync, all you need to do is go to www.dropbox.com and set up a free account for the family to share.

Once you’ve set it up, everyone in the family can point LifeTopix to the Dropbox folder using LifeTopix Settings.

Next, Voila, everyone can start using Dropbox sync.

You’ll find another video on our website or youTube channel that describes these steps in detail.

Now everyone can be on the same page about what’s going on from appointments, to checklists, to bill payments and more — we’ve got you covered.

Now that everyone’s sharing the same calendar, you can easily add all types of items to your family’s agenda without a lot of nagging.

And your weekly review is a piece of cake with this handy agenda view.

We know you have a lot going on, keep track of it and keep everyone in the loop while on the go with LifeTopix.

If you want to learn more go to www.lightarrow.com or find LifeTopix or MyAgenda at the Apple App Store in the Productivity section. Thanks for Watching.

More info at the Apple App Store:

LifeTopix

My.Agenda

Introducing My.Agenda, and What’s Next for LightArrow

Dear Friends and Followers of Team LightArrow:

Today is an exciting day for us. Today we have expanded our app portfolio with My.Agenda — for users who desire an easy-to-use app for managing their busy lives, but want more than just a simple to-do list app. My.Agenda, a complete organizer and planner, lets users start small and add new productivity topics as their personal organization needs evolve.

Since 2010, LightAr­row has been providing users with one of the most comprehensive apps for managing all aspects of their lives and businesses. My.Agenda targets a new segment of users who want to start small without sacrificing power. If you already have LifeTopix, you do not need My.Agenda, since it is like a “starter edition” of LifeTopix.

If you are an avid user of LifeTopix, you have most likely been in active conversations with us regarding improvements that are coming soon and down the road. In our next update of LifeTopix in May, there are several significant improvements, specifically in the areas of Shopping, Notes, People, and also in the My Calendar views. There are many improvements in other areas as well, and we will continue to enhance LifeTopix frequently with updates over the next months and years.

We have been adding exceptional talent to our development team. We are planning to offer several new apps for personal organization and business, and expand our support of platforms to include Windows 8, Android, and also full app support on the Mac. We will also continue to improve our integrations with existing and new online services popular with our users.

Team LightArrow works tirelessly to support our users and improve our apps. We have been fortunate to have users we love – you inspire us every step of the way. We are very grateful. We do recognize that in several areas we have a long way to go. We are in it for the long haul. We love what we do, and we will continue execute fiercely on our great vision. We believe in it passionately.

Team LightArrow thanks you!

Best regards,

Adi

CEO, LightArrow Inc.

Austin, Texas