Corporate computer policies and GTD

What do you do when you can no longer use your computer platform of choice at work even when you’re more productive with it and are used to the tools available for it which are generally superior to the offerings (if they exist) on other platforms?  You go back to web applications.

I had been using a combination of GMail, Remember the Milk, and Google Calendar for my GTD/personal organization needs.  This was prior to getting a Mac.   At that time I started using Apple Mail and iCal both of which I have grown to love.   I then ended up getting an iPhone for my mobile needs and life was wonderful.  About 3 weeks ago the axe was dropped on me and my Mac usage at work so it’s back to the drawing board.

I have to say I’m still pretty livid about the corporate computer policies at work that seem to keep springing out of nowhere.   Not being able to use personal equipment on the corporate network is just the latest policy to fly in out of left field.  But all that aside where does that leave me?

I guess I move mail back to GMail which I never really abandoned.  I just set up Apple Mail to retrieve my email from the IMAP interface of GMail.    I actually also still used Google Calendar in the respect that I bought and installed Spanning Sync to sync my iCal calendars with Goolge Calendar.  For tasks lists I really hadn’t found a replacement for Remember the Milk but then again i wasn’t using it much anyhow.  My list-keeping fell off and I just scheduled things directly in the calendar either on specific days and times or just on specific days as all-day events.

I do really need to get back in to keeping task lists though but I’m less than thrilled with having to pay $25 for RTM Pro to get the iPhone interface.  I’d be more inclined at this point to give ToodleDo a try again since at $14.95 a year you get the iPhone interface and quite a bit more.  I like RTM but the $25 is hard to swallow simply for the iPhone CSS and HTML they send out.

At any rate I’m back to square one because of a corporate policy that doesn’t take into account an employee’s productivity.   Maybe things won’t be so bad since I had woven in my gmail/gcal use with the client apps on the Mac.  Once again though it all comes down to the list-keeping and task lists and I’m not sure what I’m going to do there.

5 thoughts on “Corporate computer policies and GTD

  1. For implementing GTD you can use this web-based application:

    You can use it to manage your goals, projects and tasks, set next actions and contexts, use checklists, schedules and a calendar.
    A mobile version and iCal are available too.


  2. Yeah John you’re right..I did get a taste. But its like the slogan for Jays potato chips “you can’t eat just one” 🙂

    The thing that makes me laugh is that all of our development software works faster on the Mac. The OS is more secure. And Leopard is 64bit so the 4GB sitting in the system is fully useable – unlike on Windows. It’s totally ridiculous.

    I think I’ll be doing some form of GTD again with Remember the Milk (no iphone version though..not for $25), Google Calendar, GMail, and Evernote. List keeping in Evernote seems like a good bet considering the availability for Windows/Mac/iPhone/Web. The Mac client is lacking at the moment but its there and everything syncs up.

    I really like the Firefox plugin from RTM for integrating with GMail. Very nice.

    Thanks for commenting.


  3. Hmmm…apparently ToodleDo for the iPhone is useable even with the free version. Maybe its worth another look even though the last time I tried it I wasn’t happy with the notes feature. I could probably live with that though for $15 a year. $10 less than RTM.


  4. At least you got a taste of Mac and OS X at work. I just tried to get an annual Citrix license to support remoting in from my Mac at home and got the reply, “No, we are not going to support Macs”. This after I even offered to pay for the license. No matter, I just installed the Citrix client in Windows XP which I have running on my Mac using Parallels.

    I do agree that web apps are the way to go for GTD. The system I use allows me to view my entire GTD at work on my Win machine, at home on my Macs and even on my cell phone. And another app lets me call in tasks to my GTD without any writing or typing, great for those thoughts that hit me while driving. I’ve written about my experiences with GTD in a blog post at John


  5. I recently ran into the same exact problem at the place where I’m currently employed. Funny thing is that I’ve been using my own personal laptop(s) at work for the past 3 years, and they finally caught on. My boss(s) believes that I’m a “super productive” employee so they were all in for buying me whatever I needed for me (*ahem* a Mac!) to continue to stay productive (and happily employed) — however, corporate would hear nothing of it.. “NO Macs!!” they said! Don’t get me wrong, my boss’s are awesome, and it seems like they support what I do, so I can’t complain about that.. but if we’re a technology company.. shouldn’t we embrace new/different technology? Why must we be afraid of something different?

    But here’s what doesn’t make sense.. the corporation is okay with giving its employees a Corporate Dell Laptop with Linux and virtual windows, but they’re not okay with a personally owned Mac Laptop with virtual windows. That makes us technologists kinda puke, right? The corporation still looses control over monitoring/controlling software that’s on employee’s PC’s since people run whatever flavor of Linux they want, so unless there’s something embedded in the firmware/hardware that spying on people, I don’t see the difference.


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