Getting Things Done - Sorted 3
I’ve been planning to make a lot more YouTube videos, but I often find that life gets in the way. It could just be that I’m a procrastinator extraordinaire and highly skilled in putting things off until tomorrow. In the past I’ve tried using Omnifocus, but I found it was a little too complicated. If you have a complicated life then maybe it will be just the thing for you. I tried using Reminders or just putting things into the Calendar app. This works for me up to a point, but it never really clicked with me. It’s kind of annoying have to rely on two applications to do your Get Things Done mojo going. In a podcast I was listening to last month I heard of an application called Sorted. Out of curiosity I decided to have a look. What this application does is to combine tasks and events into one application.
What I Like About Sorted 3
So having the calendar events and tasks all in one application give me everything in one view is spot on. I still add events in the calendar, but they’ll find themselves also displayed in Sorted. Then there are the tasks to organise. I found it’s easy to set up a new task and I’ve also added some automation into the mix. I’ve created a shortcut which will act as a template to create a new task for me. Same thing with Drafts I have templates for repeating tasks making it super quick and easy to organise myself. When I’m ready to start on a new video project I can quickly add the set of tasks required to complete the project from Drafts. I’m ready to then start ticking things off as I get them done and be completely mega productive.
In shortcuts I tried setting up all of the tasks in one shortcut. For some reason or other this didn’t really work very well. I think the probable cause was the use of the iOS 15 beta software. I’ve just updated the latest public beta on the iPhone and iPad and I’ll have to give this another try. It could have been fixed, fingers crossed.
What I have found to be totally successful is the use of the X callback URL’s which can be used from either within shortcuts or from within Drafts. In the Drafts app I downloaded a set of actions for Sorted 3. These actions were created by someone called KJ Miller. Most of the actions I left as they were and a couple of them I fiddled with to personalise for me. I took one of them and created an action which makes a new task with today’s date and all the other information I need within that task. I put the task on a specific list and I also created tags along with a duration for the task.
Hyper Scheduling and Tasks with a Duration
The Sorted application is all about hyper scheduling. Sometimes this way of organising your day is called time blocking. It does this Hyper scheduling in a sort of Pomodoro style. This is where the auto scheduling really shines. This is the best feature within the application by a long way. It’s fantastic where you can select a number of tasks you plan to do for the day and to auto schedule them. It’s got the Pomodoro feature of a built in break in between each task. This is where you have finished what you wanted to do with a task and take a break. Set whichever amount of time suits for you. I leave it set for 15 minutes. It’s OK to completely ignore these breaks and go straight to the next task. Sometimes you get into a bit of a flow with your work and want to continue. Or maybe you overrun with a task. Either go back to the auto schedule for the remaining tasks and redo it or leave it in case you get back onto schedule by doing the next task faster. The hyper scheduling is extremely flexible yet at the same time gives a definite structure to what you need to get done. It was this auto scheduling feature which tipped the balance for me to purchase the Pro version of Sorted 3. I’m a little disappointed the pro version for the Mac is an extra payment and is more than the cost of the iOS version. So for the moment I’ll work with it just as an iOS and decide at a later date if I need it on the Mac as well.
In the first YouTube tutorial video I covered the basics of the application and in the second one I dived in a little deeper. There is the third video in the works covering the use of the X callback URL scheme in Sorted 3 and I plan to make a fourth video which will go over making a shortcut in the Shortcuts app.
Sorted 3 For Getting Things Done
I can highly recommend this as a GTD application for use with iOS and with the Mac. If you have both versions paid for, you get the synchronisation across platforms. I do like applications which work everywhere for me. Initially you might think that the application is quite simple. To a large extent this is part of its attraction for me. Yet at the same time it has that auto scheduling feature which lifts it up into the realm of ‘excellent application’ worthy of paying for the pro version. I have the application on the front screen on my iPhone. I’ve also placed it in the dock on the iPad so it’s always available front and centre ready to go.
There are a couple of improvements I’d like to see. I would particularly like to see more parameters added to the X callback URL scheme. It will also be excellent to have a way to create the checklists within the notes of the task by using markdown. It seems the developers are actively developing and improving the application and I’m following the discussions about it in the Slack channel.