Regularly – Remind and Keeping track of regular tasks to form Habits

Regularly is an android app to help you keep track of tasks that do not have a fixed schedule and remind you to do it.

Ghacks highlighted this really great Android to do based app call Regularly.

It solves a particularly unique use case that many people have.

  1. People don’t like a difficult to do list like those Getting Things Done lists
  2. People want to be reminded of a set of tasks that are “good to be carried out” but not those “if I don’t do my life will end”
  3. They want a way to keep track of their habits and help them form them
  4. Remind them to do it regularly

Regularly looks specifically for that purpose.

What are these kind of activities

You may or may not agree with them but here are some of the things that I can think of that will not kill but its good to push to do:

  • Review your wealth plan. Update your net worth. Thinking of your families financial coverage
  • Turn your bed to the other side.
  • Update your resume
  • Find out what is new in your industry
  • Maintain your equipment
  • Contact long haven’t met friends
  • Have a meal outside with your family together
  • Do nothing for 1 day
  • Backup your data to a backup storage (Tablets, Smartphones, Online)

Android App

Regularly is FREE. You can download it here for your Android device. It is not for IOS or Windows Phone yet.

Habit tracking, reminding and forming

To be a productive person, it is important to remove deficient habits and build habits that will create extraordinary effects permeating all aspects of your life.

One of the way to do that is taking notes. Research have shown that those who take notes, build systems that helps them to successfully build or kick a habit.

Regularly helps that a lot because you can keep log of the intervals in which you carry out a good or bad habit:

  • You want to build consistent streaks for good habits
  • You need to be as less consistent about your bad habits as possible

Regularly lets you log down when each of those activity is carried out. This way you can be conscious about the regularity in which you carry out the event.

When you are conscious, change the way the reminders that bugs you to do the activity.

Fixed Period or Irregular

Specify whether the activity is regular or irregular. If it is irregular you will not see the “NEXT DUE”

But for people who wants to do something periodically, they can set a NEXT DUE whether its 1 day, 5 days, 3 weeks, 3 months.

Regularly will remind you from the last time you did the task. Many to do list can only set an interval but not from the last task completed date.

Bugging you to do the Activities

While building habits or destroying them requires you to

  1. Make a pact with yourself that you want to do it
  2. Be aware of Trigger-Routine-Reward

You can nudge yourself along the way, by varying the bugging system

Regularly allows you to vary the frequency in a percentage. By default its 33%.

Tag the Activity

In project management, we have Work Packages with specific objectives that have numerous Activities. This is similar to GTD’s Project and Tasks relationship.

You can tag these Activities in Regularly to Tags.

I have the following Tags:

  • Wealth – Managing money to build net worth
  • Hygiene – Activities for to be clean
  • Equipment Maintenance – Things that will break down if you don’t do periodic maintenance e.g. Car, PC, Air Con
  • Wellness – Go to dentist, Do a body checkup

You will have your own tags (do share with me!)

Backup your Regularly data

I really don’t think you need to sync it to an online store. As long as you can backup the data that will be good.

Regularly allows you to backup the data to your SD Card.

If not you can use Titanium Backup to backup the Regularly to your SD Card.

You can then use Regularly to set up an Activity to transfer your SD Card backup to your desktop!!

Some Activities I Keep Track of

Here are some things I keep track of. You can see how some stuff I have not done in a long time!

That can be clean the internals of the computer. Its not going to kill me but if my computer breaks down because I don’t do that I lose money.

I have a regular 3 month period to review my wealth plan.

I want to make it a point to meet my secondary school friends. So this will tell me when is the next time we should arrange something.

Also I want to build a habit to be more hygienic, such as cleaning my bed and chair instead of relying on my parents.

Conclusion

I think this app is so niche but can be so useful. The best is its free.

Let me know your experience with this application

What kind of activities would go into a use-case such as this?

Best Hierarchical, GTD, Ubiquitous To Do List:MyLifeOrganized on iPhone, iPad, Android and Blackberry

To Do list when used with a well honed process daily is a very productive tool. And the people behind MyLifeOrganized (MLO) have been creating their task management app since the Windows Mobile days.

Windows Mobile

Back then, we don’t have things like Getting Things Done methodology to guide us, but MLO have the best task management solution in my opinion.

Windows Mobile allow tree style hierarchical views, so they were able to create a task and subtask concept which was rare in that days.

To supplement that, they have a very well thought out hierarchical to do list which you can tag due dates, notes and contexts. You can sync this with your windows mobile app.

Playing catch up

What MLO did not anticipate was how well the iPhone and iPod took off and herald a wave of to do list apps like the ones on my side bar.

A very good app rest too much on its laurels and miss a ton of good revenue.

About a year ago, I visited MLO’s homepage and realize that they were frantically churning out their solution for each smartphone platform. I anticipate that they really hired a lot of developers on different platforms to execute this because unlike the makers of Wunderlist who are coming up with their own ubiquitous app Wunderkit, MLO managed to deploy beta versions at a really break neck speed.

So how is their offering?

iPhone MLO

The iPhone app costs USD $9.99 which is the price for all the premium To Do list apps such as 2Do and ToDo.

The thing everyone likes about MLO is that they contain the most essential widgets for task management:

  1. Task Description, Notes, Due Date, Status
  2. Repeating or Recurring Tasks
  3. Sub-tasking or parent child concept
  4. Tagging

For the iPhone App, they brought over the hierarchical concept. You can create unlimited levels of subtasks.

What you can do on the windows and windows mobile applications you can do it on the iPhone app.

Most of the reviews are from people that have used the windows version of MLO and the reviews are mixed. To most it’s a godsend to be able to carry out the same way of doing things on the iPhone.

For others they cannot understand the complicated interface and they deemed it as complicated and unstable.

iPad MLO

The iPad version costs USD $19.99. That is steep. It essentially is priced in the range of Omnifocus, which is the one David Allen recommends.

It basically does what the iPhone app does but because iPad has a more affordable screen real estate, it makes a splendid project planning tools.

The great thing is it is similar to that of the iPhone app. Unlimited hierachy, repeating, contexts, places and many many different views for people that does things differently

Android MLO

There isn’t a pricing on the Android version. It is Beta currently but soon it will be selling at USD 9.99. That is bloody steep. [Google Play >>]

Although this is a fully featured BETA version of MyLifeOrganized, some features are still in development. You can use the beta version for free until the final product is released. Once the final version has been released, you will have the choice of continuing to use MyLifeOrganized for free in Lite mode, or purchasing a license key to unlock the full feature set. In either case your data will be preserved after the upgrade. Please use our forum for feedback, since we cannot respond on Android Market.

I am an Android smartphone user currently and MLO have been a god send on the Android.

For one, there isn’t a to do list that provides unlimited subtasking like MLO. There are many apps that syncs to Google Tasks but Google Tasks is very limited. For one you cannot create repeatable tasks.

The example above you can see that I have an “Area of responsibility” in Work, follow by a short project writing a report.

The most useful thing is that I can order the list by cutting tasks and pasting task in the right order.

Kudos to MLO for providing this.

Having start and end dates are what is required for project management. This would filter out tasks not expected to start soon.

You can also change a task into a project and assign multiple contexts, setting subtasks in order.

You can relate contexts with those that belong within another. Take Office Computer. If you tag something as that it will appear if you filter by Office as well.

MLO provides a lot of interesting options. For each tree of tasks if you complete all the tasks you can have MLO create another repeating tree of subtasks.

For projects that you want to reuse, MLO allows you to reset in two ways.

Overall, you would find the settings to be so flexible even if the work flow doesn’t fit you outright, you can tweak it to your liking.

The Android MLO have so many views! You can start drafting by Outline or Projects then filter by which tasks are active at certain places, people or time duration.

And if you think those are the only views that is available to you, check out more.

MLO also offer widgets that you can embed on your home screen

Overall, the people love it.

Blackberry MLO

By now you would know the Blackberry app is more or less similar to the others. The blackberry version costs USD $14.99. Steep.

But I think it is worth it because there isn’t much GTD application that does unlimited subtasking like MLO on blackberry.

MLO Cloud Sync

How does MLO make it ubiquitous? By getting you to subscribe to a cloud sync service.

This would allow you to sync over the air with each device.

The service cost on an average

  • $25.95 for 2 years
  • $14.95 for 1 year
  • $9.95 for 6 months
  • $5.95 for 3 months
  • $2.95 for 30 days

I have not tried this service but if you subscribe for long $1.25 per month doesn’t sound expensive.

I hope that this would allow me to sync an iPad with an Android smartphone.

Conclusion

MLO have the most comprehensive solution. Back a few months I wrote what is the use cases you need for a task management solution.

  1. Task Description, Notes, Due Date, Status
  2. Repeating or Recurring Tasks
  3. Sub-tasking or parent child concept
  4. Tagging
  5. Extensible API
  6. Ubiquitous

MLO provides all except the extensible API. That way you cannot grow it as a platform.

MLO essentially is a closed network and they force you to subscribe to it, somewhat like Microsoft.

What I find intolerable is that every piece of app cost a lot. If they want to sell this platform to users they would have make it cheaper for the users.

Say you need the Windows app and the iPhone app to sync with each other that will set you back $45.95 + $9.99 + $14.95 = $70.89

That is expensive. And if I believe more so then Omnifocus.

I find the solutions very good, but I just cannot except the price.