Keith Winsor uses Chandler every day

May 28th, 2008 by Mimi Yin

(Emphasis and screenshots were added.)

I’m a Gemini. I can’t help it, I was born that way, so I have the attention span of a goldfish and two thousand things that interest me and I’d like to follow up on.

I run a one-man band PC support company, my wife handles day-to-day calls and schedules appointments whilst I’m visiting customers. She also looks after our family bed & breakfast. In addition, we like to get out whenever we can to live music but, living in the sticks, we need to factor in a two-hour each way journey. Chandler helps me to make sense of it all and instill some kind of order from the chaos.

The hardest thing with organising ’stuff’ is picking out the immediately important things, whilst keeping track of the things that don’t need to be done yet without wasting too much time on them. It’s here that Chandler just sort of works the way that I do.

There’s the trivial but still necessary stuff:

  • buy worm tablet for cat, so that I can treat on the right day
  • monthly payment for ’something’ is due: make sure there’s enough money in the right account
  • family birthdays, remember to buy/send card and gift
  • car insurance due, start getting quotes

All of these are set up as repeating no time events, with an alarm set a suitable time in advance. When the alarm triggers, the event pops into Chandler’s Now section to attract my attention. Before that, it’s just sitting there, out of the way. I can find it if I need it, but it doesn’t intrude.

The following screenshot was taken from the Chandler Product Tour:
Setting alarms for later.

There’s the important stuff:

I have irregular appointments with various clients, all of which are entered in Chandler in a standard format (name, details, etc). By flipping from Calendar view to Triage view and sorting by Title, I can quickly bring together all appointments with a particular customer, to review progress. Filtering by name then sorting by date gives me a similar overview, in date order.

Unfiltered sorting in date order gives me an overview of the coming few weeks, more effectively than flipping through a week at a time, like a month view but easier to assimilate. Of course, if I want a month view, it’s there too.

Reviewing your life by date

And on top of all of this, I can choose which collections (work, music, home, b&b, etc) appear in which combinations in which view.

There’s sharing:

If I make an appointment in the field or my wife makes one at home, one click and the other is aware of it, minimising the chance of double bookings.

My laptop, my Ultra Mobile PC, my office machine and my wife’s machine are all in sync, all the time.

There’s the way it just works:

With a little bit of automatic filtering in Thunderbird, relevant messages just drop into Chandler. A couple of clicks and they’re tasks.

I have a task to ring a customer re an appointment. Looking at it in Triage view, I can drag it straight to the calendar where it just becomes an appointment. Add a time, untick the Star/Task button and the task disappears, leaving just the appointment. But that’s in a couple of weeks, so it just drops into ‘Later’ until I need to notice it.

Starring and Adding to the Calendar

And there’s what I think of as a bit of a USP of Chandler – that ‘I’ve achieved all of this’ feeling. At the end of the day, click ‘Done’ on all the stuff that’s finished with. Pat myself on the back for what I’ve achieved, then click Clean Up and watch them disappear! They’re still there if I need them, but out of the way, out of mind.

I’ve used a load of different programs on PC and PDA, but Chandler is the closest I’ve found to how I seem to see the world. It’s not yet perfect, but it’s getting better by the week.

I’m using it every day. I can’t think of a better endorsement.

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2 Responses to “Keith Winsor uses Chandler every day”

  1. » chandler The note to self organize! LinuxCoffee = Linux + Java Says:

    [...] “I use it daily. I can’t think of a better endorsement.” - Keith Winsor [...]

  2. Montreal Dentist Says:

    This is actually pretty neat. At first, I thought it was just like Outlook’s calendar, but now I can imagine how useful this would be to me. I mean, I already do this, but manually (and painfully) in a word document… Think I might just give it a shot today.