Implementing Autofocus 2 on a Palm Tungsten

Autofocus 2 (AF2) is a task management system created by Mark Forster

AF2 is designed to minimize procrastination. It also has a low overhead, e.g., you really do things instead of fiddling with the task management system.

AF2 was originally developed for a notebook, pen and markers. I have recently started using an electronic version of it on my Palm Tungsten T3.

The main application that I use is ShadowPlan. In order to track and also save a history of what I have done I have linked ShadowPlan to Life Balance from Llamagraphcis, which in turn is linked to Natara Daynotez.

I use the custom list in Shadow with numbering 1, 2, 3, … at level 1 and i, ii, iii, … at level 2. Level 1 corresponds to a page and level 2 corresponds to the lines on a page. The custom list in ShadowPlan is also configured to show a checkbox for each entry, a ToDo link (linked to my ToDo app Life Balance)  and also the Start date (so that I know when I created the entry in the list).

When I have done a task in the Shadow list, I check the box and the task is struck out. I also check the ToDo link box, which means that the finished task is sent to Life Balance. In Life Balance I sort the task into one of my life categories, which means that I can track my balance in life. At the same time Daynotez registers what I have done the day because I have configured Life Balance to link to Daynotez. I have also created a filter in ShadowPlan that filters out finished tasks and only lists active tasks on the list, which is great to have in both Reverse and Forward mode. I remove the filter when in Review mode and when putting tasks on notice. Each day I create a list of things that I want to focus on by marking the tasks in bold. This ToDo list I have easy access to by the way of a filter in ShadowPlan that filters on tasks ”marked as bold” and ”not checked”.

I change the colour of tasks that become on notice in AF2/Shadow to blue. The next day, if I have not done the blue tasks, I change their colour to red and akso tag them as dismissed so that I must put them on review. The dismissal procedure is really what I like about AF2 because it makes me work on older tasks too or rephrase them, if I find that I still want to them during the review phase. Otherwise the dismissed tasks remain on the list as red items, corresponding to David Allen’s Someday/Maybe list in GtD.

Speaking of GtD, which I have been using since 2002, I still use the contexts from it, specifically @Errands and @Phone. These I activate by adding a task in AF2 for it, e.g., ”check context @Phone”.

I follow Forster’s instructions as written and organize the list accordingly, e.g., new tasks are added to the bottom to the AF2 list in ShadowPlan.

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