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Posts posted by johncclayton

  1. Hi - just a quick note to say that the Informant service has now shut down.   I still firmly believe in the idea but lack the time required to bring it to it's full potential.  It's been great - thanks to everyone that participated, and good luck finding a great GTD solution in the future. 



    John Clayton

    Founder of Informant.

  2. Hi, 
    If you've been looking for a GTD solution that's tightly integrated into Evernote - check out Informant, it might be what you're looking for.

    What's it do?

    Informant automatically creates 'next action' lists within Evernote. All your tasks are sorted by priority and grouped by project, and Informant keeps the next action lists up to date if you change anything in Evernote.

    Informant provides convenient time saving shortcuts, and because everything is stored in Evernote you can access it everywhere at any time!


    The Big News - 25% Off!
    I'm really pleased to announce that Informant is going live with a bunch of great new features and improvements, which are detailed in my blog entry.  If you feel like trying it out for 30 days; head on over to https://informant.coderage-software.com and register a free account.
    If you choose to buy a subscription - please don't forget the following coupon code - it should be entered into the checkout page and is valid until 21st of May.  You can use it for both the monthly and yearly subscriptions.


    Your coupon code is: LIVE25


    Thanks - I hope to welcome you on board, have a great day!


    John Clayton

    CodeRage Software

  3. Hi


    My web app is a GTD solution that integrates very tightly with Informant.  So tightly in fact that there isn't another web app, iPhone or Android app required - you drive everything from within Evernote itself. 


    I recently submitted my app to the App Center and received a rejection, with the reason: Thank you for your submission. Unfortunately, we don't think Informant is the right fit for the Evernote App Center.


    I find the decision to exclude Informant from the App Center strange, especially considering there is a healthy market for GTD apps in the App Center - there's 3 other there already and that's just looking in the App Center.  I’d like to appeal the decision not to include Informant in the Evernote App Center - does anyone have an idea of how to go about that?  

    Here's what I found:
    Which bills itself as a productivity app, with a focus on GTD and TODO lists - Informant also handles TODO's and focuses on GTD as it's main driving workflow.
    Another take on GTD this time with integration with Google Calendar - which is also something Informant provides in it’s Pro version
    A web app that helps with GTD, planning projects and personal productivity. 
    John Clayton
    CodeRage Software

  4. Ben


    One thing you can try - after I looked at this for 5 minutes.  Please create any kind of tag under the .Active Projects tag.  Once you've done that - wait a bit, Informant should then produce the overview notes!  It's still a bug - but I think that's a workaround for now.  I will continue to look at this on the weekend.  


    So, create a "project" tag, it can be anything - but it MUST be a child of the .Active Projects tag. 



  5. Excellent info that you posted - and no, it was not really dumb at all - several things we're then clearer to me, among them:

     - your process is perfect

     - you are using a web browser only (very important, the note content is every so slightly different when the browser saves it)

     - you had no feedback (it'd be great to have some kind of processing feedback on a users account)


    I can confirm that the lack of overview notes is a definite bug - you should be seeing these notes get created.  I forced Informant to re-create the notes on your account and I could see in the logs that the routines that pick out the potential notes to include returned zero.  I test the system in a web browser attached to the Evernote sandbox - so this is a surprise to me.  


    I believe I have enough info to fix this - and will look at it over the weekend.


    Thanks Ben, I'll keep in touch. 

  6. Hi Ben 


    Where would you like to see the samples?  I've got documentation in a shared notebook that shows the steps required to use the system, as well as a simpler "overview" page that you can view on the website.  I'll be the first to admit that because of it's unique "there is no UI - just use Evernote" approach that this is probably the biggest stumbling block. 


    I wondered, what if I created a single note in your evernote account instead of the 4 tutorial notes - and include an example of "this is what you should be seeing", "this is how to create a task to appear in @Work with 1-Now priority" - maybe that's better. 


    In any case - great feedback - what is your Evernote username please, I'll go and have a look to see what's up with your account. 


    To get a task into a master note, you do this:

    1. create a new note, the minimum you need is the title
    2. tag it with @Work and 1-Now; you *must* use one context tag, the 'project' and 'when' tags are optional
    3. sync with Evernote
    4. wait - while waiting, read about Notifications from Informant (either Push notifications for iOS/Android or Safari Browser).
    5. after about 30 seconds, which will feel like an eternity, sync with Evernote again

    That's it - there's nothing more to it.  At this point, go and find the next actions note for the @Work context, if the system is doing it's job right (and this is 99% the case since it went into use in May last year), you'll have the new note listed there, along with a link.


    Let me know how you get on, and please fire me your Evernote username so I can have a look to ensure it's all running smoothly. 



  7. Hi Ted, 


    What is the link you are embedding in the iCal feed? 


    I've done this - in a very round about way.  My link looks like this (I changed the user id and guid): 



    This will open safari, and then if Evernote is installed the note opens in Evernote, otherwise it offers to have the user log into the Web UI for Evernote.  

  8. Hi Everyone, 


    I was just wondering what your experiences of using Informant have been to date?  Any feedback is appreciated. 


    I've worked out the payment/business model and am spending time getting a payment provider in place - go live for this is Q1 2014 :-).


    Currently there's about 300 users on the system, and it's growing every day.

  9. 1) PlayStore - aha, yeah, that makes sense.  Good point about multiple devices per person too. 


    2) Fair enough - makes sense both ways. 


    3) Great!  I had a mini "yeah, of course! duh!" moment when I read your feedback about the installation of Evernote.  I've changed the wording to simply imply that you need an Evernote account - it doesn't matter if it's Desktop/Mobile etc.  Makes more sense.  I also found out how to create Stacks programmatically so have added this one to my list of tweaks to do before the beta really goes live, and before I start blogging/tweeting etc about it in earnest. 


    I wanted to ask about the impression I created between Informant & Evernote.  Informant is not actually that visible - about the most "in your face" it gets is it's settings/control panel website.  Everything else either happens in the background on the Informant server sitting in a data-center in the USA or within Evernote itself (eg. notes, todo tick boxes etc).  Would there be a better way to present the difference or dividing line between Evernote and Informant? 


    Thank you - I appreciate that you spent some time looking at Informant.  If you've other insights - I'm keen to hear them, and it'd be great to have those on Facebook too.   

  10. Yes - I was surprised at the price, and I thought it worth clarifying.


    Thanks for taking the time to reply in length, I enjoyed reading your post.  It would be 6,800 per month with 10 cents or pence at a take up rate of 10%.   Where did you get the Android download stats from?  I'm interested in getting more numbers to clarify my existing revenue predictions for any kind of service based on Evernote. 


    This is a good kind of pocket change too of course - I wouldn't sniff at it!  I won't be kicking off a business for the "conflicting notes" problem just yet though as right now I'm super busy building "Informant", which is another set of ideas I've had re: GTD + Evernote - and I needed the solution myself so ended up putting all the effort into building the web service infra, writing the back end code, setting up a website, defining free vs pro etc first. 


    Thanks, take care



  11. Hi


    There are a few tools around already to help send email messages into Evernote.  The basic idea is simple; if you are using Evernote as your GTD or task tracking system, you want an easy way to throw emails into Evernote and get rid of them from your Inbox.


    Many of these tools require a third party application in order to set the shortcut key.  I've written an Automator action for Mac that runs as a "service", which in normal peoples terms means you can easily set a shortcut cut for this in System Preferences. 


    Here's a link to my documentation about it: http://goo.gl/WIXG3x


    This Automator action is very specific (but can be easily changed if you know Applescript), it will:

    1. Use the currently selected emails in Mail.app to...
    2. Create evernote notes for each selected email and then...
    3. Move each selected email to the "Archive" folder of the appropriate Mail.app account, finally setting it's background to blue (so you know it was moved into Evernote)

    It's simple, but super effective - and one cool idea is that the Evernote note retain a link back to the original email message.


    You can download the Automator action, and install this by following the instructions here.


    Happy Evernote'ing!


    John Clayton

    • Like 1

  12. Hi,


    If you are still interested in beta testing - I've recently updated the web service and continue to improve how it works along with it's feature set.  I've got a number of ideas planned for future releases and am always interested in cross checking other peoples feedback against my internal idea database (i.e. sanity check, am I on the right path?)


    If you want to give it a shot - you can sign up at: https://informant.coderage-software.com/


    Thanks, take care


    John Clayton


    Thanks for your screenshot.. I have been using evernote and gtd together for about 12 months.  Using tags to identify next actions and contexts, and notebooks and stacks to arrange project support materials and reference materials.  I have used the shortcut on the home screen/desktop to create lists  (e.g., @Home, @Phone)


    John would be interested in the beta testing if that option is still available

  13. Please check out Informant at https://informant.coderage-software.com/ - it does exactly what you are thinking off.  It's a web service that creates notes summarising all your TODO tasks that have been tagged with context (ala Get Things Done).  


    At present it's free to try - so give it a shot and let me know what you think via Facebook (links to feedback on the website).


    I know this is an old post, but since I was searching through the forum for people asking about GTD and automatically generated notes - this reply is pertinent.  




    John Clayton

  14. Hi AdmiralP, 


    It would be childs play to get Informant to generate "next action" lists that used a different parent tag as the pivot, e.g. lets get overview notes created on a "per project" basis, sorting their actions by context / priority for example.   


    Or maybe we just leave out context altogether from the sorting?  If you read this - please let me know what you think. 


    By the way - re: your comment about Informant trying hard to work behind the scenes - you are spot on.  I wanted this whole experience to be driven by Evernote - my vision is: one app for GTD, period.  Evernote's already my GTD go-to for resources, so why not have it list all my tasks too!


    I've recently updated the production system with a new service back end that copes with the upcoming November 1st planned release of "rate limiting" (search the forums if you want more info), the result is that note generation seems faster too.  We'll see if the new services hold up come 1st of November!


    I'm also near finishing integration of the 10.9/Mavericks Safari Push Notifications (it works beautifully here), and it's nice to have a notification on your desktop about Informant having generated new overviews.


    If there's any other ideas - keep 'em coming, I'm all ears as they say!


    Thanks for the feedback,


    John Clayton



    Getting back to the original subject of this topic, i.e. Informant for EN...


    I've started dabbling with this service, and I quite like it.

    The generation of "Next Action Lists" from the tags you add to your notes seems quite slick.

    I especially like the fact that the generated note listing the Next Actions has a check box against each actio - it's always quite an incentive to be able to check off a completed task - very positive feeling - and then Informant automatically moves the completed task from the list to your designated "Completed" notebook.


    What appeals to me is that this is a solution that works "behind the scenes" with EN, most other EN+GTD solutions seem to major on using another app to manage your EN notes, with Informant, you continue to use EN as is and you're not also using another app for the GTD element.


    I would like to see some more flexible options with Informant, though...

    as I understand it, Informant generates one Next Action List ENote containing all the tasks you've tagged as next actions across all your active projects within each context (1 context : 1 note for all next actions with that context). I'd prefer it if we could also get Informant to generate a next action list for each of my active projects. Having one note across all projects can be somewhat like tryimg to look at all your ENotes at once. And if I've got a ton of "Someday/Maybe" tasks, I don't want to see them merged in with  the next actions.


    I Guess I'm wondering if it would be possible for users to configure Informant to their individual needs - providing some sort of control panel that would allow a user to specify what sort of master list notes they wanted Informant to generate?


    Informant has plenty of potential; hope it can be harnessed.






  15. Hi Mattilacken,


    Sorry if I missed your post here - I don't check the forum daily.  As stated on the website - I can be reached via email and Facebook - please give me a yell via informant@coderage-software.com if you are still interested. 


    With regards to your question; by "todo" you mean a note with a todo item within it?  if so, Informant won't do anything special with the note - it doesn't parse task notes to work out inherent meaning.  The only thing Informant is looking for on a note are it's tags - if it's tagged with a context (there child tags of the Where tag) then the note in question is listed in the next action lists. 


    Could you clarify what you mean by "Inbox Zero" specifically? 




    John Clayton

  16. There were a number of people that tried Informant out - thank you!  That's great!  


    For those of you who tried Informant and encountered a server 500 error directly after the login process - it turns out that unicode chars in tag names caused some templating code to fail.  This problem is now fixed!


    Please give it another shot and let me now if you have problems. 



  17. Hi Everyone, 


    If you use TSW (or similar) for GTD, and you've been wishing you had an automatically generated list of "next action" notes that made using Evernote for GTD on the mobile platform a whole lot easier - look no further.  


    Informant creates task lists grouped by GTD context, and provides task completion - these two features achieve my first goal of being able to pick out the "next action" for any given context very very quickly - and when I tick off an action as completed, the web service automatically moves the task to a "Completed" folder.

    Informant is now in official public BETA.  If you'd like to try it out - you can sign up for free at https://informant.coderage-software.com - I would greatly appreciate your feedback as to how Informant fits your GTD workflow, and what can be done to make it better - with your feedback I can reach my goal of making Informant the best GTD integration possible.
    If you want to browse the "quick start" guide; please take a look at the public notebook that contains Informant Documentation
    John Clayton


  18. Hi Matt46, yes!  I have recently updated the product & signup process.  I would invite you to sign up at https://informant.coderage-software.com/ to try the service out - I'm very keen on getting feedback on the signup process, setup and actual use of Informant with your GTD workflow.  My aim is still to produce the best Evernote + GTD integration possible - so your views and ideas count!


    If you need a hand, or have suggestions - just reply here, I'll be keeping an eye out.



  19. On the mobile platform, using Evernote for GTD - I need fast access to prioritized lists of tasks grouped by GTD context and sorted by priority. 


    I recently began doing GTD via Evernote - setting it up according to the The Secret Weapon guidelines.  I quickly noticed that it was impossible (on a mobile platform) to easily work out which task in my "Actions" notebook should be done next - because there's no way to sort the list of tasks based on priority.  I didn't fancy creating notes just to index my tasks either, that was too much like work.

    So I decided to write the solution myself (screenshot attached), I've called it: Informant.
    Informant creates task lists grouped by GTD context, and provides task completion - these two features achieve my first goal of being able to pick out the "next action" for any given context very very quickly - and when I tick off an action as completed, the web service automatically moves the task to a "Completed" folder.
    I want to make Informant the *best* GTD integration that's possible and for that I need your help.  For example; the next feature I'd like to add is the daily review - whereby you pick items you want to get done today, and the service builds you a single note with just those items on it.  I have many other different ideas as to how the system can be improved, but I need real world users to guide me so that I put the right things into the product first.  
    If you are interested in using a preview version of the product in order to help shape it's future, please contact me and I'll provide further instructions to allow you access to the invite-only beta.
    I am also more than happy to discuss anything related to GTD + Evernote - please get into contact with me either in these forums or via john@coderage-software.com.
    Thanks, I appreciate your help and look forward to making the best Evernote GTD integration that I can.
    John Clayton


    • Like 1

  20. This is a question about how you handle Conflict Management and sharing note content with others.  I hope this kind of question is in the right place, if not - please reply with appropriate location.  


    I'm the CTO of a software company and I use Evernote to store all my business ideas, development plans, suggestions and research information - and I share a lot of this with my teams.
    Conflicts in notes are hard to solve - first you have to know you've got conflicts, which isn't always obvious - then you have to manually look at both copies of the note to work out what changed.  
    I'm writing a conflict management solution will identify which notes have conflicts, and resolve these in most cases automatically, allowing you to preview the resolution before accepting it.
    The other part of my project is related to sharing. If you share notes with other Evernote users, you may have noticed that it's somewhat time consuming to tell people which notes have changed.
    From within the desktop Evernote client, the best one can do is to send an email to all users you are sharing a note with to inform them something was modified - it's a very manual process, and you have to remember to do it.
    My sharing solution would automatically send a change notification to the users you are sharing notes with. The users on the receiving end will have the choice to receive and email, twitter or Facebook notification. In addition; the notification sent to users will contain a summary of the actual content that has been added, modified or deleted - turning Evernote into a fantastic platform for keeping people up to date with lots changes over time.
    I would appreciate knowing if you would use such a product, would you please be able to take another 2 minutes to answer the following questions?  Simply reply to this post in this forum with answers to the following 5 questions.
    1. Do you wish there was a better way to resolve conflicts in an Evernote note? (yes/no)
    2. Do you wish there was a better way to share changes you make to your Evernote notes with those you are sharing them with? (yes/no)
    3. What do you think such a solution is worth paying for - if offered as a subscription based service:
    • 15 - 20 p/month
    • 10 - 15 p/month
    • 5 - 10 p/month
    • Nothing
    4. What Evernote intergrations are you using already - mark all that apply:
    • IFTTT
    • Hojoki
    • Zapier
    • Other (please provide it's name): _______________________
    5. Why do you use the product indicated in question (4) above:
    • ___________________________________________________
    If you wish to ask me any questions or provide further feedback, I can be reached via email at: 
         john <underscore> clayton <at> me <dot> com
    Sincerely and with thanks, 
    John Clayton 


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