Merging Work and Home on the iPad

The iPad is an awesome device.

It sits at the storm front gathering between my home and work lives. Using it is forcing me to reevaluate how I manage my life. All of a sudden, I have one practical, usable device with me wherever I go.  I LOVE that! My goal is to have all my personal information and all my work information available to me on this device.

The biggest challenge is that at work there are only Windows machines.  At home, I use a Mac.  How do I sync the information on my iPad between those two environments? This question currently has no acceptable answer.  Which enterprising app developer is going to solve my problem so that I can hand them money?

Task Management

This is my to do list for all of life and I have to trust it.  This was an easy decision even though there is no Windows option.

OmniFocus rocks my world and I am still only beginning to understand the power of this app.  I own it on all three platforms (Mac, iPhone, iPad). The apps are expensive but are more than worth their cost. As much as I would love to see a Windows OmniFocus client, it is not coming. But OmniFocus is so good that I will simply use the iPad version at work.

Having all work and home tasks together is overwhelmingly wonderful.  I’ve never had a trusted system like this before and it is life changing.

Information Repository

Tasks get completed so I need a better place to store information.

At work, I use OneNote on Windows. Of all the products Microsoft has made over the years, this is by far my favorite. It organizes information the way my brain does so it takes very little work to add and retrieve information from OneNote.

At home, I use Evernote on Mac. Evernote is the app I want to love but just… can’t.

I’ve looked at a bunch of options for merging work and home repositories.  Curio looks wonderful but is only available on Mac. Where are the cross-platform solutions? And remember that I am cheap so I will purchase a piece of software before I sign up for a service contract (yes, I am looking at you Evernote Premium). No cross-platform solutions I’ve tried have worked. That leaves me trying to sync two different repositories to the iPad.

Evernote syncs and just works. OneNote not so much. We use OneNote 2007 (not the newer 2010) which apparently has fewer syncing options. MobileNoter does sync and the notes look just like they do in OneNote, which is great. Adding and editing content, though, is absolutely awful and note links, which I use everywhere, do not work. The kind folks at MobileNoter allowed me to use a second trial period to make things work but I finally put that brain damage to rest. There is a OneNote iPhone app but no iPad version. It syncs with Office Live, or whatever they are calling their cloud storage service now, but the 2007 version of OneNote does not sync to Office Live.

I’ve looked into plain text editors using Markdown but I need to store images as well. I’ve tried a bunch of “ultimate” note taking apps but for the most part, they are ugly or difficult to understand.

The long and short of this is that I have no solution for work, let alone a solution for life.


Using the iPad is causing me to rethink and fine-tune how I manage my life. This is a wonderful process and I am enjoying the road.

Posted on June 10, 2011, in iOS. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Merging Work and Home on the iPad.

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