The last few months I’ve been interested in apps that set new categories. With the ability to share data and have a touch interface, some productivity developers are creating entirely new widgets and that always excites me. inShort (website) (Mac App Store) (iOS App Store) is just such one of these apps.
I am a self-admitted process nerd. I think reducing projects to a process is one of the best ways to make sure the project gets its intended results. It is process-oriented thinking that makes bridges that last for 100 years and assures you will never lock your keys in your car again. (You systematically check your pocket … right?)
inShort is an iPhone/iPad/Mac application that I’ve come to look upon as my own process building toolkit. It is part diagramming tool, part project planner, part resource tracker, and part hierarchical diagramming tool. It may be that last part about hierarchical diagramming that is most interesting. You can take any task and embed inside it a separate diagram. This principal of diagrams within diagrams lets you see things simultaneously at the macro and micro level. It really is a new paradigm for project and process planning. In my day job, I am using it to plan some rather complex projects and clients love the PDFs I’m sending them showing how much I’ve dialed everything down. (The app also exports to OPML)
The program can then take that planning and process information and seamlessly turn it into an attractive Gantt chart. You can track individual components of you project and the application integrates with your calendar.
This developer embraces the Theory of Constraints philosophy and built specific tools into the application for this purpose including the ability to automatically trace the critical path through a diagram or project, placement of time buffers, and related techniques. The developer has a PDF explaining where he’s coming from.
I’m now experimenting with inShort for planning complex litigation plans and I’m not sure where this is all heading but I wanted to share it now as I dig in. I love it when developers push boundaries. inShort does just that.