If you were on the GTD scene last September-October, then you have probably heard of Scrybe Organizer. A neat little preview video was released onto YouTube, talking about the new organizer Scrybe, and its cool features. If you are expecting a positive review, you should leave. Normally I am very positive about apps I review, but frankly, I am plain disappointed with Scrybe. Read on to see why.
It was supposed to be released in October, and thousands of people were signing up for beta. It boasted an impressive line of features, including PaperSync (prints your calendar, todos, and lists to paper). Offline workmode, and a nifty calendar interface. Unfortunately, almost no one received invites, and blog updates were infrequent, virtually rendering Scrybe as complete vapourware.I truly believe that this app has gone from “ the holy grail of GTD apps” to vapourware, and after trying it out for a couple of weeks, to “meh”.
Today I am going to talk about Scrybe’s four biggest features, why they aren’t so great, and how you can do the same thing without Scrybe.
Similar to PocketMod, but with automatic data entry, PaperSync will print your info into neat pocket booklets for organization on the go. Unfortunately, the templates are few, and you cannot customize the layout of your printouts, making this feature pretty impractical.
Alternative Solution: Print out your To-do items (Vitalist has a good print feature, so does Voo2do) and also your weekly agenda from your calendar application (I use Google Calendar).
OfflineSync is a great idea, which could make working without an internet connection (e.g. on a plane or bus) more productive. Too bad it is unstable and unreliable. I tried it a couple times, disconnecting from the internet, entering information, and re-connecting, and the results were mediocre. It didn’t always record my information, and the whole experience was confusing. I would feel much better if my information was instantly entered into their server, rather than stored in my browser’s cache.
Alternative Solution: Put any new tasks or calendar items into a temporary inbox. Processing a bit of extra backlog is better than losing and having to re-enter your data.
Expanding Calendar View
This is probably one of the only things Scrybe has going for itself. The calendar view is pretty flexible, allowing you to expand and navigate with ease, as well as create and re-arrange events. If you have a ton of calendar info each day, then Scrybe can help you. You can even view in month view, expanding on a day and be able to see your entire schedule. Cool and all, but I don’t see a reason to switch from Google Calendar. It doesn’t have anything more, and in fact a bit less, as you can’t share calendars or add iCal feeds.
Alternative Solution: Solution for what? Your calendar system is likely already good enough.
Thoughtpad is supposed to make it easy to clip info from the internet, allowing you to paste text, images, embed video, audio, and links into pages, very similar to Microsoft OneNote. So similar in fact, that you might as well just use OneNote, because it is more versatile, reliable, and feature-packed than Thoughtpad will be.
Alternative Solution: Microsoft OneNote.
If you are eagerly awaiting an invitation to Scrybe, don’t get your hopes up. In the unlikely event that you actually get an invite, you probably won’t be too thrilled with the actual app. I have moved on, and now I am impatiently waiting for Propl’r to launch, my new dream GTD app J.
Note to Scrybe developers and offended users: I am not writing this to be malicious, or because I am angry I did not get an invite. Be assured that as I write this, I am actually quite calm, enjoying my Google Calendar and Vitalist GTD. For future reference, try using more beta testers, and earlier. I got my invite after 6 months of waiting, and Scrybe still feels like its in pre-Alpha testing.