January 24, 2008

Location Based To Do Lists

So as part of the Nomatic*IM project which I am working on, Kah and I have been looking at ways of using presence information to trigger actions. One of the first ideas that occurred to us was to use presence as a way to filter a to-do list. This idea meshes nicely with the ideas in the Getting Things Done productivity system.

In that system one maintains a master to-do list and there are contexts associated with each to-do. We thought, "Hey, if you have your presence, maybe that can help pull out relevant to-dos from your GTD list". So when you are at the grocery store, you see your list of things to get from the grocery store.

To investigate this idea further from an academic standpoint we looked at the literature. The first paper we looked at was Location-Aware Information Delivery with ComMotion

This paper introduces the idea of location based to-do lists and spends a far amount of ink discussing the user interface. Of particular concern to use was that the way that they identified "places" (locations in the paper) was through manual labeling of GPS locations. When there was a pause in time or a significant lack of movement, the user was prompted to name the location. To-Do's and web feeds that were destined for that location were filtered based on that name

So the difference with Nomatic*IM is basically the way in which the user labels locations.

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