TODO--find a usable task workflow
Following through with a task that is not in front of me is (sadly) not one of my stronger characteristics. My OCD tendency allows me to focus on important things and deliver, but time-slicing on a variety of tasks has always been a challenge. This is where I need a tool to augment my deficiency. In the past, I relied on my Palm and before that a DayPlanner. But I’m not good at following through with analog systems, so the notebook I carry is mostly for catching information at the point of origin.
I’ve been struggling to find a good mobile task management workflow for several years. I’ll try one out for a while, but when it fails in a particular environment, I push it to the back of the stack. I need something that will work in the mixed device world we live in. Outlook, Gmail/Google Apps, Android, iDevice, etc. It should allow me to handle personal tasks as well as work tasks and integrate with the native UX.
I want that TODO window up-front and open on my side monitor, telling me what to do. Oh, and it has to look good doing it. Any solution that falls off the radar and let's me get lost learning about the Capetian Dynasty or Changbai Mountain isn't helping. (A little ADD to go with the OCD–oh look, ponies!)
- Google Tasks (under-featured)
- Remember the Milk (great idea, slow on updates, critical bugs not fixed)
- any.do (missing desktop integration)
- Team Tasks (beautiful UI built on Google’s woeful engine)
The Outlook task feature is good enough in that environment, but it is too tightly integrated into their solution and doesn’t work well on my Android devices. Conversely, the lack of desktop support kills device-based solutions, such as ASTRID and Tasks N ToDos Pro. The todo.txt solution does not interest me as I want this to be a web-based solution and not require me to manage a file somewhere.
So I keep searching…
I’m giving Todoist a trial this month. Todoist is a SaaS that has nice integrations, including Google Apps, Outlook, and mobile. For an individual, it’s $4/month or $40/year. The Outlook integration could stand to be a bit stronger, but it’s usable. You can work in their web UI, their Outlook panel, etc. Calendars appear integrated as any other (webcal) in the Outlook and Google calendar views. It can send alarms and the itinerary view gives me a good “at a glance” understanding of where I need to focus. I hope it can succeed where others have failed.
Just curious if you’ve tried anything more than what’s available in Outlook or your lined composition book.