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Task management software

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  • Task management software

    Hi,

    I am looking for a software or solution for organizing my tasks list. I
    need for this to have the following things:
    - I can define a list of taks, and subtasks for each of them (it can be done
    by a lot of programs)
    - When I am planning every day's work I can say for instance that I want to do
    three of four tasks/subtasks and schedule them, for instance, the first one
    must be done between 09:00 and 12:00 hours, the second one between 13:00 and
    15:00 hours and the third one between 15:30 and 17:00 hours (it can be also
    done by a lot of programs)
    - If I delay the first taks and finish it at 13:00 hours instead of 12:00
    hours as planned before, I want that all the rest of taks of the day will be
    shifted acoording to this delay, in this case, one hour (it can be done for
    some program but not very easily)
    - Each time I finish some subtask, the whole progress of the respective task
    is updated according to some rules defined by me (some very complicated
    management programs include this feature, but only this and not the rest of
    the previous things)
    - I can also specify that each week I need to do three times a week of task A
    and 2 times of B and so on, and the program reminds me of the rest of times
    left
    - When I look at my task list, I can order or organise the list according to
    different criteria; priority, completed, non-due, deadlines, etc. I can order
    tasks and/or subtasks. For instance perhaps i am only interested of
    organising sub-tasks. (I don't know a program that can do this, they usually
    order taks but no sub-tasks)
    - It is possible to implement the ideas of "Getting things done" from David
    Allen (there are some programs for this, but lack the previous features)

    Do you have experience with some software that has all this characteristics or
    some of them ? Or some suggestions to work in this way ?

    Thanks

  • #2
    Task/subtask scheduling is not compatible with GTD.

    Originally posted by hefeweizen View Post
    - It is possible to implement the ideas of "Getting things done" from David Allen (there are some programs for this, but lack the previous features)
    Task/subtask scheduling is not compatible with GTD. In GTD you schedule action if there is no other logical choice. The rest is done as soon as practicable.

    Comment


    • #3
      Are you interested in the time aspect for keeping records of how long you've working on given projects (for billing purposes or something), or is that more just to plan your day?

      Comment


      • #4
        no, just more for planning the day

        if I dont plan the dailiy tasks for a given number of minutes or hours, then i forget, and i pass the day working for one only task and forget about the rest; i mean, i need to work on several projects each day, have no option, what would GTD say about it ?


        Originally posted by dhartzell View Post
        Are you interested in the time aspect for keeping records of how long you've working on given projects (for billing purposes or something), or is that more just to plan your day?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by hefeweizen View Post
          no, just more for planning the day

          if I dont plan the dailiy tasks for a given number of minutes or hours, then i forget, and i pass the day working for one only task and forget about the rest; i mean, i need to work on several projects each day, have no option, what would GTD say about it ?
          How would you monitor yourself to begin with, if you don't mind my asking. Do you continuously monitor the time? Do you set timers or an alarm? Or do you schedule in terms of chunks or boxes? If you are watching the clock anyhow, you may as well tell yourself to switch over to another NA or context, etc.

          Comment


          • #6
            You don't say what platform you are looking for this software on: PC, Mac, Linux, Palm, Web, or something else? However...

            What software that you have personally tried using for GTD (for several months) has been most effective for you?

            Comment


            • #7
              I dont understand you.

              I have several tasks that must be done now. Do you mean that GTD does not allow to "work in parallel" ? if so, whoy ?

              thanks in advance

              Originally posted by TesTeq View Post
              Task/subtask scheduling is not compatible with GTD. In GTD you schedule action if there is no other logical choice. The rest is done as soon as practicable.

              Comment


              • #8
                i'm looking for an offline application for windows xp.

                I didnt find any software that suits for me exactly. In my methodology I use several programs at the same time. Here goes a little explanation:

                - for storing all my tasks/projects I use "vip task manager professional"
                - for storing information from the web I used google notebooks and now delicious
                - for setting up my daily work I use an openoffice spreadsheet
                - for the different timings and alarms I use "vip task manager professional"



                Originally posted by mcogilvie View Post
                You don't say what platform you are looking for this software on: PC, Mac, Linux, Palm, Web, or something else? However...

                What software that you have personally tried using for GTD (for several months) has been most effective for you?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Do you need it to rub your feet for you too?

                  ...Ahem, so sorry, I just couldn't resist.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Convert tasks into Next Actions or Projects.

                    Originally posted by hefeweizen View Post
                    I have several tasks that must be done now. Do you mean that GTD does not allow to "work in parallel" ? if so, whoy ?
                    There is no such thing as task and subtask in GTD.

                    Task is something you want to do. In GTD you should:

                    1) Decide if it is one-action or multi-action activity.
                    2) If it is one-action activity:
                    -- do it if it will take less than 2 minutes or;
                    -- delegate it if somebody can or should do it instead of you or;
                    -- defer it (put it into your Calendar if it has date/time or put it on your @context Next Action list if it should be done as soon as possible).
                    3) If it is multi-action activity:
                    -- name it, define successful outcome, put it on your Project list and;
                    -- define at least one Next Action and process it according to point 2) above.

                    You can schedule Next Actions if it helps you but it is not recommended by David Allen.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'm not sure if this will help, but I've been back and forth about the idea of nesting lists and have settled on:

                      - All my project lists are a single level.

                      - If a project is so large that I need to subdivide into multiple project lists, I create a context tag that lets me group those lists when I need to get an overview. I use the same method to deal with larger projects that have two or more sets of sequential tasks (which is maybe what you mean by tasks and subtasks?).

                      I work mostly from a next actions list that shows me everything due today (I set a lot of arbitrary deadlines for myself for motivation) and the first item off each open project list. Or sometimes just from a specific project or context list.

                      My coworker doesn't like to work that way, and just creates a project called "Today", and drags the day's next actions into it and works from that to gauge how long to spend on something.

                      To avoid getting too wrapped up in something that I know will expand to fill the available time, I sometimes try to work on that right before a meeting or scheduled phone call, so I have an enforced end time.

                      If you don't have those kinds of interruptions, maybe you could create them - like a timer that goes off as was suggested earlier - and train yourself that that is when you'll change focus to go empty your email inbox and then start on your next task. Or maybe structure your next actions list for the day so that anything really quick to complete gets done first, so it doesn't matter as much if one or two activities overrun their time slot toward the end.

                      I've actually found the alarm tool on my cell phone to be a really good one, because I can set as many different alarms as I need all at once, which could work well for the kind of scheduling you want.

                      Do any of those ideas make sense for what you're trying to do? I work almost entirely online and from a Mac, though, so I don't know that any specific tools I use would suit your needs.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by hefeweizen View Post

                        - When I am planning every day's work I can say for instance that I want to do
                        three of four tasks/subtasks and schedule them, for instance, the first one
                        must be done between 09:00 and 12:00 hours, the second one between 13:00 and
                        15:00 hours and the third one between 15:30 and 17:00 hours (it can be also
                        done by a lot of programs)
                        - If I delay the first taks and finish it at 13:00 hours instead of 12:00
                        hours as planned before, I want that all the rest of taks of the day will be
                        shifted acoording to this delay, in this case, one hour (it can be done for
                        some program but not very easily)
                        There are only a couple programs I'm aware of that will allow you to plan at this level of detail: Above and Beyond by 1soft, and TimeTo by David Berman which is based on Above and Beyond.

                        But, the level of planning that you're looking for goes way beyond what is recommended using GTD. I used Above and Beyond before using GTD, and for me I found that:

                        1) Any computer software, no matter how sophisticated, is just not up to the task of giving you the right task to work on at the right time, there are just too many variables to manage

                        2) The effort required to maintain a complicated system like Above and Beyond is far more than the benefits gained

                        If you're set on using a complex scheduling system like Above and Beyond that's fine, but I think the dynamic scheduling concept and GTD are nearly incompatible.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I am using my BlackBerry Curve 8320 and NextAction! for GTD. I synchronize it with my iCal (which is actually not really good for GTD). Anyway, it works fine for me

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