Task management / organizing app

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madbrain
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Task management / organizing app

Post by madbrain » Thu Jul 06, 2017 7:53 pm

How do other Bogleheads keep track of all the various tasks of life ?

Most days, I'm in information overload and I can easily forget about things that need to get done. It doesn't help that I'm a huge procrastinator as well.
I'm talking about things from regular house maintenance and auto tasks, to grocery items we are actually out of once at the store, etc.

I was thinking technology could help with this. There are many such applications out there. Trying them all would be very time consuming.

My requirements would be :
- able to share tasks between at least 2 users (spouses) so that one or the other can take ownership
- both web/desktop UI and Android mobile device app - I prefer to write/add things on a computer with a real keyboard, but marking task status is fine on the go
- support recurring tasks (daily, monthly, etc) . Show last completed date for each . Allow marking completed/skip/delay.
- set priorities for tasks - maybe automatically increase when late
- set location (which store to buy which grocery item for example)
- categorize tasks ? grocery/home/auto/financial/etc
- set deadlines for some tasks (IRA, taxes, etc) to get earlier reminders

I considered using a calendar application, but thought this would not be suitable for the following reasons :
- single user. shared calendar possible, but not convenient, for example if other person wants to take ownership of a task
- no easy way to mark tasks done/skip/delay . You will forget about tasks if not done on exact scheduled day

I considered a shared google doc spreadsheet, but also didn't think it would work in the long run, for the following reasons :
- will grow a lot in size and become unmanageable
- a lot of work to edit/sort to find tasks
- no reminders

I'm wondering if other Bogleheads use this type of app and what their experiences with them are, and if they wouldn't mind sharing them here, and whether what they use would fit my needs.

physiorol
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Re: Task management / organizing app

Post by physiorol » Thu Jul 06, 2017 8:01 pm

I struggle with this as well. Recently, I have been having pretty good success using a combination of google calendar for specific meetings and google keep for lists that can include reminders

I am sure there are other apps with more bells and whistles but these additional features can be a barrier to entry or they get so complicated that they become more hassle than benefit

namekevaste
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Re: Task management / organizing app

Post by namekevaste » Thu Jul 06, 2017 8:02 pm

Try freemind - it is an open source mind mapping tool. In addition to the basic features for creating a mindmap
- you can set dates on nodes. I use this feature to alert me to overdue tasks
- set icons for different types of tasks
- Attributes - slightly cumbersome initially. However, once you get the hang of it, it is really handy
- hyperlinks to web pages
More features on the website. I keep the map file on on a shared OneDrive
http://freemind.sourceforge.net/wiki/in ... /Main_Page

Topic Author
madbrain
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Re: Task management / organizing app

Post by madbrain » Thu Jul 06, 2017 8:12 pm

namekevaste wrote:Try freemind - it is an open source mind mapping tool. In addition to the basic features for creating a mindmap
- you can set dates on nodes. I use this feature to alert me to overdue tasks
- set icons for different types of tasks
- Attributes - slightly cumbersome initially. However, once you get the hang of it, it is really handy
- hyperlinks to web pages
More features on the website. I keep the map file on on a shared OneDrive
http://freemind.sourceforge.net/wiki/in ... /Main_Page
I looked, but this doesn't appear to be close to what I need. Even if I could easily manage tasks in it (and maybe it's possible), there doesn't appear to be any possibility of sharing between multiple users in this software. It really needs to be a combination of software & service (to store/sync/share content online between users and devices) to meet my needs. I see that you use OneDrive - but still not sure how sync would work between users and devices.
Last edited by madbrain on Thu Jul 06, 2017 8:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Topic Author
madbrain
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Re: Task management / organizing app

Post by madbrain » Thu Jul 06, 2017 8:14 pm

physiorol wrote:I struggle with this as well. Recently, I have been having pretty good success using a combination of google calendar for specific meetings and google keep for lists that can include reminders

I am sure there are other apps with more bells and whistles but these additional features can be a barrier to entry or they get so complicated that they become more hassle than benefit
Are you doing this only for yourself or also sharing the tasks with somebody else ? The sharing part really is critical for me.
It looks like Google keep can share lists, but this is an optional thing that needs to be done every time.

41fan
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Re: Task management / organizing app

Post by 41fan » Thu Jul 06, 2017 8:32 pm

Check out the "Todoist" app. It is cloud based and multi platform. There is a free and a premium pay version.

Topic Author
madbrain
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Re: Task management / organizing app

Post by madbrain » Thu Jul 06, 2017 8:45 pm

41fan wrote:Check out the "Todoist" app. It is cloud based and multi platform. There is a free and a premium pay version.
Are you using it , and if so, what is your experience with it ?

inverter
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Re: Task management / organizing app

Post by inverter » Thu Jul 06, 2017 9:10 pm

I use Teuxdeux -- a to do app with humor!

Topic Author
madbrain
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Re: Task management / organizing app

Post by madbrain » Thu Jul 06, 2017 9:36 pm

johnriley wrote:I use Teuxdeux -- a to do app with humor!
Nice, but eliminated by lack of Android app. It says it can work in mobile browsers, but this is likely too slow.

gorow
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Re: Task management / organizing app

Post by gorow » Thu Jul 06, 2017 10:02 pm

I use Todoist and like it quite a lot. Basically you would have one account that you both could sign in to. You can create projects that might have sub-tasks under them, or label/group similar items by context or date. It is easy to set due dates and reminders as text messages.
I also use recurring tasks to make sure that my credit cards, electric, gas, and water bills are all paid on time. When I check them off, they are re-set for the next month.Each is a task grouped into a project called "Monthly Bills".
Retired 1/1/2019. Not concerned about sequence of returns because two years here taught me what I need to know.

Topic Author
madbrain
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Re: Task management / organizing app

Post by madbrain » Thu Jul 06, 2017 10:30 pm

tjgardner wrote:I use Todoist and like it quite a lot. Basically you would have one account that you both could sign in to. You can create projects that might have sub-tasks under them, or label/group similar items by context or date. It is easy to set due dates and reminders as text messages.
I also use recurring tasks to make sure that my credit cards, electric, gas, and water bills are all paid on time. When I check them off, they are re-set for the next month.Each is a task grouped into a project called "Monthly Bills".
Bills are not generally something I worry about too much since they are all on auto pay. All my regular prescriptions are on auto refill and just come in the mail too without having anything to do. I try to automate everything that can be. But many things can't and require more active involvement - those are the ones I'm more concerned about.

Are you using it for any other tasks ? Like home maintenance - flushing your water heater , clean the gutters, oil change for your car, balance the water in the hot tub/pool, vet checkup, flu and other vaccinations, etc.

It looks like Todoist has a sharing feature, so sharing 1 account may not be strictly required. Needs to be set per-list too, but not per-item.

41fan
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Re: Task management / organizing app

Post by 41fan » Thu Jul 06, 2017 10:41 pm

madbrain wrote:
41fan wrote:Check out the "Todoist" app. It is cloud based and multi platform. There is a free and a premium pay version.
Are you using it , and if so, what is your experience with it ?
I have just started using it a week or two ago. It has helped me jot down project tasks and sub-tasks, with due dates, etc. It will send you email reminders too if that's your thing. I haven't used it enough for a strong opinion but it definitely sounds like it might be what you're looking for. I haven't used the pay version yet bc I am cheap. But as I get more familiar with the free version, it's possible I will spring for the upgrade at some point.

I first heard about Todoist via a podcast. The host raved about it so much that my curiosity was piqued.

rgs92
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Re: Task management / organizing app

Post by rgs92 » Thu Jul 06, 2017 11:04 pm

How about a common email account and just use the calendar facility?
No shared drives or new software or anything that needs administrative care and feeding or learning or backups or cost. Yahoo mail or Gmail should do fine.

Look for the little calendar icon on the upper left of your Yahoo mail screen, or click on the little 9-square-boxed on the upper right of your Gmail screen and then click on the calendar app there. Easy as pie. You don't even have to share it if you both use the same email account.

And in Gmail, if you do have some more detailed info on a task or event, just create an associated Google Docs document or spreadsheet with the gory details.

The events alone will generate the reminders. You can control how the reminders are sent I believe pretty easily.

Yahoo also has an easy-to-use to-do list on the calendar. Things on the to-do list and calendar entries all generate emails.
Yep it's shared, but I don't think it's worth worrying about contention issues and record locking.

I don't think you need Oracle for your grocery lists.

And are you sure your better-half person is on board with anything that has any sort of annoying learning curve? Keep it simple or you may be back to refrigerator magnets and post-its. Most people already are familiar with one email program, so using the calendar is just a little jump (but even that may take persuasion...) I would be careful about going overboard with this into OCD land, especially when another person is involved. Just a thought.

I know you said you don't like calendar apps, but they seem pretty robust to me and can do all the things you mentioned (I'm pretty sure).
It's not Microsoft project, but I don't think you need to create critical paths. :happy

sandramjet
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Re: Task management / organizing app

Post by sandramjet » Fri Jul 07, 2017 12:08 am

My spouse and I just use google calendar on our mobile devices (and desktop too). You can have more than one calendar visible, color coded by person so you see who is doing what. Maybe not perfect, but free and easy

harrychan
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Re: Task management / organizing app

Post by harrychan » Fri Jul 07, 2017 12:12 am

I use evernote for my personal notes and to do lists which can sync across devices.
For lists such as shopping, I use alexa app which integrates into my echo devices.
This is not legal or certified financial advice but you know that already.

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madbrain
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Re: Task management / organizing app

Post by madbrain » Fri Jul 07, 2017 1:21 am

rgs92 wrote:How about a common email account and just use the calendar facility?
No shared drives or new software or anything that needs administrative care and feeding or learning or backups or cost. Yahoo mail or Gmail should do fine.

Look for the little calendar icon on the upper left of your Yahoo mail screen, or click on the little 9-square-boxed on the upper right of your Gmail screen and then click on the calendar app there. Easy as pie. You don't even have to share it if you both use the same email account.

And in Gmail, if you do have some more detailed info on a task or event, just create an associated Google Docs document or spreadsheet with the gory details.

The events alone will generate the reminders. You can control how the reminders are sent I believe pretty easily.

Yahoo also has an easy-to-use to-do list on the calendar. Things on the to-do list and calendar entries all generate emails.
Yep it's shared, but I don't think it's worth worrying about contention issues and record locking.

I don't think you need Oracle for your grocery lists.

And are you sure your better-half person is on board with anything that has any sort of annoying learning curve? Keep it simple or you may be back to refrigerator magnets and post-its. Most people already are familiar with one email program, so using the calendar is just a little jump (but even that may take persuasion...) I would be careful about going overboard with this into OCD land, especially when another person is involved. Just a thought.

I know you said you don't like calendar apps, but they seem pretty robust to me and can do all the things you mentioned (I'm pretty sure).
It's not Microsoft project, but I don't think you need to create critical paths. :happy
As I said from the very first post, I don't want to use a calendar app. Many tasks on a to do list don't even have set dates to begin with.
As someone who almost systematically misses deadlines, I hate calendar apps with a passion. You can't sell me on this. Don't try. I have also explained why I don't think a spreadsheet would be usable.

I'm sure you can personally make it work just fine with a combination of calendar spreadsheets, just as I'm also just sure that I can't.

I'm pretty much the opposite of OCD - I have skipped on many of the tasks I mentioned for years. My home, pets, health, career, have suffered the consequences. I'm trying to be more proactive rather than reactive. This is the reason for wanting some sort of organizer.

I'm keen on using the best tool for the job here.

No, I'm not sure my better half person will be on board with all aspects of this, but I hope he will.

Refrigerator magnets and post its don't really help when you are at the grocery store if you don't take them with you. That's if you notice them in the first place. I don't think magnets stick to my fridge anyway. Locating a pen to write anything with is always a challenge also - they always seem to disappear for some reason, no matter how big the lots I buy from Costco. Yes, I'm very disorganized. It's a big place, though.
Last edited by madbrain on Fri Jul 07, 2017 8:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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madbrain
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Re: Task management / organizing app

Post by madbrain » Fri Jul 07, 2017 1:22 am

harrychan wrote:I use evernote for my personal notes and to do lists which can sync across devices.
For lists such as shopping, I use alexa app which integrates into my echo devices.
I tried Evernote, but just couldn't figure out how to make it work for this purpose. I guess it's too unstructured and/or not specialized enough .

We both have quite thick accents as non-native English speakers (his much thicker than mine), and voice control like Alexa or Google voice or anything else is nearly useless to us. It's no fun repeating something 5 times and getting 5 different interpretations, none of them correct. Wears you down quickly.

mega317
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Re: Task management / organizing app

Post by mega317 » Fri Jul 07, 2017 1:36 am

I'm sorry but if your health and career are suffering, a to-do system is not your problem. And you make a lot of excuses. I'd suggest focusing your energy elsewhere. Counseling? Meditation?

rgs92
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Re: Task management / organizing app

Post by rgs92 » Fri Jul 07, 2017 1:40 am

OK, good luck to you and I hope you are able to manage things. I get disorganized myself and it's very stressful so I know the feeling. Best to you and family (including pets).

Valuethinker
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Re: Task management / organizing app

Post by Valuethinker » Fri Jul 07, 2017 10:39 am

madbrain wrote:
harrychan wrote:I use evernote for my personal notes and to do lists which can sync across devices.
For lists such as shopping, I use alexa app which integrates into my echo devices.
I tried Evernote, but just couldn't figure out how to make it work for this purpose. I guess it's too unstructured and/or not specialized enough .

We both have quite thick accents as non-native English speakers (his much thicker than mine), and voice control like Alexa or Google voice or anything else is nearly useless to us. It's no fun repeating something 5 times and getting 5 different interpretations, none of them correct. Wears you down quickly.
And here's the real nightmare.

Alexa is not a totally unusual girl's name in the UK. So there are women who are named Alexa-- and *that* confuses the heck out of the Amazon Alexa ;-).

(Alexa Chung is a fairly famous model and fashion entrepreneur/ personality here).

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/ale ... a56def9415
Last edited by Valuethinker on Fri Jul 07, 2017 11:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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tuningfork
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Re: Task management / organizing app

Post by tuningfork » Fri Jul 07, 2017 10:44 am

I am currently trying out Microsoft Todo. It's pretty basic. Keeps my task list at my fingertips on my computer and Android. I can decide which ones have due dates and which ones don't.

ljw3
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Re: Task management / organizing app

Post by ljw3 » Fri Jul 07, 2017 11:43 am

Been using RememberTheMilk for the last few years (to date, have completed 9,656 tasks with it). It has awesome organization flexibility (custom lists, tags, due dates, recurrence, etc). Only downside is that you have to pay for the Premium subscription to sync across apps. Premium costs $40/ year.
Last edited by ljw3 on Fri Jul 07, 2017 1:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Valuethinker
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Re: Task management / organizing app

Post by Valuethinker » Fri Jul 07, 2017 11:47 am

madbrain wrote:How do other Bogleheads keep track of all the various tasks of life ?

Most days, I'm in information overload and I can easily forget about things that need to get done. It doesn't help that I'm a huge procrastinator as well.
I'm talking about things from regular house maintenance and auto tasks, to grocery items we are actually out of once at the store, etc.

I was thinking technology could help with this. There are many such applications out there. Trying them all would be very time consuming.

My requirements would be :
- able to share tasks between at least 2 users (spouses) so that one or the other can take ownership
- both web/desktop UI and Android mobile device app - I prefer to write/add things on a computer with a real keyboard, but marking task status is fine on the go
- support recurring tasks (daily, monthly, etc) . Show last completed date for each . Allow marking completed/skip/delay.
- set priorities for tasks - maybe automatically increase when late
- set location (which store to buy which grocery item for example)
- categorize tasks ? grocery/home/auto/financial/etc
- set deadlines for some tasks (IRA, taxes, etc) to get earlier reminders

I considered using a calendar application, but thought this would not be suitable for the following reasons :
- single user. shared calendar possible, but not convenient, for example if other person wants to take ownership of a task
- no easy way to mark tasks done/skip/delay . You will forget about tasks if not done on exact scheduled day

I considered a shared google doc spreadsheet, but also didn't think it would work in the long run, for the following reasons :
- will grow a lot in size and become unmanageable
- a lot of work to edit/sort to find tasks
- no reminders

I'm wondering if other Bogleheads use this type of app and what their experiences with them are, and if they wouldn't mind sharing them here, and whether what they use would fit my needs.
I approach this problem using a giant Gant Chart (on a spreadsheet)

and also Outlook "to do" and Outlook calendar.

This is not optimal (to say the least) and I don't have an all seeing all dancing software solution (if only I did).

But just to express sympathy that this is a common problem.

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bligh
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Re: Task management / organizing app

Post by bligh » Fri Jul 07, 2017 11:56 am

We use Wunderlist. It is free and was purchased by Microsoft recently so likely to be around for a while.
madbrain wrote: My requirements would be :
- able to share tasks between at least 2 users (spouses) so that one or the other can take ownership
- both web/desktop UI and Android mobile device app - I prefer to write/add things on a computer with a real keyboard, but marking task status is fine on the go
- support recurring tasks (daily, monthly, etc) . Show last completed date for each . Allow marking completed/skip/delay.
- set priorities for tasks - maybe automatically increase when late
- set location (which store to buy which grocery item for example)
- categorize tasks ? grocery/home/auto/financial/etc
- set deadlines for some tasks (IRA, taxes, etc) to get earlier reminders
I believe Wunderlist (more-or-less) meets every requirement you listed above.

NonnyGoGo
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Re: Task management / organizing app

Post by NonnyGoGo » Fri Jul 07, 2017 11:59 am

I use Toodledo and I think it meets all of your criteria except incrementing priority. Also recommend the book "Getting Things Done". It is an enormous relief to move all these items from your brain to task lists.

bytendog
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Re: Task management / organizing app

Post by bytendog » Fri Jul 07, 2017 12:32 pm

I use Trello. Create your own structure

Jamieson22
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Re: Task management / organizing app

Post by Jamieson22 » Fri Jul 07, 2017 12:36 pm

Another for Trello. To Do, Doing, Done.

armeliusc
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Re: Task management / organizing app

Post by armeliusc » Fri Jul 07, 2017 12:39 pm

First of all, you'd need to simplify your requirements. Technically all of those are doable / has been done in many different software, but priorities, due dates, etc would not work if you don't follow them. You will eventually ignore the email reminders, etc.

Second: prioritize. Have a list for things that must be done, and things that you would like to do, analogous to the "need vs want" in personal finance. Otherwise the task list becomes useless pretty quick. Presumably you're skipping to do some tasks because you don't feel it's urgent enough to do them.

I personally use "Trello" for my task management / productivity software, for both "Work life" and "Home life". I just create different trello board for them. For work I basically follow "personal Kanban" style (look it up). I do use kanban also for the home life but don't follow it as religiously. It allows you to know what gets completed when, what's blocking, etc. Trello card supports multiple comments / "activities" with attachment, which is nice to use for a long-standing task / project that needs multiple follow up.

Every morning I scan by "work" board in Trello, and decide what I need to do. In the evening I scan my "home" board and prioritize, schedule, or do what I need to do. Kanban forces you to prioritize things.

You can share trello cards and/or board, and use it for anything as simple as grocery list to a more complicated task. But really, for grocery list I just like to use Google Tasks (there's an android app that sync to your Google task in calendar). Just list the items as we remember it / find out that we run out.

lightheir
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Re: Task management / organizing app

Post by lightheir » Fri Jul 07, 2017 12:52 pm

I use Google Keep with my wife to share tasks.

It doesn't do everything that you list, but you can make your own personal systems do 'make' Google keep do some of the thigs you want.

In fact, a combo of Google keep + google calendar probably covers most of what you want. That's what I use. I prefer Keep for to-do lists and one-off casual reminders, whereas Google calendar gets the recurring events and 'important' reminders/events.

I used to try the fancier to-do programs that have the built-in automatic prioritizing, etc., but I found that they got in the way more of than not; now I prefer a simple UI and I can add to the complexity as needed. (If I need a priority list, I'll just make one myself and categorize it - Google keep supports drag n drop moving of checklist items)

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Hayden
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Re: Task management / organizing app

Post by Hayden » Fri Jul 07, 2017 1:10 pm

We use Our Groceries for groceries and anything else that needs to be purchased at a store (we have separate lists for Costco, Home Depot, etc). One person can put an item on the list, the other crosses it off the list as he's in the store purchasing the item. Works great and is free.

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verbose
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Re: Task management / organizing app

Post by verbose » Fri Jul 07, 2017 1:14 pm

You might have luck searching for a GTD app (for Gettimg Things Done). You have almost exactly described that task management methodology. There's a book describing the method without tools (just a paper notepad).

I use OmniFocus for iPhone, iPad and Mac. This is a suite of apps designed to implement GTD. It's not free and it's for Apple platforms only. But there must be other GTD apps for other platforms.

I tend not to put everyday chores into it (grocery lists, weekly cleaning tasks), but I have it set up with holidays, birthdays, reminders to make appointments, reminders to renew licenses, reminders to check credit reports, the entire list of stuff that's broken in our home, all the things I'm planning on organizing, a project I'm working to change and organize all my online passwords, every silly little thing my kids need me to remember exactly once and at the right time/place, etc. It's not the same as a calendar. I might have a reminder to make a dentist appointment every six months. Once I make that appointment, the appointment goes in my calendar and I mark that task done. I use the calendar to remember the appointment. The task will show up again in six months. A good GTD tool will integrate with your calendar (OmniFocus integrates with iCal).

fatcharlie
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Re: Task management / organizing app

Post by fatcharlie » Fri Jul 07, 2017 1:32 pm

NonnyGoGo wrote:I use Toodledo and I think it meets all of your criteria except incrementing priority. Also recommend the book "Getting Things Done". It is an enormous relief to move all these items from your brain to task lists.
I don't think any apps will automatically change priority since it's data that the user set, but with Toodledo and some others, you can create a custom, saved search that will show tasks with an upcoming due date. The built-in hotlist might even work for you.

RandomUser
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Re: Task management / organizing app

Post by RandomUser » Fri Jul 07, 2017 1:38 pm

bligh wrote:We use Wunderlist. It is free and was purchased by Microsoft recently so likely to be around for a while.
madbrain wrote: My requirements would be :
- able to share tasks between at least 2 users (spouses) so that one or the other can take ownership
- both web/desktop UI and Android mobile device app - I prefer to write/add things on a computer with a real keyboard, but marking task status is fine on the go
- support recurring tasks (daily, monthly, etc) . Show last completed date for each . Allow marking completed/skip/delay.
- set priorities for tasks - maybe automatically increase when late
- set location (which store to buy which grocery item for example)
- categorize tasks ? grocery/home/auto/financial/etc
- set deadlines for some tasks (IRA, taxes, etc) to get earlier reminders
I believe Wunderlist (more-or-less) meets every requirement you listed above.
Another recommendation for Wunderlist. If you want you can share some lists, but not others...personally, I would be reluctant to let my wife put any task she wants on my to do list! :wink:

majiaknight
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Re: Task management / organizing app

Post by majiaknight » Fri Jul 07, 2017 7:03 pm

+1 for Trello (which you could share lists w/ your spouse; I use it mostly for project task management)
+1 for Wunderlist (more traditional to-do list and I use it daily for misc tasks)

Boats day
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Re: Task management / organizing app

Post by Boats day » Fri Jul 07, 2017 7:58 pm

You will not find any application that will work until you change your approach and attitude.



It's not about the app:several good ones have been suggested but you are not willing to do
The work of keeping calendar and to do lists up to date .



I use Google calendar for reoccurring tasks and tasks with deadlines. Then a to do
Document list. And a separate list for buying groceries etc. I never miss deadlines.But I do spend at least 15 minutes everyday planning and prioritizing my day and updating calendar and to do list.

You said this won't work for you... but please reconsider. I think you are WRONG.

You are disorganized by choice. No app will help until you decide it time to change your behavior.

Best of luck


Good luck

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madbrain
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Re: Task management / organizing app

Post by madbrain » Fri Jul 07, 2017 8:11 pm

41fan wrote:
madbrain wrote:
41fan wrote:Check out the "Todoist" app. It is cloud based and multi platform. There is a free and a premium pay version.
Are you using it , and if so, what is your experience with it ?
I have just started using it a week or two ago. It has helped me jot down project tasks and sub-tasks, with due dates, etc. It will send you email reminders too if that's your thing. I haven't used it enough for a strong opinion but it definitely sounds like it might be what you're looking for. I haven't used the pay version yet bc I am cheap. But as I get more familiar with the free version, it's possible I will spring for the upgrade at some point.

I first heard about Todoist via a podcast. The host raved about it so much that my curiosity was piqued.
Thanks. I signed up yesterday and added the free premium trial today. Looks like this might work.

It's pretty easy for basic things, but not so intuitive for others - for example, I can't figure out how to set a recurring task with a start date other than today. Hopefully I can figure out within 30 days whether this actually will end up meeting my needs or not.

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Re: Task management / organizing app

Post by HornedToad » Fri Jul 07, 2017 8:15 pm

sandramjet wrote:My spouse and I just use google calendar on our mobile devices (and desktop too). You can have more than one calendar visible, color coded by person so you see who is doing what. Maybe not perfect, but free and easy
I use shared Google calendars and a shared Notes on each phone.

Not ideal but it also works ok.

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Re: Task management / organizing app

Post by madbrain » Fri Jul 07, 2017 8:20 pm

mega317 wrote:I'm sorry but if your health and career are suffering, a to-do system is not your problem. And you make a lot of excuses.
I don't think you understand where I'm coming from - and needless to say, I strongly disagree. A to-do system may not be my only problem, but it certainly would be helpful.

What you call excuses, some might call reasons.

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Re: Task management / organizing app

Post by madbrain » Fri Jul 07, 2017 8:22 pm

rgs92 wrote:OK, good luck to you and I hope you are able to manage things. I get disorganized myself and it's very stressful so I know the feeling. Best to you and family (including pets).
Thank you !

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Re: Task management / organizing app

Post by madbrain » Fri Jul 07, 2017 8:35 pm

Valuethinker wrote:
I approach this problem using a giant Gant Chart (on a spreadsheet)

and also Outlook "to do" and Outlook calendar.

This is not optimal (to say the least) and I don't have an all seeing all dancing software solution (if only I did).

But just to express sympathy that this is a common problem.
Thanks for chiming in. I wasn't familiar with Gantt chart, had to look it. Wonder what that would look like on a spreadsheet.
I can see of this work for related and interdependent tasks, not so clear if it helps for things that are unrelated (like grocery list vs home maintenance tasks vs car, etc).

I guess I should know that Outlook had a to-do , I have used it very little and only briefly in corporate settings - never been a huge Microsoft fan. It's been Mozilla suite and Thunderbird at work for mail & calendar for work. Actually working on them as an open source developer will do that to you. I use Gmail & its calendar for personal stuff nowadays.

I certainly think the calendar has its place and role to play in organizing, but it can't be the central piece - you have to first be aware of your tasks and prioritize them before you schedule them. A bit like putting the cart before the horse.

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Re: Task management / organizing app

Post by madbrain » Fri Jul 07, 2017 8:37 pm

bligh wrote:We use Wunderlist. It is free and was purchased by Microsoft recently so likely to be around for a while.
madbrain wrote: My requirements would be :
- able to share tasks between at least 2 users (spouses) so that one or the other can take ownership
- both web/desktop UI and Android mobile device app - I prefer to write/add things on a computer with a real keyboard, but marking task status is fine on the go
- support recurring tasks (daily, monthly, etc) . Show last completed date for each . Allow marking completed/skip/delay.
- set priorities for tasks - maybe automatically increase when late
- set location (which store to buy which grocery item for example)
- categorize tasks ? grocery/home/auto/financial/etc
- set deadlines for some tasks (IRA, taxes, etc) to get earlier reminders
I believe Wunderlist (more-or-less) meets every requirement you listed above.
Thanks. Sounds good ! I am exploring Todoist right now. If I find that it falls short, I will try Wunderlist next.
Actually just added it as a task so I don't forget.

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Re: Task management / organizing app

Post by madbrain » Fri Jul 07, 2017 8:43 pm

verbose wrote:You might have luck searching for a GTD app (for Gettimg Things Done). You have almost exactly described that task management methodology. There's a book describing the method without tools (just a paper notepad).

I use OmniFocus for iPhone, iPad and Mac. This is a suite of apps designed to implement GTD. It's not free and it's for Apple platforms only. But there must be other GTD apps for other platforms.

I tend not to put everyday chores into it (grocery lists, weekly cleaning tasks), but I have it set up with holidays, birthdays, reminders to make appointments, reminders to renew licenses, reminders to check credit reports, the entire list of stuff that's broken in our home, all the things I'm planning on organizing, a project I'm working to change and organize all my online passwords, every silly little thing my kids need me to remember exactly once and at the right time/place, etc. It's not the same as a calendar. I might have a reminder to make a dentist appointment every six months. Once I make that appointment, the appointment goes in my calendar and I mark that task done. I use the calendar to remember the appointment. The task will show up again in six months. A good GTD tool will integrate with your calendar (OmniFocus integrates with iCal).
Yes, that's exactly the sort of things I'm talking about and that I was asking about. But OmniFocus won't work for us due to the Apple ecosystem requirement. Yes, there are plenty of other apps of this kind - too many, in fact - this is why I started this thread.

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Re: Task management / organizing app

Post by madbrain » Fri Jul 07, 2017 8:46 pm

NonnyGoGo wrote:I use Toodledo and I think it meets all of your criteria except incrementing priority. Also recommend the book "Getting Things Done". It is an enormous relief to move all these items from your brain to task lists.
I actually bought that book from Amazon 6 years ago according to gmail, along with a couple others on related topics. I can't say that I remember very much of it right now, but I do think some of those concepts are difficult to put into practice without proper tools (hence need for app).

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Re: Task management / organizing app

Post by madbrain » Fri Jul 07, 2017 9:10 pm

armeliusc wrote:First of all, you'd need to simplify your requirements. Technically all of those are doable / has been done in many different software, but priorities, due dates, etc would not work if you don't follow them. You will eventually ignore the email reminders, etc.

Second: prioritize. Have a list for things that must be done, and things that you would like to do, analogous to the "need vs want" in personal finance. Otherwise the task list becomes useless pretty quick. Presumably you're skipping to do some tasks because you don't feel it's urgent enough to do them.
Partly it's lack of urgency for some of them, but also simply information overload - far too many tasks to remember them all, and some just fall off when my personal RAM overflows. Some tasks may be important but not actually urgent time-wise, and it's easy to forget/skip those, and suffer the consequences later (or much later).
I personally use "Trello" for my task management / productivity software, for both "Work life" and "Home life". I just create different trello board for them. For work I basically follow "personal Kanban" style (look it up). I do use kanban also for the home life but don't follow it as religiously. It allows you to know what gets completed when, what's blocking, etc. Trello card supports multiple comments / "activities" with attachment, which is nice to use for a long-standing task / project that needs multiple follow up.

Every morning I scan by "work" board in Trello, and decide what I need to do. In the evening I scan my "home" board and prioritize, schedule, or do what I need to do. Kanban forces you to prioritize things.

You can share trello cards and/or board, and use it for anything as simple as grocery list to a more complicated task. But really, for grocery list I just like to use Google Tasks (there's an android app that sync to your Google task in calendar). Just list the items as we remember it / find out that we run out.
Thanks, will look up the concept of Kanban also.

Will have to look up Trello as well since it's getting multiple recommendations.

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Re: Task management / organizing app

Post by madbrain » Fri Jul 07, 2017 9:16 pm

Boats day wrote:You will not find any application that will work until you change your approach and attitude.



It's not about the app:several good ones have been suggested but you are not willing to do
The work of keeping calendar and to do lists up to date .



I use Google calendar for reoccurring tasks and tasks with deadlines. Then a to do
Document list. And a separate list for buying groceries etc. I never miss deadlines.But I do spend at least 15 minutes everyday planning and prioritizing my day and updating calendar and to do list.

You said this won't work for you... but please reconsider. I think you are WRONG.

You are disorganized by choice. No app will help until you decide it time to change your behavior.
SMDH - how many times to I need to argue that I don't find a calendar alone useful ?

I'm quite willing to do the work provided there is a useful tool. I opened the thread to get feedback about the various apps available. The fact that so many task list apps exist would seem to indicate that I'm far from alone in thinking that a calendar alone isn't good enough.

I'm glad it meets yours, but perhaps you are the one who needs an attitude adjustment. I have already spent much time in multiple posts explaining why calendar alone won't work for me. I see no need to go over it again. Why are you even responding in this thread to reiterate something that's already been ruled out ? What is right for you is not right for everyone, and certainly not for me.

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Re: Task management / organizing app

Post by madbrain » Fri Jul 07, 2017 9:21 pm

RandomUser wrote: Another recommendation for Wunderlist. If you want you can share some lists, but not others...personally, I would be reluctant to let my wife put any task she wants on my to do list! :wink:
The point of shared lists is to put things on it that either spouse can then choose to do, not for one spouse to assign tasks to the other spouse.
It just raises awareness about all the things that need to get done, which is a prerequisite to actually getting them done (but of course not the only one).

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Things

Post by FraggleRock » Fri Jul 07, 2017 10:45 pm

Five years with https://culturedcode.com/things/
Great.

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Re: Things

Post by madbrain » Fri Jul 07, 2017 10:57 pm

FraggleRock wrote:Five years with https://culturedcode.com/things/
Great.
Looks like this is strictly for Apple Mac/iOS users only, of which we are not.

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Re: Things

Post by FraggleRock » Fri Jul 07, 2017 10:59 pm

madbrain wrote:Looks like this is strictly for Apple Mac/iOS users only, of which we are not.
Your restriction, not mine.
Buy new devices.

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Re: Things

Post by madbrain » Sat Jul 08, 2017 8:31 pm

FraggleRock wrote:
madbrain wrote:Looks like this is strictly for Apple Mac/iOS users only, of which we are not.
Your restriction, not mine.
Indeed, and it was listed from the very first post in this thread, and reiterated several times.
Buy new devices.
[/quote]

Yes, because you made such a convincing one-word case for the Things app that I'm going to do that just to run it !

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