Accomplishing the things that you want to do requires two activities-- planning and executing. You can plan in your head or on the back of a napkin, but if you have too many things to do you need an ordered way to manage it all. I tried many different systems, books and apps, but none seemed to work for me-- some were too complicated, others didn’t really fit the way I wanted them to work. So I built Taskography.
Taskography is a web-based app that focuses on the tasks you need to work on now. These tasks are active tasks, and have an assigned date of today or older. Active tasks you those things you should be currently working to complete. The timeframe that you commit to finishing an active task is up to you, but should be small. Mine is two days. Once a task is older than your defined timeframe, it is marked as stale. This timeframe is configurable in the settings.
Tasks that should be started at a specific date are assigned a date after today and are referred to as future tasks. This is useful if there is a specific reason you cannot start work on the task now, if you know when you should start a task based on when it should be completed, or if you simply have too much on your active list but need to start the task soon.
Tasks that you are not currently working on and have no specific start date are known as inactive tasks and have no assigned date. Since there is no date on these tasks, they will never show up in your active list, and should be reviewed on a periodic basis. I review my inactive list every few days. Once you are ready to start an inactive task, simply assign it a date or mark it as active (which will assign it today’s date).
Make it a point to keep your active list fresh. If a task becomes stale, review why. If you aren’t going to be working on it within your timeframe, give it a specific date in the future or remove the date to make it inactive. Or, if it’s no longer valid, delete it!
Taskography provides the ability to apply tags to a task. Tags help by giving some contextual definition to tasks. As an example, all tasks related to your work could have the tag “work”. Or if you have a particular project you are working on, you could use the name of the project as a tag. As you are planning, these tags will help focus your attention on the appropriate tasks.
Tasks can also be marked as repeating (daily, weekly, monthly). Once you close a repeating task, the task will be recreated on the next appropriate date. I have a repeating task set up on Sundays to review my goals and inactive task list.
A due date can be set on a task. A task with a due date will be marked with a clock icon on the display. On the due date, the task text will change to orange, and then red once the task is overdue. I use due dates sparingly-- primarily when a task really must be completed by a certain date.
Tasks on the active and inactive lists can be resorted. I use this feature to provide some priority and ordering to tasks, particularly on the active list. Once I am done with my planning, the tasks are roughly in the order that I should work on them, allowing me to effortlessly move from one task to the next. If you will not have access to Taskography, tasks can be printed with the print button at the bottom of the main view.
Finally, Taskography has the ability to send you a daily report email. It is disabled by default, but under settings you can select the hour of the day to send the report to your email address. The report contains the tasks that are newly active today, the tasks that were already active before today, and any tasks that you closed yesterday. I have this report sent to myself in the morning as both a reminder of new tasks today, and a recap of what I accomplished yesterday.
I hope you enjoy using Taskography-- if you do, please share with your friends!
Go get stuff done!!!