Task Management: Recommended Apps

task list 1Most productivity applications like Outlook, Gmail and Lotus Notes have task list capabilities within their programs. However, some users may not like the task functionality and/or want a cloud-based task tool that can be seen from any device. Below are a few new suggestions for task list applications. Also see a prior blog post from 2012 called “Recommended Task Management Apps”.

 

OmniFocus can track tasks by project, place, person or date. Tasks can be organized by goals or large projects and sub-tasks affiliated with them.

Wunderlist 2 lets users manage and share to-do lists. It includes features such as; reminders, recurring tasks, subtasks, and detailed notes. This cloud-based app does sync across all of your devices. This is a free app.

Clear is a task app that was designed to use gestures. For example, to create a new to-do list simply go to the main list overview page and touch and drag a list and a new task list will appear. Marking an item complete just takes a left-to-right swipe. Every list is color-coded to assign a bolder color to identify more priority items. To change priorities, simply drag an item to a new place in the list. To view a demo go to YouTube.

And if you want more options, check out this blog post “10 of the Best iPhone Apps for Creating To-Do Lists”.

Recommended Task Management Apps

Task lists can be tracked in multiple tools. The key is finding the right tool. The following are electronic to-do and task management tools and application suggestions for those individuals that do not have one of the standard productivity tools such as Outlook, ACT, Lotus Notes, etc. which have task lists included in them.  Although there are a lot of task apps in the market, here are a few we recommend;

•          Remember the Milk: A great free task tool that syncs with Google mail, allows tasks to be emailed as reminders and has a good platform to manage separate tasks lists and projects.

•          G-Tasks A free task app that syncs your Android phone with Google Tasks.  You can view your tasks on any mobile devise.

•          Toodledo. A task list with more functionality then the simplified Google Tasks but not as robust as Remember the Milk. You can add a Toodledo sidebar to the Google Calendar.

•          Cozi This online time management tool was specifically designed for families. It has calendar, task lists, reminders and shopping lists. This way no matter where any family member is, they can access and add information.

•          iPrioritizeAn online task list that will email tasks to you and also can be viewed from mobile handheld devises.

•          Jibidee an online calendar, task list that can be shared with friends and family. It also has a place to save, create and change documents.

If you would like training for your staff and employees on task management, see our course Getting Tasks Done for more details. Or contact us for pricing and more information.

Getting Things Done- Pick 5 Tasks for the Day

Getting things done means you need to focus and prioritize on the activities that are important and essential. Take action on the tasks that you have determined that you need to do today or this week. Don’t get caught up on activities that aren’t due or urgent. I suggest not picking more than 5 items from your task list per day. You need to be your own judge of how many items you can reasonably get accomplished when you are juggling the other daily demands of meetings, e-mails, phone calls and interruptions. Initially, select 5 items from your task list, but you might need to reduce that amount depending on your job and workload. Then if possible, focus on those tasks in the morning and get them out of the way before your day gets busy and full of interruptions.

For more information about task management, download the report Getting Tasks Done by K.J. McCorry.

Delegating Effectively: Using Microsoft Outlook

Once actions have been delegated, then the delegator can use the functionality within productivity software to track and manage those delegated items. The following are three methods to track delegated action items using the Task function in Microsoft Outlook but can also be applied to other productivity software’s such as Lotus Notes or Google.Adult business man reading and signing documents at his office

Create a category. Using categories in Outlook allows users to view e-mails or tasks assigned to a person in one group. In Outlook, there is only one category list to use for all functions including Calendar, Email, Contacts and Tasks. First, create a new category by the person’s name. Then, categorize e-mails or tasks that have been assigned to that person simply by right clicking on the task or e-mail item, choose Categorize and then click on the person’s name. Once items are categorized you can view them by category by clicking on View/Arrange By/By Category. When having a one-on-one meeting follow-up items can be quickly accessed by using the category view.

Create one task item. Another option is to create one task for each direct report or delegatee. Name the subject line of the task item by the person’s name. In the text and notes section of the task window, type in a listing of all action items with due dates. This can then be one location for all the delegated items for that person.

In Outlook, you can also create a table from the Insert ribbon inside the notes section of the task list. This can make it easier to track actions by creating columns for the action item, due date, completion date, notes and status of each delegated action.

Create separate task folder. In Outlook, separate task folders can be created. Click on the task folder and go to File/New/Folder and the Create New Folder dialogue window will open. Enter in the name of the person and click OK. This will create a new separate sub-task folder by that person’s name underneath the primary task folder. Then create individual task items under this new task folder for the delegated action items. All delegated task items are then organized under one task folder to make it easy to manage and track.

To learn more about all task list management, download Getting Tasks Done, by K.J. McCorry

Delete Unwanted Tasks

Delete those tasks that, for whatever reason, no longer need to be completed. If you find that certain action items are not important and most likely will never get done, then delete them off your list and feel guilt free.