The Ideal Task & Productivity Manager
It doesn’t exist yet, but I feel this is what I need:
I define my goals. Those large, top-level tasks – like learning to fly or fixing up a car. These are also projects. I then write all the subtasks I see as being subtasks to those: find a nearby airfield, buy some flying books; check instructors; book lessons; etc.
This is the clever/important bit.
I always overload my task list. I see a load of tasks that I consider to be really important, put them all for tomorrow, and don’t achieve half of them. I push them out to Tuesday… Wednesday.. Thursday.. and they’re all sat at the end of the week, and I go through the process again.
What I would like to do, is drag-and-drop all those subtasks into my calendar, around my week, and existing appointments. Once there, they’re booked: that time allocated to my goals is just as important as any meeting that might be booked in there, if not more so. My calendar links the task to the actual time in the day that I’ll work on it.
Then – looking back up at my top-level goals – I would like to see how my progress looks, with all those tasks now assigned to my week. How much am I actually progressing in my goals now?
Other stats to analyse: How much further along will I be by next week? If I insert other tasks – jobs that crop up, distractions.. then how did those affect my efforts towards my goals? Was my learning to fly project going to have progressed from 20 to 25% complete, but thanks to distractions, I only got to 23%? OK – so based on past trends, on what day/month/year will I get to 100%? Can I accept that? If not, shall I rebalance?
Yes – Project Management tools do exactly this – they allow scheduling with Gantt charts. But they’re usually intended for teams rather than individuals, and they usually are disassociated from an actual time of day calendar. One that gives me a 5-minute warning: “Time to move onto that next task now”
So.. I’m currently invested all-in MyLifeOrganized, and have looked at countless others. There’s one which is close : SmartTime Tasks, on iOS, but it looks a pain to set up, is only on iOS/OSX, and only integrates with Google Calendar – not Corporate Outlook (or just sits behind and reads whatever iOS calendar I’m using)
So… I continue ticking off my tasks, but seemingly never actually managing to get stuff done….