I thought I would share with you a productivity tool that I have stumbled across that I now use every day!
For quite some time now, I have been keeping lists of almost everything. For me, it works. A list of the next steps I need to take in a project, a list of tasks I need to work on, a list of requests for information etc. These lists used to be in several places and very disorganised. For example, I would have a book that would be my main To Do list at work, then if I had a meeting, I would take my Meeting book with me and most likely forget to translate the action points I needed to take from my Meeting Book to my To Do book and things would just get forgotten until my next Meeting when I would open up the book and realise I forgot about the tasks from my previous Meeting.
Then there is the stuff I need or want to do at home, some of that stuff would live in a Notebook on Evernote but most of it just lived in my head.
For me, being organised is important and even though my written notes had got me by, it was time to step it up a notch. I remembered from a few blogs that I read about productivity that there is a method called “Getting Things Done”. You may be familiar with it, for those who aren’t familiar with the work of David Allen on “Getting Things Done” you can read more here. This method is pretty similar to the method I was using anyway and so became the basis for my search for some form of online tool that I could use to manage the many lists of tasks I have. After searching for “Getting Things Done Task Manager”, I found Get it Done App. It basically is the first thing to appear the search.
Some of the features that stood out initially to me before signing up were:
- 15 day free trial, no credit card details required to sign up.
- An app for almost all major devices, Apple iPhone/iPad, Android, Windows 8
- Ability to send an email to a Unique email address that will add the task to your To Do List
- Ability to upload files to a task
- Ability to print Task Lists
Immediately I knew I had to give this a go!
Once logged in and using the app for a few days, it became apparent that I could definitely use this as my one stop shop for To Do Lists. Here are the reasons why:
- You can create Areas to separate your To Do Lists. For example I have a “Work” area and a “Personal” Area. You can then filter your Lists by Area or select to view All.
- When you create a Task, you specify a Focus. For example, “Today“, “Next“, “Someday“, even “Scheduled” for tasks that are scheduled in the future. This is a great way to separate tasks. Each Morning, I can go through my lists and decide on the things I will work on Today, move them from other lists and into Today’s list. Print this list out and focus on this for the day.
- You can even group Tasks by Project. On top of the Focus, you can also create Project groups. For instance “Server Upgrades” and any related tasks can be added directly to this project. Tasks inside a project group still display in the Focus lists discussed above, though they just appear with a Tag specifying the Project they belong to.
- You can Tag tasks too! So if you are big on Prioritising your work, maybe you can tag each task with a Priority. Or maybe you can tag them by the type of task they are. For example I have a tag called “Purchasing“. Any tasks where I need to Purchase something, I add this tag.
- Once an Item is Tagged, you can use Smart Groups to display all the items with that tag (and any other tag you wish to include). This allows you to quickly see what tasks (in any Focus or Project) where you have tagged something with “Purchasing” in this case. Smart Groups will filter on Area and any number of tags. So if I have “Purchasing” items in my Personal area these won’t show up in my Smart Group as I have only selected to filter the area called Work.
- You can even assign tasks to People. This works better if they too are users of Get It Done. As soon as you assign a task to a person that does use Get It Done, it will appear in their Inbox. Even if they are not a user of Get it Done, you can still assign the task to them and that way it doesn’t appear in your list of tasks. I like this as I can use it to keep track of tasks that I have given to my team, I add it to their list and every now and then check their lists and follow up with them to ensure it has been completed.
- There is Evernote Integration! I can view my Evernote Notebooks right from within the Get It Done app, and if an Evernote note and a Get It Done task have the same tag, both the tasks and the notes will be displayed in the Smart Group I created!
Over all this is an absolutely awesome productivity tool that helps me feel much more organised than I could ever imagine and the best part is that it is with me whether I am on my computer at work, on the road with my laptop or tablet, or even just out and about with only my mobile phone! I would highly recommend this tool to anyone!
Until next time!