[kwlug-disc] Todo Lists and task management

Raul Suarez rarsa at yahoo.com
Tue Mar 16 15:17:47 EDT 2010

At work I use the Lotus notes to-do list.

Since I started using that, tasks don't fall through the cracks.

For personal reminders and tasks I use the Yahoo calendar and task list. I know, not open source but ubiquitous for me that don't carry a cellphone.

I know that many people are fond of flat files. Not me.

What's wrong with the plain old paper Agenda?

Raul Suarez

Technology consultant
Software, Hardware and Practices
An eclectic collection of random thoughts

--- On Tue, 3/16/10, Chris Irwin <chris at chrisirwin.ca> wrote:

> From: Chris Irwin <chris at chrisirwin.ca>
> Subject: [kwlug-disc] Todo Lists and task management
> To: "KWLug" <kwlug-disc at kwlug.org>
> Received: Tuesday, March 16, 2010, 12:31 PM
> Is anybody else keeping an electronic
> todo list? Are you finding it
> effective? I'm trying to get a feel for what works for
> everybody. I
> haven't found anything that works great for me yet, and
> typically have
> spent more time managing tasks than just doing them (My
> tasks span
> everything from "Update package dependancies for new
> version" to
> "Build a deck before winter (deferred from 2009)" with the
> odd "Sell
> awesome project for billion dollars before 2012" thrown in
> for fun).
> My requirements are pretty simple:
> - Priorities
> - Notes for each task
> - Simple data store I can parse with scripts (e.g. for
> display in
> conky, count tasks completed last week to guilt me into
> doing more
> this week)
> Things I would prefer, but are not critical:
> - Due dates
> - Completion dates
> - Dependancies
> - Task recurrence
> I had been using a plain text file with vim, but I find
> that once I
> add a few notes under each task it becomes a pain to get a
> task
> overview, I have to drop to a shell and grep. The other
> downside is
> that it is computer/console-only, so i have no ability to
> add or
> review tasks from my phone.
> I've just started to switch again, and before failing to
> adapt to a
> new process (or get such process to adapt to me) I figured
> I would at
> least see what others are using. Somebody else *must* be
> doing
> something better. There is so much software out there to
> tackle todo
> lists ("Getting things Done" seems to be all the rage
> lately), but it
> all seems to fall flat in one area or another, whether it
> is a backend
> format that needs a million lines of code and five XML
> libraries to
> parse, or a complex interface that is a pain to use (thus I
> will
> "update it later"), or stuck to a specific device that I
> won't always
> have around.
> The current plan I'm considering is using an email inbox
> with a unique
> address. It gives me a create date, subject, and notes
> (message body).
> I get an outline in my email client, and can open specific
> tasks to
> review. I've always got evolution open anyway, and it is an
> interface
> I am already accustomed to. My mail is pulled to maildir on
> my
> workstation, so I effectively have all the simplicity
> features I had
> with the text file. It does give me comparable support on
> my phone and
> any computer I can access my webmail. It doesn't give me
> due dates,
> completion dates or dependancies though, and my priority
> range would
> be limited to important/normal.
> So the email option looks rather favourable since it seems
> to strike a
> balance of simple and hit most of the features I want. But
> Todo lists
> should not be that hard, and the general rule I follow is
> "If you need
> to invent something simple, somebody smarter has already
> done it
> better". So, back to the original question: What is
> everybody else
> using, and do you find it effective?
> -- 
> Chris Irwin
> <chris at chrisirwin.ca>
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