Some one asked me how I manage my tasks and I showed him but I thought it would make for a good blog post. I’m not saying I am the perfect solution but this is what works for me.
For long term storage of projects, tasks and ideas I use Omnifocus. I have used it for 7 years. I initially got a free copy of the Mac app because I know someone who works there but since then I’ve paid for updates and bought it for iPhone and iPad. They are really handy for whatever device I have in my hand at the moment. They provide a sync service so all my apps are in sync. I can put ideas into the Omnifocus “inbox” via my phone then later put them in the right place when I am on my mac. Omnifocus is only available on apple platforms.
The key feature for me with Omnifocus is the Review Tab, which I often use the iPad. It steps through each project allowing you to change due dates for tasks, flag, or delete.
No system will work unless you have a way to review! You can use a spreadsheet, stack of index cards (See hipster pda) or trello. But unless you review regularly it is junk. The fact this is one of the side tabs in Omnifocus is Review is the #1 reason I have used it this long.
If you are disciplined enough to review without that, then good for you. Maybe you don’t need Omnifocus :).
For very short term (ie todo this week) I’ve used a variety of things. Trello. Google Spreadsheets. Index cards … right now I have been using org mode in emacs partly for fun to learn it. I commit the files to github in a private repo. I use org-pomadoro to set a 25 minute timer (especially when I really need to focus) and it makes a log section under the task.
This time last year, I was using index cards. One per project, with tasks written out. When I was working on a project I would put that card on top to remind me to stay focused. When I was done, I recorded the project done in OmniFocus and threw the card away.
And even longer ago, I used Google Spreadsheets. I had one tab per project with the tasks listed out. It was easy to get to on multiple devices (hard to edit on a phone but not impossible).
I get bored easy, so maybe thats why I switch my short term tasks planning, but that keeps it fun.
Anyways, hope I’ve given you some ideas on manging your own tasks, both long term and short term :)