It is not always easy to find the best tools to be productive in the management of your tasks and therefore of your time.

I have been for a long time testing different applications that would allow me to:

  1. Register any task (short or long duration) without having to spend a lot of time writing it, allowing me to show it on a calendar, assign it to a member of the team and prioritize it.
  2. To be able to record the time incurred in the task
  3. To be able to follow up on activities under a GTD (Getting Things Done) methodology or simply to eliminate them once finished because they did not interest me to maintain them.
  4. Integrate with my email to generate tasks from a specific email without having to open them on purpose for it
  5. That the combination of the tools is the cheapest possible.

What I tell you now is the result of that search and, although there may be other better ways of doing it, it is the one that has most adapted to what I was looking for

Pay attention to this: I am providing my Pros/Cons for each one under mi criterio. All the applications are excellent and have many possibilities but I try to give my vision of its usefulness according to what I’m looking for

1.- TodoIst (https://todoist.com) .  It is a simple cross-platform application that allows you to organize all your tasks, connect them with the calendar (iCal in my case), prioritize them and assign them to any member of the team. Long-term task management is not easily monitored (cost € 29 / year but worth it)

What I am using the tool for:

  • I manage the tasks to be done (allows me to distribute my workload and reflect it in my Calendar (iCal), its priority, execution date and certain comments that I can incorporate.
  • I share some projects with team members who have to be participating in it.

 Pros:

  • Quick to create tasks (I use a distribution in projects with nomenclature standards. <Description> with XXX project acronym, yyy of subproject)
  • If the tasks are of short duration (calls, review a document, meetings, …) it is easy to create a procedure so that they are not stored in Trello (where monitoring is greater) thanks to IFTTT
  • Assignments and easy tracking
  • Integration with the excellent calendar (with only one link added the entire activity) and helps you to see the activity plan you have for the week and distribute the work.
  • It allows you to create tasks by sending an email (I have it integrated with PostBox (https://www.postbox-inc.com and its Add-On: QuickPost)

Cons:

  • Subtask management is complicated
  • Has no time manager: the famous “Time Tracking” and is important for certain tasks. Then we’ll see how I can integrate it with another application that has that purpose.

2.- Trello (https://trello.com). It is a cross-platform application that allows the management of tasks using the GTD methodology. Although it allows to create cards for each task and also connectable with the calendar, it is not so fast to create tasks of short duration and yes to manage long duration workflows where it allows the simple monitoring and control of the evolution of the states of the different Tasks, use of checklists … (free although it has the Business subscription that I do not need at the moment. They have created some very interesting PowerUps that can make the upgrade necessary)

  • Pros:
    • It allows you to keep track of those tasks that have some complexity, and which contain subtasks (implemented through checklists),
    • Allows you to use labels of different colors useful to differentiate priorities, tasks in progress or pending
    • Integration with the calendar is excellent.
    • Allows you to see everything you are doing in a specific area (Board): what is done, to do and in progress
    • It has an enormous amount of Power-Ups that are possibilities of integration with other applications: Evernote, DropBox. Drive, CloudApp, Realtime, Screenful ….
    • Although tasks can be created via email like the TodoIst I prefer not to do so to have a single channel of input to Trello and to be able to follow more appropriate.
  • Cons:
    • Although the integration with the calendar is excellent, the problem is that you have to connect each “Board” with it and if you have many “Boards” as it is my case, it becomes unmanageable to have to integrate each one into the Calendar.
    • Has no time manager: the famous “Time Tracking” and is important for certain tasks. Then we’ll see how I can integrate it with another application that has that purpose.

3.- TimenEye (https://www.timeneye.com/en/home).It is a very useful application to register your times incurred in each project with innumerable integrations (TodoIst / Trello) but through Chrome Store which, in operating systems like OSx Sierra has some problems. Ideal would be that they could develop the integrations via Firefox and Safari (it seems that Firefox is running). (Cost 140 € / 5 users / year.The free version only allows a user but without limitations)

4.- IFTTT (https://ifttt.com). It is an ideal complement to connect everything with everything. It allows you to transfer data from one application to another and thus facilitate the integration of tools. For example, every Tweet I send creates an entry in Evernote in a specific folder, or every article I keep in Instapaper saves it to me in Evernote (which is my Knowledge Management database) (free)

Ok, now I have the tools I need (not to mention Evernote)

What workflow do I use to manage my work? I’ll try to explain

The steps I follow are as follows:

  1. To perform any task, it is recorded in todoIst with tag, priority and date (deadline) in a specific project. If it is a project that needs a special follow-up, via IFTTT I link it with the corresponding project in TRELLO to follow up later and will only be complete when it has been determined in TRELLO. If you do not need to have a special follow up (they are tasks of short execution), once it finishes the elimination directly.
  2. Once the task is in TRELLO (list To DO) begins its execution with all necessary activities (checklist). To allocate the effort incurred in each activity (either through the Chrome plugin that allows more integration or manually) creates a log in TimenEye with its stages, users assigned and budget.
  3. When the task has finished in TimenEye, I give the finished project I export the monitoring and control reports. I return to Trello and move the cards to the Done list and load the tracking and control reports and finally I go to TodoIst to close the task I created.

In a timely way I can include some link to Evernote, Box, Dropbox either in All Ist or directly in Trello.

I recognize that there are some tasks that I do manually but it is the inconvenience that I find when I have to work with three tools that complement each other but do not have everything, in any case it is the dynamics that I need to meet my expectations.

Any contribution with new tools or different work dynamics with these ones will be much appreciated.

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