The more complicated my life becomes, the more I absolutely depend on task management. That is not specific to software of any particular kind. Its about making lists of specific, bite-sized, action items that can be accomplished in an orderly fashion. The theory is that, with the formation of well-managed lists, the brain is freed up for unbound creativity.
Countless software developers seek to exploit the absolute right-ness of lists and GTD theory with varying success. The benefit for me is that the excitement of gadgetry and the beauty of design will draw me in to interacting with my lists and promote focus and productivity. The apps, in short, can be a major boon to getting things done.
At work, I am forced to use Microsoft Outlook. If it were my business, I would implement a different, customizable solution, instead of the one-size-fits all approach of Outlook Tasks. But I’m not that high up in the food chain.
In my personal life, which includes a zillion things i need to keep track of for the new baby, music, taxes and finance, social gatherings, and other stuff, I can go whatever direction I please. My requirements, however, are rigid – cross-platform and cloud-based. Google would seem a natural, but their task management application is simply a poor appendage grafted onto Gmail. Astonishingly disappointing.
Before I got forced into Outlook, I used Wunderlist and it was brilliant, though not terribly pleasing to the eye. After Outlook, I left poor Wunderlist on the side of the road and started with Any.Do. The latter is a gorgeous Android app that alleges sync with Google tasks. I love love love the design of Any.Do, but the sync is questionable at best, and there is no app for iOS or Chrome or Mac or Windows. They say it’s coming, but I’m not seeing any product development or even app updates.
I’m going back to Berlin. Wunderlist really does have it all, and the appearance is somewhat custimazable to make it a little more pleasing. I realize the interface may never be ‘slick’, and maybe that’s just not the German way, but this company is going places and they’re delivering everything I need to get things done.