Monday, January 5, 2009

Managing "To Do" items for work

I'm trying to decide the best way to manage my tasks, projects, and "mini-projects". I define mini-project as something larger than a task, but I'm my own manager and don't need to submit a project plan. Maybe I should've asked for Tim Limoncelli's "Time Management for System Administrators" as a Christmas gift.

The options I know of are:

"Remember the Milk" - Pros: Seems very extensible, geeky, multiple ways to manage, etc. Cons: I doubt my company would like me storing information with a third party.

Using "Tasks" in Outlook - Pros: This would be stored and backed up at work. Cons: I like to keep my interaction with Outlook at a minimum. I just don't like the interface for it, anyways.

Creating tickets in a case management system - Pros: I've done this at previous jobs creating cases assigned to myself for tasks and mini-projects. Cons: My employer takes its case tracking statistics seriously.

Personal Wiki - Pros: Uses a web browser to edit. Some Wiki's have version control and search capabilities. Cons: Some wiki's require running on a server and using heavyweight services (is that overkill?). Is it really the best tool for the job?

Right now, I'm using TiddlyWiki. I feel the interface is a little clunky, but does a lot of what I want it to do. For instance; it's lightweight (does not require a server or a database), can be portable (it's just files), only requires a web browser and access to its files, and has some searching capability.

I'd be interested to know what other people are using to manage their tasks and other assignments that are not necessarily part of the "everyday routine."


Matt said...

Tom's book is really great. Let me say that I really liked it. The whole idea is is that your task list should be broken into three sections: due today, due soon, due in a bit. When something rolls downhill, it advances to the next stage and goes to the top of the list.

You should read the book if you are really interested, though

Reamer77 said...

Huh... surprised I didn't see this during my investigation.

However, I don't see TiddlyWiki on there.

Mestizo said...

I use evernote for this (and much much more). I have the client installed on all my computers and also on my mobile. Gives me a centralized notes, easy access from anywhere (client, web browser, phone). Even have email submission if I want. Should check it out: