Thursday, January 14, 2010

Proactive Productivity

I recently attended a GFAF roundtable session for freelancers and solopreneurs on the topic of "Gears, Gadgets & Stuff". One thing we discussed was task management software. I'll admit, my task management "software" consists of a pen and a pad of paper, with an overflowing list of hand-written to-dos! For the most part, it works for me. However, there are a few occasions when a task gets overlooked (usually due to sloppy handwriting or a flip of the page!). So, I've researched a few other options for task management. Below is a list of the three best ones I've found:

1. Things: This application is strictly for Macs (yay!). It's basically a glorified to-do list, with easy scheduling, categorizing, and tracking, as well as the ability to include file links, emails and web links with your to-do item. The interface is simple and straight-forward, so you just focus on the action items. You can download a free trial, but for a full version the cost is $49.95. Not a bad price for easy organization!

2. Bento 3: This application is a little more involved than the above. You can track your tasks and projects, but also organize contacts and mailing lists, plan special events, catalog inventory, record billable hours and payments due, and much more! Bento also offers templated backdrops, to make each project have a unique visual look. You can download a free trial, but for a full version the cost is $49.00. While this program seems to offer a ton of possibilities, for me, it was a little overwhelming—almost too much organization!

3. Basecamp: Basecamp is a web-based task management and project collaboration tool. With basecamp, you can share files, meet deadlines, assign tasks, centralize feedback directly with your clients, co-workers or your mom if you wanted. You also have the ability to upload files for sharing as well. When you've finished a task, simply mark it completed, and then everyone associated with that task is notified. Basecamp is offered at different pricing plans, starting with a basic plan for $24/month for small groups.

After researching all of these, I am leaning toward Things for Mac. It just seems the most simplified and straight-forward which is what I am looking for. But, before I purchase, does anyone have any other suggestions or any programs they are currently using?


JenniferG said...

I missed that session. Thanks so much for the update... pretty sure I'm gonna try Basecamp! said...

No problem. Let me know how basecamp goes for you. it's great for file sharing.

hope to see you at the next breakfast roundtable in march!