Tuesday, 28 June 2005

Don't toy with your tasks. Use tasktoy

Not long ago, I spotted a book on my father's desk called Getting Things Done (GTD) by David Allen. In this book, Mr.Allen proposes a system which he claims can help people to master their workflow.

I gave the book a trial read but I was too busy then to remember what was discussed in it, let alone applying it. But later I saw may applications, mostly personal management systems, that uses the GTD system and one of them is tasktoy.

Nifty toy

tasktoy is a free, no frills online personal management system by kiwi programmer Toby Segaran. After registering (no email required, brilliant!), you will get 3 lists of tasks, projects and links.

My personal suggestion is start off with the projects list where we can specify things like 'Books to read', 'Things to be done in a month' or 'People to call'. Projects are like categories with which you can categorize your tasks into.

The GTD method suggests we break things or stuff, as referred in the book, into quatifiable (countable) units of tasks. Breaking them into tasks can help us see what are the things to be done more clearly. In the task list I could add a task like 'Call plumber for lunch' under the project 'People to call' or 'Read Getting Things Done again' under 'Books to read'. You can also set a repeat reminder of any recurring tasks.

The links list is a good place to store important contact weblinks: your emails, online address directory, Friendster etc. You can add up to 30 links of your choice.

You can also print your listed task and color-code them accordingly. For example, I could set an urgent task to red like this: 'Dah habis: printer ink and coffee' from project 'Must buy quick!' and print it out to take it with me to the shop.

tasktoy is still a work in progress and the developer welcomes email questions. Try tasktoy out and share with us your experience. 43 Folders offers some intro to GTD, for those who aren't familiar with it yet.


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