beanz Magazine

How to Manage Tasks and Projects

Todoist

Learning how to make, track, and complete goals also helps with school projects and personal projects.

I’m a big believer in setting goals every year. In November, I start to think about what might be fun or useful to do in the new year. By early January, I have a set of goals and, maybe more important, a set of simple tasks to make my goals happen.

But what’s the best way to remember these tasks and get them done? Here are several apps, a few I’ve used heavily and some I found recently that look useful.

One key to using these apps successfully is to know whether or not you like lots of detail. The 2Do app, for example, lets you break down projects into tasks and many levels of sub-tasks. This works great for people who want to organize every last task to not forget anything. If you’re a minimalist like me, however, the complexity of getting organized in 2Do won’t work well for you. The simplicity of Things, Google Keep, or Todoist might work perfectly, however.

Todoist

This app synchronizes your tasks on your phone, computer desktop, and tablets. The 7 day view of tasks makes it easy to move tasks to one or more days later. The paid version includes tags to let you organize tasks different ways. If you organize your day by time, for example, you can create tags for the different time periods to help manage them. The app lets you share and collaborate on tasks with others. There’s also a karma point system to encourage you to be organized and complete tasks. Android, iOS, and web versions are available.

2Do

Probably the most thorough task management app with the ability to create sub projects down several levels. Building a robot might involve several tasks — research, purchase, build — and each of those might require additional tasks organized into groups. 2Do makes it simple to create multiple levels if needed. There’s also the ability to create lists to view related tasks, for example, all dates for soccer practice. Android and iOS versions are available.

Google Keep

This app makes it easy to capture, store, and organize ideas, notes, and lists. You also can save audio notes as tasks which is very simple. Each tasks include the ability to add a reminder, set a background color for the main view in the app, add photos, and add other details. Keep is perfect for keeping track of a small number of tasks over time, replacing old tasks with new ones. The audio feature also makes it very easy to save your bright ideas. Android, iOS, and Chrome versions are available.

 

There are lots of other apps to manage tasks. And there are apps to support people who follow Getting Things Done (GTD), Pomodoro, and other programs designed to make it easy to set goals and achieve them. But these software apps work great for people who have a few goals they want to achieve, as well as people who don’t want to forget to do things.

Learn More

Todoist

https://todoist.com/
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.todoist (Android)
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/todoist-to-do-list-task-manager/id572688855?mt=8&ign-mpt=uo%3D4 (iOS)
https://todoist.com/web

2Do

http://www.2doapp.com/
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.guidedways.android2do (Android)
https://itunes.apple.com/cz/app/2do-tasks-done-in-style/id303656546?mt=8 (iOS)
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/2do/id477670270?mt=12 (Mac)

Google Keep

https://www.google.com/keep/
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.keep (Android)
https://itunes.apple.com/app/apple-store/id1029207872?mt=8 (iOS)
https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/google-keep-notes-and-lis/hmjkmjkepdijhoojdojkdfohbdgmmhki (Chrome)
https://keep.google.com/ (Web)

Things

https://culturedcode.com/things/
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/things/id284971781?mt=8&ign-mpt=uo%3D4 (iOS)
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/things/id407951449?mt=12&ign-mpt=uo%3D4 (Mac)

Simplenote

http://simplenote.com/
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.automattic.simplenote (Android)
https://itunes.apple.com/app/simplenote/id289429962 (iOS)
https://itunes.apple.com/app/simplenote/id289429962 (Mac)
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00F0QZQU8 (Kindle)
https://app.simplenote.com/signin (Web)


Also In The December 2015 Issue

The history of an egg shaped outdoor sculpture made of electronic parts in Palo Alto, California.

Use a software app to invent neat things by mixing SAM wireless blocks. No wires and no code needed.

How to Build a Computer

Building your own computer is a great way to not only save money, and get more processing power, but also to learn about the less obvious parts of software programming.

We might think robots are a modern invention. But al-Jazari created amazing automatons in the thirteenth century. Today we would call him a maker.

The Google Cardboard project is a fun way to experience virtual reality with your phone and software apps.

Sumobots smash into each other and can be a fun project to create. Free plans are online. Upload your plan to services which send you the parts.

How our all girls high school robotics team designed then built a robot to compete in FIRST competitions next year.

This key part of electronics projects turns out to be easy to understand. Learn about breadboards by building a simple LED project with a 9V battery.

Learn more than a language. Learn skills you need to use the language. Options to suit the way you learn best.

Use dice from a board game or toy store to create difficult to crack passwords and phrases that you can remember.

Learning how to make, track, and complete goals also helps with school projects and personal projects.

An essay from the 1990s explores how software can be built like a cathedral or in groups like a bazaar.

The Clojure programming language provides the simplicity of a Lisp programming language with the ability to run in the Java Virtual Machine (JVM).

Beyond Microsoft Windows and Mac OSX there are many Linux operating systems used by programmers daily and built as open source.

Interesting stories about computer science, software programming, and technology found online since the last issue of the magazine.

Links from the bottom of all the December 2015 articles, collected in one place for you to print, share, or bookmark.