[Note: I'm continuing a series on Saturdays called "The Toolbox." My intent is to highlight some of the software, products, and services that have become invaluable to me in my work. I think they will be helpful to you, too. I'd welcome your suggestions on what to review. You should know that these are not sponsored posts, and I'm not acting as an affiliate or receiving any funds for this series.]
I have been using Things for two years as my exclusive project management tool. When I take on a new project, I look back to my first days in the publishing business and create a production calendar. I begin with the end date and then work back through every step. Last, I assign dates for each and every step.
Before Things, I would just keep these lists in file folders and check them off as I went along. But now Things has become that mission critical tool to maintain my reputation as someone who does quality work within the pre-defined time constraints of the project.
Things allows me to…
- Easily create tasks, assign dates, and attach the task to a project all on the same screen.
- Automatically mark and archive tasks as they are completed.
- Review the history of tasks and the date in which they were marked complete on each project page.
- Drag and drop files into the specific task or project page to make it easy for me to click and open the essential files needed for the task and/or project.
- Drag an drop emails from iMail and create a task. A link to the specific email is included in the notes which makes it easy to retrieve the email when the task is ready to be completed.
- Assign re-ocurring schedules for tasks that I do regularly. That way I don’t have to enter regular tasks over and over again.
- Quickly make notes on the same screen when I create the task or new project.
- Schedule tasks to appear in advance of the due date while maintaining the due date to give me fair warning about an upcoming assignment or project milestone.
- Re-order, reschedule, or re-assign the tasks for the day from the home screen.
- Sync my desktop with my iPhone and iPad.
Two areas where I think Things can improve…
- Sync via 3G instead of just on Wi-Fi.
- Allow the addition of tasks by emailing a specific address.
Nonetheless, Things has been a life saver and a mind saver. Once the details have been recorded, Things does its magic and ensures my clients get what they need, when they need it. It may take a little planning on the front end, but it’s worth it.
Do you use Things? How has it been helpful to you? If not, what tool do you use for task or project management?
Ben Stroup is a content activist in a post-paragraph world. He is chief broker of opportunity at Ben Stroup Enterprises. Connect with Ben via email, Twitter, and Google+. Subscribe via email to learn how to use content to move people to action.