My Ideal Task Manager

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I have the memory span of a gnat. This is why I use Evernote. Most information leaves my brain within 30 seconds of entering, so if it doesn't get written down, there's a very good chance I'll forget it. For that same reason, whenever I come across something that requires action on my part, I need to add it to a "To Do" list. Many times, especially for work, I have a lot of information that is associated with a task. For this reason, it makes sense for my Evernote notes to be linked in some way to my task list. I don't necessarily want to use Evernote as a task list, but I want the information stored there to enhance a separate task list. Doit.IM is probably my favorite task manager--it has just enough of the GTD system to fit my workflow. Projects and Contexts are really all I need. The only problem is that there is no Evernote integration. Podio has a way to link Evernote notes to tasks, but it's far more than a task manager. I'm not a programmer, but I thought I'd throw out my ideal workflow just in case there is an ambitious developer reading this blog.

Requirements

  1. Must be cross-platform
    1. Mac, Web, iPhone, iPad (The web requirement would work if a native Mac client doesn't exist.)
  2. Task list must have the ability to easily link an Evernote note to a task
  3. Must allow for multiple projects
  4. Must allow for multiple contexts
  5. Must allow for tags
  6. Must allow for repeating tasks (custom repeating intervals is a big plus)
  7. Having start and end dates for tasks would be a plus
  8. Setting multiple alerts/reminders is a plus
  9. Setting location-based reminders would be a plus

Workflow

  1. Task creation
    1. Two methods of entry
      1. Any notes added to a specific Evernote notebook trigger the creation of a task. There should be a link in the task to allow me to open the associated Evernote note.
      2. Any tasks added to the task list app should create a corresponding note in the specified Evernote notebook (with a link to that note.)
    2. Tags in the Evernote note should define Contexts and Projects. (Prefix with @ for Contexts, and # for Projects.)
    3. Evernote tags not containing the prefixes should appear as additional tags on the task.
    4. For tasks entered in the task app, Contexts and Projects should create appropriate tags in the Evernote note.
    5. Sync must happen automatically.
  2. Tasks
    1. Different views should exist.
      1. By Context
      2. By Project
      3. By Date
      4. By Tag
    2. Different sort options should exist
      1. Sort by due date
      2. Sort by start date
      3. Sort by Context
      4. Sort by Project
      5. Sort by Tag
  3. Task finalizing
    1. When a task is finished, it is manually checked off in the task app.
    2. Once checked off, it is moved to a "Completed" list in the task app, and the corresponding note is moved to a "To Do Archive" notebook in Evernote.

Current Workflow

  1. Tasks that start in Evernote
    1. Request comes in via email.
      1. Email is forwarded to default Evernote notebook.
    2. Request comes in via phone call.
      1. Evernote note is created with details about phone call.
    3. Applescript creates an entry in the Apple Reminders app with a link back to the Evernote note. Note is then tagged with "reminder" and moved to the "ToDo" notebook.
      1. In Reminders, I set alert dates/times, and assign to a Context list.
      2. When a task is finished, it is checked off in Reminders, and the Evernote note is manually moved to a "ToDo Archive" notebook.
  2. Tasks that start in task manager
    1. Quick thoughts that need to be followed up on
    2. Recurring tasks
    3. These tasks are not currently added to Evernote at all