Most task managers are either too simplistic or, at the other extreme, too complex and demanding. Some are so cumbersome that they require you to learn and use:
- their new workflow
- their customized definitions
- entire large feature sets
- UIs with numerous screens
- complicated forms
- excessive checklists
- rigid structures
… All before you can even begin real work.
To achieve the ultimate simplicity and flexibility, a task managers should support the following four novel concepts:
1. All item types need to be incorporated and have a consistent set of features. This means that all item types you may need, including: emails, files, links, To-Do lists, folders, projects, and tasks must be accessible and have the same feature sets such as organize, schedule, add note, mark as done, etc. This type of task manager is extremely efficient because it tremendously simplifies the learning curve; one set of features applies to all item types. It also provides maximum flexibility to fit your specific requirements. Instead of forcing you to classify an item into a predefined type supported by the app, this type of system allows you to focus on how you want to handle an item based on the the specific functionality you need to achieve your goals.
2. Actionable items should be collected into ONE Universal Inbox – Instead of having multiple scattered inboxes for tasks, files, links and emails, a universal inbox can handle ALL item types. This tool allows you to avoid thinking about the collection phase of task management workflow, and it becomes seamless. You no longer need to ask yourself the question: “In which app should I keep this item?”
Processing incoming collected items in one place, is much more efficient than processing scattered items in different apps or in different views within the same app.
3. Apply the digital stapler and flexible hierarchy to organize your thoughts and materials – Now that you have all item types in one location, you need a simple way to organize them. Let’s take a lesson from a basic office supply that serves a very functional purpose: : the stapler. With one simple push, you can use the stapler to fasten together materials that pertain to the same task.. A digital version of the stapler is a ubiquitous way to collect all your actionable items, reference materials and notes required to complete any given task.
The digital stapler also allows you to connect your actionable item to the location where it will be executed.. Therefore, any item should be a gateway to its original location. This saves you from thinking about the whereabouts of your task-related information, eliminating the need to to remember to maintain the connections and relationships between tasks and related items or maintain a separate manual To-Do list.
Because the“digital stapler” doesn’t have physical constraints, it can be extended into an unlimited hierarchy, enabling you to grow your system freely in accordance with your growing project needs.
4. Schedule actionable items and tasks with To-Do dates – A To-Do date reflects not only the date, but also the time when a digital item will appear on your To-Do list, signaling that it’s time for you to act upon it. A To-Do date is the one parameter that factors into it the due date, the task length and the priority. Any item, anywhere within the hierarchy regardless of its type, can be become part of your To-Do list. This flexibility makes it very easy to find tasks in your active database and flag them for completion, at the appropriate time. The multi-item type To-Do list allows you to see everything you need to get things done in one view. It’s the ultimate focus system.
Having these four novel concepts in mind when approaching a task manager will help you determine how easy it is to learn the new application and how quickly it can be implemented into your own workflow. Developing a fine balance between features, functionality and user experience is a tough challenge; however, we are certain that accomplishing it will solve a productivity problem no task manager will solve. Encompassing these four principles within a single app is a game changer in workflow management. Discover it today.