Monday, 7 November 2011

Writing Tips - Using a Task Manager

Writing Tips - Using a Task Manager

I was overwhelmed with the amount of things I had to do. With a day job sucking up all my daylight hours, it meant I was limited in time for studying for a degree, writing a novel, reading, blogging, writing new poetry etc etc so I did some surfing and purchased Toodledo.

Toodledo is one of many task managers available, this particular one is an Ipad app and it's flexibility suits me perfectly. There is no desktop version but they do have an online browser based one which you can back your data up to. I personally don't need the tasks synced to my desktop. Search for task mangers for your specific operating systems.

I sat down and thought about all my different projects. I'll use two as an example Writing and studying. In the task manger I created a folder and named it writing and a second named studying.

I then started adding tasks and deciding on frequency, for example for writing I had "add timeline data for  one chapter of the novel into spreadsheet",  I set the task to repeat once a week on completion and be due in 7 days time. Under folder I selected "writing"

For studying, the first task I put in was "Complete exercises" I set the due date for one week from today set the priority to 10 and added it to the studying folder.

You can add as many folders and repeating tasks as you need and also set alarms to go off at due times and dates but I personally don't go that far. I'd hate to become like Pablo's dogs conditioned to jump every time I heard a bell.

Each time I open my task manger, the most important or overdue tasks sit at the top of the list. I can also view individual folders and if there's a task I keep neglecting it gradually grows in importance and climbs to the top of the list. Eventually, I get sick of seeing it and sit down to do it.

I currently have about 8 project folders set up with numerous repeating tasks, a total of 24 tasks to complete and around 70 tasks marked as complete. I add new tasks to the folders as and when I need to.

Occasionally, I "star" at least one task in each of three or four folders to get done and keep working through the ones that keep getting neglected.

You can edit task frequency's and folders at any time. Once I'd kept working on my novel's timeline until it was eventually complete, I removed the "repeat frequency" and ticked it off for the very last time.

I hope this will help you keep all your projects under control and moving forward. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.

Other posts you may like:
My Top 5 Favourite ipad apps
Why I Love a Good Freewrite


Nadja Notariani said...

Interesting concept. I've always wondered how those task managers worked. Now, I'll be watching for updates on how it works out over a few months or so. Thanks for sharing! Where do you get your 'alarm'? Does it send you an email - or do you have to visit your account on the browser?

Katy Bennett said...

The software has an option to set an alarm to go off when you add a task. Can be set up to 30 days before the due date.

Thanks for dropping by.