In addition to writing on two blogs, I’m using Facebook and Twitter to stay connected with my readers and learn more about the writing life. All would be fine if only I could remember to update my FB status. And tweet regularly. And write that article. And respond to that comment. And everything else I’ve added to my day as part of my new writing life.
I do love what I’m doing on this journey, but there is that problem of finding and planning the time to do it. When it became obvious to me that I needed help with keeping up, I looked to technology and found applications called social media dashboards. These apps allow you to manage all your social networking services (among other things) in one place via your desktop. What I also found, though, was that they (e.g., TweetDeck and HootSuite) offer much more than I need now as a writer.
All I wanted was a to-do list, simple and available wherever I am. I also wanted it to have recurring tasks. After a bit of digging, I found one: TaskToy. It surprised me to find how many task programs (aka GTD, “getting things done”) do not have the recurring/repeating tasks feature, a must for me if I was ever going to get a handle on the daily to-dos of a writer/social mediac.
A Google software engineer designed TaskToy for his personal use. The program soon became popular with others who saw him using it, and he eventually made it available for anyone to use. It’s free and, unlike most online tools, you don’t need to give your email address to use it.
Here are six of my favorite TaskToy features:
- Loads quickly. The design is simple and clean so that you have your lists in no time. The designer also placed a Google search box in the top center of the homepage. In fact, I took his advice and made TaskToy my homepage, the first thing I see when I open my browser.
- Repeating tasks. This was the deal maker for me. As you can see in the screen shot, I have daily tasks checked off, and they will reappear in the list the next day and every day. There are also weekly and monthly tasks I’ve set up that will show up at the designated time. The designer made sure that the tasks would appear “only when necessary and not clutter up my lists in the meantime.” Beautiful.
- Customizable links. Notice in the screen shot that I have my sites listed. They are now just a click away within TaskToy.
- Notes. There is plenty of space to write notes and memos, and TaskToy provides a search feature to help you find the information you’ve written for projects and tasks.
- Project management. There’s no need to have a jumbled list of to-dos. TaskToy lets you create separate lists for multiple projects.
Other nifty features include color coding, task archiving, print formatted for index cards, email reminders, customized settings, and set-up for multiple locations (the program will remember the tasks assigned to a computer). The designer doesn’t seem to be updating the program, so don’t expect support (though if I hear from him, I’ll let you know).
TaskToy is a user-friendly, uncluttered tool that helps you stay on task. I’m using it every day and it’s getting me closer to meeting my daily writing and social media goals. I think you’ll like it and if you start using it, be sure to let me know how it’s helped you with your goals.
UPDATE 8/6/12: I am now using Todoist. Read my review. I still think TaskToy is a good app, but too many times I found I couldn’t log in. So I switched.
Question: How do you make sure you tend to your daily/weekly writing tasks?