Do.com Helps Get Things Done

 

I love a good task management app and Do.com is a great tool from the awesome folks at Salesforce.com for just that. Right now, it’s a fairly stripped down but clean web-based app that allows you to set up projects, assign tasks, see your own tasks, set due dates and keep track of what has been done and what hasn’t been done. This week, the next iteration of the tool is launching in beta and looks to be offering more. The full version of the app is anticipated at the end of August.

 

At heart, it is still the same tool, but organizing gets easier with contact list and Facebook integration. Once integrated, Do.com will show contact changes as your contacts make them elsewhere. You also will be able to create job templates that will allow you to assign the same tasks each time you undertake a similar project with a single click. You will be able to comment on tasks so that assigner and assignee can keep in touch on what is happening around a task.

 

You can get a look at the original Do.com still and get a feel for the new version. And you can request an invite by signing up at the site. Check it out – you might find yourself a lot more organized and on top of the mountains of stuff that needs to get done.

Trello Tracks Your Projects & Manages Them With Ease

Do you have use for a free project management application that helps you organize your efforts and the efforts of others in an easy to understand format? Check out Trello – a great app billed as a super-simple team workflow and list manager.

Based on the Web so its easily accessible by members of your working team, tasks can be assigned and tracked via a “board.” On the board, users can create “to do” lists, which serve as the point for creating and assigning tasks, updated upon completion.

Cards are tasks. The card is intended to track something that needs to get done. Cards can hold attachments, be embedded with video, be assigned users, include due dates, hold checklists. And because “drag and drop” is so much fun, you can drag and drop board members onto a card and drag cards into the “to do” list. Invite users to the board via email. Receive notifications about board activity so you can keep on top of what is happening. Or ping a user using the Twitter convention of @ in front of their name.

I like the fact that the board updates in realtime so that you can see progress as it happens – when others update the board, lists or cards, you will “see” it happen. With an eye towards organizational use, Trello will also support permissions for users. Or make your board public and show your business’ goals and efforts. It comes in Web app and iOS app flavors, but can be easily manipulated on any devices browser via trello.com. For now is free to use. It uses SSL security.  Add outside content via embed.

I can see dozens of uses for Trello. Use it to plan an event, prepare for a presentation, get a work project done, write a novel, or deal with customers. What a cool tool – thanks Trello!

Taking Tasks to the Next Step with IFTTT

To do lists are fine, but for me, they mostly serve as reminders of all the things I haven’t done yet (and probably won’t get to for some time). What if you could automate some of your tasks – set up a simple chain of events that you put in motion once and then never really have to think about again? If this idea appeals, then If This Then That (“IFTTT”) might be just what you are looking for.

The application is conceived and executed by setting up triggers and actions in channels. Channels are essentially the web services that you may manually use every day, but with this app you can define certain triggers (the “if”) and then assign an action to the trigger (the “that”). The “if” can be something like “I’m tagged in a photo on Facebook” or “someone mentions me on Twitter.” The “that” can be “send me a text message” or  “create a status update on Facebook.” Your triggers and actions are limited to the channels available on ifft, but there are more than enough to choose from to make the set up worth your time.

You can have up to 20 active tasks set up and running at any given time.

You select the channel for the trigger, define the trigger, then set the channel for the action and define the action. For example, see below:

You get the “picture.”  When you pick a channel, you are given a limited number of options for triggers and tasks, such as “add in” language for tweets, but there are many combinations. Follow the steps, define or describe your task and you are all set up. There is a date and time trigger as well that will allow you to initiate tasks at a certain time and date. Tasks can be turned on or off and when they are resumed they pick up right where they left off. Tasks poll for new trigger information every 15 minutes or so, so the results are relatively current.

Another very cool aspect of ifttt is the community involvement in task creation. Task “recipes” can be created and shared with other users on the site. So, while you are certainly free to create your own little cause and effect loops from scratch, you can also forego the heavy lifting and check out some of the other great recipes put together by clever ifttt users.

I believe ifttt is simply brilliant. Set tasks up and watch them go, with no further interaction from you. While it might not be appropriate for all of your online actions and interactions, there are plenty of tasks that simply do not need oversight. Save yourself some time and effort with this fantastic tool.

Simply Starred

So simple, cute and effective. I know. I said cute. Heavy duty Gmail users know about starring important messages. With a sweet little Mac app called Starred, you can get a menu bar button that organizes your starred Gmails into a drop-down to-do list. This is exciting to me – I use my email inbox as a to-do list of sorts already. Click an entry and get a pop out of the message. Completely great, and totally free.

Get it here in the Mac App store. 

Thanks Lifehacker for the tip.