How to manage your time with a simple Open Source program called Task Coach
I love open source, I love sharing information and I love the freedom of the internet. With that said, I also love time management; without it, I would be lost. Task Coach helps make time management possible manageable.
I grew up with a terrible idea of time management. I did poorly with homework and deadlines. I was always late to, well, everything. I could never stay on track. I was borderline ADD because of my poor time management (or vice versa; but let's not get into that).
Once I started my own business, I really had to buckle down and find a way to organize myself and my time.
After many years of awkwardly writing things down and keeping a terribly organized calender of what I needed to do next, I found a nifty little program called Task Coach.
It is lite-weight, extremely easy to use and best of all - Open Source.
From their website:
What is Task Coach?
Task Coach is a simple open source todo manager to keep track of personal tasks and todo lists. It is designed for composite tasks, and also offers effort tracking, categories, notes and more.
There are tons of awesome features, but I primarily use it for one: Time Spent.
Since I work with video and tight deadlines, I try to "beat" or "match" each subsequent video in terms of quality and time spent. Task Coach helps me to do that by tracking how many hours I have been working on each project.
I can see if I'm spending too much time on one area of the video by the average time I have spent on other or past videos. Please don't get me wrong: if a video needs more attention in one area than another, then I will work at it until I get it right. Time Spent is just a guideline to make sure I'm on the right path.
One of the major benefits of knowing approximately how much time an edit will take is that I can give a near perfect estimation of hourly cost based on my previous edits of that same type of video (wedding, real estate, video resume, event, memorial, etc) to potential clients.
This keeps me from throwing out some random number and hoping the client will bite and is also a great way to SHOW a client (if they are hesitant) approximately how long it will take, given my past edits and expertise.
If you are like me and need a bit of organization, I would definitely check out Task Coach. If you are not like me, and would just like an awesome program to manage your time, definitely check out Task Coach.
A few more tidbits from the Task Coach Website:
Task Coach for the desktop
The desktop version of Task Coach (Windows, Mac, Linux, BSD) has the following features:
- Creating, editing, and deleting tasks and subtasks.
- Tasks have a subject, description, priority, start date, due date, a completion date and an optional reminder. Tasks can recur on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
- Tasks can be viewed as a list or as a tree.
- Tasks can be sorted by all task attributes, e.g. subject, budget, budget left, due date, etc.
- Several filters to e.g. hide completed tasks or view only tasks that are due today.
- Tasks can be created by dragging an e-mail message from a mail user agent (Outlook, Thunderbird, Claws Mail, Apple Mail) onto a task viewer.
- Attachments can be added to tasks, notes, and categories by dragging and dropping files, e-mail messages, or URL's onto a task, note or category.
- Task status depends on its subtask and vice versa. E.g. if you mark the last uncompleted subtask as completed, the parent task is automatically marked as completed too.
- Tasks and notes can be assigned to user-defined categories.
- Settings are persistent and saved automatically. The last opened file is loaded automatically when starting Task Coach.
- Tracking time spent on tasks. Tasks can have a budget. Time spent can be viewed by individual effort period, by day, by week, and by month.
- The Task Coach file format (.tsk) is XML.
- Tasks, notes, effort, and categories can be exported to HTML and CSV (comma separated format). Effort can be exported to iCalendar/ICS format as well.
- Tasks, effort, notes, and categories can be printed. When printing, Task Coach prints the information that is visible in the current view, including any filters and sort order.
- Task Coach can be run from a removable medium.
- Tasks and notes can be synchronized via a Funambol server such as My Funambol.
Task Coach for iOS
There is a todo-list application for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch that can synchronize with Task Coach through the network. Main features are:
- Hierarchical categories.
- Editing of task subject, description, dates and completed status.
- Tap on the task's led icon to mark it complete.
- Available in English and French.
TL;DR: Task Coach > Time Saver
If you would like to pick up your own copy of Task Coach, head over to http://taskcoach.org/ and download it!
You can also follow Task Coach on twitter here: @taskcoach
*This review is not paid for or endorsed by Task Coach. I simply believe in the program and it has helped me immensely. I just want to share my positive experience with others and hope they can find peace of mind in a time management solution as well.