Application for time and project management

Posted on


I want to improve the way I organize my projects/tasks/schedule

What I do now is:

  1. keep an excel sheet with the name of the most important tasks/projects, I look at it at the beginning of each day and decide the ones I will focus on
  2. on iCal I write down events for each day, or for a concrete time (13 to 14 hours). I set up each day the tasks I want to accomlish, and allocate them hours
  3. I use Things (culture code) to keep info about tasks and projects not very important and which are not time allocated yet (GTD name = someday)
  4. I use Mail on Mac and create folders for the mails I want to process with the name of the different projects
  5. I save the main info for each project on freemind maps

My system works well at the moment but it is pretty complicated to use. I want to make it better and I am looking for something with these requirements:

  • must be 100% offline accessable
  • it should use as less programs/resources as possible, ideally just one program should be able to manage all my info
  • I can use the GTD methodology mixed with priorities and I can allocate each task converted to event on my calendar
  • I can have different daily/weekly, etc views on a calendar to see the “big picture”
  • must run on mac os x leopard
  • price does not matter, I will pay for this

So, according to your experience, can you recommend me something like this?



IIRC (never used it), MS Office has Journaling, which tracks usage across all office applications including outlook, and outlook has task lists, integrated calendar, flagging/categorizing of email etc. The Mac version of the software may have different features though.

Open office might have something similar. I did a quick search, but journaling is also used in linux filesystems, so there is a lot of noise in the results.

The workflow may not work for you, but that is the big gotcha on this type of thing.

There are quite a few Mac programs in this area (as noted in another answer). I’ve tried two or three and settled on The Hit List.

It will deal with your current requirements, but is configurable enough to be adapted as your requirements change. It feels a lot more Mac friendly than some of the others. I feel the strongest feature of The Hit List is how well it integrates into the Mac workflow.

With your current workflow in mind…

The Hit List can contain multiple to-do lists. Each list is like a playlist in iTunes. You can create a new list for each of your major projects. You could also crate a list to represent your Someday folder.

As you review your tasks for the day, you only need to tap the “t” key to highlight it and place a copy in the Today “smart” task list. (Hitting “t” again will toggle this action).

Task can have start dates, due dates, time estimates and priorities.

Emails, URLs and Files can be dragged into The Hit List as items.

You can add links to your freemind maps, or alternatively you can nest to-do items to represent the same data (if your maps make neat hierarchies).

With your requirements in mind…

  • 100% offline accessible
  • It should be able to manage all your info (but see the note on mindmaps in the last section)
  • It mixes GTD with priorities
  • It has an Upcoming “smart” list that gives a big picture view in terms of the next day, week, fortnight (two weeks), month, quarter and year
  • Requires 10.5 Leopard or later
  • The Hit List is currently $49.95. It’s shareware, so you can try before you buy.

Some suggestions if you try it

Have you tried Microsoft Project 2010? Check it out! It is one of the best project and portfolio management software I have used. Instead of using different tools you mention, this MS Project would consolidate all project management tasks in 1 user-friendly dashboard. You can avail of the FREE trial versions for 60-days for evaluation to see how it meets your needs.

Here’s an option I found today when I was looking at PIM solutions: Chandler Project

It’s pretty cool, though a bit behind on development.

It fits every point of your criteria too.

Here’s a list you might want to investigate:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *