How do I get things done? My husband beats me with a stick. Well, almost. Stink eye works, too.
So do the twenty eleven apps on my Mac that help to inspire me to work on various and sundry tasks at times when I don’t wanna. What I need is a life coach. Maybe someone like Fabio. Since he’s obviously not available, and hasn’t answered my calls or emails, I chose Task Coach instead. This week.
Your mother or wife are human task coaches, always reminding you of what needs to get done, and what you didn’t do, and why. They spur you on to greatness. Or, just annoy you.
This is an app that thinks different. Instead of the typical, highly linear to-do list, Task Coach handles composite tasks. Think of that as mini-projects. A Hefty-sized task comprised of several activities.
That means your tasks have a hierarchy. Tasks and sub-tasks. They also have everything else that typical tasks have. Start date. Due date. Description. Maybe even a budget. Possibly some delegation to track.
In other words, Task Coach is more complex than a to-do list, but less complex than a project management app, falling somewhere in between, but free, and multi-platform.
Color Me Eye Candy
If you’re into gaudy, colorful, Fisher Price icons, Task Coach will do OK on your first date.
Task Coach comes with multiple views. Use the typical List style or as a Think Different™ Tree view.
Either way, you can sort your tasks a bunch of ways. What’s due today, subject, tags, budget, due date, or any other assigned attribute. Tasks can be set up to recur, too—daily, weekly, monthly.
Importantly, tasks are easy to create. Click works. Or, drag an email message or URL onto a task, note, or category in Task Coach to start the process.
Task Coach reminds me of a cross-platform Things-like throwback app. It’s not intimidating, despite the plethora of features designed solely to spur you into greater regions of productivity.
Because Task Coach doesn’t appear intimidating at first, and because it’s simple to set up, even with typical one-line to-do list items, you’re lulled into a sense of simplicity.
Task Coach goes way beyond simplicity.
It can track time spent on a task. Add a budget to a task. Set up your own categories. When sub-tasks are completed, the main task is automatically marked as completed.
Add attachments to tasks, notes, and categories—all drag and drop.
And, here it comes, would-be tree killers—all the pieces can be printed. Tasks, notes, categories, projects.
Why Task Coach? Because it starts you off with simple, easy tasks, moves you to sub-tasks, then to tasks which are projects, then projects with complexity such as a budget and delegated assignments.
He’s Everywhere, He’s Everywhere
Worse, like any good coach, or Chickenman, Task Coach is everywhere. It’s Mac, Windows, Linux, and iPhone, but syncing is somewhat convoluted and indirect (Hello! Anybody hear of DropBox?). It’ll even work on inexpensive pocket USB flash recorder devices and run everywhere.