Tasks

Now that I’m officially a cross-platform computer user, I’ve been looking for the best solution for keeping track of what I need to do and when I need to do it. Between a G5 and iBook running OS X and a PC running Windows XP (not to mention a Palm PDA) it’s been tough finding the right application.

There’s a lot of task management software out there. But everything I looked at was either designed for a “multi-user environment,”:http://www.basecamphq.com/ was too expensive, required a browser on a certain platform or needed additional software plug-ins. I wanted software that would let me do project management over a few weeks, keep track of billable time, yet also keep track of when I needed to make the kids’ doctor appointments and which phone calls needed to be returned.

I had been keeping an eye on Alex King’s “Tasks”:http://www.alexking.org/index.php?content=software/tasks/content.php for a while now. It seemed to be what I was looking for at the right price and I was just waiting for the right time to try and install it or play with the demo.

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I played with the demo account for about 30 minutes this morning and I knew that it was what I wanted. It looks just as good from Safari on my Macs as it does from MyIE2 on the PC. Even better, it has RSS feeds and daily email reminders. Unfortunately, I used their server check script and if I installed it on my website, I wouldn’t have the daily reminders or the RSS feeds. I could install it to the PC or my G5, but having it on a specific machine accessible only on the LAN wasn’t a solution I was looking for. I suppose that could write my host and see if they could help me configure whatever needs to be done, but it didn’t seem worth the effort.

Last week, Alex King introduced “Use Tasks”:http://www.usetasks.com which is a hosted solution. It’s only $3.95 per month with a 30 day demo period, and I get the latest version of Tasks with no configuration hassles. There’s no long term commitment, so if it doesn’t work out the worst I lost was $3.95. I’ve been reading “Alex’s blog”:http://www.alexking.org/blog/ for weeks and I have a sense that he seems committed to the code and the data is supposedly backed up every night. As a matter of fact, I had a question and he responded to my email within minutes…on a Sunday! I’m not entirely thrilled with the idea of putting my data on a server where I won’t have access to it should something go wrong on their end, but I’m temporarily getting around that by printing some screens to PDF when I think about it. That way if there’s a problem I won’t lose track of what I have due next week.

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2 thoughts on “Tasks

  1. Thanks for the write-up! I was in a similar situation (working on several different computers, on different platforms and in different locations) when I decided to create Tasks in the first place. I’m glad it’s filling the same need for you. :)

  2. I think Alex’s service is a good one. For backups, I’m sure he has a good backup/repliation solution up or in the works but I don’t think it’d be a bad idea if he offered a downloadable CSV (or similar) dump of the your data own data.

    -david

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