Adam Caudill

Security Leader, Researcher, Developer, Writer, & Photographer

Task Management with Tasks

After being reminded of Alex King’s excellent Tasks task management system by a Download Squad article, I decided it was high time to give it a try. I had seen the software before, but never really evaluated it to see if it would be of any real use to me. This time, I gave it a more thorough look.

I’ve been doing a fair bit of reading in recent weeks about time and task management; and thus I’m trying to build a better process than what I use now. Seeing as my current method revolves around hoping to remember things, it doesn’t work so well.

After playing with the demo for a few minutes, I was quite impressed. I’ve used (or tested) many task management and related systems; Tasks seems to have gotten the model right. It’s easy to use, well designed, and uses a model that is flexible enough that you can apply just about any style you like.

One of the things I find so interesting is that this is web-based software, though is intended only for a single user. While this is certainly not the only application marketed this way, it still intrigues me. Traditionally, one would think that there would be little or no market for single user web-based applications that users install on their own servers. In reality though, this makes a lot of sense.

There are so many people who now have their own web site(s), running on real hosting accounts, that there would be a sizable market for personal software, made accessible anywhere thanks to being web-based. This is a great idea, and one of the factors that really made me like this software.

Once I was done with the demo, I started going over the requirements (basically PHP/MySQL), looking at the pricing and all the other details. With a price of US$29.95, it didn’t take long for me to decide. I was sold.

Installation was quick and painless (though not as quick as the famous WordPress install), within a few minutes I had Tasks up and running. Give or take a minor bug on preferences*, it all works very well. It works quite well out of the box, once the install process in completed, you don’t need to change anything else to be up and running.

The UI is responsive and well laid out; thanks to AJAX and plenty of tool-tips it’s a breeze to use. If you are looking for a better way to keep track of things, or working towards a better way to manage your time, it’s worth giving this a look. I think you might like it.

Update: After speaking with Alex about that ‘bug’ – it turned out to be Firefox being overly helpful with its Auto-Fill feature. There are a couple of ideas floating around to work-around this, so even though it’s not a bug in Tasks, Alex is working towards eliminating the problem.

Adam Caudill