Producteev Adds Google Tasks Sync, Outlook Plugin, with Native Mac, Windows, Android Apps On the Way

Producteev Adds Google Tasks Sync, Outlook Plugin, with Native Mac, Windows, Android Apps On the Way | 40Tech

Producteev won me over a while back with the smooth way they integrate into your already established workflow. The pretty helped too — pretty is a necessity for me when looking at a task list — but it was the Google Calendar integration, and the ability to interact with and create tasks from email, IM, and more that clinched it for me. As a Gmail user, I have access to a nifty widget, and Google Apps users get even tighter integration.

Enough about me and my Google services, though! We’re here to talk about you — and did you know that Producteev has just launched an Outlook plugin that let’s you single-click emails directly to tasks? And that’s not all… they’ve also announced a two-way sync with Google Tasks, and have some native apps on the way! You like? Read on for details!

 

Outlook Plugin

Outlook is powerful software, but it lacks mobility, which is a tough thing when you use it as your main task manager in this day and age. Producteev makes Outlook tasks portable by allowing you to take them to the cloud by way of a tightly integrated Outlook plugin. With the plugin, you can add emails to tasks in Producteev with a single click of the flag button, and with the integrated Producteev tab, you can assign it to others, add priority stars, etc. The plugin only allows you to sync with one workspace at a time, but you can choose for the sync to be two-way, Outlook to Producteev, or Producteev to Outlook only, and you can change workspaces right from Outlook, as well.

Here’s a link to the Producteev Outlook plugin screencast.

 

Google Tasks

I was honestly under the impression that people cared about Google Tasks about as much as they do about Buzz, Wave and Sidewiki. Or Orkut. Apparently, I was gravely mistaken, as Google is invested enough in Tasks that they went through the trouble of launching a Tasks API at Google I/O this month. Producteev was right there with them, and has created a two-way revolving door with the in-Gmail task manager.

It’s a pretty cool integration, actually. It allows you to create tasks in Google and have them sync to your Producteev workspace where they will have their own label (the list’s name) automatically assigned. It also works the other way, bringing your workspace’s tasks into Google where you can quickly check on them and interact with them without leaving your email. Yayy efficiency!

Check out the quick screencast on the integration, below:

YouTube Preview Image

I advise you to be careful when using Google Tasks sync, however. It is, at this point, only designed to handle a connection from one Producteev workspace. If you use several workspaces concurrently, like I do in my Producteeev GTD setup, and you, say, I don’t know… connect them all… at once –  well, let’s just say you will end up with an ever-growing and duplicating list of tasks as the workspaces sync them, and then re-sync them, one after the other, after the other, after the other. *grins*  Thankfully, they all show up under one label and so were easy to delete.

If you do use multiple workspaces in your productivity setup, I recommend using only your most important workspace in Google Tasks sync. You could also use it for a priority tasks list, or to keep your Projects workspace handy at a glance.

 

Native Apps

Producteev hasn’t forgotten about the users out there who prefer native apps. They have had them in the works for some time now, and that awesome little tree is about to bear its fruit. A Mac app is due to hit the mainstream by the end of this month, and Windows will get a native app in mid-June. That’s straight out of the mouth (well… email) of Producteev founder Ilan Abehassera, so doubt me at your peril! Ilan also said that a fancy new Android app will be available in early June, as well.

Here’s a look at the Mac app (from the Producteev Blog):

Producteed Native App | Producteev Mac App

What do you think of Producteev’s new integrations?

Bobby Travis

Bobby isn't 40-something, but is a strong supporter of the Grown-up Geek kind. He's a loving husband and father first, but is also a freelance writer, productivity nut, operatically trained singer, and (not-so) closet geek. Check out his random thoughts, wackiness, and Instagram pics on Tumblr, Twitter, or Google+-- or just head over to bobby-travis.com.

17 Comments:

  1. Bobby, you’ve touched on a sore spot for me with regards Outlook and mobile.

    In our organisation we use Outlook (2003 – not that it particularly matters) on our desktops and iPhone 4′s. No problem picking up mail etc whilst out and about on the iPhone but the problem does arise when you’re using some kind of system to organise/prioritise your mail – whether that be GTD or any other process of choice.
    I am currently using a simple system which is a Frankenstein’s-child of GTD, etc. Bear in mind that I generally work at the desktop Mon-Fri 9am-7pm. Let’s imagine that I stick to the principle of processing inbox emails twice a day (although in reality I check more often than that but have turned off all notifications other than the New Mail icon on the system tray, and ignore anything that can wait for the next batch of processing).

    I simply mark them as read and flag them with a coloured flag depending on which “bucket” they are due to reside (Red: Me to do | Blue: waiting/deferred | Yellow: Someday/maybe | Green: ready, although I’m not too sure what I intended that last one to actually cover!)

    HOWEVER, on the iPhone you cannot see/create a flag – which means that when away from the desk I can’t operate the same processing rule.

    I’ve been looking at using tools that build on Outlook – clearcontext.com being a good example. But when taking into account the iPhone’s limitation I can’t have a consistent approach which would be especially hampering if using a tool such as this due to the wider-ranging changes it makes to operate the system properly.

    Anyone got any thoughts or experiences of tools that do work – bearing in mind the necessity of having OL on the desktop?

    • Hi Daryl,

      I would suggest using Producteev’s email to task feature (even without the plugin), to create labels that match your colour scheme (they have colour options, but you can also just call a label “blue” if you want). All you would have to do is register the incoming email to your workspace, and then forward email to task@producteev.com.

      You can apply labels, a specific workspace if you want/need to, and even schedule and prioritize the tasks via the email subject line using hash tags and general English.

      Example of a scheduled task for you:

      [Email Subject title] Friday at 3pm ##red — (adding a workspace would be #workspacename)

      You could also multi-label, if you need to, and you can defer to other members of the team (if they are also on Producteev) just by writing that person’s name in the subject line. More than two people on the team costs money, though. Just you (and one other) and its all free.

      Benefits: You have your tasks on your mobile/tablet if you have an iPhone/iPad, Android phone/tablet (using Astrid at the moment, though an Android app is due in June), Blackberry (via Taskee), or, if all else fails, you can manage entirely via email — even marking tasks as complete, adding notes, and other changes just by replying to a task notification.

      With the plugin: If you utilize the Outlook plugin you can do even more, and make things faster to process from your desktop, as it allows you to select/view labels in a task from the Producteev tab in the task dialogue. You can check the box for the “red” label in Outlook, send it to Producteev and have it there when you are mobile, and you can label directly from email when mobile, and reference that in Outlook when you are back at your desk, adding your colour flag. The fact that you can simply click on the flag button in Outlook to send a task to Producteev is also a speed bonus.

      I am not sure if the plugin is compatible with 2003, but I have asked Judi over at Producteev and expect she will get back to me shortly.

      I hope this helps you out! :D

      • Thanks Bobby. Looks like I need to take a closer look at Producteev!

        Have been playing with Toodledo – to the point of being a “premium” subscriber, but I struggle to integrate it into my rather random workflow :)

      • No problem, Daryl! I’d be happy to help you work it into your workflow — at the very least, I can answer any questions you might have, or direct you to the appropriate parties if I can’t. :)

        Toodledo is fantastic software — I couldn’t get into it though. Mostly it was the interface. I would have to use an additional tool that gives Toodledo a facelift. Also, I like to work for free and save my pennies where I can, and I got Producteev working for me for free. :)

      • Hi Daryl,

        Judi replied re: Outlook compatibility below.

  2. I must say that I had been already quite impressed with producteev. However, these plugins have added the icing to the cake and will really make it a killer app.

  3. I have to say that I have had nothing but problems with producteev!!! First the website seems incredibly slow and keeps me from being able to maneuvre through it. Second, I signed up for it 2 weeks ago, and since then I have had my tasks multiply redundantly like rabbits! No joke! I synced with google tasks as well as Astrid – a feature I liked and now I am trying to figure out how to delete the over 40 redundant copies of many of my tasks!!!

    Does anyone have any suggestions/similar experiences?

    • Hi Jeremy,

      On the slowness issue, it might be that you have a lot of things attempting to sync in for the first time, but that wouldn’t last for 2 weeks — unless it is the task redundancy that is keeping it in a sync-loop.

      I’ve created sync-loops before, while experimenting with and testing the service. The first was while trying to find a creative way to forward reQall notes into Producteev to hack in reQall’s voice recognition — that was related to looping email forwards and the mail to task feature. I created another by accident with Google Tasks: I tried syncing multiple workspaces when it only works with one (see article above). I had to turn off the Tasks connection on all workspaces and then sort by the Gtasks list label and use the batch menu (check box pop-up) to select all and then delete.

      If that doesn’t work for you, or has grown to some sort of astronomical task, contact their support. Judi is awesome and will definitely help you out. As it sounds like yours is a bit of an extreme case, you will probably get connected to Stephane or one of his crew and they should sort you out.

      You shouldn’t have any trouble there, but if you do, let me know and I will broker an introduction.

      Stick it out, man, it will be worth it in the end. :)

    • I received your email, Jeremy, and Judi at Producteev has advised me that she’s spoken to one of the devs about your problem. Hopefully It gets resolved for you quickly. :)

    • Duplication sounds like an Astrid issue, there are some known issues with duplication in their system.

      Please email support[at]producteev.com so our devs can take a look! :)

  4. The plugin is only configured for 2007 & 2010.

    • Thanks Judi!

      @Daryl: It looks like you will have to go straight email to task. Either that or convince your workplace to upgrade or allow you to use Google Apps/Gmail.

      • Ah, thanks anyway for the info!

        We’re probably going to do an upgrade in the next couple of years.

        However, one of the bits of news from yesterday’s developer preview of iOS 5 was that it’ll add the ability to flag messages in the inbox. Hurrah! Some pain relief for me at least!

        P.S. I’m not totally convinced yet about email to external task…

  5. Yeah that iOS update ought to be helpful for you, for sure!

    What’s your hangup with email to task? Is it the potential exit from your current workflow, security issues?

    I’ve been doing it for a while now and it works insanely well for me. I live online, though, and much of my work is research and conversation based, so it just makes sense for me. I go with Producteev because of the pretty interface and great added features for organization, and because I can work with it and never leave my email at all, if I want to.

    • Hi Bobby – you got it: security.

      I work in a law firm and we’re mega-tight on that confidentiality issue (as you’d hope!).

      Even though much of what I do is organisational management and not therefore directly matter-related there is often some crossover and there’s no difference to the security rules…

  6. Hey, it looks like I’m gonna havta try Producteev myself… I’m loving the sound of the Outlook Plugin for tasks!

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