Producteev Gets a Massive Upgrade: Android App, Windows Desktop App, and an All Around Makeover

Producteev Gets a Makeover | 40Tech

Producteev, one of our favourite  — and one of the best — to-do apps, has released a massive upgrade that includes some long-awaited features and platform updates. The web and iPhone apps have gotten a makeover, the much clamoured-for Android app has finally arrived, and there is now a Windows 7 desktop app to balance out the Mac version. Even the logo has been updated (bye bye Tasky the beaver)!

To top it all off, Producteev has added a few new features into the mix — and yes (drumroll), that does include sub-tasks…

Check out the video below for the overview of some of the new functionality in the multi-platform task manager.

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There have been usability and visual enhancements across all apps, improvements to some of the main Producteev feature-set (discussed in previous posts), and some brand new features such as integration with TaskRabbit (a service for crowdsourcing small tasks), the ability to print tasks and export them to CSV, as well as the aforementioned sub-tasks.

Now, I know many of you have been waiting patiently for sub-tasks, but don’t get too excited. At this time, sub-tasks are really nothing more than a checkable list added to the top of the main task’s detailed view. There is no way to interact with them outside of that view, or to add specific dates, labels, or anything else. Also, they don’t appear to work in the mobile apps yet, either. Hopefully, there will be improvements, and soon, especially in the case of the missing mobile integration.

The Android app is great. I can now use Producteev with my wife’s phone just as easily as my own, and with an interface that’s nearly identical to the iPhone’s. As Producteev mentions in this post, however, Android users should be aware that the new app is in beta. Don’t expect an error-free experience, just yet.

As always, Producteev is free to use for workspaces that have one or two people. If you want to collaborate with larger teams, unlimited people and storage space can be had for $20 USD per month (it gets cheaper the more workspaces you buy).

Update: Google Calendar integration has been temporarily disabled due to stability issues. It should be back up and running within the week — and it will be better than before. Two way task-sync with Gcal, folks!

GTD, Producteev, Evernote — Bridged!

GTD, Producteev, Evernote -- Bridged! | 40Tech

As you probably already know, GTD and Productivity are creatures that live somewhere deep in my bones. They speak to me, manipulate me, and generally run my life. Not in a bad way, you understand — even if they come across as a little obsessive, the little monsters really do have my best interests at heart. They’re the reason I’m always looking for new and inventive ways to refine and apply workflows. They’re also the reason that I’ve met some cool people who have their own little creatures that bitch and nag them into action.

During a recent conversation on Google+, with a circle of those people, we were discussing the benefits of both Producteev and Evernote as GTD tools, and how it would be great if they worked together. We decided to test out a means of making that happen, with Evernote as the ultimate collection tool, and Producteev as the magic task management/Google Calendar integrator.

Here’s what I proposed (have a read and tell me what you think):

 

The Gist of the Idea

The first thing to do is make Evernote able to send email directly to task@producteev.com. To do this, you need to register the email address that your Evernote uses (to email out a note) in your Producteev workspace(s). Now, any tasks in Evernote that you want to process into Producteev can be done directly from within EN.

The next thing you need to do is make sure your Evernote notes get to the right place in your Producteev setup. Producteev’s email2task functionality is fantastic. It incorporates a lot of simple language that allows you to easily do things like schedule a task from email by writing “Do this task tomorrow at 2pm” in the subject line (more on syntax below). If you are working in the Evernote desktop app, you can easily send out an email by selecting that option under Share, and then changing the subject line to reflect the appropriate email2task syntax. If you are in a mobile app, or unable to change the subject line for some reason, then you can simply change the title of your note to reflect what you want the email subject line to say.

These two steps make it possible to collect information in Evernote and share it with Producteev quickly and easily. Producteev can connect to Google Calendar, as well, for two-way sync (coming first week of February, 2012), which gives you the opportunity to finally connect Evernote to Google Calendar, if only by proxy.

Finally, using the Copy Note Link or Copy URL to Clipboard features found under the Note and Share buttons in Evernote, you can add the note’s own link to the email or note body, and leave an easy to follow link back to Evernote in any Producteev task you create.

 

GTD Use Cases for a Evernote-Producteev Bridge

  • You could manage your GTD system in Evernote, doing everything from collecting to archiving, but use Producteev during processing to set up automated reminders and Google Calendar events. You could also add in email or IM Producteev functionality to easily close and update tasks, including sharing and delegating without ever logging in to the tool itself.
  • You could also manage your GTD in Producteev and simply use Evernote as your main collection tool, as well as for keeping all of your reference material and archives in one easily searchable place. Producteev has many ways of inputting tasks, but Evernote can utilize voice, image, and text entry, as well as the clipper, and a crazy number of integrations, to collect and organize information.

 

Why Bother?

  1. Evernote has superior collection capability but no true task management functionality.
  2. Producteev’s notes system and ability to add attachments simply can’t compare to Evernote.

 

Notes

  1. When you send an Evernote item into Producteev, the body is converted to a note. Actually, you end up with several notes, as any images that Evernote uses in the background of the note are added as separate (and useless) note items in Producteev. HTML is stripped out entirely, and this will sometimes leave garbage code in the text of the Producteev note. See the image below (thanks to Daniel Gold for doing the first test run!).
  2. Even though the Producteev notes are in plain text, the note itself is still in both tools. In Producteev, the notes system can be used to conduct a conversation around the task with others who have access to the workspace, or to leave additional notes for yourself if you are using Producteev as your main management system.

GTD in Producteev Evernote Bridge | 40Tech    pdtv-en2.

GTD in Producteev, Evernote | 40Tech

 

General Workflow & Syntax

  • Collect in Evernote
  • Process to Producteev via Evernote email-out and Producteev email2task syntax (with scheduled items going to Gcal, as well, for the visual calendar)
  • Manage tasks in  Evernote with Producteev used only for scheduling and reminders OR
  • Manage tasks in Producteev and/or email with Evernote for archival reference

 

Syntax tips can be found here, but the basics are as follows:

  • today, tomorrow, days of the week, next week, specific dates (today 8pm, August 10 8pm, 8pm August 10 when combining date and time)
  • done (to register a task as being completed)
  • @ to assign a task to a workspace collaborator (@Michael, @Michael Lewis, @Lewis, @ML)
  • * to indicate a priority level using our 1-5 starring system (4* or ****)
  • # to indicate workspace name (#Personal)
  • ## to indicate the appropriate label (##Marketing)
  • “” to add task notes (“follow up” or ‘follow up’)
  • / to have the beaver run searches for you (/today for a list of all of your tasks due by the end of the day)

 

Your Turn!

So what do you think of the possibilities of integrating Producteev and Evernote into one system that is relatively seamless? Thoughts? Concerns? Is this worthwhile? Let us know in the comments!

The Top Five Web Apps I Use the Most — What Are Yours?

The Top Five Web Apps I Use the Most -- What Are Yours? | 40Tech

The more I work on the computer, the more I realize that Google is probably right about the Cloud being our future. In fact, other than Photoshop and friends, the occasional game, and the desktop version of Evernote, I pretty much live in Web App Land. Outside of the obvious like Facebook, Twitter (plus related apps), and Gmail, there are approximately 30 web apps that I use or visit on a semi-regular basis — and that’s not including the Chrome extensions that are direct links to yet other web apps.

Here are the five that I use the most:

 

Producteev, Springpad, and Evernote

Okay, so I’m actually cheating a little bit and making my first web app a combination of three. If you’ve read 40Tech before, and especially if you’ve read me, you already know that these three apps are a huge part of my personal productivity system. I had to include them in my list, but I didn’t want them to take up more than half of it! Besides, all three are practically indispensable to me: Evernote for writing and quick ideas, Springpad for bookmarking and research, and Producteev for GTD task management and overall organization. I could do (and have done) all of those things with each one of those apps, but decided to play to their strengths and combine them for the best results.

Feedly

This is another app I’ve covered before. Feedly is probably the best RSS/Google Reader client that I have ever used. The visual presentation of all of my feeds in a magazine format that learns what I like is utterly fantastic. I love it!

Netflix

I don’t get a lot of time to watch TV or movies, but when I do sneak some in, I usually wind up on Netflix. The streaming movie and TV show catalogue is not nearly as well-stocked up here in Canada, but there is still a lot of great content, especially for $8/month.

Mint

Since Mint.com merged with Intuit and finally started offering its finance management awesome in Canada, it has lived in my browser. There’s still a lot of work I need to do with it to get the most out of the array of tools and resources it offers, but Mint is definitely a web app that is here to stay for me.

Dropbox

Dropbox is my main cloud storage service. I also use SugarSync, Box.net, iDrive Backup, MiMedia, and a few others, but Dropbox is the most developed — or at least the most supported by other services. I use it to backup files, to get them on to my iPhone and iPad easily, and to share files with friends, family, and business colleagues. That’s hard to beat.

 

There are, as I mentioned, a multitude of other apps that I use, and there are even a few that are threatening the hold of some of my current list. I’ll be reviewing those few soon, so stay tuned!

Now it’s your turn: what are your top five web apps?

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:

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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?

GTD in Producteev: Utilizing Multiple Workspaces

GTD in Producteev

If you have read 40Tech over the past year, you may have discovered my minor obsession with productivity apps and methods. It’s a journey that began with my first post here: GTD in Evernote with Only One Notebook (posted a year and a week ago ), and continued through reviews of Action Method Online and on into my latest experiment, Producteev 2. I have really been enjoying Producteev, and have been using it exclusively for some time now — so I decided it was time to attempt a full GTD implementation, and see how it would work. After some trial and error, I’m satisfied. Check out a walkthrough of my method for GTD in Producteev, below.



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Producteev Wants To Be Your Virtual Assistant

Producteev Task Manager Wants to Be Your Virtual Assistant | 40Tech

Just last week, Producteev announced on their Posterous blog that their software now has the power to act as a virtual assistant, of sorts. In June, we introduced Producteev to you as an organic task manager that does its best to apply itself to your current workflow, as opposed to forcing you to adopt a new one. That was only two months ago and the ambitious developers over at Producteev HQ have been steadily pushing out improvements and new features. 

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Producteev 2 Stands Task Management On Its Ear With A Fast, Easy, Cross-Platform Solution

Producteev 2 Task Management is a Fast, Easy Cross Platform Solution | 40Tech

Some have you may have noticed our minor obsession with productivity applications here at 40Tech — particularly with task management apps. In the past, we have written on GTD in Evernote, Action Method Online, reQall, Dial2Do, ToodleDo vs Remember the Milk, and more. We also briefly made mention of Producteev, then a promising but still incomplete service focused on cross-platform task management and communication. Now Producteev is back and swinging out hard with Producteev 2, promising one of the best personal and business task management apps to hit the web. Producteev's goal is to enable you to work with their task management system without requiring you to make major adjustments to your current workflow. Producteev 2 is powerful,highly flexible, and free for individuals.

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