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.
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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
Evernote has superior collection capability but no true task management functionality.
Producteev’s notes system and ability to add attachments simply can’t compare to Evernote.
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!).
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.
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)
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!
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 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.
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:
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.
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):
What do you think of Producteev’s new integrations?
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.
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.
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.
I’ve found myself plenty busy lately. The new job, new baby, and newly four have been making it difficult to get sleep, let alone writing time. As a result, however, my obsession for to-do apps has flexed its brawn and muscled its way back to the forefront of my thoughts — especially after I accidentally discovered Any.DO.
I like Google Chrome. Love it, in fact. I love the extensions, I love the OS-style feel of it, and I love the apps integration that makes that feel possible. It long ago took over Firefox for me, and, while I love the foxy Fox, I’ve never been able to go back to it full time.
The one thing I find with Google Chrome, however, is that — like my computer and my mobile devices — I have a tendency to collect apps that seem useful, and then rarely use them. I tell myself that they might come in handy one day (and therefore should be kept), but that’s probably just an excuse — an excuse that got me wondering: do you have the same problem?
I organize my apps into different pages, and I’ve listed them below, only detailing the Quick Apps page, which are the ones I like to keep available and (in theory) use the most. I’ve uncluttered recently, but I still find that I barely use many of the apps within.
Evernote Web – I never open this. Well, very rarely. I use the desktop app or my mobile apps instead. I keep it, though, on the off-chance that I’ll load up Chrome OS or install Linux and sync my profile. Or something.
Springpad – I like Springpad and I do use this, as the app is strictly web-based at this time. I also enjoy some of the integration into the context menu, though I don’t actually use it that often.
Producteev – I use this one, too. Producteev has a desktop app, and that’s great, but it needs work. I also prefer to have my task manager in the browser, as I do most of my work while online, and the browser makes it quickly accessible.
Wunderlist – I love Wunderlist. It’s probably the sexiest task/list manager out there. I rarely use it, though, as my workflow is based around Producteev. Occasionally, I might use it to quickly make a pretty list that I want with me on my iPhone and iPad, but I have no real need for it. But it’s pretty!
Wunderkit – I know what you’re thinking… If I don’t use Wunderlist, what do I need the whole Wunderkit for? Short answer — I don’t, even though it’s awesome. But I keep thinking I might employ it as an alternative for Producteev or something. That will likely never happen, though — and shouldn’t I put it in my App testing folder, instead? Yeah, you’re probably right. And yet…
Timer – This is a simple button that fires the Timer site/app (formerly TimerTab, which we covered here) — which allows you oddly enough, to time stuff. You can even set a YouTube video as an alarm. I chose Spill the Wine by Eric Burdon and War.
Gmail | Offline Google Mail – I live in Gmail, so this is a no brainer. I set it to open in its own window and roll out. I don’t usually use Offline Google Mail, and I think it may be totally useless now that Google is doing better offline mail within the regular Gmail app, but I haven’t tossed it yet. Just in case…
Google Calendar – There are a number of ways I can get at Google Calendar, but I use this when I want it to easily open in its own window. Which is a rare thing… but I do still use it.
TweetDeck | Hootsuite – I have no idea why I keep these here. I find that I manage multiple Twitter accounts more effectively on my phone, or by using LastPass to sign in to the account I choose. For work accounts, I have a whole other browser profile that I tend to use, so there is never any real conflict. If I consolidate, though, one of them could be useful, I suppose. Who needs to have so much social information thrown at you at one time, though? Keep it simple and lower your stress level, says I.
Box | Dropbox – I use both of these, but if the two, Box is the only one I ever open, because it is a web-only interface. I use my OS for Dropbox. I keep it there for the Google OS potential, though. I used to have SugarSync there, as well, but that app seems to have disappeared for the Chrome Web Store.
My other pages are separated by Design, Fun Stuff, and App Testing.
In Design I have several Aviary image editing and creation apps, Picnik, and Audiotool. Again, I think I keep these for when I’m on a computer that isn’t Adobe-friendly, as I never use them otherwise. Design also has Zootool (a visual bookmarking app I never use), jsFiddle (code-testing sandbox that I rarely use), Pinterest (more for my wife, than me – and why under design…?), Summify, and Revisu (helps with design iterations when using Google Drive).
Fun Stuff (which is woefully bare, unfortunately) has Kid Mode for Chrome, which is the Zoodles app for my daughter. Zoodles is awesome, but the app hasn’t worked properly in Chrome for a while, leading me to use Firefox for this particular function. This page also has YouTube (which I mostly get to via search), Full Screen Weather (which I usually check on my phone), Graphicly Comics (which I never use), and Planetarium (used rarely). Netflix used to be here, but it is nowhere to be found on the Web Store now.
App Testing tends to change, by its nature, but there are a few things in there that are persistent for some reason. I’ve left Jolicloud in there, as well as Memonic, and SlideRocket (which is cool, but I don’t generally use due to the pricing). I’ve also got HelloFax in there (it works with Google Drive and I use it sometimes, but had nowhere else to put it), Summify (it will stop working eventually, as it’s been bought by Twitter, but I keep it here in the meantime) and Thinkery (possible Evernote alternative I need to get around to testing more). This is also where I keep the Web Store link.
So there you have it. Even after going through every app in my Chrome set up, I still don’t know what ones to get rid of, but I only use about a third of what I have with any regularity. It’s a conundrum, I tell you!
How about you? Do you have any Chrome apps that you keep around, but never use? What are the apps that you do use, and couldn’t live without?
Early in my Mac life, I looked at ten apps that were essential to me at the time. Looking at that list, I realize that my usage has changed a bit over time. Since then, the Mac App Store was born as well. A recent post by Dan Gold on Google+ inspired me to try to list my ten favorite App Store apps. It was hard narrowing that list down to just ten, and even harder ranking these from 1 to 10. Here’s what I came up with.
It’s that time of the year where you see lists everywhere you turn. Now it’s our turn, as we present you with our list of the top 10 most popular 40Tech articles of 2011. These are articles that were posted in 2011, so popular older articles, like our look at Evernote as a GTD tool, weren’t considered. We measured “popularity” by the number of page views a story tallied during the year. Read on for the results.