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!
Editor’s note: If you run a web server, or like to mess around with networking gear, then you might be familiar with Telnet and SSH. Only the truly geeky need apply. Today, 40Tech is pleased to present you with a guest post from James Sudbury of Netzen Solutions Ltd. James takes a look at how to get up and running with Telnet on Windows 7.
Telnet is an old outdated protocol that is used for remote command line administration on various devices such as Cisco routers. I would recommend the use of SSH over Telnet in any circumstance; however I still find the Telnet command useful for testing mail servers and for checking open TCP ports. The ability to use Telnet might not be obvious on Windows 7, but it can be done.
Follow these instructions to enable Telnet on Windows 7: Read more
Windows 7 has some handy windows management functions, such as dragging a window to the left side of the screen to have it snap to fill the entire left half of your screen, or dragging it to the top of the screen to fill the entire screen. If you want even more functionality, whether it be on Windows 7, XP, or Vista, check out Chameleon Window Manager.
Yesterday, we asked you how much disk space you’ve used up on your system. On a Windows 7 PC, some of that space can be taken up by Service Pack 1 backup files that you might never need. When you install Service Pack 1 for Windows 7, it creates backup files in case you have problems and ever need to uninstall the service pack. You can remove them, though, if you want to. Here’s how.
Lately, I’ve been upping my productivity game. I love GTD, and I’ve been pretty successful at making tech like Evernote, Springpad, and Producteev work for me, but I still find that I have a tendency to get bogged down by clutter and distraction. A cluttered desktop doesn’t support a creative or efficient mindset very well, so I spent a little time sorting hiding the clutter with a tool Evan introduced to me called Fences. That helped, but something was missing — and I had absolutely no idea what that was. I tweaked, I fiddled, and messed about with different settings, but nothing seemed ring that proverbial gong for me. Nothing, that is, until I discovered Minimal Wall.
Minimal Wall is the ultimate place to begin simplifying your desktop experience. It’s more than just a collection of minimalist wallpapers, though. They actually help you to get set up for the optimal desktop in just a few steps. You start out by losing the clutter and icons on your desktop, and you end by choosing a very cool background, but the most intriguing thing about their set up process is the Grid Wallpaper.
The Grid Wallpaper uses simple graphic design principles to help you set up your windows for a better — and uncluttered — user experience. All you do is set the Grid as your desktop background, and then align your most commonly used windows to the yellow borders. When I first did it, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but I was surprised at how looking at my new desktop made me feel. It resonated with me. I was more relaxed, and I found it much easier to focus, even with several windows open at once.
After your windows are aligned, start looking at Minimal Wall’s wallpapers. I have no doubt that you’ll find them very easy on the eyes. I chose some of the Mindful Words backgrounds; nice reminders to move on to my next action, and keep focused. I even created one of my own in Photoshop — my little girl’s name –using their work as a base. It reminds me why I am sitting at the computer in the first place, and why I need to get off it again as soon as I can.
Lifehacker has a great post featuring a Minimal Wall based desktop, combined with Rainmeter, Launchy, and Rocketdock with some nice icons. Personally, I find Rainmeter to be annoying to set up and modify, so I won’t put you all through that. I did use some of the other ideas, however, such as installing Launchy (which I find I rarely use) and Rocketdock. Rocketdock, especially with the nice iconset, provides an easy to look at quick-launch that fits the theme. I won’t go to far into customizing Rocketdock here, but if you try it out and have trouble getting it to do what you want, hit me up in the comments and I’ll do my best to help you out.
So here’s the process so far:
I gathered all of my clutter into Fences — then I double-clicked the desktop to make the Fences hide themselves. Another double-click brings them back when you need them.
I used the Grid Wallpaper to line up and size my windows (and the Fences as well).
I selected the four wallpapers I wanted to use and put them in a folder to create a desktop slideshow (go to Control Panel, choose “Change desktop background” under Appearance and Personalization, then browse to the folder and select the images, configuring how they should change — I shuffle them every hour).
I installed and configured RocketDock with the new icons (add the folder of new icons into the Icons folder in Program Files (x86), then right-click on the dock and choose Icon Settings, then the icon set).
I also moved my Windows taskbar to the top of the screen and set it to auto-hide. I had originally used a tool called Taskbar Eliminator to make the taskbar vanish altogether, but I found that it was unreliable, and discovered that — since I was now rarely working in full screen — having the taskbar hidden at the top was actually quite useful for quick access to its functions.
Finally, I right clicked on the desktop and went to Personalize and saved my wallpapers as a custom theme. Doing this makes it so you can reclaim your desktop slideshow with a click, should you change it to something else and find you want it back again. To round everything out, I changed my logon screen to match the theme. Here’s how you do that:
Click Test if you want, but the application provides its own preview.
You’re done — easy as pie!
Here’s a Few Shots of the End Result
Since adopting this new look and feel for my desktop and workflow, I’ve found that I’m more focused, productive, and generally more relaxed while I work. The basic setup took me less than a half-hour to implement, and it’s paid that time back in spades. Hell, I was so inspired that I added a customized version of the wallpapers to my iPad, too, and then hunted down and killed my next big PC distraction: keeping Gmail open in my browser while I work. If you want a little more peace and productivity while you’re sitting in front of the multi-task machine, give this a try — I sincerely hope it helps you as much as it has me!