Get your Twitter Chat on, and join us this September 27th at 3PM EST! The topic will be ‘procrastination.’ Be sure to include the hashtag: #TaskChat.
We will host a #TaskChat on the last Tuesday of every month- come party with us!
TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2011 was so awesome, we had to make a Swag Contest out of it!
(If you’re not familiar with Disrupt, it’s 3 day convention and contest for startups, hosted by TechCrunch.)
Innovative products include:
If you’re a true geek you already know that the winner of the $50K and this Disrupt Battlefield competition was Shaker, an avatar-driven chatroom-styled app that mimics real life socializing. You get to freely converse with friends and others with whom you share mutual contacts. Unlike real life, before you approach them, you can learn what the two of you have in common. How’s that for conversation-starters? Congrats, Shaker, on a well-deserved win!
One of the finalists was CakeHealth (which has nothing to do with cake, but everything to do with health!) Give them your health insurance info, and they will guide you through your healthcare spending. In many ways, it’s comparable to Mint.com.
Bitcasa offers unlimited online data storage at $10/month. In the words of the founder, ”This folder is infinite. This desktop is infinite. Your desktop, your primary storage, is now the network. Your primary hard drive is now a cache.” So that means you can save all your videos. All of them. ;-)
And then there were apps like Amen, which (like our beloved Angry Birds) is a cute time-killer. Think of it as a universal game of Mad Libs, where you fill-in-the-blanks with the ‘best and worst’ of different things in different categories, and other users leave feedback.
Learn more about the finals by clicking here.
And now for the Swag Contest!
Tell us in the comments below, how you feel Producteev could supplement any of the apps that made it to the final cut. One lucky winner will be selected and gifted a whole bag of Producteev swag! Make your explanations good, and look for the announcement of who won on Monday, September 19th at 11:30 a.m. EST.
Photo credit: Eva Blue
Now that shared workspaces are free for students, class collaboration on Producteev may be used to lighten your load this semester!
Having never been in a fraternity or sorority, it’s safe for me to serve as an expert in terms of Greek organizations, and an well known joke/fact about them is that members are in cohorts to cheat on exams. ;) More specifically, and to my shock and naïveté, certain fraternity organizations, keep private libraries of all course examination materials - for every single course known to man, or at least registered in the directory of classes. In turn, these materials are lent to members for “studying” purposes.
The following is a powerful paradigm, and potentially controversial concept, to introduce. However it is possible and possibly more beneficial in the long-run.
Producteev accepts virtually all file attachments and is known to store documents.
In theory, Producteev can be used to divide group assignments, distribute coursework, store documents (notes), and share them. Thus, individual group members have more time to do other things, like facebook! :P
If there weren’t Cliff’s notes or internet resources at your disposal, couldn’t the above method of shared note-taking via *team assignment*, in collaboration with document storage and previewing/downloading/printing be used to minimize efforts on the individual? Granted, there will be more team efforts and awkwardness, or maybe even pain in having to figure out team processes. However, the skill and experience of teamwork is infinitely more valuable and applicable to the workforce for that matter - than any single gain from having worked alone.
Though we’re not saying that a distributive and collaborative system as previously described is appropriate for all situations, but we do challenge you to be aware and open to situations where it would be effective (and absurd not to)! Should you go this route, teams of 3-7 persons are recommended for accountability, as well as manageability, purposes. In addition, regularly scheduled checkins, i.e. weekly reports/assessments are encouraged!
So why not use existing google products to collaborate this way? Well, we’re better looking, for one!
More importantly, we make it our mission to push boundaries of multi-platform integration and close-knit collaboration.
Let there be no pressure to do as the Greeks do, but let there be encouragement to always be creative, to do good, and to work together. Especially in regards to the intelligent application of technology. :)
Creating a separate workspace for each aspect of your life only takes a few secs, and helps out A LOT with organization & reducing clutter.
Why create extra workspaces? Why not list all tasks on one display?
If you plan to lightly use Producteev on one or two aspects of your life (shopping lists, errands) then placing all your tasks on one workspace would be okay. If you plan on using it for several aspects (which you know you should) it’s best you create separate workspaces early on.
Here is how to go about it:
On the upper left portion of your screen, click on the blue tab that reads ‘(your name)’s Workspace.’
A little dropdown menu will appear. Click on the white bar titled, “New Workspace.” Type in the name of the new workspace you would like to create, and click on the ‘+’ on that very same bar to save it.
That is it! Just repeat this simple procedure for additional workspaces. Plot your tasks accordingly onto each of the applicable workspaces, and you will neatly be on the road to productivity! To switch between workspaces, just click on the same blue tab, and select which workspace you would like to view. If you would like to change the order in which the workspaces appear on the blue panel, simply drag and drop!
Recommended Reading: GTD in Producteev: Utilizing Multiple Workspaces
- Using your .edu e-mail address, sign up to Producteev for Education. (Link below)
- Once you’re in, assign a ‘workspace’ for each of your sections.
- Under each workspace, plot the information highlighted on the syllabus.
- Assign due dates and reminders as needed. These can be done via e-mail and IM.
- Add some visual appeal! Assign colored labels to each category of assignment. For example: Response Papers = Red; Research Reports = Yellow; etc.
- Observe the activity in all your sections with one glance through the ‘overview.’
- As assignments get completed, mark them ‘done.’ Now onto the next project!
- Hold that Thought: Add notes to your tasks! Feel free to quickly jot down any ideas you may like to implement… before the thought gets lost in another rush of ideas!
- Sharing is Caring: Collaborate with a colleague or superior on tasks!
I. Login & Accounts
You can use facebook, google or yahoo connect to save time on your first, and subsequent, web app logins.
Be sure to set your account information password to access 3rd party applications (including the mac desktop app). The forgot password link is similar to resetting your password manually.
Should you forget your password, you can generate a temporary password using the “forgot password” option in the login box. Go to the homepage at http://producteev.com and instead of logging in or registering, select “forgot password.”
Be sure to check spam folders for password instructions.
If you created a duplicate account or wish to delete your account forever, you will need to email contact[at]producteev[dot]com with your request.
Currently, there is no way to delete an account on your own. The upcoming web app, however, will have this feature. Stay tuned over the next few weeks to learn more about this next iteration of Producteev.
II. Configuring Settings
Sync to google calendar in two clicks. Select an individual workspace to be synced and select the calendar icon from the task list. Next hit “send to google calendar.”
You will then be prompted to grant access to google, be sure to accept. Note: workspaces are synced on an individual basis.
Collaborating is easy on Producteev! Add a team member to your workspace from the People section, in the left side bar. Click “add a person,” enter his/her email address and hit enter.
If he/she hasn’t already, your team member will be prompted to register for a Producteev account in order to join your workspace. Should you have any issues, such as the email invitation getting put in the spam folder, you can share the unique invitation link in your Workspace Administration/People tab. Simply copy/paste the unique link and share with the corresponding invitee.
Default notifications are only for tasks with deadlines that are overdue. You can turn off these notifications from your Workspace Administration panel.
Select Workspace Administration in the left footer. Next select the Email/IM tab. Edit notifications and uncheck, or disconnect completely.
III. Basic Features
A task is “hot” if it has at least one star and is due today.
Email a task / IM a task
Email tasks to task[at]producteev[dot]com to add them to your to-do list.
Your login email is already configured. To configure additional email addresses, select Workspace Administration in the left footer. Next select the Email/IM tab. Add and connect additional email/IM accounts.
Any tasks added via email/IM can be accessed using the Inbox filter in the left sidebar.
The inbox filter in the left sidebar displays tasks added via email/IM.
It is *not* a custom filter, as in David Allen’s Getting Things Done (GTD) method.
Natural Language Processing
Certain keyboard shortcuts are available on Producteev.
See the following Support section for a list of syntax.
IV. Plans and Upgrades
Producteev pricing is per workspace and workspace plans are free for individuals and small teams of two.
Any mention of the word “trial” will disappear from your account information after 14 days of use, it is merely a way to indicate that a workspace is new.
Free Premium Plans with Producteev for Education
Click the following to learn more about this newly launched program for students and schools.
Producteev is proud to offer discounts for non-profit use. If interested in obtaining 20% off, email contact[at]producteev[dot]com for your promotion code.
Producteev pricing is per workspace and teams purchasing more than one workspace will receive discounts for purchasing a bundle of workspaces.
Standard bundle discounts are issued for 2, 5 and 10 workspaces. Email contact[at]producteev[dot]com for other workspace bundle needs.
V. Advanced Features
Tasks are viewable to your workspace members, unless otherwise specified. You can change privacy settings of individual tasks from the web app.
Select a task and click on the lock icon to open up a privacy window. Checked team members have viewing privileges, so uncheck names that should not have viewing rights.
Add a workspace to organize your projects, or by GTD context. Click on a workspace title and enable the workspace drop down menu. Add your new workspace at the bottom.
Note: Producteev pricing is per workspace and workspace plans are free for individuals and small teams of two. Although workspaces with 3 or more people do not qualify for a free plan, bundles and discounts (details above) help decrease the price.
See all tasks, across all workspaces (projects/contexts) by selecting the Overview. Click on a workspace title and enable the workspace drop down menu to display the overview option.
We’re so excited over the new Producteev for Windows… we just HAD TO offer you a glimpse of what’s to come!
Let us know what you think of it so far!
Aaron Couch is so good at time management that his skills get him dates! ;) More seriously, though, he is a passionate Veterinary Techonology student, and he recently shared a video of a Horseback Rider Delivering Medicine in a Hurricane. If you watch it, it may remind you of a scene from True Grit.
Like many Producteev students, he applies proven methodologies to tackle his to-do list. The following post covers several aspects of Aaron’s busy life, all conveniently managed on Producteev.
As a college student, Producteev has really changed the way I manage my tasks and has greatly improved my time management skills. The thing I like the most about it is I can have all my tasks in one place, instead of Post-It notes and scattered loose sheets of paper with lists on them covering my desk—the list or task might start there, but it always ends up in Producteev.
Staying in Sync with Google
Having a planner in class is nice, but adding it to Producteev is awesome. I usually already have Google Docs open and typing notes, so my second tab is the Producteev web app. When the instructor says “Next week we are having a quiz over chapters 4 and 5,” I am immediately ready to type it in my tasks since my hands are already at the keyboard. Each night I then go through my planner and add any additional tasks into Producteev that I wasn’t able to during that day.
Workspaces in Producteev is a college student’s dream organization tool. It’s like completely changing your desk in your dorm with one turn (or click in this case). As editor of my school’s newspaper, Parliamentarian of Student Senate, school event photographer, Veterinary Technology student and of course CEO of my life, I have a ton of tasks in some very different areas. I have found Workspaces really helps with this.
With each of my different responsibilities come tasks and, of course, with tasks, comes a schedule (otherwise you won’t get anything done on time). Producteev does have a calendar to see when your tasks are, but the most robust calendar client online is Google Calendar—I use it for everything! The best part is Producteev can sync with Gcal so you never need to add a task twice. Thought that was the best part? Wrong. Each Workspace gets their own calendar so you can really stay organized.
A fellow student once told me after class, “Aaron, I wish I was as organized as you are. You have everything so organized online with your class notes and schedule!” I realized then that I really wish more students would use these tools because it helps so much to stay on top of things and get them done on time!
Applying Stephen R. Covey’s Methods
I’m currently using tags (labels) along with one of the principles from the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey. I highly recommend the book to everyone: parent, teacher, employee, employer and especially students. It will not only change the way you manage your time or treat others, but it will completely redirect your life in the utmost positive direction.
A core concept is Time Management, in which Covey describes our “to-dos” in four quadrants. They are “Urgent and Important”, “Not Urgent, but Important”, “Not Important, but Urgent” and “Not Important or Urgent”. I’m not going to describe each one, but you can read them in the picture. So what do these have to do with tags? I recently redeveloped all my tags and thought I’d make them simple—starting with these four. I also have workspace-based tags (labels) like “Personal”, “School”, “Work”, and so on, but these four are the foundation.
Tagging, like Workspaces, is one of the fascinating features of Producteev. I love how you can adapt them to what best works for you. Some other great useful features are the filters and starring. They’re very useful if you take the time to organize them to your liking. Staring helps to prioritize your tasks from 1 to 5, five being the most urgent (and important). The “Hot!” filter is especially… hot! ;) With labels, filters, and starring combined, you can really take hold of “producteevity”. OK enough of the puns, but really, it’s amazing how a flexible task manager with powerful Google integration, coupled with a sound productivity method, enables me to get *everything* done!
If you’re a student looking to collaborate with friends and manage tasks for free, please visit Producteev for Education.
Michael Castello makes home-made pizza, does DIY projects around the house, camps in the great outdoors *and* is saving the world as an MD/PhD student. But don’t get too excited, ladies ;) This man’s taken - happily married to a beautiful wife and living the life in SoCal.
Lucky for us, Michael makes GTD and Producteev work for him. This post is about how he manages tasks in grad school as a med student.
For me, digital task management began with Microsoft Outlook somewhere in my “tween” years. By the time middle school came around, I was syncing it with a Windows Mobile PDA, awkwardly carrying it around wherever I could. Today, I find myself using Producteev to try and wrangle the myriad of to-do items that come with being a married MD/PhD student who has too many hobbies.
I use a number of different devices, so I interact with Producteev in just all about of its forms in the course of my day. On my desktop PC, I use the web interface and try to process anything I woke up remembering that I needed to accomplish. At school or in the lab, I use a MacBook Pro, and have recently fallen in love with the desktop app. It allows me to break Producteev out of the browser, sorting it to its own space and minimizing the ability of the rest of the internet to distract me while I am processing my tasks. Finally, on the go I use my smartphone, running the superior Android OS. Until there is a native Android app for Producteev, I sync with Astrid - which is actually how I discovered Producteev in the first place.
Overcoming Smartphone Challenges
One of the many things I like about Producteev is how easy it is to assign all of the relevant meta-information to a task as you are creating it. While my fingers are still on the keyboard, I can set priority, due date, workspace, and tags, so as soon as I press enter, the task is formatted exactly how it needs to be, no further processing required.
I’ve found, however, that adding that extra information is more than a little cumbersome on a soft keyboard smartphone, simply because the symbols take extra effort to access. When I’m on my phone I’m usually in the middle of doing something else and don’t have the time to carefully format a task. I deal with this by having Astrid set to put all new tasks into the brain dump workspace. If I think of something while mobile, I enter it as quickly as possible, saving the categorization and cleanup for when I have time at a full-size computer, such as at the beginning or end of the day.
Other Integrations & Experiments
I’ve been playing around a bit with integrating Evernote with Producteev. If I take meeting notes in Evernote, I can not only search through them later, I can also email the entire note to Producteev as a task, with all the surrounding information attached. Be aware that if the note has a lot of images and other content (such as a clipped web page), it can generate a good deal of garbage notes as well.
For processing email-based tasks, I generally either still forward the email to Producteev with the appropriate syntax in the subject line or switch to the app and enter the task myself.
I’m hoping in the future to make more use of the shared workspaces, both at home between myself and my wife and between the members of my lab. I see this as being helpful for identifying tasks that require cooperation to complete and for sending others to-do items that they can prioritize as they see fit.
I’m not a strict follower of Getting Things Done (GTD), but I am enamored with the idea of organizing and breaking down tasks into items with clear contexts and end points. Heavily inspired by this article, I set up a number of different context-related workspaces. Each one contains tasks that I must complete or remember in that specific context: Home, Lab, School, Errands, Computer, and Communication. I also have a workspace for projects, and a brain dump. Keep in mind that each new workspace will need to be separately configured to integrate with Google Calendar and other services.
With this many workspaces, the overview pane becomes quite valuable - I can quickly get an idea of what has be accomplished over the next few days regardless of context. I can also switch to a specific workspace to keep other types of tasks from looming and overwhelming me. I’ve found that this has helped me focus a great deal - I can concentrate on lab tasks while at lab, even as I think of and add things I’ll need to do later at home.
I’ve found that having a separate workspace for projects and other “some day” items is helpful. This is where tags come in especially handy: A project often has a number of steps, which I try to break down into individual tasks. Tagging all of these with a project helps keep them together, and priorities can be used to assign them a kind of hierarchy so it’s obvious which one has to be tackled first.
At this point I’ve been actively using Producteev for about nine months and it’s been extremely useful for helping me organize and remember everything I need to accomplish. It’s always a struggle to not get overwhelmed and to take decisive action to complete a task, but anything that helps lower the activation energy required is a boon - and Producteev makes for a wonderful catalyst.