13 votes

Do any of you use productivity software (kanbans, scrum, etc)? How do you stay productive and organized?

I think I want to use some type of productivity software as a bit of a more in-depth to do list. I am thinking of using Trello, which seems to have a ton of features and does mostly what I want. However, I have no need for any of the collaboration aspects as I wouldn't be using this with a team or coworkers, just myself. So I am wondering if there isn't some other software I can use to stay organized that doesn't have a ton of features I won't use. Do any of you all use something similar? Open to all suggestions, both for programs or general practices.

15 comments

  1. [3]
    mmarco2121
    Link
    I use TickTick. Can be as simple as a to do list, or more complex with Kanban lists like Trello and notes. If you are on iOS/Mac, Things3 is amazing also.

    I use TickTick.

    Can be as simple as a to do list, or more complex with Kanban lists like Trello and notes.

    If you are on iOS/Mac, Things3 is amazing also.

    6 votes
    1. shx
      Link Parent
      Not OP, but I've been looking for something like TickTick for a long time - thanks for the reccomendation!

      Not OP, but I've been looking for something like TickTick for a long time - thanks for the reccomendation!

      4 votes
    2. drannex
      Link Parent
      TickTick is one of the best and has the most courteous and feature-driven development teams I've had the pleasure of using. Great features on the free tier, and the yearly price is fantastic for...

      TickTick is one of the best and has the most courteous and feature-driven development teams I've had the pleasure of using.

      Great features on the free tier, and the yearly price is fantastic for just a few more that most won't need. They continually add features and always focus on QoL

      Their habits feature is invaluable, and their natural language input is great. I could not suggest them more.

      3 votes
  2. [2]
    hungariantoast
    Link
    For managing a todo list, remembering deadlines, and getting things done I use Taskwarrior, a command-line task management program. It's pretty much the task management program when it comes to...

    For managing a todo list, remembering deadlines, and getting things done I use Taskwarrior, a command-line task management program. It's pretty much the task management program when it comes to managing todo items efficiently, more so than any graphical or non-scriptable program. Below I have copied an old comment I made talking about the program and how I use it.

    Before you read that though, I just want to mention that if you're having trouble staying organized, being productive, or not procrastinating, it might be due to stress and anxiety, not a lack of good tooling. Just food for thought.


    Taskwarrior is an invaluable tool for me. It's a command-line task management (todo list) program. I use it to track pretty much everything I need to do, and everything I have done. It helps me immensely when it comes to tackling larger projects, breaking tasks down into smaller, more manageable jobs, and generally planning my day and week. The amount of mental effort I don't have to expend thanks to this tool is staggering.

    Taskwarrior has the ability to sync with a remote server. If you don't want to set up a taskserver yourself, hosted solutions like FreeCinc or Inthe.AM work really well. Inthe.AM also has a web interface in addition to acting as a sync solution.

    There are Android apps available, and I am pretty sure iOS apps as well, for syncing and managing tasks on your phone.

    One interesting thing that I have started using Taskwarrior for, that I have not seen anyone else do, is use it as a habit tracker.

    I have been trying to get into the habit of drawing something every day. Because Taskwarrior supports recurring tasks, at midnight (or the first time after midnight that the program is executed), Taskwarrior will generate a Draw something task for the current day.

    I can track how often I did a habit by the created and completed dates of each Draw something task, even if the completed date does not exist (meaning I have not completed the task yet). Taskwarrior stores all of your data in JSON files, as opposed to a database or binary format. This means I can use standard Unix tools (or Python, etc.) to parse the data. This allows me to write a script using Taskwarrior's JSON data that pretty prints a nice calendar or graph of my habits over a period of time.

    Also, because Taskwarrior is a command-line program, it can be scripted. If I wanted each Draw something task to instead be Draw something <today's date>, I can easily set that up using cron jobs and shell scripts, or via hooks, which are actions that Taskwarrior can execute automatically when doing a specific thing. (Kind of like Git hooks.)

    These are benefits that declarative (handwritten) task management systems like Todo.txt and Org-mode don't provide.

    Overall, I view Taskwarrior a lot like I view Emacs. It has a bit of a learning curve, a lot of features, and its benefits become greater and greater the more heavily you use it.

    4 votes
    1. ChuckS
      Link Parent
      It's only been a couple years ago now (I'm in my late 30's) that I realized procrastination was a symptom of my anxiety about the task at hand. I'm avoiding the task because it makes me feel bad,...

      procrastinating, it might be due to stress and anxiety

      It's only been a couple years ago now (I'm in my late 30's) that I realized procrastination was a symptom of my anxiety about the task at hand. I'm avoiding the task because it makes me feel bad, because I have bad feelings about what I'm doing.

      I've learned to use that as a tool - when I find myself procrastinating then I try to step back, re-evaluate the task and how it fits into the larger picture, then try to break down what the end goal is, whether or not what I'm trying to do is contributing to that goal, and if it is then to outline the major sub-tasks that need to happen. Rinse and repeat.

      This usually winds up with me dissecting a large, overwhelming task into a series of manageable sub-tasks, some of which get broken down even further into action items. I do it by hand, with a pen on paper, both as a way to step away from the distractions and to get enough of a change of scenery that I can get away from the mindset I'm in when I'm procrastinating.

      2 votes
  3. [4]
    Adys
    Link
    I use Notion.so. nevermind productivity, it's more to stay organized and be able to remember things. Notion is the closest it ever got for me to being able to jolt down any note i want and be able...

    I use Notion.so. nevermind productivity, it's more to stay organized and be able to remember things. Notion is the closest it ever got for me to being able to jolt down any note i want and be able to eventually organize it: over time it doesn't become a mess but rather a clean temple of information.

    3 votes
    1. Shahriar
      Link Parent
      A cool thing to keep an eye out for is Anytype. Similar to Notion but it is open-source with an option to self-host, end-to-end encrypted, and implemented with the InterPlanetary File System...

      A cool thing to keep an eye out for is Anytype.

      Similar to Notion but it is open-source with an option to self-host, end-to-end encrypted, and implemented with the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) protocol.

      2 votes
    2. [2]
      hungariantoast
      Link Parent
      Aside from being proprietary and web-based, my biggest issue with Notion is that the mobile app runs (ran?) very, very poorly on any Android device I tested. It chewed through my battery like I...

      Aside from being proprietary and web-based, my biggest issue with Notion is that the mobile app runs (ran?) very, very poorly on any Android device I tested. It chewed through my battery like I was playing a game. I eventually just went back to using Google Keep for taking notes on my phone. (I use neither for taking notes on my computer.)

      Roam Research is a commonly recommended alternative to Notion that takes a different approach to note-taking, and there's a free-software alternative to Roam called Athens that looks pretty cool.

      1. Adys
        Link Parent
        Yeah the mobile app is not great. This is a non issue for me because I don't really take notes on my phone; when I do, i just write down whatever and organize it later when I get to my computer.

        Yeah the mobile app is not great. This is a non issue for me because I don't really take notes on my phone; when I do, i just write down whatever and organize it later when I get to my computer.

        1 vote
  4. [4]
    stu2b50
    Link
    I use Todoist. It works well enough - for regular todo lists, I like that you can make an infinitely deep subtask tree. It also has a kanban board view. Of course, with not nearly the same...

    I use Todoist. It works well enough - for regular todo lists, I like that you can make an infinitely deep subtask tree.

    It also has a kanban board view. Of course, with not nearly the same features as Trello, but it works well enough.

    Importantly, it satisfies the requirement that it works on all the operating systems I use (Windows, Linux, MacOS, iOS, and Android... yes I regularly use 5 different operating systems).

    2 votes
    1. [2]
      hungariantoast
      Link Parent
      Apparently Todoist has desktop apps, but Planner is a free-software reimplementation on the Linux desktop that can sync with Todoist if you're interested.

      Apparently Todoist has desktop apps, but Planner is a free-software reimplementation on the Linux desktop that can sync with Todoist if you're interested.

      1 vote
      1. stu2b50
        Link Parent
        Yeah I'm 99% sure the desktop apps are electron based. Might not be everyone's cup of tea to run Chrome just for their task manager. I'm not surprised or particularly disappointed, though; I doubt...

        Yeah I'm 99% sure the desktop apps are electron based. Might not be everyone's cup of tea to run Chrome just for their task manager. I'm not surprised or particularly disappointed, though; I doubt they're a large dev team and supporting that many platforms is extremely difficult if you are native on each platform.

        It's nice that I guess the APIs are open enough that 3rd parties can integrate into it. Never knew that.

        2 votes
    2. cfabbro
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      I use todoist as well. It's pretty simple, but still reasonably feature-rich for the things it can do, and so still quite useful... especially for me, since without constant reminders to do even...

      I use todoist as well. It's pretty simple, but still reasonably feature-rich for the things it can do, and so still quite useful... especially for me, since without constant reminders to do even basic tasks I often totally forget to, or simply procrastinate until I eventually do forget. ;)

      1 vote
  5. TalkingHawk
    Link
    I use Trello for anything that requires checklists or that needs to be split into several smaller tasks, although I find the UI to be very crowded. I will probably check some of the alternatives...

    I use Trello for anything that requires checklists or that needs to be split into several smaller tasks, although I find the UI to be very crowded. I will probably check some of the alternatives in this thread!

    For simple tasks (most of them reoccurring) I use the Calendar on Thunderbird and set reminders. Examples of these are things like paying the rent or other bills, cleaning tasks that are done only once in a blue moon, etc.

    1 vote
  6. petrichor
    Link
    I use Tasks for Android. It's free-and-open source, has every feature under the sun, has a great UI/UX and helpful widget options, and offers a bunch of methods for synchronization (which I don't...

    I use Tasks for Android. It's free-and-open source, has every feature under the sun, has a great UI/UX and helpful widget options, and offers a bunch of methods for synchronization (which I don't actually use, since I always have my phone on me).

    If I'm collaborating with a group, Trello and other kanban boards are the modus operandi. I've tried a couple of different types of organizers and Trello's worked the best so far. It's a bit of a shame Atlassian bought it and have been integrating it into their Microsoft-esque ecosystem. More notes-notes rather than deliverables go into Google Docs (unfortunately /-:), being really the only option for a ubiquitous, usable, and collaborative note-taking platform.

    I keep my personal notes just as a collection of organized text files on my computer. Nothing fancy there.

    1 vote