Task Manager Roundup: 5 Best Ways to Track To-Dos

Last Updated Jul 1, 2010 9:46 AM EDT

Not long ago, Rick was so stunned that I rely on a yellow legal pad to track my daily to-dos that he conducted a poll to let readers weigh in on the issue. It turns out that you're all over the map -- a full third of you rely, like me, on old-fashioned paper and pen, and the rest are divided into small camps of Outlook, Lotus Notes, Web services, and other options.

Don't be satisfied with what you've always done, though. Task management is a critical part of being effective at work. We've suggested various task managers in the past, so I thought this was a good time to round up the best options. Comb through our short list of task managers -- there may very well be something here which can boost your productivity.

Task.fm: Enter tasks in plain English. Task.fm is the most magical task manager you'll find on the Web, because it parses whatever you write in ordinary English into reminders and due dates.

Liaise: A virtual assistant for Outlook. Liaise is a bit unusual as task managers go -- it isn't a to-do list in the traditional sense, but instead automatically extracts open issues as you enter them in Outlook e-mail messages and helps you track them as tasks.

Producteev: Like Evernote for task management. Producteev is a Web-based to-do list that lets you add tasks via the Web, e-mail, and iPhone, and integrates directly with Outlook.

Doris: Create categorized to-dos online. Remember the Milk might be popular, but I don't like it; it's too complicated for a task manager. Doris is the antithesis -- simple, fast, and easy. Even so, it allows you to divide your tasks into categories, which I find useful for organizing my time.

Google Tasks: No one was ever fired for using Google. Google Tasks is a reliable Web-based task manager which you can use in a browser or on your phone. And, as Rick points out, you can now use a Tasks iGoogle gadget for your home page.

Photo by koalazymon