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I'm looking for time tracking, task tracking, or attention tracking apps that are useful enough that you found you stuck with them for at least a year - and that they changed your behavior for good. What works?

asked May 05 '13 at 17:05

Kevin%20Kelly's gravatar image

Kevin Kelly

I have been using Workflowy constantly for almost two years. It is a simple but powerful site/app that allows you to build lists within indented lists. You can annotate an item, mark it as complete or add new items under it, making it a new parent node. If you're a real wizard, you can easily share a node in your lists with someone else in R/RW mode via email, so a friend can add your list to their lists. Incredible tool, free to use with a suggested $30/year donation at www.workflowy.com — thank me later!

1 year, 8 months ago
Pete%20Forde's gravatar image Pete Forde

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Here are my "permanent" apps on my Samsung Stratospher 'droid

1) Google's GMail app 2) Google Calendar app 3) Flashlight 4) App from my local CU for making deposits using the phone's camera 6) Tripit (basic) 7) Google Maps 8) Gasbuddy 9) ATM Finder (finds ATM's nearby your current location which don't charge fees) 10) TuneIn Radio (pro version) 11) GEICO (for the insurance card coverage verification) 12) Skype


answered Jun 17 '13 at 07:39

KRooney's gravatar image


My answer is that I like GroceryIQ (apps and website) for shopping lists. You can have permanent lists for different categories of stores, and then temp lists. It's pretty robust, there's a big userbase, and it's never crashed.

For ToDo's I use Google Tasks on the web (inside Google Calendar as well as in a separate tab), which syncs beautifully with GoTasks on iOS. My workflow is so much better than before with this setup. For long-term lists and ideas, I use the very attractive "Clear" app on iOS and OS X. (GoTasks is indeed free, as someone mentioned, but please throw him a fiver or more).

I'm trying to use Evernote (web clipper and app on my mac, and the iOS app), but after a couple of years I'm only now gradually getting in the groove with it.

LastPass is the indispensable password manager I'm using, and it has worked brilliantly.

Lastly, Write Space is a Chrome locally-saved, offline, temporary text editor which looks great and helps me create text in a distraction-free, full screen way. I love it.


answered Jun 17 '13 at 04:13

Via's gravatar image


I have been using Things for a few years, almost every day, on my iPhone and Macbook, auto-synching at home through wifi. It is a nice compromise between simple and thorough.


answered May 16 '13 at 10:46

CXC's gravatar image


I like Trello a lot for task management (especially for teams), but for time/attention tracking check out RescueTime


answered May 12 '13 at 23:39

sixside's gravatar image


There's a few apps that are in the permanent stable...

Evernote: Great way to archive all the little things that accumulate. I keep recipes, design ideas, full contact info, project info... anything that doesn't have a file document to go with it. They have a Web Clipper that integrates into your browser (I use Chrome) that allows you to cut out images, sections of a page, or the entire page. No more dead links when accessing old info! Keep a Craigslist ad of a good contractor for that upcoming project!

Dropbox: File sharing made easy. Sync all sorts of files like product manuals, pics from your camera, eBooks, shared projects, etc.

1Password: Who can keep track of all those passwords these days? If you keep your master info in your Dropbox folder, you have access to all of your passwords on your phone or any other computer. Auto fill-in on your browser when logging in to secure sites. Credit card info that fills itself in. Great app!

Gtasks (Android): OK, it hasn't been a year, but this is an essential. Gtasks syncs with the Tasks list in Google Calendar as a starter. I recently discovered that I could set up Voice Command on my Galaxy Nexus to automatically save transcriptions of my spoken instructions using the "Note to Self" command. ("Note to Self Follow up on CoolTools Ask question"). This shows up in Gtasks when synced. Perfect when driving!


answered May 12 '13 at 08:05

dbarnard's gravatar image


I spend a lot of time managing projects and Trello has been a really great way for me to keep track of all the little tasks associated with a given project and where they all stand. Each task is assigned a 'card' and each card can be customized with to-do lists, due dates, can be assigned to individuals, etc. You drag each card from column to column as it marches towards completion.



answered May 10 '13 at 07:29

DerekLasher's gravatar image


edited May 10 '13 at 07:30

I use google tasks on the web and Go Tasks on iphone and ipad. They all sync with Google, are free and, crucially, are easy to use, with in-place text entry and manual task ordering


answered May 10 '13 at 06:53

bristoldad's gravatar image


I use Goodreader to view and edit my PDFs. As a grad student, I read lots of journal articles, and Goodreader allows me to ditch the paper (hurrah!) With Goodreader, I can highlight, underline, and make annotations, all neater than if I were taking notes on a paper copy. It also syncs with Dropbox, so I can download my papers from a computer and open them on Goodreader.

I use Notability to take notes. For me, the biggest issue was how smoothly my ipad could respond to my stylus, and Notability has been the best so far. It has all the functions you need: handwriting (including zooming in on what you're writing), typing, highlighting, easy erasing, and even audio recording a talk while you take notes. Notability is the most functional note-taking app I've come across so far.


answered May 10 '13 at 05:14

dazlindz's gravatar image


It hasn't been a year, but the Mailbox app for the iPhone+Gmail has been a blessing. It lets you quickly archive or delete emails, but its true functionality is letting you "remove" an email from your inbox and choose a date and time for it to come back, at a time you are better prepared to handle it.


answered May 10 '13 at 05:03

nchezrony's gravatar image


Out of Milk is a brilliant to-do / shopping list app for iPhone, Android or web and it syncs across devices and users. So I can add coffee to my shopping list and know that either myself or my wife will get it in the supermarket next time.


answered May 10 '13 at 02:59

Alan17's gravatar image


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Asked: May 05 '13 at 17:05

Seen: 4,179 times

Last updated: Jun 17 '13 at 07:39

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