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Time Management Apps, Part 1

Day planners have evolved a little since the days of Filofaxes. In this article I will cover a few time management apps that offer day planning for tasks, meetings and more!

Time Management Apps Introduction

Before I get stuck into this article I would like to outline the scope. “Time Management Apps”, can mean a host of different things. For the purposes of this article and follow up articles in the series, I will limit the scope to Day Planner type Apps. These enable relatively small chunks of time – minutes, hours and days to be allocated to tasks and appointments. Since there are quite a few apps out there with such functionality I will spread it across a few articles, hence the “Part 1”, in the title. With this disclaimer out of the way, let’s get on with the rest of the article.

For many people, planning out your day or week using a day planner enables them to make best use of their time available.

For many people, planning out your day or week using a day planner enables them to make best use of their time available.

Scheduling time for tasks is a great first step in getting them done! Moreover, when you plan your tasks in such a planner you integrate both task planning and pre-defined appointments and meetings for an overall and wholistic approach to time management. Often task management can overlook the time that people spend in meetings and in doing so overestimate the time available for “real work!”. If this sounds like your time management style then there are a few apps out there that may be right up your street. Time management apps offer a few advantages over their pulp based predecessors such as,

  • Take advantage of in built search functionality to quickly find historic task information
  • Set reminders
  • Include task related information such as relevant files to get a quick start on the work at hand

In this article, I will give a brief overview of some of the time management apps with day planning functionality that are available.

3 Time Management Apps, to get us started!

Let’s start the best time management app series with three time management apps that I have recently looked at.

  1. Todolist

For years now, ToDoList has been my go to solution when it comes to managing my professional workload. It provides a shed load of functionality at the unbeatable price of $0. It is also flexible enough to deal with whatever task and time management approach you can throw at it through its bevy of plugins which provide different views of your task list. Whether you prefer a nested task list, project management style Gantt view or even Kanban, ToDoList has your back. A relatively new addition to the plugin fold has been the “day view”, which adds more precise time management functionality. This provides a week long view for your tasks. New items can be readily added and any change to the task details, such as dates and times will of course be reflected in all the other task views, nested, Gantt chart and so on. Tasks can be dragged around the day plan and time durations extended as necessary.

time management apps : todolist

One other great thing about ToDoList is that it is free so there is really no downside to giving it a go. You can download it for free from this ToDoList download link. You can find my full review of ToDoList and my coverage of the ToDoList Kanban plugin at the links provided.

One other great thing about ToDoList is that it is free

  1. Focuster

Focuster is a web based day planner that integrates with your Google calendar. Changes made to your Focuster calendar is reflected on your Google calendar and vice versa. Focuster combines this calendar functionality with a todo list. So, you can note down all the stuff to do, assign a estimated time for those tasks and drag them onto your calendar to block that time for the task. The look, feel and functionality of Focuster is rather simple and thus one can get to grips with is quickly. Some of the key features of Focuster include the following.

  • Auto schedule. Scheduled tasks that are not completed are shifted forward on your calendar.
  • Integration with other online apps via Zapier. So, you can configure completed tasks to be recorded on Evernote or starred Gmail emails to show up as Focuster tasks for example.

time management apps focuster

Focuster is as yet not well supported in terms of mobile apps and is priced on the high side at $9.99 per month for the basic version.

You can check your my full Focuster review at the link provided.

  1. Moo.do

On one screen you can view your Gmail, task list, calendar and google drive


Moo.do is like a more fully evolved version of Focuster. It too leverages your Google account but not only has calendar and task functionality but also you can also view Gmail and Google drive directly from the Moo.do interface. The great thing about Moo.do is the drag and drop interface between all of the functions. On one screen you can view your Gmail, task list, calendar and google drive. And, you can drag and drop between each of these. Examples of how this can be applied to your daily work flow include,

  • Drag and drop tasks to your calendar to block time for those tasks.
  • Drag emails from gmail to your task list to make the email actionable.
  • Drag files from the google drive window to your task list to connect relevant files to the tasks.

An additional nice feature that moo.do has beyond Focuster is to have a nested task list which enables more complicated tasks to be broken down into smaller chunks. This is great for managing larger projects. Moo.do also has mobile versions of its app for iOS and Android but the functionality is much more limited compared to the web interface and also falls behind established players such as Todoist for mobile functionality. In essence, you will get the most from Moo.do from your desktop.

time management apps moo.do

Moo.do is priced at $7 per month and you can see my complete Moo.do review at the link provided.

Time Management Apps Summary

If your tasks tend to take minutes rather than months then day planners can be a good method of time management. The ability to have an overall view of the time allocated to both tasks and meetings/appointments can enable more realistic time management. This article has provided a brief view of some of the time management apps that enable such planning. Stay tuned for the next articles in the series of time management apps and if you wish to get them direct to your inbox, then you can subscribe to our newsletter. Perhaps on this journey we may even discover the best time management app out there! If you already know it, drop a comment in the comments section below.

I hope you have found it useful and if so, make sure to share on your choice of social network using the little buttons on the left. Until next time,

Cheers!


Summary
Article Name
Time Management Apps, Part 1
Description
Day planners have evolved a little since the days of Filofaxes. In this article I will cover a few time management apps that offer day planning for tasks, meetings and more!
Author
Publisher Name
Done Before Brekky
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Brendan Toner

Let me welcome you to this alcove of the internet. In this little productivity blog, I detail the trials and tribulations of trying to use my time more effectively utilising the latest productivity tools and techniques. I hope you enjoy the articles, cheers!
Brendan Toner, author of Done Before Brekky

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1 Response

  1. October 23, 2017

    […] Brendan Toner begins a series of articles summarizing the key features of available day planner apps. If you haven’t read his past articles, this is definitely his area of expertise. 5 minutes to read. […]

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