I think I’ve tried about every task management approach out there… from the incredibly simple (pen and paper) to the complicated (GTD®). I’ve used most of the web-based project/task systems, too: Asana, Basecamp, Wunderlist, Toodledo, Google Tasks. I think they are all really great… no complaints, but they really didn’t smoothly tackle what I needed… the ability to seamlessly schedule tasks and projects on my calendar.
Many of us today (me, especially) experience “incoming” in electronic form – mostly email, website form messages, texts or voice mail messages. My challenge was to make it as easy, fast and effortless as possible to schedule “incoming” along with my other priorities in a visual form that I can manage. Ideally, it can be automated. Automation prevents mistakes and things falling through the cracks.
Here’s how I solved it. While this takes a bit of setup, you can benefit from this approach by simply translating a “to-do” on your list to a time entry on your calendar.
My solution: Trello + Planyway
Trello is a web-based project management app that shines in its flexibility and ability to integrate with other tools you already use. You can see its visual approach to task management at first glance, an example of Kanban management methodology.
So, how does Trello translate into a calendar? Trello’s incredible flexibility allows it to be adapted to almost any desired workflow. It integrates with almost anything and with its abundance of “Power-Up” board add-ons, you can custom-craft a productivity system to your needs. To fully integrate this with my Google calendar, I used the Planyway calendar extension. Created specifically for Trello, it integrates Google Calendar with Trello “cards”, allowing for visual drag and drop scheduling – within Trello, Planyway or Google Calendar. This means no more overscheduling or conflicting appointments and deadlines. I recommend the Planyway upgrade that offers full two-way integration. There’s also a free version for a simpler approach.
I need a lot of automation and seamlessness to prevent errors, so I spent some time in the setup. Worth the investment, as it saves a ton of stress and “admin” time in my daily routine.
If you’re looking for simpler tool that can accommodate the task-to-calendar idea, consider GQueues. If you’re a Gmail or G Suite user, this is a super-simple way to mesh your email with your tasks and calendar. Need something even easier? Google Tasks is another tool to try if you want a fast solution.
Adopting a task-to-time approach to productivity will alleviate overwhelm, prioritize better and optimize your time.