Task management as a category is important in most aspects of our lives. As we are swamped with more and more information and asked to do more we need a method to keep this tangled mess in some semblance of order. We have for quite some time turned to a task management system to help do this. There are many options to provide assistance but is there just one that can deliver all of what we need. TickTick now has it all and is the system that should be your task manager of choice.
As we use a task manager we often end up in a place finding it is missing something so we search on for the next great thing. Ticktick however, has moved from a good task manager to the front of the pack providing everything that is essential in an easy to use system which allows us to increase our productivity and ultimately Get Things Done.
The Landscape/The Problem
Using todo lists is not new. We have used them for a long time to remember what we need to do and organize what should be done first and when. Paper and pencil systems such as the Franklin Covey method have been one of the most popular of their type. Long before we had our digital solutions, those that wanted to be more in control often turned to their Franklin Covey notebook to see where they were at and where they wanted to go. This is an exceptional system and has been used by millions.
However, computers have been found to be marvellous tools to assist with task management. Software has emerged as theories around productivity and goal alignment have been proposed. Probably the most known of the methods is the one developed by David Allen referred to as GTD or Getting Things Done. A few software companies became well known for what is referred to as GTD software. Such products are:
- OmniFocus likely the best known of the bunch
- Things (v3) an well designed and easy to use program
- The Hit List
The success one had using any of the above software had to do with the thorough implementation of using it. Using these programs haphazardly generally does not aid one to become more productive as stuff would fall through the cracks. Religious use of any of these programs generally assisted and enhanced productivity.
The best known of these programs was OmniFocus. Considered a powerful program, it also came with a steep learning curve. Further, the program has a problem in that it is not cross platform. Any project that involves a team, and many do, OmniFocus is not suited for.
However, the one major pitfall of OmniFocus is it tended to generate overuse. That is, it’s good the program gets well used to keep everything in line and help in the achievement of goals. With OmniFocus, people were getting carried a way with the process and generating a massive list of things that needed to get done. If you are too busy writing down the things you need to do there is no time left for the actual doing. The second major outcome of this process is you could simply have far too many items staring you in the face. Where you start is problematic.
The people who were best at using the program didn’t tend to go overboard. In GTD there is a tendency to outline every step in a process. If you take the simple act of brushing your teeth, you might have easily 7 or more tasks that need doing before you actually do the brushing. Believe it or not but people were writing down all these steps. This is not helpful. Logic needs to come into play where you have a goal to brush your teeth twice daily and the project is likely a single action project with the task to brush yourteeth.
Where does GTD Fall
GTD was extremely popular through the second decade of the 21st century. It’s popularity though has waned. Many programs, including Ticktick, have the capacity to incorporate GTD methodology but common sense must keep a reign on how you’re doing it.
A methodology for task management is useful just to keep you at it and organized. Yet, it is useless if you get carried away with something like the above. It is important that you use your task management system but in an effective way.
Pitfall: Running out Of Steam
One of the problems that frequently occurs with many task management systems is not the idea of using them tires but as people use them they run up against an area the task management system either doesn’t do well with or doesn’t do at all. A good example in point is the prioritization of a task. Some tasks are simply more important than others. This can be an ebb or flow situation. What might have low importance yesterday suddenly becomes of high importance today. Your task manager needs to accommodate this. In the case of OmniFocus, for all the money that you spend it has no way of prioritizing a task. This is done with a work around in perspectives. Not cool.
On this simple but obvious example, Things v3 doesn’t have a good prioritization system. Just for comparison sake, Ticktick and the program 2do do have excellent prioritization system. This is important if you need to move something to the top of your list of things to do. Some programs manually allow you to do this but it is such an obvious function that if it is built in and automatic people can relate quickly to the concept and implement the change fast.
Users, when they run up against these barriers, begin to get frustrated and start a search for something they feel will tackle the problem better. Something might be found and once again a learning process is undertaken only to find that they once again run against a barrier. For some, they just put up with it. For many, they once again undertake the task to find the perfect task manager. It’s not as easy as it appears to write down everything a task manager need do. You often hit these barriers in you daily function and might temporarily find a way around the problem. However, this can lead to numerous change-outs of software.
It is one thing for a program to become dated over time. A new methodology may come along which renders the program insufficient. It is another thing though when you run up against a barrier the program simply wasn’t designed to deal with.
Finding a program that is flexible and works with numerous angles is the answer. You don’t want the program to be unlearnable. However, if you can find something that seems it can absorb a lot of variables from the get go, you avoid this incessant need to change the program.
TickTick has Risen Over Time and it is Now The One
TickTick for quite some time has been considered a top notch task manager. Todoist however, was always perceived as the program that was easy to use and had a strong array of task management functions. There is no question, Todoist is an excellent program that can meet many challenges.
However, TickTick has slowly evolved through constant updates and it now would be the program to beat. It has impressive breadth and power and it is not difficult to learn. It has a fantastic UI which is as nice as say Things v3. The program has functions that other programs don’t come close to meeting.
TickTick has been slowly evolving from a good program to an excellent program. It now handily beats Todoist. It can do everything OmniFocus can do but without the steep learning curve found in OmniFocus. To put it bluntly, it’s impressive. I couldn’t imagine using anything else.
TickTick is based on a subscription model but in that it has allowed them to keep investing in development. As such, they have added components to the program not found elsewhere.
TickTicks Outstanding Functions
Briefly just to outline some of the outstanding functions of TickTick they are:
- a three pane UI and all panes are visible together
- the first pane is the dashboard listing the:
- folders or areas
- the second pane lists the tasks sorted as desired say
- by priority view etc
-the third pane is the task detail view in which you can:
– change details such a priority, start and due date etc
– provide a description of the task
– Enter subtasks to the task
- the first pane is the dashboard listing the:
TickTick has recently added in a powerful function wherein you can create not only subtasks within the task (detail description pane) but any number of subtasks to a task.
TickTick also provides a calendar view so you can view your tasks by date. There is a Pomodoro system which some people like to use to pace themselves. Finally, using tags you can have all the contexts necessary for it to be a full fledged GTD system if that is what you’d like.
Finally, entry of any task can be accepted by natural language. If you enter tomorrow and 2pm it will enter as a due date tomorrow at 2pm automatically.
A Complete Task Management System
Choosing TickTick is the best system to manage your projects and tasks. You should not run up against any roadblocks that would lead you to think you need to go elsewhere. It is as comprehensive as OmniFocus. It can be a full fledged GTD system. However, it can be as simple as a task list system.
If you want to see your tasks in a calendar there’s no problem. In fact, it has a built in habit tracker so there is no need to spend money on that kind of software as TickTick’s is a comprehensive habit development system.
The breadth of TickTick is amazing. However, considering that they keep moving the program forward, who knows what maybe next. What they have now beats anything on the market. Ultimately, this leads to peace of mind. The days of bumping up against a wall and looking around for the next great thing is over. Knowing this, allows you to invest your money and know it won’t go to waste.