One of my goals this school year is to move away from apps like Word and PowerPoint to the open source or online versions that are popping up all over the place. For the last few years I’ve been using OmniOutliner to set priorities, print out lists, and keep basic to do lists. As with all organization tools in my life, I have periods of intense use followed by periods of sporadic use. One of the reasons why I usually end up not using it is actually quite simple – it is just another application, sometimes one of 10 or more that are open. Plus, I have so many “projects” that my list ended up being cluterred, and in the end, unorganized. I did try and use Entourage’s project management feature, but that was the space shuttle solution for my skateboard problem.
Orchestrate is an online task manager created by a guy named Yongfook. He created it out of a personal need to manage multiple tasks easily. Essentially, you can create any number of task lists, which are subjects, projects, etc. These are always visible on the left side of the screen. You can pull one or more of the task lists to the right side of the screen where they open up into simple lists with check boxes. Adding task lists or items to the list is as simple as typing it in a small text box and hitting return. It is incredibly simple to use and elegant in its simplicity. When you check a box, it smoothly moves the item to the bottom of the list, greys it out, and makes it smaller.
Here are a couple screen shots.
Here we have the Task List. It tells you how many items you have completed and how many are “pending.”
Next we have the actual to do lists. You can hide these if they are not currently what you need, but they the list title will always appear in the task list above.
During the last week, I’ve had it sitting open in a tab in FireFox and have found that with it right there, instead of another application, I am referencing it more often AND the tab is constantly in view (unless I have more then about 10 tabs open, which does happen sometimes…).
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