Over the last couple of months, I have written a series of postings about my experience with Google Apps. I used Google Apps as a test to assess usability of the hosted office productivity applications and to look for opportunities where they may be deployed in a corporate setting. Over all this was a positive experience, and I thought the Google solution is viable for smaller companies that have limited resources and infrastructure. The more I have thought about the application suite, the more areas I can see where a potential deployment would make sense in a larger company, such as, supporting a field based sales force.
One area that has troubled me was the lack of task manager. In the Microsoft Outlook world, you would use “Outlook Tasks” but I found no direct coloration to a competing Google application. At first, I believed this was a major oversight on Google’s part, but now, I am not so sure.
I started to use the Google Calendar and Google Notebook applications to work as a task manager. This worked OK, kind of, but I never really got the hang of it. I found many web-based alternative products, but I really wanted to stay with Google for my test. I went back and started to search how others were tackling the problem.
This is a long way of saying, that I was not using the Google applications very effectively.
In one of my Internet journeys, I came across a very good article on Lifehacker.com by Gina Trapani about how to use Google Notebook as a task manager. Take a moment and read her article; It is well worth it.
I liked the method she outlined, and I have adopted it for the last two weeks. I found it required some adaptation on my part, but in reality what doesn’t? When used properly, the Google Notebook application is an effective task manager. You must have a planning system, or process, you follow regularly or any task management application you choose will fail.
I am a big fan of FraklinCovey’s methods of planning and organization and found that I could adapt Google Notebook to their planning process without a great degree of difficulty. When you get down to it, the Google Notebook application is very flexible and can be adapted in many different ways to fit your preferred task management method.
The links below are to my other posting about Google’s applications and services.