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Summary:

I am trying a task management system, The MasterList, that is project-centric.  My work revolves around specific projects more so than just isolated tasks and after reading about The MasterList on Tablet PC Buzz I decided to try it out.  It is a very interesting program, […]

I am trying a task management system, The MasterList, that is project-centric.  My work revolves around specific projects more so than just isolated tasks and after reading about The MasterList on Tablet PC Buzz I decided to try it out.  It is a very interesting program, that’s for sure.  It is not entirely intuitive but once you get rolling it works very well.  There’s a demo version available if you want to check it out.  When I get further into the program I will post some impressions of how easy the program is to use.  The main down side I see at this point is that it uses its own database and thus doesn’t integrate with Outlook in real time. It does offer two-way syncing so this might not be a problem but we’ll see.  It also is not ink aware, although it works fine with the TIP so that’s not that big a problem.  Here’s a screen shot from the program before I input any data:

Masterlist_1

  1. Is the MasterList based on GTD or a similar methodology?

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  2. No, I would have to say that MasterList is a full relational database that is designed to handle tasks and projects. You can link any item to any other item and one of the cool features is that you can drag any item (link, file, task, etc.) onto a link “grid” and it automatically links the two items. It’s a very interesting program and those who are using it swear by it. It’s not based on GTD, rather you create the system as you want it. I’m just getting started with it so I can’t really say more about it yet.

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  3. Interestingly enough, there are comments on their website that talk about GTD and David Allen’s methods. It’s not based on GTD, but it seems to work well with it, I haven’t used it very much either…

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  4. James: Looking forward to reading your findings on this tool. I’ve looked at it a few times in the past but could not get past the inintuitive UI. It felt like it owuld be a lot of work to maintain this in addition to Outlook.

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  5. Marc, I have currently stalled for the moment. It is just like you said- so hard to get started. To the developer’s credit they provide 20 mins of telephone support to everyone who licenses the s/w but it is apparent to me that you would need that to get going with it. It is not a program you can just pick up and go. Just creating a project was an effort in frustration until I figured out you have to go into System Maintenance just to do that. I have set it aside to return later hopefully.

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  6. Have you returned to this by any chance? I’m really curious because on the surface it looks like the sort of tool I wished existed when I was whole hog into task/project management and GTD-like stuff.

    At the moment, I have taken the more practical and less thorough approach. I just keep a few lists: Top 10 priorities, home/work todo lists for current and for later, plus a “today” list of things to right now.

    Works pretty well for me and stays really simple. I don’t generally miss anything really important and reviews are only necessary to get perspective. With full GTD-type task management, I had to do weekly reviews just to keep the system from getting out of hand.

    But if this software works well, I might consider a more detailed system again because it looks like it handles a combination of scheduled and ordered task lists plus ties them into the associated projects (which to me is where GTD is missing the boat, but that’s probably because it hasn’t really been practical to track that task/project tie with current technologies).

    Anyway, if you do go back to this let us know what you think. Who knows, but this software might even eventually have smartphone/pda versions!

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