I firmly believe that any to-do or task management system will fail if creating tasks is too difficult. For me, the key is getting them out of my stream of consciousness and into a system that I trust, where I know they’ll be when need them, as quickly as possible.
One of the things I’ve always appreciated about my task manager of choice, Toodledo, is the ubiquity of its data entry points. I can enter tasks by email, through a handy Firefox extension, through Twitter, Jott, and more. So I was jazzed to see the availability of a new gadget for Gmail (s goog) that lets me enter and monitor my tasks right from my email provider of choice.
Given that the majority of my tasks originate from email, I’ve always really appreciated that I could forward messages directly to a special Toodledo address and have it create a task for me automatically.
But as good as that system is, it can be a bit clunky. I have to clean up subject lines and info and then remember all the syntax required to have it sorted and completed fully and properly. I’ve longed for an easy way to create tasks right from within Gmail. Basically, I’ve been jealous of Remember The Milk users, who have had a Gmail gadget for some time.
The new Toodledo Gmail gadget mirrors the company’s slim widget interface available for iGoogle and mobile users. While not as feature-rich as the normal, full interface, it so far has been very useful. Not only does it allow me to quickly create tasks on the fly, but it also allows me to monitor and change the status of my tasks based on feedback from others. Because I spend so much time in Gmail, having direct access to my to-do items has proven indispensable.
The Gmail gadget is available for free to all Toodledo/Gmail users. You can get more details on their Google Gadgets Page. Be sure to to enable the Gmail Navbar drag-and-drop labs feature, which allows you to reorder the items on your Gmail sidebar, to get your tasks right up at the top.
How well does your task manager get along with Gmail? If your task manager doesn’t integrate with Gmail, or if you don’t use Gmail at all, what other systems have you come up with?