Managing Tasks – You listening to me..?!?

So one of my biggest issues on a day-to-day basis is managing tasks… to-do’s… action items… whatever.

I’ve gone through so many tools and processes that my head spins.  I sometimes spend so much time on determining how to manage my tasks that I seem to use the time that I could be doing things in figuring out how to manage them.

At work, I’ve got so many things on my mind that I’m often not in front of the current tool that I’m using to manage tasks… so I revert to a time-tested tool… a piece of paper that I write a note on and stuff into my pocket.

At home, things seem to be a bit different.  My wife and I have appointed a specific location in our kitchen to keep a written list.  A list that we typically create during the week, and then tend to execute throughout the weekend.  This seems to work for us.


So the first thing I tend to do is gravitate towards a few key requirements – yet I’m more than willing to surrender these requirements in the name of the latest innovation in task-management tools… sadly.

The (assumed) need for Voice Recording

IFTTT: I though that voice recording was a good idea as I almost always have my iPhone with me, so one of the first things I put together was an IFTTT recipe (if you’re not familiar with IFTTT, head on over and take a look).  Here is the details of my IFTTT recipe:


Record a voice note at IFTTT, have it saved to a MP3 file, and save it to a folder in my Google Drive (I chose my desktop).   I even went so far as to leverage Fences to take all MP3’s in my Desktop folder and move them into a “Voice Notes” fence.   I have not used it since April!

Siri: Next I tried Siri on my iPhone.  She did a nice job of transcribing what I’m saying, but I’m not a Mac user at work, so getting to the transcribed tasks was a pain in the butt.

Orchestra: A top contender – yet doesn’t appear on too many “top contender” lists.  Orchestra’s voice recognition on the iPhone app is top notch.  The cost is great – free.  and the web interface is fine.  There is just one thing that scares me:


That BETA tag!  There was a time that I took a liking to the normally Android-based Astrid, but Yahoo’s acquisition has turned me away, as I’m assuming Astrid will be blown up and stiched back together in a year or so.  That, combined with Orchestra’s focus on their Mailbox app makes me wonder about the focus on Orchestra.

Any other “Voice” related tool is either not a task manager, or the voice recognition is poor, and you spend more time correction than actually using the tool.

So now I know that I think I need vice recognition… but what’s next?

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