How To Improve Task Management with New Task Lists & Smart Filtering Options

Quick Tips / December 29, 2015 / Kristie

If you’re a task-oriented person, you’ll appreciate the new task features we’ve added in Daylite 6. These new features support David Allen’s GTD methodology and make it easier to capture, clarify,organize, and reflect on your to-dos so that you can engage in the right ones at the right time.


What is GTD?

GTD is a methodology developed by David Allen that breaks down the “chaos” in your head into 5 steps to add clarity and context so you can accomplish the right things at the right time.

1. Capture – Collect what has your attention.

2. Clarify – Process what it means and when it should be done.

3. Organize – Put it where it belongs.

4. Reflect – Review frequently.

5. Engage – Simply do.

Through listening to feedback from our task-focused customers, we’ve modified the way tasks look and function to make capturing and clarifying your tasks more efficient. We’ve also added new options for sorting to-dos so that prioritizing the right tasks is easier for you and your team.

Add task details with less clicks

The first two steps of the GTD methodology is to capture your to-dos by getting them out of your head and into a trusted system, then to clarify so you (or someone else on your team) has a clear understanding of what it involves and what the outcome should be. Within My Tasks, you can use the Inbox to do a brain dump of tasks that pop into your mind so you have a single place to collect them. Whether you’re out for a walk or in the grocery story, you can dump tasks into your Inbox list as you think of them from your Mac, iPhone or iPad so you don’t worry about forgetting. From there, you can process them and decide which tasks need to be done when, by whom, etc.

To make it easier to add details to your tasks, we redesigned the way tasks look so all the additional information is to the right instead of expanding below with inline tasks. This gives you more room to add in details while you’re reviewing your list of to-dos. We’ve also tweaked tasks so that they are always in edit mode. This allows you to quickly add in details or link a task to project with less clicks.

So far our customers are enjoying this new design.

“I do a lot with activity sets in Daylite e.g. setting up an activity set comprising all of the necessary tasks to check compliance with the changes made in the latest version of the standard. Having the tasks and the ‘details’ field in permanent edit mode works really well. It saves so much time in not having to double click each task to add and review information held. All of my task names were too long – but modifying them to fit the available screen width on a 12 inch Macbook was worth it.”

–Christopher Gough

Sort to-dos freely using Task Lists

Daylite offers a variety of ways to organize your to-dos so that you have a multidimensional view of what you need to accomplish. Through the use of categories and keywords you can separate the type of to-dos they are such as sales, marketing, followups, or sort them by what you need to accomplish them by tagging with @phone, @email, @home, etc. This way if you’re waiting in the car before meeting up with a client, you can check your tasks tagged with @phone and use that few minutes to finish up a few calls that need to be made.

When you’re working with a whole bunch of to-dos within a project or opportunity, sometimes you need a way of grouping your tasks into different buckets even if they’re not related to each other by category or keyword or even by due date. This is why we’ve introduced Task Lists. Tasks Lists offer you the flexibility of organizing your tasks into different buckets so you can break down a project or opportunity into sections.

Task Lists are separate from pipelines because they’re a more flexible way of organizing your to-dos. Pipelines are a linear way of tracking the stages and tasks within a project or opportunity, whereas Task Lists can be created on the fly. You can use Task Lists in parallel with a pipeline, or just on their own. For example, as a wedding photographer you may use a pipeline to track the major stages of a project from client meeting to completing the album. However, for different clients you may have different to-dos that are specific to that couple’s wedding. You can use Task Lists to create and sort all the various things you need to do for this client on top of the routine tasks.

You might have a client request something a little out of the ordinary like having you edit a Star Wars Wedding Photo for them. You could create a Task Lists for this portion of the project to include all the little to-dos that relate to this one deliverable.

You can create multiple Task Lists within a single project or opportunity. And you can reorder tasks within a Task List simply via drag and drop, regardless of the due date.

Assign task due dates using the Mini Calendar

Another part of processing tasks is figuring out when you have time to do which tasks. Simply assigning a due date doesn’t mean much if there are too many other tasks on that due date to complete it. With the introduction of the Mini Calendar that lives in your Daylite sidebar, you can now refer to your schedule while you’re figuring out when you have time to complete tasks. The Mini Calendar is colour coded based on how busy you are so that you can easily identify when you have time move around your to-dos. You can also use the Mini Calendar to assign a due date to a task by dragging and dropping the task onto a specific day.

Smart Filtering for Tasks

Part of the GTD process is to review and reflect on your tasks. By regularly reviewing your task list, it gives you a sense of accomplishment over what you’ve completed which helps motivate you. It also helps you to make sure you’re on top of future outstanding to-dos. We’ve added a new Smart Filter bar to tasks that lets you quickly filter your to-dos by category, keyword, or by user. Any keywords used to tag your to-dos will appear in the Smart Filter bar. So all you have to do is click on it to apply the filter. You can use the Smart Filter bar within a specific project, opportunity, or from a general task list.

This feature allows you to quickly look at just the tasks within a project that you’re responsible for, or to see all the tasks for a certain team member to help you balance the workload. If you’re working on a project and have a team member call in sick, you can quickly check all their tasks within the project and figure out if it can be assigned to someone else while they’re away or done when they return to work.

Being able to quickly filter all the tasks within a project or opportunity by user is handy because you can easily sift through and look at only the tasks you’re responsible for. This makes it easy for easy team members to focus on what is theirs, without seeing the full list of everyone else’s tasks in the project. It’s also handy for when you need to review a specific team member’s workload. If you’re working on a project and have a team member call in sick, you can quickly filter all the tasks in the project to see only the ones that particular team member is responsible for. This way if you spot anything that needs urgent attention to can assign it to someone else on the team or adjust your plans accordingly.

By leveraging these new features in Daylite, you’ll be able to organize and prioritize your tasks better so you can get more of the right things done.

Watch this video to see Task Lists and Smart Filtering for Tasks in action.

Upgrade to Daylite 6 to get these new task management features.

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