Tracking To-Dos, Calendar and Contacts the smArtist way.

A good chunk of the articles I write are inspired by people that ask me specific questions about stuff I do on a daily basis. Then I realize my answer to them was long and pretty detailed and worth making a blog post about, and then I do. 🙂 This is one of those.

A friend asked me recently, since I’m “always looking for a better mousetrap,” what do I do to manage my contact information, calendar, appointments, todo lists and notes? As a matter of fact, I have two nifty little applications for doing so! Click on the jump to read more:

To-Do Lists

I handle all my To-Do Lists with an application that’s appropriately named ToDoList.

It’s super simple to use, and very customizable — you can see as much or as little info as you want. You can track individual task priority, start due dates, percentage of completion, time spent, dependencies, costs, which resource it’s allocated to, etc. It has task notifiers built in, and you can share tasklists with multiple users, remotely, and it has rudimentary source control built in. And for psycho app tweakers like me, EVERYTHING in the entire app is keyboard shortcuttable. EVERYTHING.

It’s like a to-do-list with a poor man’s MS Project built in, and it’s free, and lightning fast. I use the HELL out of this thing, and I highly recommend it.

Did I mention it’s completely free?

Contact Info, Calendars, Appointments, etc

For this I use the new Plaxo 3.0 beta.

I just picked it up this morning and I’ve been going nuts with it. Plaxo will sync ALL of your contact information from virtually every email client, webmail client, IM app and calendar on earth into one place and keep it in constant sync. Most importantly, it does so non-destructively. You simply sync your contacts from everywhere up to Plaxo and you can manage everything through there. When you’re plugged into the system, even if you change jobs or contact info, people that are connected to you through it will be updated, so they can never lose your contact info… and vice versa.

Put more simply… I just got all my contact info from Outlook, Yahoo, MSN, LinkedIn, and my Google calendar synced up and loaded onto a single page. It checked all my contacts for duped information and merged them where I told it to. And now I have every single contact loaded up into a single place that I can access from any PC, or even my cell phone.

It also tracks and schedules To-Dos, should I choose.

And unlike earlier versions of Plaxo, it doesn’t spam the hell out of everyone you know. It’s also free, unless you want the cel phone syncing, dupe checking and LinkedIn syncing, then it’s $50/yr.

There’s a great video showing off its new features:

http://scobleizer.com/2007/06/24/plaxo-brings-out-new-contact-manager-but/

So that’s the gist of what applications I use to manage information. What do you guys use?

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