Task Coach

Jul 4th, 20102 Comments

Recently I started having to track time spent on different projects and spent a little time playing with Gnome’s hamster, which appeared to be the recommended time Gnome time tracking program. After having now seen Task Coach, I can confirm that Gnome’s hamster has now died!

It’s difficult to try to compare the two, it’d be a bit like comparing a Swiss army knife to a nail file .. let’s just say that if you’ve been using Gnome’s hamster (or any one of a multitude of task managers currently available) , it’s more than likely that Task Coach has all the features that you wish you currently had, but don’t.

In particular it’s very useful to be able to run multiple concurrent timers for instances where you’re working on a number of jobs at the same time.  Although the user interface is Wx rather than Gtk, it interfaces fairly well and gives you a tool-tray icon for instant access.

Here’s what their website says;

Task Coach is a simple open source todo manager to keep track of personal tasks and todo lists. It grew out of a frustration that most task managers do not provide facilities for composite tasks. Often, tasks and other things todo consist of several activities. Task Coach is designed to deal with composite tasks. In addition, it offers effort tracking, categories, and notes. Task Coach is available for Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, and iPhone and iPod Touch.

Features include;

  • Creating, editing, and deleting tasks and subtasks.
  • Tasks have a subject, description, priority, start date, due date, a completion date and an optional reminder. Tasks can recur on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
  • Tasks can be viewed as a list or as a tree.
  • Tasks can be sorted by all task attributes, e.g. subject, budget, budget left, due date, etc.
  • Several filters to e.g. hide completed tasks or view only tasks that are due today.
  • Tasks can be created by dragging an e-mail message from Outlook or Thunderbird onto a task viewer.
  • Attachments can be added to tasks, notes, and categories by dragging and dropping files, e-mail messages from Outlook or Thunderbird, or URL’s onto a task, note or category.
  • Task status depends on its subtask and vice versa. E.g. if you mark the last uncompleted subtask as completed, the parent task is automatically marked as completed too.
  • Tasks and notes can be assigned to user-defined categories.
  • Settings are persistent and saved automatically. The last opened file is loaded automatically when starting Task Coach.
  • Tracking time spent on tasks. Tasks can have a budget. Time spent can be viewed by individual effort period, by day, by week, and by month.
  • The Task Coach file format (.tsk) is XML.
  • Tasks, notes, effort, and categories can be exported to HTML and CSV (Comma separated format). Effort can be exported to iCalendar/ICS format as well.
  • Tasks, effort, notes, and categories can be printed. When printing, Task Coach prints the information that is visible in the current view, including any filters and sort order.
  • Task Coach can be run from a removable medium.
  • Tasks and notes can be synchronized via a Funambol server such as ScheduleWorld.

If you do any work with task management and / or time management, certainly worth a look.

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2 Responses to “Task Coach”

  1. avatar Sohail says:

    Why is it important to track multiple timers? I’ve been trying to understand this.

  2. avatar madpenguin says:

    For me, if I’m working on a job, say general maintenance running a series of backups for example – this is reduced rate working where I just have to keep an eye on things, but I still bill by the hour. In the meantime I might be working on some coding , say a two day job .. I would generally want to run the timer for the duration stopping only if I had to stop working on the coding and work on something else – so these timers would typically run concurrently. If the phone rings in the middle of this and somebody asks a chargeable question, I really don’t want to be stopping those two timers for 90 seconds, starting a new one stopping the new one and restarting the other two, it doesn’t make sense. As it typically only happens once or twice a day, being able to start / stop a third timer to time the call is very useful.

    I guess the reasoning is that different “efforts” (to use Task Coach terminology) are often billed at different rates given a different expectation of ‘focus’ for the duration of the effort. I guess it’s a realisation that it’s not just computers that can multi-task.

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