07-19-2005, 12:53 PM
Hello All - first time poster here.
I found this software, has anyone else heard of it?
It is called Achieve Planner by Effexis.
After playing the the trial for a few days it seems to be to be a great tool for GTD. In addition, after reading their blog and web articles, the principles of GTD and Franklin Covey are very evident. (I wish I knew more about why this software was created, that would tell me a lot.)
Here is the link: http://www.effexis.com/achieve/planner.htm
07-21-2005, 05:41 AM
I took a look at the web site and browsed their product documentation. Although they have a context attribute for tasks, I don't see a way of sorting and selecting tasks in the Tasks tab based on context.
Can it do that?
One nice thing about it is its integration of project management features into the tool, especially task dependencies.
07-22-2005, 02:48 PM
I am the principal developer of Achieve Planner. I found this post after looking through the weblogs and wanted to answer some of the questions. BTW, thanks for mentioning it x-stream 8)
The software is new. The first release was July 5, 2005.
I'm hoping that it can already serve well for the GTD methodology, but I'm definitely open to suggestions and ideas on how to make it work even better. Just send me an email at email@example.com with your suggestions, or post them here.
To answer some questions:
Support for context?
Every task and project has a "Place" field that is sort of like the context. While you cannot sort by it, you can filter by it using the little filter icon on the grid column header. Kind of like the AutoFilter in Excel.
The default view doesn't have the place field, but you can add it or switch to another view that does.
Project management task dependencies?
It does have support for project management task dependencies and resouces. I myself haven't found the need to use task dependencies because it uses project/task priorities to order the tasks for scheduling.
Why creating it?
The main reason for creating this software is that I couldn't find anything suitable at the time. I tried using Outlook & Excel for a while, but found them lacking in many ways.
This is what I wanted:
1) Hierarchical projects and tasks so I could split up large tasks into smaller steps.
2) Separate projects and tasks - Each project has its own task list.
3) A weekly calendar where I can schedule project "blocks," along with meetings and appointments.
4) Priorities - Support for ABCD prioritization.
5) Support for weekly planning - Right now it has a weekly planning wizard where you choose how much time you want to commit to each project, and then drop your project blocks into the schedule. You can also drag&drop project blocks into the schedule yourself and bypass the wizard.
6) Effort tracking - Estimating how much time each task will take and tracking how much time I spent on it. Completely optional, you can remove effort related fields if you don't want them.
7) Planning - Compute the start/end dates for my tasks based on effort estimates, priorities, and project blocks. Sort of like a simplified MS Project. That way I can get some nice estimates on when my work will be completed. Sorry, not Gantt charts at this point.
8) Make sure things don't fall through cracks - Every project and task has a deadline field. Software will warn you (through a "status" field) if any projects/tasks are overdue or running behind schedule (based on the deadline) so you can take corrective action early.
Combined with weekly reviews, this has been sufficient for me for things that had deadlines.
9) Project planning - A place to put project planning details like purpose, vision, objectives, risks, issues, and notes for the bigger projects.
This release has pretty much everything listed so far.
There is still a ton of stuff left to do, but I had to release it at some point :)
Here are some of the things we are working on or planning to add in future releases (not sure about exact time frames yet):
* Import/export to other applications
* Attachments - Associate files/URLs to projects/tasks (planned for next release)
* Repeating projects/tasks
* "Next Task Chooser" to help you pick a next task to work on
* Simplified PocketPC edition for projects/tasks (Q42005-Q12006)
* MS Project Import/Export
* Dynamic scheduling
* User defined views
plus others... We are also working on a companion goal setting application that should be done by late August.
We definitely welcome suggestions and guidance as to which features you would find the most valuable/useful.
If you have any questions or suggestions, just send me an email.
Sorry for the long post.
Rodger Constandse (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Effexis Software, LLC