Online task management tools

Ever since I started using smartphones (the iPhone Gen. 1 being my first!), I have been on the lookout for a good task management tool, for both work or personal use. During this time, many apps were trialed – this was also when the GTD fad appeared – and gradually I got to know features that suited my needs. Eventually I settled on Trello which has three features I consider essential to this day:

  1. Online, and preferably can be used inside a browser.
  2. Must be able to synchronise across devices: PC, phone, tablet.
  3. Allows collaboration, but has public and private areas.

Trello is especially notable for its visual approach (the Kanban presentation) and allows me to easily switch between devices (add/edit tasks, checking progress on the fly, etc.) As a matter of fact, I have been using Trello on and off since its initial release in 2011. Apart from managing personal to-do lists and work tasks, I used Trello to manage the volunteere project http://donorweb.org for Red Cross (no defunct), organising meet-ups and events for Google Developers’ Group, Singapore chapter. However increasingly I found the Kanban structure insufficient for my use, especially in the last 3 years or so. My biggest gripe with the kanban format was that while it was good for workflow and projects with a clear chronological/progression-type ordering, it became unwieldy when you were running multiple projects or simply have too many upcoming tasks. For example, you might end up with a super-long list of boards under To Do but only a few under Waiting/Doing or vice versa (inefficient use of screen space).

This leads to my current favourite app Asana. I have only just discovered Asana and I am really loving the tool. The main features that have impressed me so far compared to Trello: read more

2019 mid-way

Although we are only about halfway through 2019, this is already shaping up to be a eventful – both in the happy and sad sense – year for me.

With the birth of my daughter, passing of my dog, and having been in the same job for 5 years, and the need for a long-term abode… there are really quite a few things I need to sort out. Perhaps there are equivalents of Marie Kondo’s decluttering, but for the mind, that I need to do!?

Halt and catch fire

Just finished watching Halt and Catch Fire on Netflix, which I think is brilliant by the way. Apparently the show won’t be returning for a fifth season, so here is a nice review from Wired since I can’t write as eloquently.

(source)

When I first heard of the show, I had the impression that it was simply dramatising the events leading to the birth of Compaq (Silicon Cowboys is the actual documentary of this story that I thoroughly enjoyed too), but the series went on to explore online gaming, e-commerce (think early days of eBay), community (bulletin boards?), carrier and subscription-based networking, birth of internet, browser wars and search (Yahoo-type versus Google?). In parallel it was also a show about the human relationships between the protagonists, the start-up culture and the do-or-die fearlessness of entrepreneurship; you can have great idea or even be on the cusp of victory, everything can still crash and burn. The key is to be able to take failure in its own stride, move on and reboot. read more

Reboot

Since about mid-2016, my life has been turned upside down, life changes, job changes, everything coming all at once. Now that the dust has more or less settled, it seems a good time as any to reboot this blog.

A new chapter, started in the middle of 2017, is slowly taking shape.

Revisiting Citizen of the Galaxy

Just purchased Robert Heinlein’s Citizen of the Galaxy to read on my Kindle.

Having first read this novel over 2 decades ago during my undergrad, I can still recall vividly identifying with the plight of the central character, the feeling of being lost and the drive to find meaning amidst the chaos in his universe. As a matter of fact I also just found out this was part of Heinlein’s “Juveniles” (teens) series, which is quite incredible since I seemed to resonate with the story all those years ago. This is still the only book I have read from Heinlein by the way.

Will I still feel the same sense of empathy? The longing for a purpose, fear of uncertainty? I suppose I will find out shortly.