Getting Started: Stuck on tools

I want to get started with the training but am stuck on tools. I am on a mac, I use gmail so that's set. My main calendar is ical, so I'm guessing I can use google calendar for the TRO training since I sync them. Where I'm really stuck is tasks. I have a copy of Thinking Rock, but it seems to get bogged down easily so I want to change to something else. I'm between EasyTask Manager and Things. I like the price of EasyTask better, Things is a little high. But I see that there are instructions for applying TRO with Things, and not with EasyTask. So two questions; does anyone know if Things is really that much better than EasyTask (i.e. over double the price better), and would I be able to follow the training easily if I choose EasyTask, and if so what tool should I pick for the training? 

If it helps, basically I'm a new small (as in tiny) business owner (coaching) trying to figure out how to get things under control so I don't feel overwhelmed and so I can keep moving ahead as I would like to. 


  • Gmail and Google Calendar are both excellent options. Because they are online, they sync well to other computers or a phone. They also protect your data in the inevitable event that your computer stops working. (All computers die. Plan on it.) 

    About the task list options:
    Thinking Rock does not work well with TRO, because it does not have multiple categorization. You essentially live with 5, 10, 20 different task lists. If you don't check all of them, you'll lose stuff. 

    Things looks pretty but doesn't sync well to other locations. In addition, doing TRO with it requires special adaptations which make it less effective. You will also need to ignore a lot if the design features that make Things look so attractive at first, because their task management design does not help you as much as TRO does.

    EasyTask Manager allows two different category-like options, which brings it just barely into TRO compliance. The major downside of this is that the iPhone and iPad apps will remove a lot of the functionality that makes the desktop application useful. Also, we do not have any training instructions for EasyTask Manager, so you would need to adapt the training to your own tool, which takes extra time.

    I recommend something like what you have with Gmail and Google Calendar: A web-based task list.

    Toodledo would be my recommendation for you. The basic version is free, and the premium version is $30/year. (The only reason for getting the premium version is to forward email as a task and have any attachments become attached to the task. Very helpful.) Even premium, it's dirt cheap. Best of all, it syncs well, keeps your data secure, has a mobile web version, and has TRO training instructions:

  • Thank you so much for your response. Very helpful. I'll take a look at Toodledo, but I really want to stay away from web-based for both calendar and tasks, as being web-based means I can ONLY see my tasks and calendar if I'm on the web. Since I'm in the virgin islands right now (temporarily probably), I can pretty much only get online at home, which means if I go to work anywhere else and take my computer with me, I have no access to what I need to do. My primary calendar is ical, so that's on my computer, and I prefer to have my task list also computer based not web based. I back up my computer with time machine ( I have had my computer die, so I am well aware of that problem!) so I don't feel too worried about backup of task data. I don't have an iphone or ipad or any other mobile devices to sync with. for thought! Thanks again, I really appreciate the response. 
  • iCal can be setup to sync with Google Apps, I've been using it for a month and it works great. Be sure to check online for the latest way to sync it up. I think I had to use iSync, but it works great!! I can add to it while offline and then it syncs automatically in the background when I'm online again.

    Regarding Toodledo, I've just started using it and I had the same concern about using it offline. I found third party desktop apps that allow you to sync when you get back online. Not that it was hard to find, it's on their website. It just took me clicking around to find it. All their tools and services are here:
    Just scroll to the bottom and look for Desktop Apps. I'm testing out TaskSurfer and TaskUnifier right now for that exact reason that I want to be able to work offline sometimes and don't want to depend on an internet connection. Good luck!!
  • Hi Michael! Thanks so much. I use SyncMate to sync ical and google, which seems to work really well too. I basically just use google calendar to back up ical, though lately I've been trying out for other people to schedule with me, and that goes through google calendar too, so it's been handy to have two-way sync. 

    Thanks for the note on desktop apps for toodledo. I'd be curious what you find as you test those two out! I'm still feeling on the fence about it, but it helps to know there are desktop options.
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