The Last To Do List You'll Ever Need / by Chel Wolverton

Edit: cohuman is back!!!! You think I'm joking.  I'm not.

I've tried a great number of project management tools and/or todo lists out there.  Trying in creative ways to make them work with my inbox so I can access the information I need plus get things done and share with my clients quickly.   Most systems are trying to be everything for everyone in your business and therefore suck at being the one thing you need, especially if you're a solo freelancer/consultant company who has many clients to share with.

Sharing with individuals, getting them setup on your system and expecting that they'll actually use it...well, let's just say that's not an easy thing to manage.  It's a huge time sink for me.

Here's my new secret weapon:

Cohuman

Cohuman nailed productivity apps for me.  I was invited by my client Aliza Sherman to try it out because she found herself using it regularly, we have talked about apps before so I knew if she found it handy that I would as well.

I dived in one day and haven't looked back at anything else....even my first love, thoughtbox.es  

Why is it different from anything else you've tried before?

First of all, the layout?  Killer.  It's TweetDeck/HootSuite style that quite a few of you will be intimately familiar with.  So it's fast and easy to learn.

Second, cohuman has 4 features that I'll never be able to live without again.

  1. Blocking. When your task being completed is blocked by someone else doing their task first  You enter your task and cohuman gives you the opportunity to choose another that's blocking it.  That plus the due date and some other options allow it to assign a priority number.
  2. The priority number will tell you how high on the list this task is based on the other tasks in your list, their due dates and blocks.  It's innovative for any company to have this down cold but I'd say that cohuman nailed it completely, at least for me.
  3. cohuman can sync it with as many email addresses as YOU need to. I have four already setup.  Two for different clients companies and two for myself.  As I consult and have several different projects, this comes in handy quite often.
  4. One of the other features that rock for me personally is the integration with Google Apps. Choose a primary email to get alerts delivered to, but the best part is cohuman can sync tasks to your Google Calendar or Google Tasks.  I love Google Apps and Gmail.  Nothing I've tried has ever integrated so well with my workflow in Gmail.

I immediately invited Christopher Penn to try it out with me.  He's never loved any task management system we've tried before mainly because the sharing didn't jive with his workflow.  It finally got Christopher out of living in his inbox and managing in his inbox. His strategy and mine is forward to cohuman with a new subject line, then hit Send & Archive in Gmail.

Once we both started adding in tasks and creating a project in cohuman, we found that it was super easy to update each other about what was happening. Unblocking a task after each of us complete our individual tasks and so forth.  Obviously we still have to communicate but there isn't an email for every time we finish something with a reminder for the other to get started on that followup task.

It's unbelievable how much email and sometimes IM it cuts down on.  You will love your co-workers more because you won't have to remind them to do something.

Cohuman at WorkClick to enlarge image

It keeps tasks and lists totally private unless YOU share them with specific people, yet, inviting someone to get started is as easy as emailing them. No privacy settings to fuss with, no user details to setup.  Email and done.  They do the rest.  You can even add tasks and assign them while you're waiting for them to accept your invite.

Feature suggestions for cohuman

There are a handful of things I'd like to see done.

  1. Due dates by email.  You can currently send an email to cohuman and it'll create a task for you, but you can't specify the due date. (I emailed about this and it's coming hopefully soon!)
  2. A browser bookmarklet to bookmark pages as tasks.  For example, sometimes clients will send me an email with a conference they want me to submit their speaking proposal to.  In this case, I'd open the bookmarklet a la Argyle Social and post it to cohuman as a task!
  3. A desktop application.  I'd love love love to see a Tweetdeck style application for my desktop.  Though I'm likely to continue using the web interface, I can think of a few times where this would come in handy instead.
  4. iPad app.  I know, there's an iPhone app so just enlarge it, but I'm a huge fan of setting up my day on the iPad because it forces me to focus on one thing at a time, so this would be super handy as well.

So if you're ready for a new way of doing things or at least experimenting with cohuman, fill out this form and I'll email you an invite.  Of course, if you are interested in even more powerful productivity help, let me know that too and can Godin it up to get your productivity back on track.