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Criteria of time management software

Time management software - Task management software - Mind map software - Scheduling software - Project software

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An overwhelming flood of software entitled as time management software does it make difficult to find the ultimate solution for the own time management requirements.

No, no, I don´t want to list the same things again on this page. However, I frequently will insert links to valuable websites covering this topic in a time saving manner.

I focus on individual/personal time management solutions although most of the tools I mention in this page provide much more powerful features for various time management demands.

  • What do you really need and expect from an electronic helper to save time or organize dates and tasks?
  • Do you have to be reminded of how many tasks and dates typical?
  • Second, starting a search for software from a possible overview I will give below. This can help to get some guidelines for orientation in the software jungle.

By the first three questions, you may define better search terms to do research on the web and to find appropriate tools more precisely.

However, more important is the side benefit, that you become aware of your real needs, or possibly you decide not to use any new tool immediately but after some time of deeper consideration.

There are many dangers to misuse electronic tools as hidden gambling, distracting you from becoming more efficient.

Using a special time management software sometimes dupes a professional behavior to oneself and others.

Another criterion is, do you need a time management for you alone or to work together with somebody else? Do you want to use intelligent solutions for the organization and management of your own individual tasks and dates?

As far as I recommend some specific software tools I try to refer as best to the considerations given in this website: individual ways to organize your own tasks and own time resources.

Obviously, nobody is working completely alone. Everybody has to define its interfaces to other people. The individual time management covers all issues within these interfaces.

Be careful with testing various origins of time management software. You quickly may fall into a time consuming race of testing and trying. Clearly decide from feature lists to try a small number of programs with a tightly assigned time for each test phase.

Then decide once and use the system, that meets your most stringent requirements, even it is not 100% perfect. You won´t find a 100% perfect solution.

Besides the breakdown in different categories like task management software, scheduling-software and project software an unconventional solution is covered in the mind map page.

Pros and Cons of time management software solutions

When using tm software to get rid of your tasks and dates, the goal should always be to save time and to make your work doable with a minimum of stress.

The two most important friends (I hope no enemies) of your management are Task and Time.

The basics are defining WHAT you have to do and list it (make it visible) and WHEN you have to do it. Besides many tips to improve efficiency these two are the foundation of every time management, and therefore the mainstays of a time management software too.

An efficiency secret in using a time management software is its visibility all the time.

Any supportive features may turn out as time wasters, if not fitting to your individual demands. The short time management software selector guide may provide a clearer picture, of what to observe and what not.

Important is, what you really need. Be aware of features that are fine, and that you could need some day, without clearly knowing why. If you are able to define precisely what a certain feature should provide in your work, then you know the real benefit. That´s it.

The myth of the paperless bureau

Do not throw away the baby with the bath. Try to use electronic document organization as much as possible, however, do not believe, you may omit paper totally.

“Material” Solutions like paper are definitely justified. However, I admit, that in some rare cases some people need not use paper with their time management procedures.

Time management software criteria selector guide

Although I make no claim to be complete, the list below will help you to think deeper about this issue. You possibly will detect further criteria, that help you to choose the time management software, that fits you best.

Define from the list below, which of the points is really important in your working area:

  • Does the software capture all the tasks that you want or need to do? Are there any restrictions concerning space?
  • Does it provide an appropriate editor to make and manage notes?
  • Is the software organizing your tasks in order of significance?

  • Does it easily provide creating subcategories? (if you really need this). Is there a collapse feature that can hide items to keep better control of the whole?
  • Is there another good filter to separate done tasks from due ones?
  • If tasks turn out to be no single actions, but contain several timely dependent tasks as a little project – does the software provide a means to manage it efficiently?

  • Useful too is some sort of access to a contact list to have all necessary contact information at hand: customers, suppliers, clients, business partners and whatever you need in your profession.
  • Does it provide direct email sending and phone/skype features?
  • Do you need to integrate your time management software into existing software solutions of your company? (This may limit you in the use of own individual solutions, however sometimes unavoidable)

  • Is the usability simple. However, savvy enough, so you do not serve the system and waste time?
  • Does the software support you to define your goals in the key areas of your life?
  • In case of purchase, do the benefits justify the price?
  • In case of a complex system (if needed at all): observe support and updating, operating systems and hardware needs.

Selfevident standards, however important:

  • unlimited undo & redo
  • editing/deleting of a selected task
  • Full featured online access
  • In the case of online use, observe enough storage space
  • quick access to external files
If you use mobile time management solutions you need a mobile and online sync for:

  • iPhone
  • Blackberry
  • Android
  • Windows CE or Mobile 6.5
  • Dependent on the intensity of the use of the time management software it should allow email integration, browser sidebar, reminders, labels, and more.
  • It enables to print out any list and reports for offline use and analyses.

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