Time-Based Task Recommendations with GoalStacker

It’s no secret that we here at AppStorm come across a bunch of new project management apps on a regular basis. There’s so many project management web apps, but then again, there’s so many ways of tackling project management and to-do lists that it’s hard to classify them all together. Because of this, it can be hard to find the best ones that aren’t just carbon copies of other popular apps already out there.

Some task and project management apps provide ways of making task management as simple as possible, others pack in a lot of features, and the one I’m looking at today provides a unique twist by defining the most relevant tasks for the day ahead. Enter, GoalStacker.

Overview

GoalStacker is an app that takes task management to a whole new level by showing users the most relevant tasks based on the amount of time you have to work each today. Quite simply, GoalStacker looks at each task you’ve added and the approximate time you thought it would take, and then collates a list of the ones that would be most suited to the amount of time you have available that day. It’s very similar to Taskk.it which we recently reviewed, but with a fancier interface and more advanced features.

Overview

Overview

Getting Started

Though the simplistic interface appears otherwise, GoalStacker’s core features are everything but simple. They’re easy to use, but they’re powerful and can make it much easier to manage your tasks, no matter what you need to include. Once an account is created within the app, users are able to begin taking advantage of its intricately-designed interface to begin managing their tasks.

Interface

Interface

The first preliminary step that users may want to take is to add projects. Though it’s not a necessary requirement to begin adding tasks, it may be worth creating one if a lot of the tasks fall under the same heading or if you’re using it for a project. It also means that you’ll be able to take full advantage of GoalStacker’s collaboration features later on and invite other users to that project.

Creating Projects

Creating Projects

Tasks

Jumping straight into the app, the whole experience revolves around creating tasks that correspond to a particular activity that is required to be completed at some point in the near future. To add these, GoalStacker provides an interface to suit the creation of tasks, whether these are a basic short text description or fully-blown detailed tasks that also include loads of additional information to describe what needs to be done.

Inside the task creation box, users can first enter a description for the task. This is what’s shown around the app and is a short summary of the task at hand. The task’s length should then be provided so that the app can choose tasks based on how long they take to be completed, then information can be provided on whether the task is a one-off occurrence or it’s a regular thing that may happen regularly over a set period of time. Once this information’s complete, the task can then be added to either the queue for that particular day or the tasks list as a whole.

Adding Tasks

Adding Tasks

The task information doesn’t even stop here. Notes can be added to provide the person completing the task (whether this is for self-reference or for use by another member of the team on a project) with the information needed to carry out that particular job effectively. It allows for very basic bold, italic and underline formatting which can help to accentuate certain parts of the notes based on importance. Tags can be assigned to each task so that in addition to a per-project basis, tasks can also be further categorised into the type of activity that needs to be completed. In addition to all of these options, GoalStacker even allows for the uploading of files to a task should this be a feature that is useful for the completion of that particular task.

Additional Task Information

Additional Task Information

Once the tasks have been added to the queue, users can then provide GoalStacker with the amount of time that is generally available for the completion of tasks each day. This is in the form of a slider along the top of the app and once this value has been given to the app, the list for that day’s tasks automatically updates to take into account the tasks that can be completed for that particular day.

Available Time Slider

Available Time Slider

Now, that covers the main functionality of the app. It’s quite simplistic in the sense that it’s really easy to get using the app but underneath this, it seems to do a really good job of ensuring that everything just works seamlessly, without having to worry about the little details. It doesn’t allow for exact custom time values to be entered, instead suggests increments that are fairly feasible for most tasks. This is a good move, I think, because it ensures that everyone doesn’t have to worry about the exact time that something would take as this estimated time management is something that GoalStacker does quite well.

Collaboration

What would a task management app be without the ability to collaborate with others on projects? GoalStacker certainly supports this and offers a much simpler method than some other similar apps of getting other users onto a certain project. It allows users to be invited simply by entering their email address and once they’ve registered, it’s made stupidly simple to add them to a project. Once on the people management screen for a project, it takes a mere click to provide each user with access to that project and once this is done, users can have tasks assigned to them and then they can simply get on with it.

Inviting Users

Inviting Users

Conclusion

GoalStacker’s definitely a nice app that’s worth a try. If you’re always struggling to judge how much time you have and try to cram in tasks that you simply won’t have time to finish, GoalStacker’s probably going to be perfect for you. This is a concept that’s not yet been implemented in most productivity apps, and it’s usually down to the users to choose which tasks they should complete. By recommending the best ones based on the time available, I think that this app’s certainly got its own unique twist on the task management category. Coupled with a killer interface and a shockingly low monthly price, it can be a great asset to any individual – whether part of a project or just looking to manage tasks on their own.


Summary

GoalStacker is a task management app with a difference. Tell it what needs to be done, how long each task will take and how much time you have available each day and it'll automatically pick the most feasible tasks for that period.

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  • http://jacob.im Jacob

    I like the concept, but people are remarkably crap at estimating things in terms of time. Did it work well for you?

    • http://techinch.com/ Matthew Guay

      Good point. I’m notorious for taking far longer than I estimate on almost everything I do…

    • Alex

      Estimating tasks can be tricky sometimes so GoalStacker encourages you to set smaller increments of time. By breaking projects into smaller tasks you can often get a better idea of how long something will take.

      Also items on your today list will stick around until you complete them. So even if your estimate is a little off the task will be there for you to complete next time you get a chance.

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