I saw an interesting retweet the other day:
It referenced a tweet by Łukasz Dziedziul about using JIRA to contain a shopping list:
It started me thinking about how JIRA might be useful as a personal task manager. I have been looking for a new one and so I thought it might be interesting to try it out for a while.
Before I get on to my observations about how easy it is to set up and some of the practicalities of using JIRA in this way, let me start with some technical archaeology and look back at some of the systems I have used previously.
Going way back in time I used the tried and tested approach of just writing my tasks down on a piece of paper and crossing them off.
The downside of this is that the page would quickly get quite messy (my handwriting is not the best) and so it was difficult to see at a glance what needed doing next and there was no backup if the page should be misplaced or lost.
The next evolution of my task management was the introduction of technology.
Left Palm IIIx. Right Psion Series 3a.
Overall I was pretty happy with both of these as my task managers and in particular I used the Psion quite successfully for many years. Rather pleasingly they both still work after many years in storage.
Side note: I blame the Graffiti handwriting recognition system for the further decline of my penmanship.
Skipping forward to my current solution.
Currently I use the Todoist and Clear apps on iOS to manage my tasks.
Todoist is the more fully featured of the two and so I keep most of my tasks in there but Clear is really useful for those quick lists that you need to make and then mark items off as they are done, for example a list of things to pack before going on a trip.
The gestures used in Clear's user interface are very slick and the sound effects it makes when tasks are marked as completed actually makes getting stuff done a bit more fun. (Hmm, perhaps Atlassian needs to add this as an option on JIRA?)
So back to the idea of using JIRA as personal task tracker.
I went to our cloud installation of JIRA and quickly set up a very basic To-Do project and workflow.
These Atlassian blog posts are good references:
- A guide to setting up business workflows using JIRA Core
- How to make JIRA Core issues work for your business team
Overall it was quite easy to manage tasks within JIRA, after all this is one of the core strengths of the product, but one thing that was somewhat lacking was capturing tasks on-the-go via my iPhone.
The mobile version of the JIRA website is fine but an app would make entering tasks a bit easier on the go. I have JIRA Connect Pro from MobilityStream, LLC, again fine but it lacks the fluency of Todoist or Clear.
It was therefore quite interesting to hear that Atlassian announced at Summit 2015 that are planning on releasing their own mobile apps. I have signed up for the betabut suspect that I will have missed out on one of the 500 available slots.
I would be really interested to know if they are going to offer an offline mode - for me that would be a killer feature for working whilst on the Tube.