If you suck at time management (too)…

Timeful logoAlthough I used to claim I was tech savvy, given I can’t type on my iPhone with my thumbs, I’ve pulled that claim from media résumé.  Having said that, I have a technology recommendation for you.

It’s a “smart calendar.”

The app is Timeful.

To-Do List to Nowhere

I’ve looked at lots of tools to help me be more organized and productive.  That includes to-do lists, outline tools, mind managers, mind maps and on and on.  With each I get a way of creating a list yet none has managed to get me to bridge the gap between listing and doing.

Years ago, I took a two-day class that stressed “time management” was an impossibility while “calendar management” was the secret to effectiveness.  Their advice was to forget about to-do lists.  Just put tasks on to your calendar.  But I didn’t get that to work.  I need to start with a list.  I believe what the class taught is true:  if a task doesn’t make it from my to-do list to my calendar, it won’t get done.

Intelligent Time Management

Enter the smart-phone app, Timeful.  It’s an “intelligent time manager.”

I appreciate how easy it makes moving a task from a to-do list to my calendar.  Actually, there really isn’t a to-do list.  When you create a task, you assign it to a date or time span (within the next week) and that means it shows up on the top of your calendar.  From there, you drag it to a particular time.  I think with Timeful, it’s easy to move tasks from your to-do lists into your calendar.  (Timeful is available for Apple’s iOS line and is optimized for the iPhone 5.  Timeful is promising an Android version and web-based version.)

That integration is awesome, but it wasn’t what got my attention.

I looked at Timeful because of the three guys behind it.  They look like THE all-star team for this type of tool.

Below is a brief bio for Dan Ariely (rock-star behavioral economist) and his partners Jacob Bank (rock-star technology genius) and Yoav [yoh AHV] Shoham [“show”-hom] (rock-star tech entrepreneur and game theorist).

From left, Ariely, Bank and Shoham

From left, Ariely, Bank and Shoham

Timeful chief executive officer, Jacob Bank, is on leave from a PhD program in computer science at Stanford University in California where he researched how to best apply data mining, machine learning and optimization algorithms to time management. He previously worked in data mining for LinkedIn and as a software engineer with Google.

The chief behavioral officer with Timeful, Dan Ariely, is a foremost expert in behavioral economics and a professor of psychology at Duke University in North Carolina. Ariely, 47, is also the founder of the Center for Advanced Hindsight and the co-founder of BEworks.  Ariely was born in New York, is a featured speaker with Ted.com. He is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of technology.

Yoav Shoham is Timeful chairman. This is his fourth start-up. In 1998, Shoham founded TradingDynamics and sold it to Ariba in 1999 for $400 million. He also started Katango in 2010, which he sold to Google in 2011.

With a PhD in computer science from Yale, Shoham has been a professor at Stanford for 27 years. The 57-year-old is also a fellow with the Association for Advancement of Artificial Intelligence.”

Timeful has some quick videos at Vimeo.com.  The one I recommend is Ariely talking about e-mail as an example of task switching and the costs of task switching.

Last thing, Timeful works with your existing Google, Microsoft Exchange or Apple iCal calendar.  I can tell you that it installed easily for me and allows me to switch back and forth in working with my calendar via the Google calendar or with Outlook.

One more thing, for now, Timeful is free.

That’s it from
Jimmy the Geek

Links:

PC Magazine Review

Reference at LifeHacker.com

6 Reasons Why Time Management is hard on Huffington Post

The Washington Post

 

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