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Programming Software

What Does Everyone Use For Task/Project Tracking? 428

Posted by timothy
from the tribal-tattoos-mostly dept.
JerBear0 writes "I work as the sole IT employee at a company of about 50 people. I handle programming, support, pretty much anything that is IT related, or even that plugs in. As seems to be true with many small companies, the priorities seem to shift quite frequently. As a result, I've always got multiple programming (both new systems and improvements/changes to existing systems), integration, research, maintenance tasks/projects on my To Do list, in varying stages of completion. At any given time, I need to be able to jump back to one of these items and pick up where I left off. I am currently using Outlook Tasks, and then end up referencing my notebook and email for those dates to figure out exactly where I left off. It works, but not well. If it's been a while, I'll end up losing an hour or two just tracking everything down. I looked at using MS Project / OpenProj, but they want an individual file for each project, and I want at least the project/task list all on one screen. Essentially what I'd want would be a Task List on steroids, allowing for hierarchical subtasks, attachments, and prioritization. Ideally it would be a desktop app, but a locally-hostable web app would be okay. In some of these projects I may want to include proprietary information, which I really don't want floating out in the cloud outside of my control. I know I'm not alone in this problem, so what do you guys (gals) use to address this?"
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What Does Everyone Use For Task/Project Tracking?

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  • redmine (Score:5, Informative)

    by semargofni (1476489) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @05:33PM (#30464316)
    I use redmine, see http://www.redmine.org/ [redmine.org]
    • Re:redmine (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Cryacin (657549) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @05:41PM (#30464452)
      I use BSmart from Bijingo. www.bijingo.com Pretty slick and it does pretty much what you want.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by the_g_cat (821331)
      Second that, although I use it in combination to Things (by CulturedCode) on Mac/iPhone.
    • by bencoder (1197139)
      thirded/fourthed :) Redmine is good, although some things can be a bit of a pig to set up (adding a tracker to a project after it's been created, IIRC, took a lot of clicks)
    • Re:redmine (Score:4, Informative)

      by bluec (1427065) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @07:25PM (#30466344)
      Redmine is the correct answer. Can't believe parent isn't modded up more. We use it for all web/software development projects because of its excellent trackers and repository integration. We are just about to roll it out across the organisation for all types of projects and management tasks. It is extremely flexible and different types of projects can have different features - wiki, forum, file sharing, bug/request tracking, time tracking, gantt charts, code repos, the whole shebang. Loads of addons too and very stable. It is a bit like basecamp, but better, and free/libre.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by tolan-b (230077)

        If you're using Eclipse for development then combining Redmine (or one of the many other supported bug trackers) with Mylyn (using http://sourceforge.net/projects/redmin-mylyncon/develop [sourceforge.net] ) can be a big win. More so if you have multiple developers but still. Among other things Mylyn stores a context against your bugs (locally by default but it can attach it to the ticket for other users to fetch). The context keeps a track of which files you were working on, including which functions if you're using the Java

    • by INT_QRK (1043164)
      I use OMNIPLAN on my MAC. Very good interoperability with MS Project.
    • Re:redmine (Score:4, Informative)

      by turbidostato (878842) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @10:09PM (#30468030)

      "I use redmine, see http://www.redmine.org/ [redmine.org]"

      I'd say, yes... but not.

      Look at the environment:

      "I work as the sole IT employee [...] I've always got multiple programming (both new systems and improvements/changes to existing systems), integration, research, maintenance tasks/projects on my To Do list, in varying stages of completion. At any given time, I need to be able to jump back to one of these items and pick up where I left off"

      So:
      1) His best tool must be his mind: he must use it to set his own procedures (and exceptions), so pointing to reads like David Allen's "Getting Things Done" or "Limoncelli's Time Management for System Administrators" are a foremost.
      2) Given the right ideas are in his mind and given that it's a solo show, the leaner the tools the better: he don't need contrains on the tools when he can adopt them by his own criteria. That's where even such a fine tool like Redmine is a bit of an overkill. I'd find in this case its conceptual father to be a better fit. Trac, that is.

      Let's have a look about how Trac fits the bill:
        * For a start it really helps the guy that do the thing instead of getting in his way in favor of the one that plans the thing (so, i.e. there are not -at least by default, fixed workflows nor fancy flowcharts to the content of a project manager but absolutly unuseful for a single or a short development/multitasking group).
        * It allows (but not commands) tight but lean integration between wiki pages, tickets, milestones and source code management. You will fastly and easily group your tickets by milestones (like, say, "work as usual year 2009" or "summer campaign"), by components (like "central servers", "help desk"...), by type (like "bug", "enhancement"...), by priority and severity but you will be *not* forced to use them if you don't want to (as an example, shorter shops tend to use either priority or severity, but not both).
        * It lacks "proper" multiproject and nested tickets support but, as I already said, that's not a problem since you are alone and workflow/procedures are basically in your head (and described on a wiki page too). In example, a component/milestone combo provides for a nice solution for your short, unbudgeted, as time allows, personal/internal "microprojects", and being wiki-based, hierarchycal tickets can be easily mimicked using a "superticket" ticket type that links to all the related "subtickets" which in turn "backlink" to the parent.

      So, my recomendation is Edgewall's Trac because of it leaness and functionality, more or less like this:
        * Wiki pages organized by "machines", "services" and "procedures" with proper links among them (a procedure affects some services that are offered by some machines; a machine hosts some services -or parts of them; each service has some associated procedures and expands through one/some machines).
        * Bug/Enhancement tickets for "usual" day-to-day activities eventually grouped by milestones (like "operations 2009") and components (like "core services", "helpdesk", "CRM"...). They allow for a description and a variable number of notes either direct or question/reply style, so you will know exactly where did you gave it six months ago, when you last time worked on it; its wiki syntax will allow for links to the pages for the affected machines/services/procedures and even the exact transaction on the source management system where/when you activated that new service or corrected that bug.
        * Project-like components/milestones/tickets for bigger tasks (aka "microprojects").
        * ...and your own intelligence and discipline to firmly tie everything in place.

  • works pretty good for us -although it's not FOSS or anything

    http://www.seapine.com/
    priced pretty reasonable compared to Clearquest and other 'complete' software lifecycle/reqs packages

    -I'm just sayin'
  • Bugzilla and Wiki (Score:4, Interesting)

    by sky289hawk1 (459600) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @05:36PM (#30464356) Homepage
    A combination of Bugzilla and Wiki. Wiki keeps track of backlog. Bugzilla keeps track of tasks.
    • Re:Bugzilla and Wiki (Score:5, Informative)

      by grcumb (781340) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @06:03PM (#30464896) Homepage Journal

      A combination of Bugzilla and Wiki. Wiki keeps track of backlog. Bugzilla keeps track of tasks.

      If you're going down this road, then just install and configure Request Tracker [bestpractical.com]. It's got great workflow management, uses email (which works for all but network-related tasks) as the primary interface and has some great reporting tools, so at the end of every month you can hand your boss a shiny little report showing just how productive you are.

      For bonus points, it also stores the history of every request, so if you need to, you can also demonstrate to your boss what a prick Henderson in HR is, and that you cut off his Internet access because he didn't seem to be able to stay away from Furry sites during working hours.

      Okay, seriously: RT is well-designed, well-documented and well-supported. It's got a lot of solid add-ons (which might or might not have significance for a 1 man IT dept.), and though it takes a little effort to grasp, it's remarkably rewarding in terms of simplifying your day.

    • Re:Bugzilla and Wiki (Score:4, Interesting)

      by eulernet (1132389) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @06:29PM (#30465402)

      At my work, we used Bugzilla extensively, but it was because one of our developers maintained it, by coding some new components.
      It is really oriented towards bug tracking, but it's not very well integrated with anything else.
      For example, how can you automatically link a wiki page to a bug, when you do a commit on a SVN server, then run a build ?
      It's also a mess to maintain, since it's written in Perl.

      We recently switched to Trac because we needed a more complete integration between the automated build process, the wiki, the bug tracking and the frequent releases (we try to work with agile methodologies).

      Frankly, Trac is not very good on each of the above points, but it's easy to use, fast and light and it's written in Python (and our Bugzilla maintainer is a Python expert, so he's much happier).
      Bugzilla is slow and if Mozilla did not put resources on maintaining it, it would have died since a long time.

      Note that using two different tools (Wiki and Bugzilla) leads to developers concentrating on Bugzilla, and never updating the wiki.
      On the contrary, having the wiki and bug tracking forces them to update the wiki.

      • by kobaz (107760) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @01:11AM (#30469348)

        It's also a mess to maintain, since it's written in Perl.

        Nice troll!

        "I hate X because I can't use it properly". "I hate X because other people can't use it properly".

        It's a pretty common misconception that a *language* makes things hard to maintain. I've seen horrible C code, I've seen excellent C code. I've seen horrible PHP code, and I've seen excellent PHP code. And of course I've seen some amazing Perl. It's a matter of development experience combined with time and effort of the authors, that makes a project is easy to maintain or not... not the language.

        If your bugzilla guy is a Python expert, then maybe his skills are lacking in Perl... which is why it's hard to maintain... just a thought.

    • by rysiek (1328591) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @06:33PM (#30465490) Homepage
      Trac [edgewall.org] is a Bugzilla, Wiki, and then some - plus it has thousands of plugins [trac-hacks.org]. Also easy to administer and manage. Great tool, I use it for many projects.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      We use this, except we have a subversion hook which forces commits to be associated with bugs, and adds a link to the commit in viewvc as a comment in the bug. Seems to work pretty well for small teams on multiple small projects.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by tbischel (862773)
      I've found Fossil [fossil-scm.org] extremely easy to use as an individual programmer... it incorporates wiki, issue tracking, and version control through a simple interface, the server software is a single executable and runs on the client with no setup required, and it is free. When you begin working in larger teams, the model is distributed version control. Its pretty slick.
  • I love this tool. Used it on multiple agile projects. Free too!

  • Clocking It (Score:4, Interesting)

    by sheetzam (454981) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @05:37PM (#30464378) Homepage

    http://www.clockingit.com/ [clockingit.com] Might be worth a look. Keeps track of stuff you need to do, and will let you keep track of time spent doing it as well. Definitely a help if you're looking to prove you need help some day. And yes, you can install a copy of it on a local server.
    Heck, might be a good tool for others in your office, for that matter - this isn't a problem you're alone in having in your company.

  • ... for several webapps, quite a lot are PHP but that's not a problem. We have used dotProject for our task management before buying into something 'better'. It worked well, produces gantt charts, but will not do any kind of resource allocation for you. Still, its nice and easy to use.

    There are alternatives on sf.net, ganttchart, phpproject etc. Go have a look.

  • Something WebBased (Score:4, Informative)

    by nahdude812 (88157) * on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @05:40PM (#30464414) Homepage

    I used to use Mantis and create tickets for different tasks.

    I have switched to OpenGoo, this is a slick easy to use web based lightweight project management software. It can be used to give visibility to others in the organization regarding what you're working on if you so choose.

  • TikiWiki (Score:2, Interesting)

    by dikdik (1696426)
    I set up TikiWiki for my department to track projects. We are a commercial HVAC firm (my dept is the automation side), so CVS and the like don't (at least I don't think!) really apply. But I do the engineering and layout, with others doing the actual installations and we needed a way to easily transfer information. They always have their laptops with them, and have VPN access to the office, so this idea came to mind.

    It has worked pretty well, and quite a few people in other departments have started using

  • Nice big (Score:5, Interesting)

    by i.r.id10t (595143) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @05:40PM (#30464422)

    Nice big whiteboard w/ several color markers. Grid it out into colums/rows if needed using blue painters masking tape.

    • by ghostis (165022)

      Amen. Some of the best projects in which I have been involved were run from a whiteboard in lieu the official MS Project method. In the end, all of these things are just tools. If the leaders of your projects aren't good, lack experience leading projects, or a simply overloaded, no nifty tracking tool will help.

    • Re:Nice big (Score:4, Informative)

      by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @06:35PM (#30465526)

      Indeed. Not to mention that if someone comes by and asks "Why isn't this done yet?", you can point at the 20 tasks ahead of his and ask him which one ought to be re-scheduled in his favor. It drives home quite nicely that you aren't just waiting for people to grace you with requests for work.

      Alternatively, I've found TiddlyWiki immensely useful - it's lightweight, allows for cross-linking and makes searching for those meeting notes a cinch.

  • WebCollab (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MooMooFarm (725996) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @05:41PM (#30464428)
    I use WebCollab, great tool and fits the description of a "task list on steroids" and its open source! What is nice about WebCollab is that you have one object, a task, and a task can have multiple tasks in a hierarchical organization or can be by itself. http://webcollab.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]
  • The software is specialized for programming, has a cludgy fat interface and we suffer through our monthly timelogs. That is all.
  • I use tuxcards [tuxcards.de].

  • by gestalt_n_pepper (991155) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @05:42PM (#30464462)

    But I always wash my hands afterwards.

  • Omnifocus! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by klagg (107206)

    Works fantastically well, but for Mac only. So chances are it won't work for you. It does everything you ask for anyway.

  • by kikito (971480) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @05:42PM (#30464472) Homepage

    I use redmine [redmine.org], which is opensource, and free as long as you have a server for it.

    If I liked bazaar, I would use launchpad [launchpad.net].

    If I wanted a payed, supported option, I'd go for Basecamp [basecamphq.com].

  • At my last job we used VersionOne... It does pretty much what you ask for, but managing it is a royal pain in the ass. Not very intuitive at all.

    http://www.versionone.com/ [versionone.com]

  • Task Coach (Score:2, Interesting)

    by northrange (211380)

    I use Task Coach [taskcoach.org] It has hierarchical subtasks, attachments, and prioritization. I really like the ability to create tasks automatically from emails.

  • Go oldschool (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Keruo (771880) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @05:44PM (#30464488)
    I work in almost identical setup and simply use two notebooks. In notebook one I keep generic todo list, which travels with me. Second notebook sits on my desk. I keep more per project detailed data on it describing how I did something or just basic notes when trying to solve something. If the project is bigger, there will be separate binder for it additionally.

    The generic notebook gets decoded into excel file which has sheet for each month, so I can track what I've been doing past year(s). Also it helps when troubleshooting reoccurring problems.
    • Re:Go oldschool (Score:5, Interesting)

      by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @06:03PM (#30464878) Homepage

      I agree with keeping it old-school-- or at least it's good to avoid making things more complicated and technological than they need to be.

      If you're trying to do something very complex and specific, there are probably good tools out there for you. Other people here are talking about tools that manage trouble tickets and stuff, and if you need that, great. Try some out, see what works. However, don't undervalue the old pen and paper. If you're going to use a computer, don't be afraid to type some lines into a text editor and save the text file, relying on simple directory structures and file names to keep things organized. As a techie, it may disappoint you to resort to such simple approaches, but the simple things still work.

      I may be stating the obvious that everyone here already knows, but you might want to read Getting Things Done [google.com] if you haven't already. The GTD fad may be overblown, but there's some good advise in there for making task lists.

      But generally, my advice would be to not even try to devise a technical solution that will "keep you organized". Either you're organized or you aren't. If you add a complex technical solution on top of your disorganization, you'll probably end up dealing with your technical solution in a disorganized manner and it won't work. Get organized, then figure out a system that will help you skip over some of the more tedious steps of your workflow. Also, don't try to put all your information into a single task list. Keep the task list simple enough that you can glance at it and see if there's anything you can check off. If you need more information on a given task, keep a resource file somewhere else and store all the details there.

      But regardless of this advice, you have to find a system that works for you. There's no "proper" way of handling these things that will work perfectly for everyone.

    • This is how I do it too. Pretty much the same situation, 40 employees instead of 50. I am also in charge of the ESOP Committee, the Safety Committe, the Lean Production Task Force, the Technology Committee

      Notebooks, Outlook Tasks and Appointments are what I use to keep it all straight. It took me a long time to learn the value, but I am much better about keeping meeting minutes up to date and using them to track my various sub tasks.

  • Emacs org-mode (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Enfors (519147) <christer...enfors@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @05:46PM (#30464538)

    Are you an emacs user? If so, then I definitely recommend org-mode: http://orgmode.org/ [orgmode.org]

    It's notes mixed with todos on steroids (which themselves are on steroids). There's nothing it can't do. Check it out.

    There's a Google tech video about it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJTwQvgfgMM [youtube.com]

  • by BuR4N (512430)
    http://www.fogcreek.com/FogBUGZ/ [fogcreek.com]

    Its great, its simple, it also cost a bit of money, but its worth every cent.
    • by Jhon (241832)

      Fogbugz is great. Can also connect in via ODBC and create our own custom productivity reports on the fly with pretty colorful charts for the PHB.

    • +1 on Fogbugz. It was made by coders and the UI/UX is extremely practical and easy. It's extensible too.. there are third party devs making apps that connect to Fogbugz, so, for instance, my tasks are plugged directly into my IDE (Eclipse).

  • Trac works well (Score:2, Interesting)

    by talcite (1258586)
    I've worked with people in the same situation (small office & 1 person IT team) before.

    They used Trac (http://trac.edgewall.org/) to keep things organized. It works really well because it has integration with the standard SVN features for software development, while tickets/milestones can be used for non-programming projects. It even scales well with job assignments if you eventually get an IT team.
  • Microsoft OneNote (Score:2, Informative)

    by FaxeTheCat (1394763)
    Although not strictly for tracking projects, I recently started using Microsoft OneNote.
    I find it really great for keeping lots of notes in a semi structured way. I used to have a lot of files and pieces of paper with notes. Now I have it all in a OneNote file.
    It also integrates with other MS products, so you can create an Outlook task directly from some note in onenote.
    Don't take my word for it. You can most likely download a time limited trial from Microsoft and check it out, or watch the demos availab
  • by Fishbulb (32296)

    a) Read the book "Getting Things Done" by David Allen

    b) Find some software that emulates the GTD methodology. For the Mac, Daylight does a decent job, and iGTD was built for it (iGTD has now morphed into a commercial product)

  • you need to write a front end to draw lines

    but it has a database backend that you can augment, has prioritization,
    dependencies, user assignment, completion estimates and completion dates

    it may suck, but it seems substantially more useful than the tools that were made
    for the purpose

  • A simple to-do list and lab notebooks. The trick with the to-do list is for the tasks to be small enough that you can reasonably do them quickly, and thus you never have a partially complete task.

  • Of 4 people managing about 1200 machines across Canada (yes, and I'm not exagerating) - we use this program called Track-It! by Numara [numarasoftware.com].

    It does well enough for us, lets us assign different tasks to different technicians, give them different prioritees, expected completed dates, notes and all that nice stuff. The only thing it doesn't really do is sub-tasks. It does handle Attachments, Prioritization, and you can set it up to generate these projects based on incoming emails (emailing support@mycompany.com wil

  • I'd be interested in the overall answer here. I use Eclipse with a lot of additional standard addons (ECF, WTP, TPTP, etc) and would like to find something useful to use a task management that I can share with coworkers or work towards overall goals. I bet Eclipse has something for this already built in, but I'm just not using it properly.

    I'm contemplating a bugzilla setup since it looks like it integrates nicely, It might be overkill though and not fit your guidelines.

    Another tool I'm looking at is jazz c [jazz.net]

  • Great question. Got me to thinking there must be an Eclipse or Firefox plugin for that. Found a few I'll have to check out now. MyLyn looks promising from IBM http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/java/library/j-mylyn1/ [ibm.com] though it seems to more programming oriented than what you do.

    For FireFox, maybe Quick ToDo list https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/11386 [mozilla.org] or Time Tracker https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/1887 [mozilla.org]

    Set up a quick Drupal http://www.drupal.org/ [drupal.org] site with pages you can priva

  • Project2Manage.com

    Very straightforward.

  • I use loggingit.com -- been working at it for a year now. I find it really useful -- it's so simple!

    Check it out for yourself.

    Stephan

  • by SLot (82781)

    TUTOS: http://www.tutos.org/homepage/about.html [tutos.org]

    # a calendar for users and groups
    # Groups / Teams
    # address manager for people, companies and departments
    # bug tracking system
    # product/project repository

    * with task management
    * with document management
    * with installation management
    * support of different roles
    * support of relations to other projects
    # mailboxes (imap/po

  • Might be a little overkill, but should be able to do what you want. Take a look http://www.phprojekt.com/index.php?&newlang=eng [phprojekt.com]
  • If you want to keep it simple, take a look at basecamp (www.basecamphq.com).

  • Depending on the complexity of the project, I use B-Liner ( http://varatek.com/ [varatek.com] ), Microsoft Project (or Primavera) and sometimes I just use Outlook.

    If you're going to use Outlook, I recommend a book from MS Press, "Take Back Your Life!" by Sally McGhee for the cool organizing hints she has in the first three chapters.

    I would like to download the code for project.net ( http://www.project.net/ [project.net] ) and see if I can modify it for "Critical Chain" use. "Critical Chain" and "Necessary but not Sufficient" by Eli Go

  • Retrospectiva (Score:3, Interesting)

    by k33l0r (808028) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @06:06PM (#30464946) Homepage Journal

    You might want to have a look at Retrospectiva [retrospectiva.org]. It has ticketing, milestones/goals, code reviews, a wiki add-on, a blog add-on, and an Agile project management add-on. Plus you're free to develop your own add-ons. It's fully open source too...

  • Try GTD [davidco.com]. (You can also google for "GTD" and "Getting Things Done".)

    But the real trick is to keep your system lean and simple - you won't use it if it's complex.

  • by AlXtreme (223728)

    I've been using Trac [edgewall.org] for quite a while now, decent ticketing system for bugs & tasks combined with a wiki for everything else. Nice and simple.

    From what you mention most of your requirements can be filled with the default install. Only subtasks might be tricky depending on what you want exactly, as I haven't needed to set up a hierarchy of tasks myself. Maybe one of the plugins [trac-hacks.org] would do the trick. YMMV.

    • by Foofoobar (318279)
      Gotta second that. For a small shop, Trac fulfills all your needs as it integrates with subversion, you can use Wiki formatting in the bug tracker, it has an integrated wiki for documentation and you can always use 'eggs' to add-on features like agile burndown charts.
  • by dirkdodgers (1642627) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @06:09PM (#30465012)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_issue_tracking_systems [wikipedia.org]

    You and your customers create issues describing what they want done. You estimate them. They prioritize them in the order they want them done. You track your time and status on each issue. You can add notes and artifacts to each issue so that you can pickup where you left off if priorities change.

    This might sound like a lot of extra work. Not only is it not a lot of work, it is hugely to your advantage in two ways:
    1. When the time comes, and it will, that whoever pays your bills wants you to justify your existence or justify why tasks are taking longer than they want, you can point them to this system and show exactly what you've done, where your time has went, and when priorities and requirements have changed.

    2. When you're ready to move onto a larger company, having personally been responsible for rolling out and implementing an issue tracking system is a nice accomplishment to put on your resume.

  • In my company i don't work in the IT department, so i'm limited by whatever IT gives me. My department needed a similar system to track projects, tasks, milestones, and certain metrics, and give visibility to the rest of the org. We have sharepoint in our corporate environment, so i used sharepoint to do most of the work. Project plans in MSProj are stored in eRoom (because we have to work with external contractors) and pulled via weekly script I wrote and placed on to sharepoint lists. That's the only

  • You'll probably spend more time reviewing the suggestions and comments that appear here than it would take for you to whip something together (since you mentioned that you code).

    I went through the same thing about 18 months ago when I became the sole IT guy at a new employer. While there likely were tons of available tools out there, I spent about a half hour throwing together a simple task tracker in Access. My development skills are very limited. My database does not have subtasks, but that would be
  • At home (on my mac) I use omnioutliner. I love it, and it perfectly describes what you are looking for.
    I was unable to find an equivalent on windows though.

    At work, we used clearquest for a long time. A while back, my company did a big internal search for something different. We evaluated about 5 different tools, and eventually settled on Jira. I absolutely love it. I'd suggest taking a look at that tool.
    (Note: We still use Clearquest for core dev, but added Jira for internal tools.)

  • I've had this problem at two distinct times in the past and both times I wrote some simple programs to help:
    • I always had trouble keeping track of my home maintenance tasks, so I wrote this little program [sourceforge.net]. It allows you to create hierarchical tasks. Tasks are prioritized by due date. Attachments aren't supported, but you can put arbitrary text in each task, so I suppose you could include links to files/directories on your machine. The program works as a standalone client or in a client/server configura
  • I use Natara Bonsai - Windows version, but there's also versions for Windows Mobile (touch or smartphone) and Palm.

  • Ditz [rubyforge.org] for per-project tracking. It just sits there in your repository (which you should have). I used Git for a repository. This meant that the change that fixed a problem would also close the bug, making things much more closely tied than something like Trac could hope to be. (Ever wanted to know which branch still has a given bug open? Now you can.)

    I've also used Ktimetracker [kde.org], back when it was called Karm, to track billable hours. The advantage of a GUI/desktop time tracker, in addition to being KDE-based,

  • I'll take care of your question right after I get some post-its so I can make a note to remind me to deal with this.

  • Today I saw a video presentation of a new product called Firefly by ActiveState (The folks that publish a popular Win32 perl). Not FOSS, in fact, they host the whole thing on their server. At least there's nothing to install. You can get a free account and set up projects but if you want to set up a private project (i.e. one that's only accessible to your group) you'll need to pay. They cater to many development methodologies. Also they allow you to use a couple of choices for version control--Mercurial

  • by GPLDAN (732269) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @06:31PM (#30465438)
    Here's a novel approach:

    Take massive quantities of LSD, combined with strobe light therapy, aka MK Ultra stuff - until you develop Dissociative Identify Disorder [wikipedia.org] aka Sybil Effect [wikipedia.org] and then assign each one of your personalities a non-competing task. Note: you may have to go Memento [wikipedia.org] on this, and write the tasks on your body for the next personality to see.

    What you should find is that you cycle personalities often enough to load balance the work properly. Take Thorzine [wikipedia.org] as needed to adjust timing.

    I think you will find that.... errerggshdgs... wait, what? Ignore that advice!
  • by Bazman (4849)

    Don't go for a single user solution. The fact that you are spending so much time managing your tasks tells me that it's nearly time your group got another one of you. And then you need a task management system that scales to more than one techie.

    We use RT. Everything I and my two techies do gets logged into RT. Sometimes these are tickets from users, sometimes they are things we've put in (systems work). You can have priorities, due dates, assign tickets to techies, etc etc etc.

    I don't think it has the hier

  • by Sleen (73855)

    Its actually a cool job. And this is before you get burnt so enjoy it and the optimism your question contains.

    In a small company anything that plugs in means you are a bitch. Get some fucking standards, boy. Don't touch the cellphones, pdas and certainly anything that is not company property.

    This is your problem and close out everything else and read this.

    You must accomplish something. Not the stuff on the lists, something you can take with you otherwise you are wasting your time. All these change orde

  • by burnin1965 (535071) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @06:59PM (#30465964) Homepage

    TaskFreak! [taskfreak.net]

    - project/task list all on one screen CHECK
    - a Task List on steroids CHECK
    - hierarchical subtasks (not 100% sure on this feature in TaskFreak!)
    - attachments CHECK
    - prioritization CHECK
    - a locally-hostable web app CHECK

    Not sure how secure TaskFreak! is for public internet access but it is multi-user with passwords and permissions.

  • MS Onenote (Score:3, Informative)

    by fast turtle (1118037) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @07:00PM (#30465988) Journal

    Big Question: Why aren't you using the Outlook Journal to at least track projects? It can link all of the information (messages, tasks and files) into a single location. Very handy and you've already got it.

      Another option that will work nicely is Onenote by MS. It's now part of Office and expands on the Outlook Journal capabilities. It uses tabs to keep things organized, you can add pages as needed, link in other documents such as research information, web links and maybe track emails like the Outlook Journal. It also has a shared notebook feature that's for networks and the best thing is, you might be able to convince the boss to get a copy since it's fairly cheap from your normal office super store. I've only been using it for 6 weeks now and it's already become the must have tool for me. Can't say how well it'll work for you but worth giving it a try

  • by tamnir (230394) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @07:17PM (#30466234)

    There was a similar comment posted, but it lacked explanations and has not been modded up yet, so let me go into more details.

    Your current task management solution does not work so well, and you are looking for a tool that, you hope, will automagically make everything work for you. Let me tell you from experience: this won't happen. You may get a small boost at first, when using a new shinny "todo list on steroids", but it does not come from the tool: it just comes from your increased motivation. And when the novelty wears off, you will find yourself facing the same problems as before, blame the tool again and start looking for a new one. Rinse, repeat...

    So, rather than looking for a technical solution to your problem, you first need to find a better task management method. And as a previous poster wrote:

    1) Read the book "Getting Things Done" (GTD) by David Allen.

    2) There is no 2). The GTD method works very well with just pen and paper, and you can probably implement it with the tools you are currently using.

    Once you are familiar with the GTD method, you may start looking for some GTD specific tool. In that case, I suggest OmniFocus. I reviewed many such tools, but I think OmniFocus is the one that is truest to the method. In particular, it is very important to be able to easily turn a task into a project when you process your inbox. And OmniFocus makes it the easiest: you just drag and drop the task to the project sidebar. All other software make you click extra buttons, input the project title again, and this extra clutter just gets in the way of a smooth inbox processing. OmniFocus is also an iPhone application, that can sync with its desktop counter-part, so you can have access to your GTD system anywhere. Only issue: the desktop version is unfortunately Mac only.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Beetle B. (516615)

      Once you are familiar with the GTD method, you may start looking for some GTD specific tool

      A warning especially for the Slashdot crowd: GTD will make you itch and itch for optimizing your GTD workflow. Resist the temptation, no matter how strong the itch. Too many technical oriented folks keep trying to improve their software GTD tools (lots of scripts, gluing stuff together, writing your own GTD app for scratch, etc), and the end result is they get little done, because they keep either avoiding GTD until they build the optimal solution (almost never), or they waste too much time constructing tha

  • by bbasgen (165297)
    This is a tough question because most task management tools are geared towards collaboration. Since you are one person, I don't know of anything geared towards your situation. Trac may be a reasonable fit for you -- it does task and project tracking, it is open source, but of course it is geared towards a larger operation.
  • OpenGoo (Score:3, Informative)

    by kobaz (107760) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @09:29PM (#30467642)

    I've used so many groupware projects that claim to have excellent task tracking. They all wind up being projects that have a bazillion modules and none of them are much good.

    We stumbled upon OpenGoo. It's a modern web app (very ajaxy), very very fast. It uses Ext, so it's nicely cross browser and is very similar to a desktop app. It has a great ui for very quickly creating tasks and milestones. That's my biggest complaint about many task managers and groupware projects, is that it just takes too damn long to create and manage tasks.

    It also has a contact manager and calendaring, a document manager, time tracking, and reporting. And it does everything quite well. It has due dates and priorities, a messgaeboard for just about every item. You can drag and drop tasks between milestones (projects), you can also tag items. There are configurable workspaces (ie: entirely separate groupings for personal tasks, company tasks, and client tasks). It has a role based permission system, and it's generally just pretty damn awesome.

    opengoo.org

    Disclaimer: I don't work on, or currently contribute to opengoo, I'm just a happy user.

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