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Ok, now that was a pretty bold headline, eh?  Well, I’m currently a little over 1 hour into investigating a piece of software that might be worthy of that claim.  Well, at least to me (but of course!)

So, what could get me hyped up to such a degree?  Earlier tonight I found TaskLynx.  So, what the heck is that you ask?

A little background first…

As you might remember my post on productivity plug-ins for Outlook awhile back, I’m a big freak on anything (especially software tools) that will help me get more done faster.   To give you a sense of my Outlook plug-in dependency, my Outlook process typically consumes nearly 200MB of memory – plus another 100MB or so for all the plug-ins.  However, RAM is cheap, lost productivity is NOT.  I have already commented that I spend most of my day in Outlook.  Well, lately I’ve also been spending a lot of time in Microsoft Project.  Since I use David Allen’s Getting Things Done method for processing my work, everything that ends up being more than a single step goes into a project.  When that project involves 10 or fewer steps, I generally create a PlanPlus Project (right from within Outlook since I’m using the FranklinCovey PlanPlus plug-in).  However, when that project requires more than 10 steps, I need a more robust tool than PlanPlus Project provides.  So, naturally, I turn to Microsoft Project.  For example, I’m putting together my company’s business development (sales, marketing, and partner relations) plan and budget for the next 8 months right now.  My choices outside of Project are not viable unless I want to get fired for incompetence.  Sorry folks, but Outlook is NOT meant for 500 tasks to be managed in a coherent project structure.

Well, I found the solution tonight and happily plunked my $99.95 down for the software called TaskLynx.

TaskLynx synchronizes tasks between Project and Outlook – bi-directionally!  How cool is that?!  So, I write out a massive project plan with hundreds of tasks, assign myself as a resource on many of them, and go through the whole project scheduling process within Project (as it is designed to do very well).  Then, I click on a new toolbar icon created by TaskLynx, which synchronizes tasks assigned to me with my Outlook tasks.  Since you already know I manage all my tasks in Outlook (primarily prioritizing, scheduling, etc. within FranklinCovey PlanPlus plug-in), it makes total sense to use TaskLynx to have my Microsoft Project tasks automatically synched with my normal task management system.  But the coolest part to me, is that I can manage my tasks in Outlook as I’m used to (with all my plug-ins I’ve come to rely on), and they will automatically synchronize back with the Project plan! 

Now, just in case you haven’t already had your ah-ha moment, let me reiterate a few things.  If you’re working on projects (as everyone always is!), and you use Outlook (as 95% of the world does), and especially if you use Outlook productivity plug-ins (PlanPlus, Getting Things Done, etc.) – this software (TaskLynx) will save you immense time and massive headaches in managing your life’s projects.  I recommend it with my highest possible recommendation (disclaimer: I have no ties to this company, and I’ve only been using this tool for 2 hours now.  Something might blow up on me, but so far in the 3 Microsoft Project plans I’ve synchronized, everything appears to be extremely reliable and performing flawlessly.)

Give it a try and let me know what you think!  They don’t have a trial version unfortunately, but they do offer a money back guarantee.  You won’t need it anyway.

 

Posted on Thursday, April 21, 2005 1:47 AM | Back to top


Comments on this post: Quite possibly the greatest software ever made...

# re: Quite possibly the greatest software ever made...
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So far, so great. I've enjoyed having the ability to control all the tasks associated with projects within Outlook. It's great. The only downside is that it has forced me to be more careful in creating my project plans. That is because the tasks the synch from Project, don't associate with their task group from Project. So, i've just had to be descriptive of each sub-task in Project, so when it comes over to Outlook it still makes sense to me contextually.

Still great stuff!
Left by Brian on May 07, 2005 11:17 PM

# re: Quite possibly the greatest software ever made...
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Hi Brian,

Project is a great tool, but what do you do if the only resource you can level is yourself? I'm working towards a GTD-like answer to that question with a product I've released called MasterList Professional. It's a different slant on the same uber-problem. It's selling, but I'm looking for opinions from people who care about this issue, like you.

Please have a look at it and let me know what you think.
Left by Bob Walsh on May 18, 2005 8:24 PM

# re: Quite possibly the greatest software ever made...
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Brain,
Glad to have finally found someone using both Planplus and GTD, as I do. The first is great for the big picture, the second for managing todo's. I also use Taskline to arrange todo's in free time slots in my agenda.
I hate the todo/meeting divide in an agenda, as eventually both take time.
I'm curious how this will collaborate with Tasklynx.
Oh, btw I use Mindmanager to crank out an initial wbs, which I then import (one way) into MSProject for detailed planning.
Left by Tom Andries on Jun 09, 2005 8:08 AM

# re: Quite possibly the greatest software ever made...
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Thanks for the comments Tom. I am extremely interested in trying out Taskline. It seems to help solve one of the dilemmas you mentioned and that I face regularly. Tasks take time and need to be scheduled. The level of thinking required to do this manually limits the productivity gains from using these tools. I'm going to give the trial a run and see how it works. I have a feeling this will add a lot of value to Tasklynx as well - since it creates tasks that need to be scheduled into the calendar, not just on a specific date. Thanks a ton! I'll also check out Mindmanager. The price led me to use FreeMind instead, but Mind Manager clearly has more capabilities and the integration with Project alone will be worth the price. Thanks again!
Left by Brian Tinkler on Jun 09, 2005 6:21 PM

# Productivity Tools
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I found this great post on productivity tools. Take a peek.
In today’s world of productivity tools,...
Left by Mike's Blog on Aug 14, 2005 7:57 PM

# re: Quite possibly the greatest software ever made...
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I'm interested in how GTD and TaskLynx integrate with PlanPlus. I currently use PlanPlus but find it frustrating that the projects/mission/compass/goals do not sync to my Axim so I have to make changes on both my work computer and my home computer. Thanks!

Left by mam on Nov 18, 2005 3:30 AM

# re: Quite possibly the greatest software ever made...
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Brian,

I've just started using TaskLynx as well, but unfortunately have a few issues preventing me from using it completely. Perhaps you can help me ?

1. All my tasks, when exported from MS Projects are followed by the resource name. SO my tasks will be named Write Letter: Sundboll Simon. I have tried to make the resources match my own user-name, as I read somewhere that it could possibly help - but it didn't. No matter which resource name I put inthere, it will always be appended to the task subject. This bothers me a lot, as I don't want this to be appended to all my tasks - that would just crowd my task list in Outlook. It has to be said, that I do not delegate tasks or similar, I only sync my own tasks between MS Projects and Outlook.

2. Whenever I then have a task in Outlook, which was originally created in MS Projects and sync'ed over to Outlook, it will not change some of the attributes. I f.inst. Have a task which was originally created in MS Projects with start/finsh dates of April 11th/April 11th, and then sync'ed over. When I try to the change the attributes of the Outlook task to say eg April 15th/April 16th as start/due dates, then these are not re-imported into MS Projects. In fact, MS Projects re-overwrites the Outlook dates, so they're changed back to 11th/11th. Hwr, when I f.inst. register in Outlook that the task is 50% complete, then that does indeed get re-imported into MS Projects. The software is sold on the fact that there's synchronization in both directions ? I understand it might be a problem about the task information in MS Projects, but can't seem to solve it ?

Your help, if possible, would be much appreciated.

Simon
Left by Simon on Apr 14, 2006 7:07 AM

# re: Quite possibly the greatest software ever made...
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Does anybody know if Task Lynx allows you to assign tasks to multiple users to accomplish the following:

1. Have their outlook calendar updated
2. Give the ability to somebody centrally to check on the status of the task (completed or not).
Left by Lynn on Nov 07, 2006 3:25 PM

# re: Quite possibly the greatest software ever made...
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sound great. but when I installed this software, I was unable to see the icon on project or outlook. Tried all their suggestions and no soap. Any thoughts?
Left by roland on Jan 07, 2007 11:55 AM

# www.EasyTaskSync.com
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EasyTaskSync© (www.easytasksync.com) is a more powerful program.

You can sync with Outlook Tasks and Outlook Calendar.
Left by Angello Pezzullo on Sep 30, 2010 7:55 AM

# re: Quite possibly the greatest software ever made...
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I've tried TaskLinks link and i've reached a Chinese/Japanese page..even with Google Translate I wasn't able to read that. I know that there are OpenSource versions for almost every well-known type of software, multi-platform too..I will search for something and I will come back with another solution.
Left by spyware remover on Apr 12, 2011 9:23 AM

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