First look at Tasktop

Today I took a first look at Tasktop (claiming it "takes the effort out of being organized"). It didn’t quite take the effort out of being installed, but I’ve kind of grown used to that with Eclipse, and it is still in beta. Tasktop is taking Mylyn, the "task-focused interface" to a whole new level. First geeky impressions from an Eclipse user.

Mylyn starts…

  • Creating and scheduling tasks: define the things to do, and schedule them for a particular day. Then work through the list.
  • Provide "context": activate a task, and Mylyn keeps track of which files you open and edit. You can then "focus" the interface, showing only those files, and store the context with the task. Next time you activate the task, it will only show those files. (I still have to get the hang of it, though)
  • Integrate with several issue trackers (Bugzilla, Trac, and also Mantis). So I have the issues in our tracker that are assigned to me available as tasks in Mylyn.

Tasktop continues…

The thing I like the most so far is the integration with Google Calendar, since I already use that to share information with my colleague.

  • See items from selected Google calendars in a week overview, and post the tasks I schedule to a calendar of choice. Makes it easy to share more detailed workplans, and to reschedule from either Google Calendar or Eclipse with Mylyn and Tasktop.
  • Have a week overview with all the tasks from various calendars.
  • Easily navigate to either a browser window for a calendar appointment, or the issue ticket in a tracker. Tasktop nicely stores a link to the issue tracker in the Google Calendar appointment.

Tasktop also can link to your Outlook tasks and emails. I can only hope someone will make that work for my Palm desktop too… I’m still not ready to start using Outlook.
Ever since I read the first bits about Mylyn (called Mylar in the old days) I have been eager to see each next step. Eclipse makes it easy to connect to different version control repositories, work in different languages, and on different servers. Mylyn makes it easy to connect with various issue trackers to work as task repositories, and now Tasktop starts adding more scheduling options too. Having a single, uniform, and consistent interface to work on a variety of projects and backbones is getting closer.


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