Recently, I was looking for an in-browser presentation tool that could handle Markdown. After a not so exhaustive search, I found Remark, which fit the bill quite nicely. It not only supports markdown, but also has a presenter mode and a few other nice features.

Unlike more feature rich presentation tools, Remark pretty much stays out of your way while you’re getting your thoughts down; the styling can come later.

Get started by downloading Remark from the project site.

In this early part of the new year, many people are looking to improve their task management. A friend is looking to upgrade from the stock notes app and sent a request around to see what others were using. He also promised to send around the compiled results. If he keeps his promise, I’ll post those here (with his permission of course). What follows is not only what I’m using, currently, but how I got here.

How one organizes one’s tasks is largely matter of personal preference. Firstly, one of the most important things about choosing a task management method is not to get bogged down in analyzing different methods. The next thing to consider is any sort of methodology you’re using such as GTD. If you are, you’ll want to look for a system or application that supports that methodology.

When I started using GTD, I used Outlook Tasks. Not because I liked Outlook, but because it’s what I had and it synced to my Palm Pilot–and later, my Treo (did I mention that I’ve been doing this for a while?).

When I changed jobs and went back to using Macs exclusively, I started using Omnifocus. I like it a lot, and it checks off all the items on my needs list (see below), but it might be overkill for some people. It’s designed for doing things in a GTD style, if you’re not using GTD, it might even be a little cumbersome. It’s also a Mac/iOS app, so if you’re on another platform, Omnifocus isn’t for you.

When I was looking for something other than Outlook, this is the short list I was using to evaluate task applications. Perhaps this list will be helpful in your own search.

The most important features of a to-do application (for me):

  • Sync and/or availability on all devices, work computers included. I couldn’t do this at one of my jobs, which wasn’t great.
  • Ability to future date tasks. I us this a lot, especially for infrequently recurring tasks.
  • View by context. this is a GTD thing, I like being able to call up tasks by context sometimes, e.g. “Phone”.

Somewhat less important to me, but really handy:

  • Ability to see the day’s completed items This is sort of a motivational thing that is easily lost when one stops using a paper to-do list
  • File attachments
  • Task & Project notes

Compact Check Calendar 2014 Dave Seah has created a nice collection of well designed printable productivity tools.

Lifehacker turned me on to his compact calendar back in 2007. For several years I kept one of those calendars in the front of my notebook. That calendar was responsible, at least partially, for introducing a healthy dose of reality at many a project planning meeting.

I also like his Task Order Up! idea. I might try it out soon since I have one of those check minders laying around somewhere.

Photo from davidseah.com