Guest Post: Using App “Good Task 3” on iPhone for MYN

One of my readers, Erik Wettersten, wrote me a while back and said he was using the app Good Task 3 on the iPhone and had set it up for MYN. I asked him if he could write up the experience, and here is his writeup (Unedited by me—just a few comments added). Thanks Erik!

Erik’s Write Up:

When my company’s IT upgraded their security to use multi-factor authentication it broke TaskTask.  It took a while, but I had to accept that TaskTask won’t work with this more thorough security scheme and I no longer had a way to integrate the MYN system from my desktop to my mobile device.   

Enter GoodTask, www.goodtaskapp.com.

If you find yourself in this situation, here’s what you need to know.  Note, there are some cool things you can do with GoodTask (GT) that you couldn’t do with TaskTask (TT) – especially if you enjoy a hands-free relationship with your smartphone.  So even if you don’t have to make the switch, it’s worth a look.  

TIP: if you’re just looking for configuration information, skip ahead.

DISCLAIMER: I only used GT with an iPhone, your experience may be different on other platforms.

[Michael’s comment: Some users have said there are ways to get TaskTask to work in certain multi-factor authentication set ups—so don’t abandon TaskTask immediately. See the comment at the bottom of this post:
https://www.michaellinenberger.com/blog/using-the-iphone-app-tasktask-and-matching-it-to-the-outlook-to-do-bar/ ]

WHAT’S WEIRD:

GoodTask is different than TT.  Cross your arms in front of your chest like you’re watching your spouse buy more shoes – now try to cross them with the other arm on top.  Going from TT to GT is going to feel that way for quite a while.

Lists:

GT embraces all manner of lists for different ways to look at the same data (think: grocery lists to full blown project management).  It even supports the concept of subtasks which don’t map to Outlook but can be of use.  For MYN purposes, you’ll have to create a special list which replicates what you see on Outlook and use it to replace TaskTask.  The ability to “view” tasks with different list paradigms expands the power of GT beyond what you need for MYN but with this power comes a reduction in simplicity.

Along those lines, GT understands the concept of reminders independent of tasks.  Which means if you accidentally create a “reminder”, you won’t see it under your task list.

The Native iPhone Reminder App:

GT works by sharing information via the Reminder app that came with your iPhone.  You don’t need to access the Reminder app and you’ll get along fine if you never look at it, but just know if you change something via that app, it’ll change on GT and vice versa.  The upshot is that as long as Reminder app reminders are synching, then GT is.  This is why GT is unaffected by the multi-level security. 

WHAT’S GOOD:

Voice Commands:

Besides the obvious fact that multi-factor security might make this your only choice, like TaskTask it retains the ability to use voice commands to create tasks via Siri. 

[Michael Comment: To see how to add tasks using voice commands in TaskTask, see this link: https://www.michaellinenberger.com/blog/tip-use-iphones-siri-to-add-tasks-to-outlook/]

Imagine yourself out for your morning run when you remember something important.  You simply say: “Hey Siri, create reminder to change oil in the batmobile” and you can keep on jogging with the warm fuzzy feeling you haven’t broken your stride or lost your flash of competence.   This is nirvana if you drive a lot or are prone to inspiration when your hands and eyes are busy doing other things.  Imagine driving back from a late meeting while dictating your entire next day’s punch list via a bunch of “Hey Siri’s”.   It’s so fast and convenient, I do most of my reminders this way even if I could be typing them.

Along those lines, anything else your iPhone can already do with reminders, including ignore incoming phone calls, will roll into GT.  When the call comes, tap the “remind me” button and it’ll create a task in GT – complete with an alert if you so choose.

Cost:

GT is free as a fully functional app for two weeks, so you get a nice, free, test-drive.  Beyond that, it’ll cost you $9.99/year.  It’s totally worth a couple cappuccinos.

Miscellaneous:

There is a lot of functionality to explore beyond MYN applications; I won’t dive into them, but here are some things to explore:

  • Tasks can have a specific time – which crosses the bridge between a calendar event and a task, so instead of making a calendar event to “call Superman at 10am”, you can make it a task (Complete with reminder).  
  • Sub tasks – see the GT website.
  • Lists – there’s room here for grocery lists, your workout routine, and all manner of lists beyond the scope of MYN.  If you want to create a list then just filter it out of MYN, you can have more of your world in one spot as you need it.

WHAT YOU WON’T LIKE:

You can’t set the default priority.  If you create a task, it’ll default to “no priority” and even “no date” (if you used voice to text).  This is irritating because that’s a cornerstone of MYN – however, it’s manageable.  You can set it manually in a few seconds, but it’d be nice to have a default.  More on this below.

GT does not honor the forced sorting you might have done on Outlook.  I.e., if you have two tasks of equal start date and equal priority, you can shuffle the order on Outlook – but unfortunately, it won’t replicate that to GT.  

TO CONFIGURE FOR MYN:

First, you’ll need to create a new “smart list”, in this case, we’ll name it “MYN” and set the sorting to be “priority”, then “due date/reversed”.  In addition to that, we’ll filter tasks which are scheduled within 1 day OR with no due date to match the MYN paradigm.

When you click the MYN List, it should bring up your task list in a way that looks familiar.  The buttons at the bottom, allow you to see the list in the context of your calendar, but generally speaking, the list mode seems the most useful to me.  At this point, you’re 90% done, but there are a few other things to set up to make it easier.  By the way, if you need to go back and edit your smart list, you need to swipe right from the list screen to do that.

More (Global) Settings:

These will help alleviate some display issues:

Then set your “quick actions” to give you access to editing an existing task (swipe right on a task to access these options); you’ll want the important ones up at the top:

And finally, the moment you’ve been waiting for: create a new task.

While you’re at it, set up Siri to open your task list on command.  Why?  Because you can (and it’s super-useful for hands-free remembering all those phone calls you thought you’d return during your drive).

Finally: Dealing with the problem of no default priority or due date.

If you’re like me and heavily utilize voice to text (see above, under “What’s Good”), you’ll create a bunch of tasks which have no priority and no due date.  These will show up under your Outlook listing at the very bottom under your “normal” priority.  Oddly, these will show up on your mobile device at the very bottom under “No priority”.

Since the biggest virtue of voice-to-text is to record spontaneous thoughts – often at odd times – I just leave these in limbo until the next time I get to my computer.   At that time, I fix any typos and clean up the date/priority which is much easier done from the computer:

[Michael Comment: I haven’t tested this in Good Task, but I think if, when dictating a task in Siri, you make sure you state “today” and also state some random time later in the day from the moment you make the task, that will solve the problem of them having a none start date and due date in Outlook. See my article here for details:
https://www.michaellinenberger.com/blog/tip-use-iphones-siri-to-add-tasks-to-outlook/ ]

Summary:

I miss the simplicity of TaskTask, but the additional power of GoodTask has some upside.  There’s a hump to cross getting accustom to it, but all-in, does what you need and has a few bonuses too.

Best of Luck,    -EW

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