Thursday, February 6, 2014

Writing Productively (3): Insightly Tasks & Life-cycle of a story

This is the third in a series on productivity tools for writers. I use technology to minimize the tasks that I find tedious, or to help me avoid errors, and maximize the time I have to be creative.
[03/31/2014 Edited to update screenshots reflecting latest version of Insightly.]

This is a tutorial that shows how I use tasks to plan and keep track of what I am doing on each writing project. For now, I'll stay on the Project tab, mostly on the Project Summary screen, but I'll go over the Tasks tab in a future post.

In the first article, I described using the Projects tab as my Idea File for stories. I jot them down there as they occur to me (sometimes using the Insightly mobile app on my phone). Here is the Project List:

When I'm ready to start working on it, I can change the status to In Progress. I do that by clicking on the project title and going to the Project Summary:

To change the Current Status, there is a "Change" link next to it. If I want to flesh out the details, a bit more, I can click the pencil icon or go to the Actions drop-down and choose "Edit this project." This will take me to the Project Details, and there is more about that screen on the first post in this series. I usually don't need to go to the Project Details. The primary screen for managing the project is the Project Summary.

As you can see in the screenshot above, there is a Tasks tab on the top section of the Project Summary. I like to create tasks from one of the buttons you can find for this on the project page, but there are other ways to do it (e.g., from the plus symbol next to the red "UPGRADE NOW" button, or from the main tasks screen you can access using the left-hand navigation toolbar). Starting from the project page will saves you some steps. It's also a logical workflow since I usually start by perusing my existing project ideas and then decide which one to work on next.

In the Tasks tab on the top, you can see there is a history of what tasks have already been completed, and there is a link Add New Task. When you click the link, you go to the Task Detail: