Zengenda – Task Management

If you ever find yourself wondering ‘What am I supposed to work on now?’, and it isn’t because you’ve completed everything you aspire to do, then you understand the reason for Zengenda. Zengenda is my personal passion project. Most of us have many tasks and projects that we intend to do. Some are simple, some complex, some can only be done after something else has been completed, or when we are at a particular location, or can involve a certain person to assist us. If it is simple and we can do it now (and we aren’t procrastinators), then we can complete those now and never worry about them, but I’ve found that most of mine, either involve many steps, or must be delayed because of a dependence on something I can’t control at this minute.

Post it notes

My mother makes list, and has notepads and post-its all over the place that she uses to keep on top of to-do lists. I’ve tried keeping lists in the way that she does, but it never worked out for me. I would be at the grocery store and my grocery list was at home on the kitchen counter, or I would be standing in line at the book store and have a great idea about how to fix a piece of code I had been working on, but have nothing to write a note on. What I need is an app that I can reach from my phone or tablet when I’m out so I can make a quick note, and that I can access from my laptop when I’m need to work more extensively on my project management.

Where I work, we have an extensive Incident Management system we use in which customers (generally co-workers) can enter requests, which are queued up in an elaborate ‘to-do’ list for me. This is great at work, but still leaves the rest of my life without a solution, and since I’m usually working on several ‘passion projects’ that leaves a lot need for organization.

So that explains the pain points that led me to create Zengenda. I have downloaded and used several task management systems (free and paid), but all are lacking in what seem to be basic requirements.

So what are the basic requirements?

  1. Enter tasks and ideas very easily and quickly when they are thought of.
  2. Have all new tasks go to an Inbox when entered.
  3. Designate entries as ‘Tasks’, ‘RFCs’, ‘Incidents’, ‘Ideas’, or any custom type.
  4. Organize items into folders (Work, Personal, Killer App Project, etc.)
  5. Create hierarchies of lists. I need to add subtasks if it is complex task.
  6. Set dates for tasks:
    • Start date
    • Due date
    • Review date (a date to review and think about this task again)
  7. Set Status (Active, On Hold, Completed, Cancelled, etc.)
  8. Set Priority (High, Med, Low, etc)
  9. Set Context (Mall, Grocery store, Phone, Bob (what resource I need to complete it))
  10. View tasks grouped and ordered:
    • By parent-child relationships (hierarchal)
    • By Start date (see what I’m supposed to start in the coming days)
    • By Due date (see what I need to finish in the coming days)
    • By Review date (every day I can quickly review a few items that had Today as the review date).
    • By updated or completed (a list of all the items I’ve worked on in the past week, which is useful in meetings where I need to keep my boss updated on what I’ve been doing).
  11. Add unlimited notes to tasks.
  12. Add unlimited attachments to tasks (PDF’s, images, etc)

Those are the basics, and after working on implementing them, more requirements are becoming evident. This project has been exciting because it seems to be such a common and basic need. I’ve been using Zengenda as I build it, in order to keep up with Bug Lists, Features to Add, other personal projects like moving, remodeling projects, and work projects.

I hope that once I make Zengenda available, you will find it useful for you, and I look forward to hearing your feedback and ideas for improving and simplifying Zengenda. Thank you!

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