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5 Task Apps for Visual Thinkers

5 Task Apps for Visual Thinkers

Most productivity tools and reviews focus on very linear, left-brained thinking. What if you’re a visual thinker and looking for a tool that suits your needs? Pen and paper, a massive whiteboard, or post-it notes can work for the right-brainers out there, but they’re also not necessarily very practical in this digital age, where you might need to access your tasks on the go, keep notes and track progress on them, or share them with someone else.

Features to look for:

If you’re looking at trying a digital app to help manage your to do list, and you’ve struggled with productivity tools in the past, here’s a few features that you might want to look for before you try yet another app:

  • Color coding: This is such a simple feature that so many tools are lacking. It astounds me. If you’re an intensely visual person, color coding functionality can make the difference between a tool being really useful (being able to see at a glance how many high priority tasks you have today, or how many tasks from each project, for example), and staring at an intimidating list of action items that looks totally impossible.
  • Calendar view instead of just list view: For the longest time, I couldn’t figure out why the typical to-do list overwhelmed and intimidated me. The problem was that without a way for me to see my tasks spread out across the week (or month), I had a tendency to pile all of my tasks on one day, creating a feeling of perma-overwhelm and frustration. (Shockingly enough, that was not conducive to productivity!) Having a view that lets me see how my tasks are spread across my work week lets me see if I’m overloading a particular day, and rearrange accordingly.
  • Overall good design and usability: Productivity nerds have kind of a love/hate relationship with design. Good design is given credit where due, but if you refuse to use a tool because its aesthetics just don’t jive with you, you’re going to get some eyerolls. However, there’s evidence to support that good looks make for better productivity. A case study referenced in How to Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci mentions a training office where aesthetics were improved that saw a marked increase (like, a ninety percent marked increase) in learning effectiveness afterwards. In A Whole New Mind, Dan Pink references a similar study with classrooms.
  • Something that will be easy to integrate into your current workflow: By this I mean that it’s a good idea to think about the attributes your current system has  that work for you. (Alternately, you can think about things that aren’t working for you, and work backwards from there.) If, for example, you love the post-it note method of organizing your to-do list, then something like KanbanPad or Trello could be ideal for you.

My top 5 picks for task management for visual thinkers:

KanbanPad

Sporting an adorable mascot and a colorful design, KanbanPad is my favorite out of the kanban style task tools out there.

Price: Free

Features: Color coding, ability to delegate/have multiple users in a wordspace, drag and drop interface, ability to create checklists of sub-tasks

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Ideal for: The super-visual worker who can’t imagine live without color coding. If you work with a large team, KanbanPad might not work as well for you and your team, depending on their personal preferences but that can be said for almost any tool. Especially ideal for creative entrepreneurs who hate traditional “to do list” apps but need a way to stay at least marginally organized.

Trello

Trello Interface

    Trello is similar to KanbanPad, with a few differences in design and use. If you’re looking for something post-it style, you can’t go wrong with either one of these apps.

    Price: Free

    Features: Drag and drop interface, color coding, deadlines (with reminders as the deadline approaches), ability to delegate/add users to a workspace, checklists with progress bars for task lists, ability to attach files

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    Ideal for: The creative team looking to stay on track with visual-friendly features (color coding, etc.), but without missing deadlines.

    Thoughtbox.es

      Thoughtboxes

      Thoughtboxes is a colorful task management tool, that lets you create lists of tasks which can be starred for priority, and dragged and drop through boxes. This means you could create a “to do” “working on” and “done” set of boxes, and move tasks in between them to keep track of what had already been created, or you could create subject-themed task lists, like in the screenshot above.

      Price: Free for up to 3 “trains of thought” (projects) for basic users, $3/month/user for unlimited projects, ability to collaborate, organize your trains of thoughts with folders,

      Features: Drag and drop controls, sharing/collaboration with pro version, color coding and intuitive visual interface

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      Ideal for: The solo worker who wants a minimalist, but not boring, way to keep track of their projects and tasks.

      WeekPlan Interface

        Weekplan

        Weekplan is a planning tool based on the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People so it’s not just a task management tool, it has built-in guidance for creating your tasks and planning your week.

        Price: Free plan or Pro plan is $3/month for additional features (subtasks, recurring tasks, integration with other apps)

        Features: Drag and drop interface, week view interface, ability to sort tasks by roles, guided journaling

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        Ideal for: The person who wants a life and business task management tool all in one spot, probably a solopreneur or someone who doesn’t need to coordinate with other users.

        Teamweek

        Teamweek is basically a really pretty, interactive Gantt chart. In case that means nothing to you, what it translates to is that you can see how long tasks are supposed to take and see them overlapped on top of each other in a visual way, instead of just seeing them as a list of boxes to check. (Clearly useful for the visual thinker!) 

        Price: Free trial, after that $4/month for each “manager” user, $2/month for each normal user

        Features: Color coding, to-do lists/subtasks, milestones, ability to assign things to a person, project and client labels

        Ideal for: The creative team leader or the creative solopreneur who wants a visual way to track their quarterly or monthly goals and progress (shown from 0:00 to about 4:10 in the video above), plan their week visually (shown from 4:10-7:13 in the video), or want to plan a launch (7:13 to 9:40 in the video).

        Those are my picks. What are your favorite task management apps for visual thinkers? 

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        Last Updated on December 7, 2018

        10 Steps For Success: Applying The Power Of Your Subconscious Mind

        10 Steps For Success: Applying The Power Of Your Subconscious Mind

        How big is the gap between you and your success?

        What is the difference between successful people and unsuccessful people?

        It is as simple as this: successful people think and talk about what they are creating, and unsuccessful people focus on and talk about what they’re lacking.

        So how do you bridge that gap between wanting success and having your success? Let’s make an important distinction. You see, there is a big difference between “Wanting” and “Having” something.

        Wanting: means lacking or absent. Deficient in some part, thing or aspect.

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        Having: means to possess, to hold, to get, to receive, to experience.

        You can have one OR the other, but not both at the same time with any particular object of your desire. You either have it or you don’t.

        When it comes to your subconscious, if you’re focusing on the “wanting”, i.e. the not having, guess what, you will build stronger neural networks in your brain around the “wanting.” However, through the power of your subconscious mind, you can focus on the “having” as if it has already happened. Research has shown that your brain doesn’t know the difference between what you’re visualizing inside your mind versus what is happening out there in your reality.

        This is a regular practice of elite athletes. They spend as much timing creating the internal mental imagery of their success playing out as they do actually physically practicing. This helps create both the neural pathways in their brain and the muscle memory to consistently deliver on that success.

        Here are 10 “brain hack” steps for success that you can take to create your version of a happy life. Make these steps a regular habit, and you will be astonished at the results.

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        Step 1: Decide exactly what you want to create and have

        This is usually the biggest problem that people have. They don’t know what they want and then they’re surprised when they don’t get it.

        Step 2: Write down your goal clearly in every technicolor detail

        A goal that is not written down is merely a wish. When you write it down in full detail, you signal to your subconscious mind that you really want to accomplish this particular goal.

        Step 3: Write your goal in simple, present tense words

        …that a three year old can understand on a three-by-five index card and carry it with you. Read it each morning after you awake and just before you go to sleep.

        Step 4: Backwards planning

        See your goal achieved and identify all the steps required that it took to bring it to life. Making a list of all these steps intensifies your desire and deepens your belief that the attainment of the goal is already happening.

        Step 5: Resolve to take at least one step every day from one of the items on your list

        Do something every day, even if it is just one baby step, that moves you toward your goal so you can maintain your momentum.

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        Step 6: Visualize your goal repeatedly

        See it in your mind’s eye as though it were already a reality. The more clear and vivid your mental picture of your goal, the faster it will come into your life.

        Step 7: Feel the feeling of success as if your goal were realized at this very moment

        Feel the emotion of happiness, satisfaction, and pleasure that you would have once you have achieved your goal. Visualize and feel this success for at least 20 seconds at a time.

        Step 8: “Fake it till you make it!”

        Confidently behave as if your subconscious mind was already bringing your goal into reality. Accept that you are moving toward your goal and it is moving toward you.

        Step 9: Relax your mind

        Take time to breathe, pray or mediate each day. Disengage the stress response and engage the relaxation response. A quiet state of mind allows your brain to access newly formed neural pathways.

        Step 10: Release your goal to your subconscious mind

        When you turn your goal over to the power of the universe and just get out of the way, you will always know the right actions to take at the right time.

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        Starting today, try tapping into the incredible power of your subconscious mind.Start with just one goal or idea, and practice it continually until you succeed in achieving that goal. Make it a game and have fun with it! The more lightly you hold it, the easier it will be to achieve. By doing so, you will move from the “positive thinking” of the hopeful person to the “positive knowing” of the totally successful person.

        Hit reply and let me know what you’re creating!

        To your success!

        Featured photo credit: use-your-brain-markgraf via mrg.bz

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