The Way We Work
August 30, 2010 by Alex Hornbake

Unless you’re one of the lucky few with a steel-trap mind, then you’d probably benefit from a little help when it comes to organizing your online work life. A good calendar and task list are essential, and you may benefit from some of the Web 2.0 offerings in the realm of note taking and idea management.

Task Lists

Remember The Milk – A great solution for keeping track of to-do lists. It integrates with Google Calendar, is easily accessible from lots of mobile devices, and even offers mapping of task locations. Also, it’s free.

Toodledo – Another popular option, Toodledo offers many of the same features as Remember The Milk. However, it expands on these ideas, offering a premium service that gives you statistics on your tasks, and a folder structure to store sub-tasks within tasks.

Nirvana – While you may not achieve nirvana just by signing up for this service, it offers many of the organizational tools that a good task management service should, and it has a sleek interface that will keep you coming back for more.

43 Things – If you respond better to peer pressure, then 43 Things might be right up your alley–the site that allows you to publish and share your tasks for an added sense of communal accountability.


Google Calendar – It’s basic, has an integrated task list, and plays nice with lots of other apps. You can also share calendars with coworkers to make coordinating meetings less challenging.

Yahoo Calendar – Like Google’s offering, this is a no-frills calendar that integrates in to your Yahoo! email.

Outlook, Entourage, and iCal – Desktop solutions like these are often included with your operating system. If you work from the same computer everyday, then their stability and integration may be a good choice for you.

Scrybe – Unfortunately Scrybe is currently in closed beta testing, but it looks very promising as a online calendar that goes beyond the sometimes limiting interface of traditional web-based apps.

Note Taking and Idea Management

Evernote – “Remeber Everything”–that’s Evernote’s motto. Well the basic idea is that Evernote is one place to keep all of your ideas, notes, bookmarks, pictures and sketches of ideas. Evernote tags them automatically (you can also tag them yourself), and then search your items easily from any computer or mobile device.

Diigo – If you’re collecting information online, especially text excerpts and notes on specific content, then Diigo can help you easily organize your findings with the ability to highlight text, make comments on sticky notes, take snapshots, save bookmarks and search all of these from your Diigo Library.

Google Notebook – If you’re a Google Docs user, then this is an easy one to use. It integrates essentially a Google Doc formatted specifically for note taking, commenting, labeling, and easily keeping several notebooks.

Regardless of the tools you’re using, being consistent is the only way to get value out of them. Find the system that works best for you, that you enjoy using, and that you can stick with for the best results. What tools do you use? Any favorites we missed? Let us know in the comments!


Alex Hornbake

Freelance Tech Writer

Alex Hornbake is one of several freelance writers on the oDesk Blog team. He joined the oDesk marketplace in 2009, and brings more than a decade of technical expertise to his clients. Alex shares his point of view to help you make informed decisions for your personal and business technology choices.