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I receive most of my tasks by email or in meetings, and many tasks are complete using email. At the moment I use Thunderbird on my computer, and the Toodledo website on my computer and on my Android phone (via an app).

I’m finding this is not always efficient. Converting an email to a task requires re-entering the information into Toodledo, and so I end up using my email inbox as a task list. But having two task lists (Toodledo and my email inbox) then makes it hard to prioritise.

My question is whether there is a better software solution (or combination of solutions), which would allow me to manage emails and tasks more efficiently.

(This question isn’t about other ways of improving productivity, only about finding the optimum software to meet my needs; I’m willing to move to Microsoft Outlook, and Windows Phone, if that is the answer, but would value comments before I spend lots of money).

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3 Answers 3

I am using Gmail to manage my emails. For my tasks, I am using rememberthemilk.com. With this combination, you can install a add-on called Remember The Milk for Gmail Browser Add-on. You can then turn on the option to create tasks when you label an email (in Gmail, under 'Settings' then 'Tasks'). So each time that you label a message with the specified label (e.g. 'To Do'), a new task will automatically be created in Remember The Milk.

Hope this help.

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Remember The Milk and Gmail also work remarkably well on Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, iPad and iPhone, no need to synchronize/etc., things just work. –  Kurt Oct 8 '11 at 3:41
    
I will try this. But I'm still not convinced that webapp email can match the power (and customisability) of desktop software. Would Outlook beat this combination? –  linkbox Oct 10 '11 at 9:22
    
Is there no way to make an email show up as a task in gmail's own task list somehow? –  Manchine Jul 30 '12 at 13:46
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You could try using FogBugz.

It has been designed as an issue tracking system for software development, but it integrates very tightly with emails, which seems to be your primary issue. It's also free for personal use. Interestingly, it has been developed by the founder and CEO of stackexchange, Joel Spolsky.

The system allows you to send out emails from within the system and will automatically associate and organize the replies in a thread.

The system also receives emails for you and automatically creates a task for each received email.

As an issue tracker, it has all the functions necessary for a todo list and is highly customizable.

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Anyone interested in Fogbugz might also want to try Basecamp. But in my case, I wouldn't want to move away from a full-featured email software (e.g. with Add-ons, and customisability). –  linkbox Oct 10 '11 at 9:18
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Use Gmail with Greplin search for email.

Process your inbox to zero periodically.

Don't attempt to manage tasks within email.

BrainStormWFO is the fastest task manager out there. It's a high speed free-form outliner.

You need to capture the actionable items from your emails and then archive them.

Something like Toodledoo or Remember the Milk or some kind of Gmail or Outlook task management plugin will be way too slow, clunky, restrictive and annoying.

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