Task Management in NetBeans
By Roman Strobl on V 21, 2005
I have discovered a module created by Tim Lebedkov called User Tasks. So far I've been using successfully a paper notebook to write all my tasks down. I still claim there's nothing as good as an old school notebook - when you write things down on paper, it's not so easy to delete them! You can also take your book on meetings and it's hard to loose your data in case of a data loss (still it can happen and the appropriate word for real-world data loss is called fire). The important point is that you need to use a hard-cover notebook where you cannot remove any of the papers.
If anyone's interested I could speak for an hour or so about the importance of keeping your tasks inside of a hard-cover notebook, I was persuaded by a 60-year old IT tutor who tutored majority of Czech IT companies including Czech Microsoft. No, M$ doesn't pay me for mentioning their name, it's just a way for me how to get more hits.
Anyway I'm getting away from the point which is Tim's module. Let's start with a screenshot:
Click to see if I'm actually doing something useful
You can write down your tasks using this module and have them available inside of an IDE, which is practical, because you need less apps opened. I like that I can click "start task" and the timer starts and I can see how much time was spent on a task. I would really like to have that feature in my old-school notebook, sigh, but it seems that nobody's gonna implement it. Paper notebook manufacturers, consider this - people will pay lots of money if you implement it!
You can do the usual task-related stuff like creating subtasks, defining necessary time, finish tasks (yeah!), define priorities, set task categories, etc. See the following page for more info about new features:
My only single nit-picking comment is that the user tasks icon differs from the usual NB icons, please fix this. For the rest I am thinking about trying to use the module for a while.
I will still probably stick to my paper notebook - for many historical reasons. On the other hand I can imagine a lot of developers would appreciate using this module. I know managers who are extremely keen on keeping the update of current tasks and this tool can help look in their eyes very cool. It can also help to make them think you as a developer have things under control (while ignoring that almost every development is more or less a creative chaotic process).
How to install the module? You can get it from here:
It's enough to get the two stable modules, the rest of files is quite obsolete. To install, run NetBeans (this time NB starts faster thanks to my previous post) and go to Tools | Update Center. Choose to install local nbm and find the two nbm files. Go through the usual "Yes, I really want it, what did you think?" procedure and once installed you'll get an icon in the toolbar. Enjoy your task management and let me know if somebody implements the "Run the task timer in a paper notebook" feature!
Update: I forgot to mention this version of user tasks should be installed in NetBeans 4.1 final release. Don't you also like the version numbers (1.26.61543 and 1.11.615431)? They look so mighty ;-)