One of the free tools offered by SAPIEN Technologies is called PrimalTask. It is, simply put, a To Do (or task) list. They offer a handful of other free tools, mostly related to PowerShell utilities, but check them out.
With only a 2 MB footprint in memory, there’s no harm in letting this run in the background. If you have two monitors, just stash it away in a place that’s always visible but out of your way.
The screenshot tells you everything you need to know. It lists your new items by Progress, Priority, Name, Category, Start Date, and Due Date. Any of these columns can be used to sort the list. When you create a new item, you give it a name and assign it the rest of the attributes. You create the Categories as well. I created ‘Short-term’, ‘Long-term’, and ‘One-Time’. You can make whatever string you want for a category, if you want to tie it to a particular project or organize it by some other qualifier. The Start Date and Due Date are easy to assign with a little calendar function in the drop-down if you need to modify it. Just like real life and work, your Due Date can be before your Start Date. Gotta love those projects…
(The ‘% Complete’ field in the new task is fairly useless. You won’t see it again, nor can you edit after the task has been created.)
You can also export your To-Do list to an HTML to send to anybody in an easy-to-read format or just to print out and take with you. It’s particularly handy for keeping tasks and on-going projects in mind when at a meeting and you’re either taking a best guess at a project completion date or before you’re volunteered to take on another responsibility.
It stores your records on its own and doesn’t need to save before it is closed. It doesn’t, however, remember the window size and position. So I find myself shrinking it down to the size of my list every time I start it up.
Get organized with PrimalTask.