Users may have difficulty getting started with
To-do lists are simple to create but ridiculously hard to
complete. Whether that paradox is the result of human apathy or ineffective
tools and software is a riddle developers have sought to solve for decades.
The open-source Chandler is a personal information manager
aimed at reshaping how users designate and accomplish tasks. I tested Version
0.7.4 of the software, currently in beta.
eWEEK Labs puts Chandler 0.7.4 through its paces. Check out the slide show.
Intentionally free-form in structure, Chandler
gives users much flexibility in terms of workflow in their office environment.
That very characteristic, however, often works against Chandler, as its user
interface makes it difficult for users to even define what constitutes a task.
In fact, the biggest challenge with Chandler is actually
initiating a workflow at all. This, I discovered, requires a good deal of
ambition and planning. Add in the integration of yet another application, and
re??Ãinventing office workflow feels like more of a problem than a perk.
The 1.0 release of Chandler is expected to provide
additional tools to help get users started, with the Open Source Applications
Foundation, the group behind Chandler, making some promising efforts to
facilitate this. For now, given that the software is still in its developmental
stage and various UI quirks still need solving, taking Chandler out for a test
drive is as far as you'd want to go.
Chandler's desktop application is available for free and can
be downloaded at www.chandlerproject.org
. The application runs on Windows-, Mac
OS- and Linux-based systems.
A Web hub that lets others see your tasks and events without
having to install Chandler themselves is also available. This is nice to have
because project management has so much to do with interacting with others.