Why Socialcast Projects Is Superior to the Old School Paper To-Do List

|   Oct 9, 2015

We all have those days when there are too many tasks to accomplish, dozens of emails to respond to, calls to schedule, and so many projects to keep track of that we don’t know where to begin. Sometimes we have so many balls up in the air that we may lose track of loose ends and forget to complete an assignment, causing us to feel like we are barely able to keep our heads above water.

I used to think the traditional pen and paper to-do list was the most efficient and effective way to keep track of my daily tasks. There’s something about writing down to-dos and scratching tasks off your list that’s incredibly satisfying. You can almost feel the thing you’ve just accomplished when you’re holding a pen, just about to scratch it off the list. However, what happens to last week’s accomplishments after you’ve crossed everything off and started a new week, with a clean sheet of paper in your notepad, ready to plan out the upcoming week’s to-dos? How can you keep track of your progress? How do you ensure you haven’t forgotten any major projects you’ve completed after it has been crossed off, when it comes time for your annual review? And how do you keep track of everything you’ve worked on when it is time for your one-on-one with your manager? Socialcast Projects is the solution.

Why Socialcast Projects Is Better Than Paper

Most people have their own way of working, their own way of describing tasks, and their own way of keeping up with work. I have a tactile personality and used to like to feel a list with my hands. The biggest downfall to hard copy lists is that the task gets forgotten after it has been completed, and there is often no rhyme or reason to the order of the list, which makes it easy to get overwhelmed with priorities.

After having used Socialcast Projects for large initiatives involving multiple individuals, I decided to use Projects to track my own tasks and to-dos. I quickly realized how adaptive this Socialcast feature is to track my own job responsibilities and share updates on my tasks with my manager while I am working remotely. When I first created the project, I was the only project member but I soon added my manager as the second member so he has insight into what I’ve worked on, what I’m currently working on, and what I plan on working on each month while I am working remotely from the VMware São Paulo office in Brazil. I’ve ditched my notepad and now get a new sense of satisfaction when I “click” a task as complete in Socialcast Projects. No need for a paper and pen to satisfy that!

How to Make the Most of Your Socialcast Project To-Do List:

With Socialcast Projects, I’m able to categorize my to-dos by Objective, using a sequential approach by organizing my days’ tasks by morning, afternoon, and evening. I can then group my tasks, set due dates, and provide status updates for each task in the associated Activity Stream on the right-hand side. The best part is that I can re-prioritize my list at any time, without needing an eraser or re-writing the entire list! Posting updates in the task’s Activity Stream not only reminds me of the current state, but my posts relevant to each task show up in my manager’s Home Stream, allowing him to stay up-to-date on what I’ve been working on.

SogolsProject

My Project has multiple objectives, which serve as milestones. Although I add to each objective on a daily basis, when a task is complete, Socialcast updates the progress of the main objective and the project as a whole, so I can see at a glance how things are going. One of the most important reasons for keeping my to-do list in a Socialcast Project is because of how it helps me remain organized. Organizing my tasks with Socialcast Projects makes everything much more manageable and make me feel grounded. Seeing a clear outline of my completed and incomplete tasks helps me stay mentally focused.

While the traditional paper to-do list is a temporary satisfaction, the benefit of completing tasks in Socialcast Projects is that completed tasks show up under All tasks, where Socialcast displays the task name with strikethroughs. I no longer have to dig through my old notepads to discover what I had accomplished weeks or months prior, and now have a visible archive of all tasks I’ve fulfilled.

All those completed lists then become a great archive of your work, plus they can do wonders for your motivation if you’re having a bad day. If that happens, all you need to do is take a look at your binder and realize how much stuff you’re actually accomplishing every single day.

Comments

  • Is it possible to search for information like tasks and comments inside a project? Are completed tasks included within the search? How can I find a specific task without having to manually looking for it, if the project becomes too complex?

    Commented on October 26, 2015 at 3:17 am
    • Hey Dominique,
      Whenever you enter a search phrase in the top, main search bar, you have the option to filter your results by category, like Projects. If you’re managing too many projects to search them all, you can also just use the find command (Control+F or Command+F) to search a phrase within a single project. Just make sure you click on the project first, not a specific task, to display all project activity and change your view from “Active” to “All” if you want to search completed items, too.

      Does that help?
      Ashley

      Commented on January 27, 2016 at 10:00 am
  • I’ve been playing around with the projects portion of SocialCast but am running into various limitations. I’m intrigued by your article and am wondering whether you have a brief tutorial to help those of us who are not quite as creative as you in using projects to their fullest potential?

    Thanks,

    Dave

    Commented on January 18, 2016 at 7:30 am
    • Hey David,
      What limitations are you looking for help working around? Here are a couple places to learn more about using Socialcast Projects:

      1) Here’s an example and overview of Socialcast Projects on YouTube.
      2) Here’s another example of how VMware used Socialcast Projects to manage a major, 90-day project.
      3) Have you checked out this post, too, on managing your to-do lists with Socialcast Projects?

      Thanks!
      Ashley

      Commented on January 27, 2016 at 9:47 am

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What is Socialcast?

Socialcast by VMware (NYSE: VMW) is a social network for business uniting people, information, and applications with its real-time enterprise activity stream engine. Behind the firewall or in the cloud, Socialcast enables instant collaboration in a secure environment. Socialcast is headquartered in San Francisco, California. www.socialcast.com