Can I Get a 30-hour Day? Searching for Linux Project Management Tools

My life is getting far too complex to handle simply. Fall is coming, and I’m beginning to think I’m overbooking myself. Consider this:
  • I’m working on another book project that I can’t talk about yet. šŸ˜‰
  • I’m way behind in working through the SitePoint web development classes I wrote about a few weeks ago.
  • I’m speaking to the Madison Linux Users Group (MadLUG) about openSUSE 11.3 on November 6 (Did I mention that before?), and have to create that presentation.
  • I’m probably leading at least one session at BarCampMilwaukee 5 (which I did mention last week) October 2-3. The minimum is likely to be a dress rehearsal for the MadLUG event, but still…
  • I want to write more magazine articles too.
  • I have to get another car (an unexpected and urgent task).
  • There may be still another book project after the one at the top of this list that requires a bunch of preparatory tasks.
  • I’ve got to mow the lawn weekly and tend to various other homeowner projects.
  • Oh, and BTW I still have a day job that fills in 40 hours every week.
Now between the Web-based app ToodleDo and a lovely Windows-based desktop app called MyLifeOrganized (MLO) that runs pretty well in Wine, I’ve got my day-to-day task/to-do-lists in good order. But right now, I need something that can help me figure out how to fit all of these big projects into the amount of time left in the day once I get home at night. And, since it is fall, ideally allow me to catch a few football and postseason baseball games in the bargain.
So here’s what I need:
  • A GUI. I tried a command-line tool whose name escapes me awhile back, but it was just too wonky.
  • A calendar tool that allows me to schedule evenings and weekends for these projects.
  • Something that will import my XML data from MLO (and ToodleDo) to save me from extra typing. The imported data would include time estimates, dependencies, and other related stuff.
  • Allows me to flexibly schedule tasks on the calendar for an hour, or some other time increment.
  • Preferably not web-based
  • Free or very low cost
  • A big bonus: If I could import football schedules and other events from Google Calendar (or other CalDAV data) into the tool and include “multi-taskable” items to do while watching.
  • Runs on Windows and Linux. An iPhone/Touch app would be nice too.
  • Barks at me repeatedly when I try to overbook myself. Also offers snappy excuses so I can tell people “No” with a smile.
Here are my candidates:
  • OpenProj: At first glance, this is the frontrunner, since you can create your own calendar. It looks nice, but I don’t know if I can import anything.
  • KPlato (part of KOffice): I want to play with this as part of my drive to learn more about KOffice, but the single “40 hour” template was slightly disheartening on loading for the first time.
  • Planner : A GNOME application that looks interesting, but hasn’t had a release in a year.
Am I missing some other fabulous application here? Experiences, good and bad, with any of these tools much appreciated too. Of course, if you know some way to stop time altogether while I get some work done, I’m open to that too.

8 thoughts on “Can I Get a 30-hour Day? Searching for Linux Project Management Tools

  1. Have you looked at Getting Things GNOME (GTG)? They are working on getting web integration, and I just saw a note today that said it can now integrate with Remember the Milk.

    I really have no idea about importing your XML files from your current tools, though. That seems like it would be one of the more difficult requirements to meet.

    1. @Jim: Haven’t tried GTG yet, but I have this vague notion it’s on my system. Will give that a go too.

      @phocean: Thanks for the feedback. I look forward to trying Planner too. Will report back here on what I wind up using.

  2. I personally use Planner. It is not as powerful as MSProject but has all the features I need to manage projects.
    It is very clear and easy to use.

  3. You can create your own templates in kplato using:
    File->Create Template From Document
    If you mail them to me I’d be happy to include them in kplato.

    1. Dag,

      I was able to figure out where to set up the default schedule (in the Work & Vacation editor, for those following along). If this works as expected, I will be happy to send you the “Nights and Weekends” template.

      Thanks for the tip!

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