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. 😉
  • 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.

How Do You Learn About KDE?

A discussion has popped up on the KOffice-Devel list as to whether to discontinue the user-oriented KOffice mailing list. Some developers are wondering whether it’s worth it to keep this admittedly low-traffic list going. The main argument being that if people aren’t using the list now, the few questions that do get asked may not be getting the attention they deserve.

I have an opinion on the subject, but I’m not sure that’s all that important. As a technical communicator, what I’m interested in is how others learn about and solve problems with their software, particularly in the open source arena. KOffice doesn’t have the mind share and user base that other open source productivity suites (OK, I mean have, but are there channels today’s Linux geek and her grandma use to get support for their software. There are lots of choices, and it would be interesting and helpful to me, the KOffice and KDE teams to learn those preferences.

I’m going to try to set up a poll here, but please use the Comments section as well. The official question is “How do you learn about or get help with KOffice and other KDE applications?” Here are the options I’ve thought of:

Share your journey in the comments. Choose as many options in the poll below as you like. Explain what you like and don’t like about getting help. Even if you don’t use KDE specifically, feel free to chime in.