Complete Your Projects With Action Method

Dozens of apps on the Play Store offer multiple features for managing tasks and goals, whether you want to lose weight or write a book. However, only a few are targeted towards a specific kind of task management — one that lets you focus on completing goals rather than organizing them. Action Method is a simple project management app that lets you track your projects and see them into completion by listing action steps. Here’s how it can help you towards whatever goal you’re trying to accomplish.

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The Two-Step Method

Unlike other tasks management apps that let you do tons of things to a single task or goal, Action Method only asks you to do two simple steps to get started with listing your to-do’s: create a project and create action steps for that project. It’s that simple.

In the app’s home screen, you can start by adding a project. The title should be a short description of what you want to accomplish.

Start adding tasks in two simple steps

Start adding tasks in two simple steps

Next, you can add action steps. These are tasks that you need to do to complete a project. You can then assign a task to a certain project, set a deadline, and delegate it to other contacts in your Action Method network if applicable. Other options include changing the task color (only three are available — orange, blue and gray) and adding a task to Focus items.

Managing tasks

Once you have all your tasks in place, you can view them through different filters: by project, due date, and color. I find that using the due date filter is the most effective way of checking which tasks to accomplish during the start of your day. However, if you have more than one project, the project filter is great for keeping track of your progress in each of them. The color filter option is also another alternative way to mark tasks or projects, or you can use it to signify importance or urgency.

Several ways to view your tasks

Several ways to view your tasks

Completed tasks are checked off and disappear from the list, but can still be viewed by going to a project and tapping on Completed. Here you see all tasks that were done for that specific project.

To edit a project or task, an edit bar appears on the top right corner of the screen. Here you can send a task into Focus or snooze its due date — there are preset buttons for Tomorrow, Next Week and Next Month or you can enter a date manually.

A handy way to procrastinate -- the snooze method!

A handy way to procrastinate — the snooze method!

Adding Focus Tasks

You might be wondering what Focus does in this app, and why it’s a big deal. Adding tasks into Focus means you are prioritizing them compared to the others. This helps you work towards your projects in accordance to the importance you have set them in. Focus tasks are also viewed from a separate tab on the bottom.

Prioritize your tasks by adding it to Focus

Prioritize your tasks by adding them to Focus

Checking With Your Advisor

Action Method’s advisor feature gives you a chart of all your projects’ progress, what your frequently delayed tasks are, and if any other task is a hindrance (bottleneck) for your Focus tasks. Bottlenecks are determined if a delegated task is overdue or pending.

Even though I only use this app for myself and not in collaboration with anyone else, I still find the Bottleneck feature helpful as a way to keep me motivated towards my goals without getting sidetracked by other less important tasks.

The advisor tab gives you insights on your progress

The advisor tab gives you insights on your progress

Some Things To Consider

There are a few caveats to this app, as in any other app. There are reports of a syncing issue with the web application, which seemed to confirm itself as I tried it and all the tasks disappeared on my phone. If you work collaboratively, this app may not be an ideal choice until this bug is fixed.

The app’s interface and overall design is also a bit outdated and repetitive by using action buttons where a long press pop-up menu would have been quicker. The UI feels more like a mobile version of a website rather than a proper Android app. This is unlikely to change as the app hasn’t been updated for over a year now.

Conclusion

Action Method is a very capable task management app designed for personal and professional projects alike. It’s simple to use, unobtrusive (no annoying pop-ups), insightful and has surprisingly become my go-to app for managing multiple projects as a freelance writer. The disadvantages listed above were not significant enough for me since I found that I accomplish tasks better when using it than any other I’ve tried before — and there were quite a lot.

While other apps let you control each and every aspect of task management, Action Method limits it in a good way. Adding and organizing tasks is an important part of project planning but it shouldn’t take all of your time. Action Method understand this and its two-step task listing makes you ready to focus and actually do a task rather than take your time planning it. After all, the key to completing anything is to take the first step. That’s what this app does so nicely: it lessens the time you spend on it so you have more time to accomplish your goals.


Summary

A simple project management app for Android

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