Lope is the first task management system, working with the lean-principle. It considers the duration of tasks and the time available. You’ll receive warnings when your workload is full, allowing you to cancel tasks and appointments early or intentionally work overtime. Nothing will be forgotten and no deadlines can be missed. This way the remainder of your work will nicely fit your timetable. Lope prioritizes your tasks the way you would, and only shows you the most important ones at the time, so you’ll never lose track. Lope helps you to always do the right thing. At the same time it’ll allow you to complete your tasks faster than before because you now plan ahead, have fewer disruptions and are able to monitor your progress. It’s a great feeling. You will be able to say “it works”.
Lope is following insights from Lean Management. Thus, targets can only be achieved by task-reduction. Tasks with varying time requirements must be carefully sized up to be successfully implemented. Lope is simulating human behaviour: Precision is ignored every time an estimate or approximate is faster and works just as well. That’s why Lope is missing options that might look nice but aren’t essential.
The key is to concentrate on as few tasks at the time as possible. With fewer things on your portfolio you keep a better overview, work more focussed and utilise your time more effectively. This work state will improve and increase, once you adapted your work habits.
These tricks can help you:
- Always complete tasks in one go. Even if that requires an additional step. Remaining steps often seem minor or less important but nonetheless stay on your to-do-list until the task is finished.
- Tasks and appointments more than two or three weeks in the future should be recorded into your calendar and only be moved to your active portfolio once your calendar reminds you.
- Time consuming tasks should be allocated an appropriate slot in your calendar to deal with them within that slot.
- Be concise in your inquiries and instructions. Precisely communicated delegated work will result in on-time deliveries or your co-worker will notify you in case of delays or problems. This allows you to eliminate reminders for status inquiries on your side.
- Dealing with bigger projects, always concentrate on the immediate task. Once you complete those you can move on to the next.
- Things that are not actually necessary but that you don’t want to forget about do not belong on your portfolio. Create a memo-list that you can refer to when you find the time.
- If you find tasks sitting in your ‘top 3’ for a couple of days without making any headway, reconsider if you want to do it at all. If not, you might want to erase it from your list – really important tasks always come around again by themselves.
An effective portfolio in which all tasks are successfully dealt with within a few days has never more than five to fifteen tasks.
Your normal work profile tells you how much time you have available every day. Lope uses this information to show you on your task overview how many days it would take you, to complete all outstanding tasks. This way you’ll always be able to tell the lead time for any new task. In the settings menu you can define the scope of days, within which you will be notified of a too big workload. (The workload will be highlighted in yellow or red.)
Your calendar has all the information regarding your meetings. The time during which you are at meeting you are not able to work on your portfolio. In order to determine your available work hours, Lope takes the time of your meetings off of your total work day. In order to never miss appointments Lope checks the default calendar on your smartphone. You can find that in your pre-installed apps. Ideally you connect your default calendar to all calendar apps you use.
To get realistic results you have to also record travel time and meal breaks in your calendar or allocate a suitable standard time value in your settings menu, especially if they are roughly of the same length every day. Calendar entries which are placeholders or reminders but don’t actually require your time can be marked with a signal word like ‘Lope’ or ‘blocker’, in order to let Lope know that this time doesn’t need to be deducted. Your individual signal words can be chosen in the settings menu.
Appointments, lasting the whole day, are automatically recognised as reminders rather than real meetings. Exceptions to this are appointments with one or more key words in their title, which you can also chose in your settings menu, like ‘holidays’, ‘bank holiday’ or ‘off’. Such days are not counted as work days. The same effect can be achieved if you add appointments to your calendar lasting your whole daily work time.
For not having to change your profile regularly, which would mean unnecessary effort, you just take your maximum work profile. Then you enter additional appointments into your calendar, in order to purposefully reduce the available time for performing your tasks. You can enter these dates exactly as you need them at different times for each day or week. For doing so you, you can even use a new calendar that nobody can look into, which you simply connect with your device’s default calendar, too.
In order to be able to work on your task-portfolio, make sure that you don’t have too many appointments in your calendar. This is why Lope shows you in the header how your day divides into meetings and available working hours. You can decide in your settings menu on the amount of hours you deem as ‘having too many meetings’ and that you want to be notified by colour alert. The total time of your meetings will then be shown in yellow or red.
Task management and calendar allow us to not forget about our tasks. What is the difference? Tasks in our calendar have to be completed on a certain day at a certain time. Tasks in our task management system can be completed when it is their turn or if we find the time. Therefore, the task management profits from more flexibility. You always have to decide which system to use and that tasks are not allocated twice. For example, tasks that can only be completed on a certain day are better recorded in your calendar.
Topics you don’t want to forget about or which are to be completed sometime in the future may either be recorded in your calendar at a future date or on the memo page in Lope. This way you can’t forget about it and at the same time make sure that your current workload is as slim as possible.
If the priority of a task changes, you can comfortably move it between „tasks“ and „memo“. You only need to tick a memo and swipe left. A task can also be swiped left and be allocated to memo.
A time estimate is a normal part of our daily private lives. If we want to eat at 7pm we know that we need to start cooking 30 minutes earlier in order to have the spaghetti ready in time. For the Sunday roast you better get started two hours earlier. We also consider journey times to pick up our kids from the bus or to arrive at our holiday location in time. Time estimates don’t only help us to start or finish in time, they also help us to be ready for the next job, so we don’t need to interrupt our work constantly. Estimates help us to see the big picture of our total workload as well as the scope of current tasks. In general, it helps us to plan our days. Everybody plans their days differently, based on the tasks and time available. Times estimates are therefore elemental and natural. Lope will make four suggestions from which you can chose. This makes is easier for you and you will notice that this is completely sufficient.
Normal work related tasks take up about 7 to 10 minutes. Even shorter tasks can be more effectively dealt with right away, without recording them in Lope at all. Longer tasks can be allocated 30, 60 or 120 minutes in Lope. Even longer tasks cannot be recorded because they are not quite comprehensible and you would postpone them until you find enough time to deal with them completely or until you decide how to tackle them. Lope will help you with such time intensive tasks by forcing you to reserve a sufficient slot in your calendar or to break the task down into a number of smaller steps which you can then record in Lope. Once you completed step one of the bigger task you can then move on to the next and so on.
Projects consist of a number of tasks that we cover one after another. When planning a project, at the beginning we often have a number of tasks in our heads we want to put down as a reminder. Sometimes, we later remember tasks that we need to add. Because Lope only ever deals with the current task of a project to focus on priorities, you can add the extra steps as memos and move them to ‘tasks’ later.
Lope doesn’t distinguish between different categories of your tasks. At the end of the day you’re a person that wants to deal with all of its tasks, no matter if hobby, family or work. If you only want to concentrate on one aspect of your life you can simply only record tasks of a certain nature.
Lope uses lean principles to prioritise. That’s why tasks you receive first, get worked on first, in order for them to allow a work flow and results you can profit from. It follows the same idea of a queue at the check-out. Also, we prefer dealing with shorter tasks intermittently to avoid have the sum of the tasks overwhelm us. This means that smaller and older tasks are of a higher priority.
Sometimes it is not enough to complete tasks, they have to be completed to a certain deadline. If we are late, we might miss something, lose money, people inquire after the project or get angry. Because we want to avoid that, Lope puts these tasks at a higher priority than others. If we encounter tasks for the first time we can’t anticipate what’s coming and should start a little early in order to finish certainly in time. “First time” tasks are also of a higher priority than others. Watch out that you only mark those tasks “fixed end date” that really have a certain deadline, since these options might severely limit your flexibility. Lope doesn’t only put these tasks at a higher priority; it also marks them with a symbol. Tasks with a “fixed end date” that are due to finish soon, show a warning triangle.
If Lope warns you that you have more work than you are able to deal with, you can delete tasks (because you delegated them, decided they were not important enough or marked them in your calendar for later). Your other option is to intentionally work overtime in order to catch up, until you reach a workload (current work portfolio) that you are comfortable with.
Any time you complete a task you have to decide what to do next. In order to make your decision easier Lope only ever shows you those three options with the highest priority. If you want to see you whole portfolio you can visit the task menu, which further splits into open and completed tasks. A handy shortcut is tapping on the workload figure at the bottom of the today-screen.
You can click any task and change the content or duration. If you don’t want to deal with it at the time you can swipe right and click the “later” option. This way it won’t be shown for the next hour and another task will take its place in your top 3. Once you completed a task you can swipe it left and click the “completed” option. This way the number and duration of the tasks completed today increases which you can see in the top right corner.
In order to keep you up-to-date, Lope shows you your next three tasks and how much time is left until the next meeting. Until then, Lope only shows you those tasks, you are able to finish beforehand, without having to interrupt them as the meeting starts.
I you want to see how much you managed to do over the past seven days and how your portfolio developed, you can check the “success”-page. There, you’ll also find values and options to check the past 14 or 30 days. This information will help you to allocate enough time to your portfolio in future, to discover fluctuations or an increasing workload, in order to better manage your life.
Lope shows you all you need to know with one look. You use it when you input new tasks or mark them as complete. Any time you do that Lope lets you know what is important at the time. Every additional message would unnecessarily disturb and require you to multitask, costing you precious time and causing you stress. That is the reason why Lope doesn’t utilise push-notifications.
You can download and try Lope for free. Once you logged your first 100 tasks, Lope will ask you whether you want to purchase the premium version. With a one-off payment you are then able to use Lope permanently while your money will be used to further improve Lope and its functions.
If you want to make sure that there is no data loss in case of loss of your phone or the migration to a new device, you can save all your data to the cloud. You can find this option in the settings menu.
You, as a person, are part of many different groups. It is a challenge to bring together all the different tasks from those environments. If you use Lope as part of an organisation, their tasks will be viewed as dominant, forcing you to record your other tasks in different ways. This quickly leads to you losing track of things. Lope in an organisation will also enable others to allocate tasks to your workload without consultation (push). This way you are losing control of your work portfolio. For these reasons, you should only use Lope alone.
Lope is the first task management software working with lean principles. If you use Lope correctly, you will be able to better manage your workload resulting in less last minute stress. You will be disturbed less by others inquiring when you will be finished. You won’t feel as overwhelmed but focussed on the most important tasks, swiftly working through them. Because you will better organise your schedule, you will be able to complete tasks quicker than before and see all your accomplishments in the evening. This is a great feeling and it will empower you. Using Lope, you will deal with your tasks as you encounter them and liberate your life.