I’m a big fan of the Getting Things Done principle, so anything that I can do to channel my life (especially my work life) into more of a GTD workflow is a good thing. I’ve been using Todo by Appigo for a few years now to manage my work and personal life.
I recently had a eureka moment, where I realised that I could combine Gravity Forms‘ notifications with Todo’s intelligent task parsing to create tasks in my Todo list without having to manually translate an email into a task.
This is useful for a number of forms on my websites (most notably The WP Butler) where the submission results in a very predictable set of tasks on my part. For example, when clients sign up for service with The WP Butler, I have them fill out a form so that I can complete a security audit on their site. While the specific actions I carry out on each site may vary, I still work from the same checklist of things that need looking at.
I used to receive an email and duplicate a template checklist that I created in Todo for this very reason. Now however, I use a notification in Gravity Forms to go directly to my Todo account, and create the checklist automatically, complete with the user’s information and everything I need to complete the work.
For example, the following syntax for the email subject line creates a checklist (signified by the :) of high priority (signified by !!!) that is due today (signified by (today)) in my list The WP Butler (signified by – The WP Butler) with the checklist items separated by commas:
Dave's security review (today) !!! - The WP Butler : Item 1, Item 2, Item 3
The brilliance and power of this is amplified when combined with merge tags in Gravity Forms. In the screenshot below, I’m automatically adding the user’s name to the checklist, and adding their domain name as a note on the checklist by including it in the body of the email.
For any fans of GTD, or task-driven people, this is a godsend. Sadly, this kind of thing actually gets me excited: the less steps I can take to do something, the better. And for those not using Todo specifically, you may be able to replicate this in your own GTD app if they allow you to create tasks by sending an email to a specific address (for example, Remember the Milk has such a feature).
What other geeky ways have you found of improving productivity in WordPress?