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Task Management Startup Taskfully Helps You Getting Things Done!

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task management tool -Taskfully

Taskfully is task management tool designed to help you with almost any kind of project. Below is our interview with Keith Trice, Founder of new startup Taskfully:

Q: Could you tell us your story and something more about Taskfully?

A: I have worked in software development for over 6 years, mainly as project manager for the full cycle of development of custom enterprise software products. Over the years I have used many task management and productivity tools to manage my own workload as well as the work of my teams. Unfortunately, I’ve felt that these tools have fallen short at helping me achieve better productivity through technology.

The difficulty with productivity in fast-paced work environments is being able to identify what is important to work on – to prioritize, and quickly separate what should be done now from what work tasks contribute so little to your goals that you should avoid spending time on them altogether. I’m a believer in the Pareto principle (80/20 rule) that a small subset of activities contribute the most to your outcomes. Prioritizing your work is powerful in that within the first moments of planning your day, you have created an attainable goal for what you will and can accomplish given your limited time. I could never find a productivity tool that really hit the mark here – helped me prioritize and helped me work effectively toward my goals. I resorted to doing half of my task management on paper to organize and prioritize my work for the day, then I would input the final list of tasks for the day into a task management tool to track my progress.

Over time I realized that my experience was not uncommon. Peers at work and friends had experienced the same drawbacks of traditional task management tools in their ability to truly assist with work prioritization and execution of these priorities. Being an autodidact at heart and at a juncture in my career, I decided to work full-time at teaching myself web programming and to build a better task management tool for myself and anyone else who could benefit from it. This was the origin of Taskfully.

Taskfully takes a simple approach that focuses on the heart of matter. The goal is to empower users to make better decisions about how they spend their time at work by identifying what tasks are important and providing smart functionality to help them execute on these priorities and actually complete important tasks.

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Q: What is Focus Mode?

A: Focus mode is an innovative screen that seeks to put the user into the most effective mental and visual work space possible. There are 3 key goals of focus mode.

1) Avoid multitasking. The negative effects of attempting to multitask are well-known. When using a productivity tool that displays all of your projects and todos to you on a single screen, being constantly reminded of the endless list of things you have to do can be overwhelming and a constant distraction. You begin working on one thing until you notice another. Then you task switch (another productivity ruin). The more you have tracked within your tool, the easier and greater the effects of falling into this trap.


In focus mode, your next task by priority is presented to you in isolation. Once that task is marked complete, the next incomplete task by priority is presented. This separates planning activities – managing tasks, adding more, reassigning – from actual execution activities and makes for an excellent work companion screen that helps you focus on one thing at a time, until it is completed.

2) Avoid mental burnout. The intuitive thought about how to get the most of your day is to hunker down and never leave your computer. We believe we can work at full-speed over 6, 8 even 10 hours on days where we really must get a lot of work done. This is unfortunately not realistic, and research has proven that this approach quickly leads to the depletion of mental resources that allow you to concentrate, make your best decisions and be creative, making for a very unproductive day overall.

While in focus mode, we present a timer/meter that helps you manage your mental energy. Once the timer runs out, you see a reminder notification to take a mental break. It’s a time where you can check your email, look at Facebook, go get a cup of coffee, or any other recharging activity. These regular breaks allow you to maintain a higher ability to work effectively over longer periods of time. Furthermore, when you return to work recharged after a break you can more easily commit to another work cycle, realign toward what you are working on, and more easily resist the temptation of distractions.

3) Block out distractions. The auditory ambience of your environment can effect your creativity and productivity. Those that work in open-concept offices can definitely attest to the effect noise pollution has on their concentration. With Taskfully’s Focus Mode, you can put on your headphones and choose and ambient sound to be played in the background while you work. This helps you avoid the distraction of sound around you if your work environment is not ideal and nudges you toward an optimal experience of focus and creativity.

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Q: Who do you see as your primary target audience?

A: I see two main customer groups benefiting the most from Taskfully.

First, there are the busy individuals. People who have so much to do at work that each day is about deciding what to skim off the top of their to do lists. Their work is never about being done, but is about deciding where to stop working for the day. As a project manager in the aggressively paced technology consulting company where I worked, this was definitely my experience. For these customers, using Taskfully to prioritize and work intelligently through their to-do’s helps with the difficulty of knowing where to start work each day and – sometimes more importantly – where to stop working.

Secondly, teams of people that works together on projects. By using the productivity-focused features within Taskfully these teams are able to make better decisions about their productivity and overall achieve more by working smarter with Focus Mode.

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Q: What was the most challenging part of developing it?

A: Attempting to bring sanity to the complex world of work productivity is a daunting challenge. The most difficult part of building Taskfully has been attaining the simplicity and focus in its features that honor our core values. A lot of what Taskfully is about has not been done before – creating a tool that is focused on better decisions about what to work on and features that leverage proven techniques about what helps and what hurts one’s productivity. It’d be easier to build a tool with lots of cool buttons and widgets that just make the user want to click something and interact with it. But building a tool to help the user attain a new level of technology assisted productivity, all with minimum distraction – that’s a new challenge altogether.

Q: When do you plan to launch it?

A: We have recently started a private beta, for which users can request an invite at our website. Our public launch is planned for early 2015.

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