Chaos Control: A Personal Task Manager Based on GTD

Get things done the easy way!

by: - Last updated on: March 31st, 2021

Key Takeaways

  • Chaos Control is a GTD-based task manager that lets you prioritize tasks and actions to stay on top of your projects.
  • Prioritizing actions helps you cut down on unnecessary clutter and anxiety, which, in turn, makes it easier to focus on important matters on your agenda.
  • Using Chaos Control, you can manage your goals and plan your actions accordingly in both your professional and personal life.
  • Chaos Control is available both on computers and on cell phones, so you are always in the loop wherever you are.

Task management is imperative to managing your professional and personal workflow. It helps you keep track of your tasks and view progress for the same. So, you can pace your proceedings down the line accordingly. To aid you in managing tasks, there are task management apps (or task managers) available in the form of apps and software for different operating systems. These tools let you set to-dos and reminders for your different tasks such that you can plan your projects effectively.

Chaos Control

Most task management apps and software follow a somewhat similar approach for managing projects and tasks. However, the one we are discussing here (Chaos Control) is based on what is called the GTD (Getting Things Done) methodology, which is known to be effective when it comes to managing tasks.

Chaos Control

Chaos Control is a GTD-based project management software. Using it, you can manage your goals and plan your actions accordingly in both your professional and personal life. Chaos Control is available for all major platforms: macOS, Windows, Android, and iOS.

Chaos Control: GTD-based project management software

What is GTD?

GTD or Getting Things Done is a time management system that was created by David Allen. It has gained popularity over the past few years and many people have adopted this methodology. By focusing on goals, rather than tasks, Allen’s system helps people accomplish what they want to get done in life, rather than spending time on what they don’t want to do. The seven steps to achieving your goals with GTD are:

  1. Capture,
  2. Clarify,
  3. Organize,
  4. Reflect,
  5. Review,
  6. Do, and
  7. Get Done.

To reiterate, Chaos Control is derived from the GTD methodology, the idea behind which is to move all of your projects, tasks, and relevant information out of your head into a system that helps streamline your actions and undermines any sense of disarray. Basically, the purpose is to prioritize goals before trying to accomplish them. Each objective can be viewed as a Project on Chaos Control and can be attributed to a combination of goals and actions.

Chaos Control Features

Chaos Control contains a similar set of functionalities on both its computer and mobile apps. Essentially, there are four sections on the app: Chaos Box, Daily Plan, Projects, and Contexts. Let’s take a closer look at these so you can put them to use effectively.

1. Chaos Box

Chaos Box is a section on Chaos Control where all your prompt ideas, thoughts, notes reside. You can use this to jot down all the incoming thoughts in your head, which you can then process later while organizing a task or a project. And once that is done, you can then clear out the entries in Chaos Box to stay organized.

Chaos Box
IMAGE: Chaos Control

Basically, the idea behind Chaos Box is to quickly collect your thoughts and ideas into a loosely defined buffer and then move them into other sections as your ideas solidify.

One of the best things about Chaos Box is that there is no specific structure or theme that you need to follow to add your inputs. So you can write whatever ideas come to your head without worrying about organizing them.

2. Daily Plan

The name is pretty much a giveaway here: the Daily Plan section lets you plan and organize what is on your agenda for a day. It is also home to all the tasks on your task list with deadlines, so you never miss out on your scheduled tasks. You can also select a day from the calendar on the left to view and edit your agenda for the selected day.

Daily Plan
IMAGE: Chaos Control

All your daily task lists consist of three sections: tasks with deadlines on a day, the also available section, and completed tasks. Of the three, the first and the third section are pretty self-explanatory: they hold your scheduled tasks and completed tasks, respectively. On the other hand, the second — also available — section includes tasks without a start date. Or, you can think of them as tasks that have a deadline set to a future date and a start date in the past.

To prevent your tasks from ending up in the second section, for tasks that need to be completed on a specific day: set both start and deadline to the same date; for tasks that can be performed before a deadline: only mention the deadline and avoid specifying a start date.

3. Projects

Projects is the main section where all your projects live. It offers three sample folders by default: Personal, Side projects, and Business, which you can use to organize your projects categorically. And if required, you can also add new folders into the mix. Chaos Control also allows you to add subfolders to your folders so that you can break a complex project into smaller segments.

Projects
IMAGE: Chaos Control

Folders improve the organization of projects and tasks and bring clarity to a project. Basically, the idea is to break big tasks down into simple and clearly defined steps that are easy to follow and keep up with. That way, you always have clarity on a project’s progress, with a clear view of the completed tasks and forthcoming tasks.

4. Contexts

Contexts in Chaos Control are tags or notes about a task that you can add into your projects to add meta information such as that for place, tool, person, etc. Using contexts is considered a crucial component in the GTD methodology, and it is known to reduce stress and improve focus with regards to working and tracking projects.

Contexts
IMAGE: Chaos Control

By including contexts as part of your tasks, you can help yourself and others working on a project understand what has to be done and how. An ideal approach to adding context to tasks is to first identify the activities to be performed and assess them for all the essential information required to perform them. And finally, providing contextual information on tasks.

Other Chaos Control Features

1. Much like how you can organize your tasks, actions, and projects into different categories, Chaos Control also offers lets you mark your most frequently needed items as Favorites so you can easily access them. You can use this when you want to focus on specific items in your projects and don’t want to look up the same in the Chaos Box or Projects folder.

2. If you use Chaos Control on more than one device to manage your tasks and projects, you can Cloud Sync to have all your entries synced across those devices. The best way to utilize this feature is to make entries on your computer and access them on your mobile phone. That way, you can stay updated with your tasks on-the-go.

3. Since Chaos Control is about managing tasks and projects, it is likely that you would want to add reminders or meeting alerts for a specific day. For such situations, the software offers you the ability to automatically export Chaos Control calendar tasks to your preferred calendar app of choice between Google Calendar and iCloud Calendar.

4. To prevent unsolicited access to your Chaos Control data, you can also add an App passcode, which will be required every time you launch the app on your computer or mobile phone.

Chaos Control Pricing

Chaos Control is available as both a free and a paid service. With the free version, you can create 10 projects, 75 tasks, and 5 contexts. If you are just getting started, this plan should suffice your needs. However, if you find yourself using the software more often, you can do away with the restrictions by upgrading to the premium plan for an annual license fee of (USD 23.59) Rs 1876. Currently, they are running a lifetime deal on AppSumo for just $49.

Chaos Control project management
IMAGE: Chaos Control

Chaos Control as a Personal Task Manager

Using Chaos Control’s set of project management features and functionalities such as the Chaos Box, Daily Plan, Projects, and Contexts, you should be able to manage your projects and their tasks and operations more effectively and efficiently. That too, on both your computer and mobile phones. And as a result, this should help cut down on clutter and anxiety and enable you to focus better on what is important on your agenda instead.

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