Three To-Do Programs Can Help Scientists Get Organized

Scientists are busy people. And we’re also human. Which means we tend to forget things—things like deadlines for funding proposals, peer review meetings, special reports to professional organizations, and so forth. Unfortunately, many of us have had to learn the hard way that organization is essential. Without it, it’s all but impossible to track and fulfill professional commitments without compromising precious research time. A little-known category of software products&#

Barry Simon
May 1, 1989

Scientists are busy people. And we’re also human. Which means we tend to forget things—things like deadlines for funding proposals, peer review meetings, special reports to professional organizations, and so forth. Unfortunately, many of us have had to learn the hard way that organization is essential. Without it, it’s all but impossible to track and fulfill professional commitments without compromising precious research time.

A little-known category of software products—the rolling to-do list genre—can be very helpful to scientists in need of organizational assis- tance. Essentially, these programs function something like a Computerized secretary, keeping track of appointments and other commitments by priority and project.

A critical element of to-do-programs is their understanding of time. For example, you can set up a task well in advance, and it will not appear on your to-do list until the specified date. It also will remain on your list until deleted or marked as...

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