Safari Software, Inc.
Microsoft has been promoting Office as an applications platform for
years, but how often do you see an Office-based application in the wild?
Well, here's a nice example of using Excel for custom development that
might actually be useful in your development efforts.
MasterList-XL is a relatively simple task tracking program (simple, that
is, but much more flexible than the simplistic tasks list built into
Outlook). You can create projects, each of which can contain
tasks. Projects have a name; tasks have a description, an importance,
and a deadline. You can also mark projects and tasks as current, which
allows you to focus in on a subset of your tasks.
Each task can be scheduled by simple drag and drop operations, and you
can schedule a task into multiple timeslots if you can't complete it all
at once. As you work with tasks, MasterList updates a graph and table
that shows you how much time you're spending on important and
unimportant tasks -- if your days are a morass of unimportant tasks,
there's something wrong.
MasterList-XL is free, though you can register the application if you
like. If you do, you'll be notified when the MasterList-Pro is available
- a coming version that will work outside of Excel, and integrate with
Outlook. I'm looking forward to seeing it.
Mike Gunderloy has been developing software for a quarter-century now, and writing about it for nearly as long. He walked away from a .NET development career in 2006 and has been a happy Rails user ever since. Mike blogs at A Fresh Cup.