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August 7, 2009

The Big Picture – Task Management Made Simple

ss-thebigpicture

The Big Picture is a calendar and task management tool with an unusual interface. To get started, just click and drag to create a circle representing your project. Give the project a name and click on the circle to gain access to tasks and events. Once there, adding tasks is a simple as clicking on the new task link, giving it a name and leaving it on your dashboard. With each task you have the option to email it to yourself or to drag it to the calendar, to make it an event.

The calendar works like most calendars – just click and drag to make an event and set the time slot. Each event is color coded to match the project it belongs to. To complete and delete tasks, drag them to the jar in the bottom right hand corner of your screen.

While this application shows promise, there’s still work that needs to be done before it can go head-to-head with similar online applications. However, The Big Picture does integrate with iCal and it allows for sharing items by email. The founders also affirmed that Google Calendar integration is coming soon.

Practical Uses:

  • Keep track of project milestones
  • Use The Big Picture as your hub for managing an event, including assigning tasks to others
  • Make a note of everything you need to do to prepare for your next trip and integrate this with your own calendar

Insider Tips:

  • Resize your project circles to make it easy to see at a glance which projects are most important
  • Share events with others by email to make The Big Picture your project management hub
  • Click on the calendar to expand it; click outside it to return it to its minimized position
  • Select any event in the calendar view to adjust recurring options

What we liked:

  • The minimalist interface puts the focus firmly on task management
  • It is impossible to cover one project circle with another; the one underneath slides to the side rather neatly
  • Integration with iCal is a big plus
  • It takes no time at all to learn to use The Big Picture

What we didn’t like:

  • Functionality is rather sparse at the moment
  • Sharing features were not tremendously intuitive

Alternatives:

Company Info:

Costs:

  • Free
  • Space left for ads, which suggests it will be ad supported