I’ve tried a few mobile task tracking apps for my smart phone, but have found none as useful for keeping track of life’s responsibilities as using a web-based software bug tracking program called MantisBT. MantisBT is used by software engineers to log reported bugs, assign them to staff for correction, and record progress toward bug resolution.
To get started, I first deployed MantisBT (a PHP application) on the web so I can access it from anywhere with an internet connection. For the underlying database, I selected MySQL.
I then logged in and created five “projects”: “Badass Data Science” to log tasks related to this blog, “Bills” to track when payments are due, “School” to track school related deadlines, “Repairs” to log repair tasks for my RV or truck, and “Miscellaneous” to track tasks that don’t fit cleanly into the other four topics. Since it is easy to add projects, I am not limited to only five categories.
When a new task comes my way, I select the relevant project from the drop-down menu and then click on the “Report Issue” link. The following screenshot shows adding a task (building a GitHub page for the pyDome geodesic dome designer) in the “Badass Data Science” project:
We can then click “View Issues” to see all the tasks related to the project:
At a glance we can see indicators of task priority (column “P”) and task severity. The rows are color-coded by status with a color key on the very bottom row. For example, five of the tasks shown in the image above have status “assigned”.
When a task is worked on or completed, one can select the task from the “View Issues” page and change its status and/or add notes.
The changing status workflow provides additional opportunity to add notes, for example information related to resolving a task:
We can also filter issues by status, for example hiding all resolved issues: