So far we’ve talked about the big picture, permissions and groups, the welcome and workspace tabs, and adding people to Highrise. Next we’re going to talk about Tasks.

Tasks are a huge part of Highrise. Highrise follows the now/next idea—log the notes of what just happened now and set up your next action. For example: [A NOTE NOW] “Just got off the phone with Walt. We discussed the new product, who it’s for, the ideas behind it, use-cases, etc.” [A TASK NEXT] “9am tomorrow: Send full press kit”

I don’t know exactly when, but sometime
Sometimes things happen right on time. Sometimes you do have a call at 9am sharp tomorrow. But often times you have “stuff” you need to get done sometime tomorrow or sometime this week or next week. And often times you just have stuff you need to get done later. Highrise lets you gracefully deal with tasks with hard and fast dates/times and tasks with suggested time “buckets.” 9am tomorrow is hard and fast, “this week” is a bucket.

The conveyor belt
Most buckets are on a conveyor belt. Later always stays later unless you have dated/timed items in there. Dated/timed items will move based on today’s date. Next week becomes this week. This week becomes overdue. Tomorrow becomes today. Today becomes overdue.

Movie: Watch a task being added. You’ll see you can specify a time for near-time items (today or tomorrow), leave the time off entirely so the task is due “sometime today,” specify a future bucket “next week” or “later,” or specify a specific date/time in the future via a calendar.

Two views in one
Another thing we realized is that looking at a long list of tasks usually involves a lot of reading. Most tasks have an action and a subject. An action might be “Call” or “Fax” or “Thank” or “Demo” or “Meet.” A subject might be “With Jim tomorrow” or “Form 1040-EZ” or “Final t-shirt design” etc.

We’ve added categories to Highrise tasks so you can optionally label a task with an action. These actions stand out with black background and white text. This makes it easy to scan a list of tasks and see the actions without having to read the subject. It’s a great way to see the actions on your plate today at a glance.

How it all comes together
Tasks are listed and created in a few different places in Highrise. There’s a Task tab accessible from anywhere. There are tasks in the sidebar on specific pages depending on who you’re looking at and where you are, and there are tasks on the Dashboard. You can also add a task directly after adding a note. Tasks can be attached to people (“this task is about John Doe”), attached to notes/emails (“this task is about this note”), or just general (“This is just something I need to do on its own”).

Here’s what the Tasks tab looks like (click to see it bigger):

Task assignments and notifications
When you create a task you can assign it to yourself or to anyone else who’s part of your Highrise account. You can see a list of all your tasks on the Tasks tab or all the tasks you’ve assigned other people behind the Assigned link. Notifications are sent via email and reminders are sent via email or SMS to your cell phone.

Sign up to have a chance at a Golden Ticket
We’ve begun issuing “golden tickets.” Golden ticket holders will have access to sign-up for Highrise prior to the public launch. To sign up for a chance at a golden ticket, be sure to sign up for the Highrise announcement list.