I know this is less programming related and more time management related, but I value the feedback of the users on this site. I'm finding myself particularly busy this semester, managing various tasks and timelines between work and school. Further, I find myself running around between labs, work, home, libraries, etc. For these reasons I think a web based solution is ideal. Which leads to the question, do you have a recommended web based solution for task/project management for personal use? Ideal would be free (or nearly), and one in which i could install on my server. Accounting is not a requirement, just management of time and tasks (gantt charts would be great). However, svn integration would be really good as I keep my school work in there.



I put a bounty on this, as a good solution would be very valuable to me (more so than the rep). The answers so far have been great, but none fit just right for personal use. Ideal would be something that manages files and time with something I could self host. It would be a plus for MAC+PC solutions as we use MAC OSX in the lab on campus. Currently SVN and a web based time manager seems to be the way to go.


First, thank you for the great responses! FogBugz, Trac, and Request Tracker were either strongly recommended or suggested more than once. Trac and Request Tracker are also free and self hosted, however, their strengths seem to lay in team development. I’m going to give FogBugz on Demand a shot and see how that works out. I am also going to start using the Drop Box as suggested, great idea! Further, SVN will be used for the longevity of ‘everything’. This should walk around the 2 gig issue and self hosting desire. I am considering SVNNotifier for keeping machines current. Thanks again!


I have decided to use FogBugz as suggested by Zabbala. As he said, it really does everything I want from task tracking to time management. It’s an amazing and generous free offering from FogCreek. Thank you everyone, I really appreciate all of the feedback.


Just to follow up on this item. I have been using FogBugz for two weeks now; couldn’t be happier. I have started using LiveScribe’s SmartPen in conjunction with FogBugz. I am keeping longer term items within FogBugz, and copy the current week’s items in a ‘journal’ for the road. The SmartPen makes digitizing the 'journal' painless.

For managing files I am using a mixture between FogBugz, DropBox, SVN, and Unison. I use DropBox to share across the net, say between home and the lab, and Unison to synch up the DropBox folder within the larger SVN working copy (not everything is in DropBox).


I've been using fogbugz much less in favor of the LiveScribe's journal. Seems that the traditional pen and paper has an efficiency to it that's hard to beat. Regarding LiveScribe, I have had a few problems with it which has left me uncomfortable with their file format. Their files are obscured in both the naming convention and format. If they had an open format I would feel much better about entrusting it with my data.

+2  A:

Spencer Ruport
+18  A: 

I would use Fogbugz OnDemand (here). It's free for 2 users and does everything you want from task tracking to time management. I use it myself for various pet projects and it meets all my requirements, plus it's extremely easy to set up.

+1. If you can find an app to use it from your cell phone you are laughing
Jas Panesar
Accepted as this is what I ended up using. Thank you!
+1  A: 

Fogbugz has a few plugins like timesprite that let you work on the cases in the system but track the time independently if you want to.

Jas Panesar
+4  A: 

I'm currently evaluating TargetProcess and it seems really nice! It's an Agile project management application so it might do more than what you want.

Scott Muc
Very interesting, more for work, but I have to pass this one along at the office
+2  A: 

We are using Request Tracker. It is free, and has an API.

+1 for self host option
+7  A: 

When it comes to working across many computers, I love Dropbox ( A free account gives you an ample 2 GB of space synchronized across your computers (Windows, Mac, Linux). This won't solve your time management problems, but it could be the cornerstone of another solution. So if you find a desktop application that you like, you might be able to synchronize the files across your machines using Dropbox and make it a "web" solution.

For example, KeePass ( works really well with Dropbox. You can synchronize your encrypted password database across computers so your passwords are always up-to-date.

This whole scheme was introduced to me by Lifehacker, by the way.

Dropbox is amazing. Mix it with any app that can be run without being installed and you can have an incredibly flexible go-anywhere toolkit. Also, its cross-platform support is some of the best I've ever seen.
Another vote for DropBox. Who says desktop apps are dead. Use them with DropBox and you get access to your information wherever you need it along with much more usable/powerful UI.
+10  A: 

try rememberthemilk ( Good tool and has number of useful interfaces.

pretty cool tool actually
I use it and it helps me stay organized. Of the probably twenty web-based productivity tools I've tested, this is the only one I've stuck with for more than a month. As a bonus it has a clean API, so there are native apps available for almost every platform.
+1 I tried RTM out and it was great.. If I didn't already use FogBugz for the bulk of my work I would be using this.,
Jas Panesar
+2  A: 

If you can deal with not hosting it yourself --

+2  A: 

I used in the past and loved them. But, they aren't free anymore. I have moved my project over to which has the same task management features as well as SVN.

+6  A: 

Backpack is a good one from 37signals. They have free accounts, multiple users and an API. I am not sure about SVN access though.

You also might think about TRAC. It plugs in well with SVN, and although is made more for development, it would work well for your needs I think.

Update: You mentioned that Trac is geared towards teams, and while true, I don't think that is really a bad thing. I don't think there are any features in it that really require multiple users or that would slow you down from using it on your own. And if you ever need to collaborate with someone else it will already be set up to do it.

Ryan Guill
FYI, trac is something else you can self-host if you are so inclined, or you can get managed accounts.
Ryan Guill
Whoops, I didn't notice trac had already been mentioned. Pros: free (modified BSD license), has tons of plugins -- including Gantt charts.
Zac Thompson
+1  A: 

Hi, I am loving redmine

Ric Tokyo
+2  A: 

Use the Tasks in GMail. They are useful, prett ylightweight, you can have a hierarchy of tasks. Good if you are already using GMail.

There is also a Remember The Milk plugin for GMail. Here you can't have sub-tasks, but it's pretty good too, all in all.

Is it possible to categorize tasks in Gmail? If so, I might have something to check out!
Jas Panesar
Yes, you can categorize them. You can manage different lists, and in each lists you can have a hierarchy of tasks.
+2  A: 

Have you heard about this: Tiddly Wiki?

Optimal Solutions
+2  A: 

Tracks is a ruby based time tracker that follows the Getting Things Done™ methodology. You can either host it on your own web server, or if you have ruby installed on all the computers you plan to use it from you can run it from a flash drive. It lets you set due dates so it will show you your most pressing task. It has several different methods to organize things which gives you alot of flexibility. Here's a screen cast and some screen shots.

+1  A: 

I highly recommend Request Tracker, as did J.J. It can be hosted yourself, and I believe it runs on Windows. (Since it runs on UNIX, it should run on Mac OS.) I don't know of any Gantt chart functionality for it, but I'll bet there are reports for it that could do that.

I'm just answering to plug Request Tracker, not for the bounty. If for some reason you decide to go with RT, make sure you give J.J. the bounty, as he recommended it first!

+2  A: 

axosoft provide a free personal license for their OnTime 2009 pro application. Has a Visual Studio addon, windows and web ui. I use it myself.

Sean Rock
+1  A: 

I was in almost the same situation you are about 6 months ago. I was overwhelmed with keeping track of my projects and tasks and needed something that would enable me to track projects, the subtasks involved, and my progress on them. I also needed something that would let me collaborate with others as necessary and that was customizable.

I'm a developer, so I knew that SVN was a must. I wanted a PM system that integrated with SVN and would have preferred it to be self-hosted. I started out with Fogbugz on Demand just to give it a try, but it was overkill for my needs and I never felt like I was using it as I should have. Don't get me wrong, the system is beautifully constructed and is better than most PM tools out there, but it wasn't for me.

After trying a bunch of other options, I finally decided on Redmine. It is a PM system built on Ruby on Rails and it is flexible, decent looking, and reasonably fast. It will auto-create SVN repositories for each project you create (if you set it up appropriately) and does Gantt charting for you. Redmine as a PM system for tracking projects and tasks is amazing. The only thing I didn't like was it's lack of a timing system. There is manual time entry, but I wanted a widget to click like a stopwatch to track my time.

I decided to use Harvest as my time tracking solution. They have widgets available for Windows Vista and OS X that make it easy to stay on top of tracking your time. You'll have to set up your projects and clients (sounds like your client is yourself, so you won't have many) in Harvest, but after that you should be good to go. They have a phenomenal set of reports that you can view at any time to see where you're spending your time.

So, that's pretty much it. I use Redmine + Harvest pretty much every day and I haven't been happier.

+1  A: 

Agilo for Scrum seems like a good Agile Trac plugin to try.

+1  A: 

PositiveWare does a lot of those things: Time management, project management, to do lists, budgeting, simple invoice creation and reporting.

No SVN integration, but it is web based (with an AIR app for power users) so you actually wouldn't have any software to install.

It's generally geared towards PR / Marketing firms, but I use it for my software development group.

Doug Hays
+1  A: 

I like Google Calendar - you can put in all your deadlines, meetings, appointments etc. Its web based and free. You can have multiple accounts on the same calendar like work and home and it will even send reminders with sms.

There is a Remember the Milk plugin of course for your todo list.

+1  A: 

Get yourself a free DropBox account with 2GB storage space (PC or Mac).

Then copy (or create) a free TiddlyWiki in your My DropBox folder.

A TiddlyWiki is a single self contained/updateable html file that you can store just about anything in (supports searching too), excellent for time management, task tracking, knowledge bases etc.

Also, being plain html it is supported in Firefox, IE, Safari etc.

Then, on any new computer, simply install DropBox and you will now have fully synchronized access to the same TiddlyWiki file. eg. Changes/updates you make at school or work are waiting for you on your home PC immediately or once synchronised (if the PC was turned off).

Major advantages:

  • Foolproof synchronisation across multiple computers.
  • Cross platform (PC/Mac).
  • Lightweight, only a web browser and Dropbox are required.
  • Information is stored in non-proprietary html.
  • Very simple to use.
  • No web server required, internet access only.
  • Free.
+1  A: 

Microsoft Project within Drop Box also provided an interesting solution if web-access is not needed. This provided excellent timeline management, particularly with task dependencies.

+1  A: 

Nobody has mentioned SlimTimer yet ( This is a slick little web tool that is very flexible and easy to use.

The best part IMHO is that each task has a display name in your task list as well as 0..n tags that you can use for reporting. This way, my to-do list has simple names that I can relate to, and each task is tagged with the corresponding project identifier that I must report my time on.

My SlimTimer keeps track of my time spent each day or week, and when I feel like it, I pull up a report and fill the data into my company billing system.

+1  A: 

Project Path has also worked great for individual projects: [][1]

+1  A:

  • Multiple projects support
  • Flexible role based access control
  • Flexible issue tracking system
  • Gantt chart and calendar
  • News, documents & files management
  • Feeds & email notifications
  • Per project wiki
  • Per project forums
  • Time tracking
  • Custom fields for issues, time-entries, projects and users
  • SCM integration (SVN, CVS, Git, Mercurial, Bazaar and Darcs)
  • Issue creation via email
  • Multiple LDAP authentication support
  • User self-registration support
  • Multilanguage support
  • Multiple databases support

Track your work, your private projects, calculate costs, send reports by email and more. Follow 3 easy steps to start time tracking:

+1  A: 

Maybe it's too late, but for the record, this could help you too.

Thank you pablasso, interesting project