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Editors' Review

Download.com Staff May 22, 2011

We tend to be somewhat dubious of time-management software. More often than not, the time spent creating tasks, dividing them into smaller tasks within tasks, assigning them priority levels, and setting reminders is time that could be better spent just getting your work done. Autofocus, however, is different. This innovative program relies on a simple process and your own intuition to keep you productive, and we think it's a great alternative to more structured time-management options.

In truth, the Autofocus system could be followed using a regular notebook, but the fact that there's a software version makes sense given how much of our work takes place on computers these days. The software itself is little more than a virtual notebook with a few extra features, and the heart of the system consists of simply making a list of things that you need to get done, reviewing the list for a task that jumps out at you, and working on that task until it's completed or you no longer feel like working on it. Move unfinished tasks to the end of the list and then pick the next thing that jumps out at you to start on. It sounds simplistic, yet it makes perfect sense. Have you ever had a task that you put off for a while and then suddenly, for no particular reason, felt inclined to take care of it? Autofocus harnesses this subconscious tendency to prioritize and lets you get your work done without forcing yourself to do things you're not yet in the mood for. Of course, sometimes you just have to do things that you don't want to do--we doubt that we're suddenly going to get in the mood to go clean the litter box--but Autofocus allows you to work on big or unappealing tasks a little at a time and to place them in the context of the other things that need to get done.

A well-written online Help file explains the process in more detail, and there's even a lengthy video tutorial in which the program's creator explains its use. Overall, we think that Autofocus is a very interesting system, and we recommend it to anyone who hasn't had much luck trying to prioritize their work the old-fashioned way.

Full Specifications

What's new in version 1.1

Version 1.1:
  • Enable tasks scrolling with mouse wheel.
  • Enhanced startup form.
  • User settings form with font and database location settings.
  • Better error messaging (exception handling).
  • Additional shortcuts for the context menu.
  • Use the Enter key for moving down.
  • Resolved issue--Null pointer exception when clicking on user settings table in case of empty tasks table

General

Date Added February 17, 2011
Version 1.1

Operating Systems

Additional Requirements Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0

Popularity

Total Downloads 5,838
Downloads Last Week 2
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Developer's Description

Autofocus System was developed by Mark Forster and it is constantly improving. According to Mark, the Autofocus System has the following benefits: A greatly increased volume of work. A lack of stress. Focus on what is important. Very fast processing of routine actions. Thorough processing of major tasks and projects. The best place to read more about the system is Mark Forster's Autofocus System web site. Autofocus Application is a Windows desktop application based on the Autofocus System concepts and ideas. It is very easy to use as it mimics the look and usage of a paper notebook. All you need is four command buttons to list through the pages of an electronic notebook, and one right-click pop-up menu for some additional actions.