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Author Topic: Top of my to-do list: Finally get a real multiplatform to-do list  (Read 3135 times)
svenc
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« on: December 14, 2012, 12:00:39 PM »

I'm hoping to tap into the fora's collective wisdom on a good multiplatform to-do/task management system appropriate for both academic and personal tasks.  Some key issues for me:

- I must be able to access and manage it from my iphone
- A desktop client for Mac would be nice - needs to work multi-machine, but online access is an acceptable alternative
- The ability to assign single tasks to multiple categories would be very appreciated.  For example, filing a reimbursement claim is both a work admin and a personal finance task, and signing my kid up for swim lessons is both a childcare task and a personal finance task (because I have to pay for it). 
- Adding new tasks on the fly from the phone should be easy; structuring the overall list from a web client or desktop app is fine by me.

Any personal stories of task management system adoption that has turned around a chaotic life?  Thanks in advance!
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marigolds
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« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2012, 12:48:09 PM »

Sounds like you need something that handles tag-based lists. OmniFocus is out, then--only one context/list per task. (They are fabulous cross-platform, though, and what I would normally recommend.)

Things gets good reviews; I have the desktop but have never connected with it enough to buy the iPhone version.

The Hit List is really good to use, but there's a weird history with the developer that makes some people not trust it (worries about continued support.)
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bartislartfast
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« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2012, 1:09:19 PM »

I'm hoping to tap into the fora's collective wisdom on a good multiplatform to-do/task management system appropriate for both academic and personal tasks.  Some key issues for me:

- I must be able to access and manage it from my iphone
- A desktop client for Mac would be nice - needs to work multi-machine, but online access is an acceptable alternative
- The ability to assign single tasks to multiple categories would be very appreciated.  For example, filing a reimbursement claim is both a work admin and a personal finance task, and signing my kid up for swim lessons is both a childcare task and a personal finance task (because I have to pay for it). 
- Adding new tasks on the fly from the phone should be easy; structuring the overall list from a web client or desktop app is fine by me.

Any personal stories of task management system adoption that has turned around a chaotic life?  Thanks in advance!

My wife and I use Astrid Tasks & To-Do list for this.  It handles everything from grocery lists, more involved-to-do lists, reminders for automotive maintenance, A/C filter changes, etc.  (Just trying to give an idea of the variety of tasks we have it scheduled to do.)

It allows tasks to be put into many lists, and even allows them to be assigned to someone else (if a partner or child has a capable phone, they can install the app and be assigned tasks.)

It lets you add in quick things on-the-fly through the phone interface, but you can also fully organize them with the mobile app -- though, personally, I think the web interface is far easier to use for this.

I won't say that it's a perfect app, however.  There are "wish-list" features I have for it, but overall, it's been the best I've tried to use.
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janewales
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« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2012, 1:14:54 PM »


I tried Things, because several colleagues love it, but never really bonded with it. So I'm still looking, too.
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crowie
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« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2012, 1:16:08 PM »

I use toodledo.  They have a website platform and they also have apps for iPad and iPhone (I imagine they would have them for Android as well).  There is no official toodledo desktop app for Mac but the website is very easy to use and intuitive.  Also I think there are some 3rd party desktop apps that integrate with toodledo.  You will find them on their website. 

It's very easy to add to-do items on the fly from smartphone or web.  If it is useful to you, you can also sync your todos with iCal so they appear on your calendar.  If you specify the time that they are due they will appear in your calendar at that time.  If you don't specify a time they will be listed at the top of that day.

Toodledo has a number of options for categorizing todo items: Folder, Context, tags and Location. 

"Folder" for me is a pretty simplistic baseline sorting device.  I have merely two Folders-- Work and Home.  ie. anything that is for my job is Work, anything for my personal life is Home. 

"Context" I use to categorize what type of task it is.  I have multiple contexts like: <MyTown> errands, <LargerTown> errands, phone call, computer, office, campus, in-class <Course X>, in-class <Course Y> etc.

There is also a "Locations" field and some people use it the same way as I use "Contexts", or they use addresses or names of stores etc.

"tags" I actually don't use, but for the multiple categorizing you are looking for it might be perfect.  You could come up with a bunch of tags and then you would be able to assign multiple tags to the task (eg. childcare and personal finance)

I have found toodledo a really easy solution that does everything I need. You can have automatically repeating tasks for things you do over and over (eg. I have one for litterbox duty!), you can add alarms to the task and get a reminder email. 

The one thing I'd like to add at this point is to be able to collaborate on a shared todo list with my partner.  They have that option but it is a "Pro" feature that costs money and I'm not sure I want to pay.
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tinyzombie
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« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2012, 2:09:57 PM »

I. Love. Toodledo.

That is all.
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bibliothecula
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« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2012, 3:35:59 PM »

I use Wunderlist. I tried Astrid, Remember the Milk, the google to-do, the outlook to-do, etc., but like Wunderlist the best. It's free, online, and you can set up multiple lists, share items, go back to see completed tasks, use an alarm or reminder, etc.
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scampster
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« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2012, 3:46:56 PM »

So this is somewhat an embarrassing insight into my weirdness, but one necessary element of a To Do List program for me is that I need some capability for selecting a random task off the list, particularly for tasks that fall into the Not Urgent categories. When I have some time, I like to tackle those items, but the list gets pretty long, so looking at it and evaluating it to decide which tasks to do is more overwhelming than actually tackling some of the tasks.

So basically right now I keep my list on a Google Spreadsheet and use a randomizer to re-order the list and give me a task to do. It's weird, but it works for me. But it is a bit clunky, so I am constantly on the look out for a Task List manager that provide this random functionality of random assigning me a task from a list I have created.

Has anyone seen any programs that has any method for doing something like this? Or I am just a weirdo for even desiring something like this?
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svenc
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« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2012, 4:03:22 PM »

Scampster, I suspect that you're weird and that programs don't have this feature, but now that you suggest it I think I'm going to try it.  Wonderful idea!

Maybe I'll start with randomizing a list of unfinished manuscripts ...

(Thanks everyone for the suggestions so far!)
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marigolds
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« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2012, 7:22:24 PM »

There are a couple of scripts for OmniFocus that do that. (Pop up a random task for you to do.)
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tee_bee
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« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2012, 11:21:42 PM »


So basically right now I keep my list on a Google Spreadsheet and use a randomizer to re-order the list and give me a task to do. It's weird, but it works for me. But it is a bit clunky, so I am constantly on the look out for a Task List manager that provide this random functionality of random assigning me a task from a list I have created.


This is a great idea! It's sort of like an automated job-jar--you know, where you write down things that need to be done, and put them in a big jar, then shake it up and draw out a chore like "mop floors" or "fix leaky faucet"?

I. Love. Toodledo.

That is all.

Me too--and on my PC and Mac desktops, I use a program called Task Unifier that brings it all together in an interface that is somewhat more useful to me than the ToodleDo web app. The new iOS ToodleDo app is fantastic, also.
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scampster
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« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2013, 3:18:10 PM »

There are a couple of scripts for OmniFocus that do that. (Pop up a random task for you to do.)

I will take a look at it!

And I'm glad my weirdness was inspirational for some of the other :-)
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elemental_labrat
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« Reply #12 on: January 01, 2013, 5:03:01 PM »

There are a couple of scripts for OmniFocus that do that. (Pop up a random task for you to do.)

I will take a look at it!

And I'm glad my weirdness was inspirational for some of the other :-)

+1 for Omnifocus. 

You aren't weird.  Within my Omnifocus "contexts" I have designated the amount of brain power / time that will be required to finish a task.  When I am feeling like I have little brain power or time, I can sort the tasks by context and see what needs to be done.  I also have Omnifocus for my phone and its great for capturing tasks/ideas while I am out on the go.  Omnifocus on the two devices are synched (provided I have web access on my phone) and this allows my phone to deliver reminders of due dates. 

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pigou
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« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2013, 4:25:47 PM »

Another vote for Toodledo. I'm a particular fan of the daily to-do list that it emails in the morning (which, surprisingly enough, is available with a free account).
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svenc
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« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2013, 4:19:18 PM »

Thanks for all the replies.  I'm trying toodledo right now ... while it's not the to-do list of my dreams, it's very good, certainly a huge improvement over what I had been doing, and the price was right. :-)
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