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Best Online To-Do Lists (slate.com)
40 points by edw519 on July 2, 2009 | hide | past | web | favorite | 28 comments

My favorite online todo list is Now Do This. Simple and brilliant.



Love it. The only thing I wish is that completed tasks would be shown somewhere in strike-through. Half the fun of using a to-do list is basking in the feeling of accomplishment when tasks are complete.

Not only is seeing your completed tasks fun, it's a psychological motivator to keep checking things off. I'd consider it a crucial feature of any task list!

I loved it too when I first used it and then decided to add a couple of my own features. The result:


how do you keep it synced with yourself wherever you're currently working from? Does cookie associated with each visitor have a unique id or something? Or is it a joke?

This is more of a subjective 'this is what works for me' review than an objective analysis of the various offerings. Not that worthwhile in my opinion. Try them each and see what works best for you - this article isn't going to help you much.

Yeah, I stopped reading when I realized that his Minimalism criteria (nothing he didn't want) was so completely confounded by his Completeness criteria (everything he did want). Although it was nice to see a list of web based task managers all in one place.

Actually, I far prefer 'this works for me' over 'I've visited their websites and compiled these facts'.

(Remember the Milk works for me, primarily because of its Gmail gadget.)

I have no idea what an objective analysis of todo lists would look like. A simple list of features? That wouldn't be very useful.

I would think it would be a feature matrix - you know features down the left column and the different apps across the top. It would be really useful to have a review of each app that explains how they might improve a particular feature, or how it is lack support for a feature in the list but how you can do it another way or something.

This leads to product design where the goal is to have as many features as possible and not give a shit about user experience. It's not objective because you've subjectively assumed that feature count is the most important factor.

I have tried different approaches over the years. The best seems to be to have a todo.txt file and use my favorite text editor. It is very flexible, I indent to show subtasks, I can make notes anywhere. Use - as a bullet for uncompleted tasks and + for completed tasks.

If you are using emacs, give org-mode a try. I also keep this todo lists in git repo to sync among various machines that I work with.

I use org-mode and symlink ~/org/ to my dropbox folder. I love this setup, though I really wish Dropbox had an iPhone app and a public API. Both have been promised for quite some time.

I've written a web-thingy for this. I enter a bunch of tasks in the text area and then I can either continue editing them from text field or use GUI. Bonus: it understands (with some restrictions) natural language ("due two days from now", "project blablabla.blehblehbleh", "high priority"), unlimited nested projects and is available from anywhere :)

I have tried RTM on and off, but I usually end up back at this method as well (though I use x for completed tasks). Add sync with something like Windows Live Sync, SugarSync or Dropbox and it's portable enough, too.

I built my own: http://www.reallygoodtodolist.com

It's based around how I use a todo list: I have categories for work, home, projects etc. and I add the tasks to each. I use 'Summary as Prose' as a starting point for my journal. The sign-up is low friction - a random key is generated that you can use to log in from anywhere. Features aren't brilliant but it does what I need.

I use Remember the Milk, and over the last 10 months it has become ingrained into my workflow. I actually cite RTM's $25 a year freemium model as a good example of a startup not using ads to fund themselves. I gladly pay $25 a year for it because it helps me organize so well.

Slate put it in 2nd because they didn't seem to need all the features. For me the iPhone interface is all I need to pick it as #1.

I circumvent that $25 by using Twitter and Google Calendar on iPhone to remember RTM (95% of my interfacing with RTM is via Gmail).

I want Sandy back. :)

No really, anything like it out there, or will I have to make my own?

I've had this idea for a while for an app called ghostbin. It basically a note-taking (or todo) webapp that you didn't have to log in to—the blurb I wrote to remember it was,

'[username].ghostbin.com has a single input box with a submit button. at any time any user can enter a note which will be submitted to that account.

if they want to review or edit their notes, they can enter a password and see the admin page. notes can be viewed, maybe blog style'.

The idea was that when you're on the go, or you simply don't already have a cookie in your browser, you can dump some notes from a meeting, or something to followup later, just by going to an easily memorable URL, and then deal with actually managing the things later on, when you've got the time.

I have no idea how I'd build the thing, though.

If you can skip the idea of using a subdomain for each user(They don't work with wildcard subdmains yet.), you can check AppEngine. You can get something working in a matter of hours, you you have any experience with programming.

I've plugged this here before: I am a big fan of Tracks (http://getontracks.org/). I think I fall much more on the featureful side of the spectrum than people who like the text file approach or something spartan like Gmail tasks.

I'll have to check out Todoist - it sounds like they offer nice grouping features, which is something the vast majority of apps are badly lacking.

i actually like taskpaper (it's a mac app, but they recently introduced a online service as well).

the nice thing about it is that it understands what you type and displays it nicely formatted.

Taskpaper is created by: http://www.hogbaysoftware.com/products/taskpaper


It's simple yet still aesthetically pleasing.

UnToDos.com I get along with it better I believe because of the looser, and simpler categorization of ->Do right now, ->Sometime soon and ->Whenever. And to a lesser extent the fun!/no-fun flagging of activities.

Lifetick.com has been an interesting trial too, I didn't see that one.

uh, time for shameless plugging again

http://www.qwikitodo.com - no sign up, collaborative, wiki-ish editing, past revisions

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