Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Investigating Remember the Milk

I'm not a big fan of constantly changing how I keep track of my to-do list. I definitely prefer to keep track of it in a software application instead of paper.

I'm not tied to the web over a desktop application, however, I do keep different lists of what I'm working on at home and work, that makes the web a more acceptable solution for me anymore.

In the past I have done paper, which I was constantly rewriting. I love the look and feel of it, as well as the constant reminder of what I have to do while rewriting the list, however, with a decent size list rewriting it just took too much time. And I like order to my list enough that I could not just keep the list in a more disorganized state with items crossed off. It always felt too cluttered for me.

I've used Swift-To-Do List Lite. I like the interface, ease of changing views, scheduling items, creating repeat items and checking things off as done. I like that it's free. I don't mind that it's a desktop application, I've even blogged about how I liked using it in the past, and I still have it on my computer. However, I long ago hit the limit of 25 tasks. I like it a lot, but not enough to buy it and go over that 25 item limit. As of right now I still use this as my offline solution to quickly track something that I need to do. If I'm not at an Internet connection but have my computer, I will add it here and transfer it to my online list later.

I've been using Toodledo for about a year. There are a lot of things I like here as well. I like that I can make my list public. There is a great Google Gadget for Toodledo, that allows my home page in the browser to show me my tasks as well as the news. I'll save for later the argument about whether or not that's a good idea. One of my favorite features of Toodledo is that it is printable into a booklet. That allows quite a few tasks to be printed and easily carried in my pocket. There are times that I'm away from a computer but have time to do something that's on the list. When I knew these situations would occur I would print out the list. It is rare that I needed to have my list handy when I away from my computer. I still loved the feature. It also integrates with Google Calendar (of which I am a huge fan) and I can export the data into different formats to use wherever I want. I haven't gone through and used all of the additional integrations that exist, but the list is large and it's a very useful to-do list.

For some reason Toodledo has been getting annoying. I'm not sure why, maybe because I haven't been able to make public the list, or make public just a portion of the list. I want more visibility from what's on my list available to my co-workers, but only my work list, and I want my wife to be able to see my home list. And I have a list of things to learn, that I may want to share with specific friends. I don't want to have to have multiple accounts set up to create a list for each thing and then share them. I want to keep track of them all in one place, but share different lists.

Now I'm investigating Remember the Milk. When I started looking at Toodledo previously I had also looked at Remember the Milk. I still have some of the same complaints. The site looks like it was made for kids; maybe it's just the picture of the cow. I like the tabs on the site. The additional information that can be tied to each task as well as a note for tasks. I like that there are a lot of keyboard shortcuts. I don't like that there was no input feature, so I had to copy and paste my to-do items into here. I don't like that there is no export feature, so I cannot easily take my list and switch to a different system. There are less additional features than Toodledo has, but there does appear to be the ability to share publicly individual lists. I am still investigating and will post more if I find that it does support the features that I'm looking for.


Anonymous said...

I think maybe you haven't fully investigated Toodledo's offerings. They do have a way to share your work folders with your co-workers and your home folders with your wife. They also have public sharing which can share your public folders with the entire world, if you want that sort of things. Its pretty flexible.

Olga said...

Hi, Steven!
Great post, I enjoyed reading it as the personal expierence is always interesting.
If you are still in seek of the ideal to-do solution I can suggest you trying http://task2gather. It is quite new but extremely powerful.
It makes possible to share tasks with different people, it has "export feature" so you can print the data. It already has iPhone client and we are about to release Windows Mobile client.

dannielo said...

If you'd like a tool for managing your time and projects, you can use this application inspired by David Allen's GTD:

You can use it to manage and prioritize your goals, projects and tasks, set next actions and contexts, use checklists, schedules and a calendar.
A mobile version and iCal are available too.