Long time readers will know that I’m a *big* fan of To Do lists.
Well, Tod recently introduced me to Toodledo, a really cool online To Do list. Apparently it’s linked to the system in the book Getting Things Done, which I haven’t yet read but for which I’m on the wait list at the library to get the e-audiobook version of.
What I really like about this site is that it goes far beyond a simple written to do list, which is really the only other method that I’ve consistently used (I’ve tried keeping tasks on my Palm Pilot and using Outlook Tasks at work (since I’m stuck with Outlook at work), but both those task lists don’t give you enough to make it worth the effort of entering your tasks into their system).
In Toodledo, when you enter your “to do” items, it allows you to include things like:
- due date
- context – where do you need to be to do this task? At the office? At home? On a computer? On the phone? Outside?
- priority level – is this a high priority? a low priority?1
- goal – to what goal does this task relate? (and you can list short-term goals that link to long-term goals, which link to lifelong goals). For example, you might have a short-term task such as “lose 15 lbs” that links to the lifelong goal of “be healthy” or two short-term goals of “put $5000 into my RRSPs this year” and “get a raise at work” which both link to the lifelong goal of “be financial healthy”
- time estimates – how long do you expect this task to take you?
Once you’ve entered in your tasks, you can sort them out in a variety of ways – e.g., when you are sitting at your computer, you can have a list of just things you need to do on the computer. Going out to run errands? Print out a list of all the tasks you have to do “outside.” Only have 30 minutes? Using your time estimates, it can give you a list of things you need to do around the house that add up to 30 minutes. Want to focus on your top priority tasks first thing in the morning, as Eat That Frog suggests? It will give you a list sorted by priority2.
I like the “goal” part because it forces you to think about your tasks when you enter them into your “to do” list. If a task doesn’t fit with one of your goals, do you really need to do it?
It also has a timer that you can use to time how long a task takes (just click it to start the timer and then click again to stop it) – you can use that to compare how long you think a task will take with how long a task will actually take. Being someone who is terrible at estimating tasks, I’m finding this function quite revealing.
The major thing I don’t like about Toodledo? The name “Toodledo.” I feel like a total asshat every time I say it. And everytime I type it I want to spell it “Toodledoo” for some reason.
Oooh, look at this! Someone already took a screenshot and posted it to Flickr with a Creative Commons license! w00t!
For the record, I have no affiliation with this company – I just like the site and thought I’d share. But I do have a shameless bit of self-interest here – if you check it out and like it and you want to sign up, use this link and then I’ll get 3 months of a Pro account for free! Figured it couldn’t hurt to try!
1It even has an option for “negative” priority
2Note that some of these features are only available if you have a pro account, which I don’t yet have (and I can’t remember which features are only in Pro and which I just haven’t tried to do yet). I’ve just been trying it out as the free version for the last few weeks to see if the free version does everything I want, or if I need to upgrade to Pro.
Image credit: Posted by Sonja Pieper on Flickr. She also posted a blog posting on her blog comparing different “to do” lists programs, which I know ‘cuz it’s mentioned on her Flickr photo page. I don’t have time to read it now, but I’m linking it here in case you are interested and so that I can go back and read it later.
Read about the charity that I’m supporting, Options for Sexual Health!