Toodledo!

I should stop promising what will come next in this sequence of posts! Yes, the plan was to blog about Evernote next, but then Toodledo came along!  I discovered this wonderful task-organizing app because of the great discussion on this series so far, so if you are not following comments as well as posts, and this series interests you, go back and check out the comments!  The questions about a to-do list app that is not exclusively for the Mac (which is the case with Omnifocus) led me to discover Toodledo!  It took me less than 30 minutes to decide to switch over – not something that happens often when I think I have the perfect app for the job!  Here are the reasons I switched:

  • It took me about 5 minutes of experimenting, but I was able to import all of my Omnifocus data into Toodledo.  The “Support” forum gave me the clues I needed, and once I figured out the tweaks, everything was transferred within nano-seconds! I am going to gradually re-structure a bit how what I designated as projects in Omnifocus are organized in Toodledo – here they can be set up  either as tasks and sub-tasks,  or folders – a semantic difference between the apps that can throw you for a loop. One feature that did not come through from Omnifocus is the “repeats” on tasks, so I am setting repeats on tasks as they show up, which is not a huge burden!  But this illustrates what kinds of things to look for when you switch from one app to another, in any case.
  • Toodledo is a web-based program, which to me is now the ideal, as opposed to having to download and constantly update “legacy” software on my computer.  This is one reason I also switched from Endnote to Paperpile for reference management (thanks Leslie!). And as a web-based program, it functions equally well on a PC or a Mac, and they have mobile apps for both kinds of mobile devices.  On your computer you go directly to the toodledo.com site using your browser, log in, and all your stuff is right there.
  • Toodledo does everything Omnifocus does – and more.  I still do not use a number of the features, such as the “contexts” feature, but there are a couple of new features in Toodledo that I am drawn to .. one being the “hotlist” that shows not only tasks that are due today, but also tasks that are on the horizon that I have marked as a high priority.
  • The apps for mobile devices work great!  I do miss the very aesthetically pleasing “look and feel” of the Omnifocus apps, but Toodledo is clean, intuitive, and very powerful on any device.  Working on the computer you do have to be connected to the internet, but my iPhone app works just fine on airplane mode (meaning it is not connected to the Internet) and then everything syncs once the phone is back online. And in fact my phone is my go-to device for managing my tasks!

So not only do I recommend it, I am now a total fan for myself!  Yes, I can be a bit fickle when it comes to finding a better mouse trap!!

Toodledo 600

 

About peggychinn

feminist, nurse activist, writer, editor of ANS Advances in Nursing Science, quilter, grandmother nurturing the future of the amazing children in my life.
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5 Responses to Toodledo!

  1. Leslie says:

    I went ahead and paid for a year subscription to Toodledo and I am trying to be disciplined and use it! One thing I like is that it has a lot of features that can be customized to fit my workflow and also the way I like things to look. The problem for me (always) is that I spend a lot of time creating all my lists of tasks, putting on due dates and statuses and so on–then I go off and spend time doing things that are not on the list!! For example, commenting on this blog post is something that has been on my mind for 2 weeks, but it never made it onto Toodledo! “Answering email” is also not a task I put on the list, but I spend a good chunk of every day doing exactly that. So it can feel frustrating that the list doesn’t get shorter but I am busier than ever. LOL.

    I am not crazy about the iPad app, which is essentially the iPhone app–it doesn’t even fill the whole screen. And I can’t figure out how to make it not show tasks that have been completed!!

    • peggychinn says:

      Yes! Responding to email is not on my to-do list either, but always takes up a huge chunk of time! But, in the process, sometimes I actually also accomplish something on the to-do list! When the list gets longer and longer and less maneageable, at least this is a prompt to re-assess my priorities!!

  2. I have followed this theme with great interest. I always like finding out how people deal with the complexities of modern life. I am definitely not a planner. I have always been the person who gets by with occasional periods of brilliance, surrounded by long periods of hibernation. Certainly appropriate behavior for an ursine.

    But, that doesn’t mean that I don’t have some thoughts on time management, getting things done, planning, project management, note taking, outlining…

    But I do have one requirement that is dramatically different from what I have seen so far on this thread. Being a geeky sort of bear, and a big fan of open source software, my candidate for getting things done has to be free, as in money, and open source as in I can actually look at the program’s source code if I want to. So my candidate for getting organized, is the GNU Emacs (http://www.gnu.org/software/emacs/index.html) editor. Now yes, at first glance an “editor” might not seem like much of a candidate compared to the sophisticated software being discussed. But that could be a mistake.

    Emacs was co-written by Richard Stallman, one of the titans of open source, free software. GNU Emacs is way more than an editor. and it can be modified in thousands of ways. Stallman also wrote the GNU Compiler Collection without which, most of our open source software would not exist, nor would a lot of proprietary software. Now I liked GNU Emacs because you could have many different files open, long before PCs allowed such efficiencies. When using GNU Emacs you can also open a command line window as well, which is important because sometimes we don’t have access to the command window in Windows and other versions of operating systems.

    So when I get into my programming persona and want to develop something in Fortran, or I am writing a mathematics intense paper in TeX/LaTeX (http://www.tug.org/https://www.latex-project.org/), I have a window open with the Fortran program, and/or TeX/LaTeX source file(s), other windows contain the batch files for compiling the programs, or the TeX/LaTeX sources, and then I run the batch file in the command window. That alone saved a lot of time moving from place to place before the development of some of the more modern programming environments. In this sense, GNU Emacs was an integrated development environment (IDE) long before someone coined that term.

    But let me deal with another aspect of my choice. Accountants and programmers deal with massive amounts of “things” and information, but programmers, IMHO, and certainly Stallman, deal with a lot more complexity, and are far more creative than most of us. Stallman in particular, has written and maintained millions of lines of software code in many different languages, and at varying stages of development. He also had to deal with all the usual stuff any of us do: Attend meetings, Manage projects, Write reports, Keep track of accomplishments, Keep home and office organized, Email friends, family and colleagues, Remember birthdays, Take notes, Make To Do lists and keep track of multiple projects and their status and due dates. So my thinking is that if you want to find a way to organize yourself, look to how someone with real complexity did it.

    Stallman did all of this in GNU Emacs which is very cool because if he could do all that, maybe we, who have somewhat less on our plates, could follow in his footsteps. It is after all, one thing to be organized and hire some programmers to develop software that mirrors the way you have organized yourself without software. But it is entirely different from being the self-organizing person who then writes the software needed to manage the ever growing complexity of your life.

    Now here is the really great thing, you can have GNU Emacs for free. No charge whatsoever, though donations to the free software foundation (http://www.fsf.org/ and another of Stallman’s contributions) are always welcome.

    As you, and others note in this thread, it is good to have software that runs on different computers and operating systems. GNU Emacs runs on MacOS (http://emacsformacosx.com/) and Windows (http://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/emacs/windows/) and comes pre-installed on virtually all Linux distributions and most versions of UNIX-like operating systems. It also works on Apple and Android phones and tablets. I first started using GNU Emacs in the late 1980s, early 1990s, when I worked in the Biostatistics department at Fox Chase Cancer Center. We used GNU Emacs to write computer code, reports, email, telnet and ftp to computers all over the world but we were novices. There was so much more we could have done with it.

    In particular, there is a specific GNU Emacs “environment” called org (http://orgmode.org/), that is the place for doing all the things that all of us have to do, the things we might do using day planners, contact management software, To Do lists, project management., note taking, and outlining… This too, is totally free and it runs anywhere you can run GNU Emacs. There is a manual for org, http://orgmode.org/org.pdf, but I assure you, you don’t want to tackle that. It is definitely for geeks only.

    But there are also tutorials and user guides that are easier to digest, such as: http://orgmode.org/orgguide.pdf, or even better, http://www.linuxjournal.com/article/9116. As well, there are excellent guides for mere mortals, and bears, for using GNU Emacs org for Getting Things Done fans http://members.optusnet.com.au/~charles57/GTD/orgmode.html and a more recent guide for Getting Things Done fans at http://members.optusnet.com.au/~charles57/GTD/orgmode.html. If that isn’t enough, there are dozens of other, freely available, guides scattered around the internet as well.

    So now, for the super thrifty, there is some incentive to consider GNU Emacs and org. But it gets better. Of key importance is that all the files you need, which can be just one, huge file containing everything in your universe, or many smaller, and more narrowly focused files, are simple text files. You can edit them in any editor at all, though you won’t have the advantages of multiple ways of viewing your activities in any other text editor but GNU Emacs. This means you don’t have to worry about losing your precious data because a new version of GNU Emacs comes out, or someone makes an improvement in org, or you want to use it on a different computer, or operating system, or on your iPhone or Android tablet. You can also copy text to and from your master organizing file(s), to and from email, other editors and word processing programs or Powerpoint, basically anywhere at all.

    So, for those who want to get better organized, like their software free and open source, and not subject to renewal fees, or crippling version changes, there is a great deal of hope. Download the version you need, give it a run, and see if you like it.

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