@recenso wrote an excellent piece on simple to-do apps. Todokyo.com helps me stay more productive and the piece below captures the main aspects.
There are three main “features”:
- adding a task;
- completing a task;
- automatically delete all tasks before the next day.
The first two are obvious for any task manager. The last, however, struck me as weird. Chris Kalani, Todokyo’s creator, explains:
It works like you’d expect, with a couple constraints: First, every morning it starts over fresh. Your list from the day before is thrown in the garbage. The idea is to encourage the completion of all tasks each day and prevent the addition of frivolous unobtainable tasks.
A simple, but yet so useful idea. While it’s useless for projects, repetitive or long term task, it’s fantastic for those everyday, smaller tasks. Todokyo won’t help you pay your bills at the right time, neither will it remind to get your umbrella tomorrow. It will, however, keep a nice and clean list of everything you have to do right now. And it does so brilliantly.
Another thing that makes Todokyo special is its lack of reordering or deleting. These features are usually considered a mandatory part of every service with any kind of input - not only to-do apps.
Second, there’s no reordering. I want to try and trust my subconscious; if I add a task before another, then it’s because my mind has determined it’s priority by the order in which it’s remembered.
While this is may not be true for organized projects, repetitive or long-term tasks, it is for normal ones. The thing you first write down is most likely the one you need to get done first. Of course, they will get mixed up sometimes. That’s something you’ll just have to get used to in order to use Todokyo.
The web app is great. It’s light enough that it’ll load in the blink of an eye, and it will remember all your tasks when you return to the site. No login required, no settings. It works perfectly on both the iPad and iPhone.
What appears to be the only, though huge, letdown is the lack of synchronization between several devices. Because even though it’ll remember your state when you return to the site on your Mac, it won’t remember the same ones on the iPad or iPhone. In other words, there’s no way whatsoever to move a task from one device to another.
Although this may limit the ease of use for some, it may also increase it for others. A typical scenario for me is that I’ll often want to keep my writing tasks on my Mac or my iPad, as they’re my main writing devices. If one task is on both those devices, it might lose some actual value. If it’s only on my iPad, I’ll feel obligated to finish task before I leave the iPad on the table. Thus, it makes me more likely to finish the task now.
Freshlist is an iPhone app that acts precisely the same way as Todokyo, except with a better UI and better implementation. It has a neat way to create new tasks, one that slightly reminds me of Notational Velocity. It’s free on the App Store, so go get it right away.
Although I do use these apps for my main tasks, I can’t do that for my future plans. To do that, I’ll simply use the built in Reminders app, which works fairly nice.
The only real need I have for a task app is to be able to check what I need to do. Not organize, spell check or refine the tasks themselves. Doing that takes up time, bu tmost importantly, occupies my mind. My mind should absolutely not be occupied by anything else than the actual task at hand. Hence, my love for these apps. Get them here: