I don’t know if you have noticed. There is a war going on online right now. No, it’s not hackers or viruses attacking you (though, if they are, you’ve got serious trouble, my friend!). No, the war is for the control of your to-do lists. That’s right, your to-do list! I know that it’s probably not the most interesting thing to try and dominate the market on but a number of websites have been popping up over the last year or so fighting to be your one stop shop for managing and reminding you of all the things you need to do but are too busy adding to your to-do list to actually get done. If you are anything like me, you have gone out searching for a to-do list manager and have tried out a number of them hoping to find just the right one but have discovered most of the managers have been packed with more features or complexity than you can deal with.
Here are six to-do list managers that will help you keep track of your to-do lists while being simple enough to actually use:
A relative newcomer to the arena of to-do list managers, Task.fm uses semantic and natural language input to simplify the creation of reminders. You add your important events, or tasks, or anything you need to be reminded of, via email, Twitter, voice or the task.fm interface itself. If you want to be reminded later of a task but you want to add it to your reminders before you forget, you can simply set how long before the event you want to be reminded, and the app reminds you will via a text message, a Twitter direct message, or even an automated phone call. It also has the ability remind groups of people about various tasks. Your tasks can be tagged and searched. One of the nice features is that you can use natural language input so you don’t have to enter dates and times manually. The only downside at this point is the lack of a iphone app but it is still a nice app with a simple design that is easy to use. There are limits for what you can do with the app using the free account (limits on phone calls and text messages) but the pro version is fairly inexpensive for what you get at 3.99 a month.
From the creators over at 37signals, Ta-da Lists cites itself as the “web’s easiest to-do list tool.” That is for you to decide, of course. However, 37signals has a great track record of creating productivity apps that are easy to use and very functional. Signing up is easy with the result being your own personal to-do site. Whenever you want to see your list, simply type the address with your username as the first part (username.tadalist.com). The site itself is spare with not many things happening to divert you. You simply get a easy to read list of your items grouped by title. You can then set up an rss feed of your list or send yourself a copy of the list by email. One of the nice features is that you can share your lists with families and friends. You can choose whether you want to let them edit the list or simply allow them to view without making changes. Best of all, it’s free!
Probably one of the more talked about and popular apps available on both the web and as an iphone app, Remember The Milk allows you to easily set up reminders for any time, integrate your reminders to use with a number of different tools including email, instant messenger, twitter and others and use tags to follow your tasks. One neat feature is that you can connect your tasks and reminders to maps displaying the locations for tasks. As with other to-do managers, you can share your tasks and reminders with others and use a number of keyboard shortcuts to quickly get your reminders down. As this manager has been around for awhile, it is one of the bigger names out there with a huge number of features. So why is this in a list of simple to-do lists. Well, though it has so many features, the site itself is designed to be minimal on the fussy site and clean so that you are not overwhelmed with all the things you can do with. RTM has also released the API so developers can integrate it into over web apps, giving it a lot more power for a simple to-do list manager.
TeuxDeux has become one of my favorite tools since it opened. If you want a simple, no-fuss to-do list without worrying about email integration and the such, this to-do list manager is for you. What if lacks in features, it makes up for in a sleek, beautiful minimalist design. Simply type your to-do’s in the box, drag tasks around from day to day and put future goals in the “Someday” area to be done at a later date. There are future plans for more features, with an iphone app and pro accounts on the way. However, the authors state that thei goal is to keep a more minimalist touch to the site. At this point features include week overview, the ability to check off done tasks, edit or delete tasks, and move tasks.
Along the same lines as TeuxDeux, Tasck eschews the overburdened, feature heavy web apps and goes for a more simple aesthetic. Touting itself as the “easiest online to do list ever”, you simply hover your mouse over the + sign to enter your tasks. If you wish to save your tasks, the sign-up is a short and simple process and they promise not to spam you or sell your e-mail. To prioritize your items, you only have to capitalize them. For a minute, I couldn’t figure why my tasks were getting mixed in with their welcome text until I figured out that I had to hover over each line to delete them. You can also do that to check each task off as being completed.
Leaning to the far edge (and falling over) of minimalist to-do list managers, this site simply gives you a white space to put your tasks. Nothing more. Add in your tasks and click the done button when you have finished them. If you need to focus on one task at a time, this is the place for you. One task is displayed until you complete it, at which point the next task pops up.
Whichever to-do list manager you use will be a matter of which one fits right for you. Some like more ways to handle their tasks, while others simply need a place to place their to-do lists they can get to from anywhere. Anyway of these to-do lists will do that for you. Let us know what you like using to handle your to-do lists!
Don’t like on-line to-do lists? Here is a pocket to-do list manager you can print out and take with. It has a handy place to put notes and has a calendar to check up on what day that appointment is actually on. Check it out at http://pocketmod.com/