Thoughts on To-do Apps

One particular genre of apps that been bothering me is the huge release of to-do apps for either Mac or iOS. First, let’s define the basic concept of to-do apps. A full fledged to-do apps should have these features.

  • You add tasks
  • You complete tasks
  • You archive/delete tasks

No matter how many features you add to your to-do list apps, these are the core elements for to-do apps. So, why do they even bother to release to-do apps one after another?

Market and Illusion

This is why developers will spend their time writing an apps. There is market where people buy. There are always people who focus more on apps rather than getting things done. We’re all same, when there is new apps, we want to try it. Purchasing productivity apps like to-do apps can create an illusion of how productive we are for several days. Worst: you create list and never complete it.

Getting Things Done

Things get solved when we focus on solution. You don’t need to-do apps to get things done. Get things done by getting them done (better if you get them done earlier). I’m not saying that to-do apps are useless in helping you getting things done, but I have my own tiny apps.

The Power of .txt

My most favorite tool is when it can deal the file one by one in .txt types. Every system support this format. Taking it to the oldest computer machine still let you view and edit it.

I use Notational Velocity (syncing via SimpleNote) and create a file with name “Todo” to add tasks. You can also use TextEdit to create a text file and name it “Todo” (or anything you like – be creative). When I have tasks to get done, I fill it by firing up the apps.

I usually break down the goal into small task. For example:

(-) Mastering Cooking Pancake Lvl 1
    (-) Searching for Tutorial
    (-) Getting Ingredients
    (-) Cook

Set a deadline if the tasks need to be organized to fit your schedule. Long term goal requires more steps to complete, but you can make it fun by implementing game system into it. Be creative with the words you choose because your motivation to complete a goal depends on it.