In which I rattle about web based to-do lists …

August 13, 2009

I’ve been trying to get myself a single web-based data collection and to-do system for a long time, but I just can’t quite seem to achieve nirvana.  I’m always tinkering.  While a notebook or piece of paper works wonders for lists, I still like a web-based system for both data collection and to-do lists.

Evernote comes closest by far, and I use it extensively.  Data collection itself  is easy with a copy and paste of snippets, images, PDFs, documents, and entire web pages, and all of it synchronizing over all your systems.  But since I switch between Windows and OS X the features of the Evernote desktop client  don’t quite align themselves the same for each OS,  especially in certain formatting such as clickable links, checklists and to-do lists.

I started out with Zoho Planner years ago, but Zoho never got around to updating their checklist application as well as they’ve done Zoho Writer or Notebook (which, by the way, is a pretty darned cool application you might want to check out).  I spent a very long time with  Backpack, which worked well, but I was sorely disappointed in the long-awaited Backpack  calendar integration.  And by then, the next group of sparky apps had caught my eye.

Todoist was and is a very nice, minimalist list system.  Unfortunately it seems as if the developer has put it on the back burner.  And though I tried to like Remember the Milk, because of all the Lifehacker recommendations, various oohs and ahhs from users, and widgets for iGoogle and such, I just don’t understand the RTM kool-aid.  I find the system hard to navigate and annoying to manipulate.

At the higher end,  I’ve used Vitalist and Toodledo at different times and at length,  paying for the premium versions.  I left and came back to Toodledo a couple of times,  but in the end both seemed kind of clunky and lacked certain features other web apps had, and I found a new toy.

My favorite so far though has been the free Checklist, which I would recommend to anyone wanting to just collect plain old items on lists.  It’s kind of like Todoist, with the ability for multiple lists, and simple, clean white pages, and it’s a heck of a lot easier to navigate.  For someone who is always copying links for later investigation, I especially like that a simple copy/paste will insert clickable links into a lists.

For the last few days though, I’ve been messing with the improved Vitalist again.  It’s very much a Getting Things Done system, and looks to have gained some sleekness  with the latest upgrade.  I like being able to see the long lists and contexts without having to scroll the page down as I do with Checklist, too.  Unfortunately, it’s still missing the much-favored ability to paste clickable links into lists, and instead you have to open a task, copy the link, and paste it into your browser.  Pain in the ass.  And  they’ve trimmed the free package features down, though as I’ve said I’ve paid for the premium in the past.

Right now Vitalist is the new distraction, and it and Checklist are fighting it out, each with their own strengths.  I suspect I’ll be running both for a while, one for quickie to do and links, the other for more in-depth projects with steps, and then tire of having two lists.

I’ll wait to see which one wins, if either does.   There’s always a shiny new toy around the corner.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: