with apologies to Mr. Sendak

The weeks Lin wore her librarian suit/and made mischief of one kind/and another/the system called it “Web 2.0” and Lin said, “I’ll text you up!” so she was sent to bed without texting anything.

Okay, enough of that, or it’ll tip over from stupidity right into sacrilege.

Since my desk and work area is composed of various stratification of materials, I was very curious about the various To-Do lists: WorkHack, Tadalist, Todoist.

Workhack is very WYSWYG, which made it easy to get going.  It is very, very simple,  and once I found you could visualize by size, the huge font point and glaring colors were manageable.  My design-oriented DH would absolutely hate it.  Bad points:  1)you can’t edit the tasks once you type them in, and you can’t make sub-categories (i.e, ‘Lamorinda Reads’, and all the stuff you need to do under that.) 2) WorkHack is meant to be bookmarked, so most useful if you use one computer.  The other two are accounts, so can be logged in from anywhere (or put on your deli* account if you’re one of those)

Tadalist definitely had the worst homepage.  It was very cluttered, and the you could not see any sample pages, and why would I going to join if I couldn’t see what the pages were like? (Aside:  This reminds me of Blockbusters horrible webpage.  They won’t tell you about their rental plans until you give them your personal info) There are supposed to be links to actual Tadalist pages, but they were either dead accounts or had gone private.  And then there are no instructions.  At all.  A mostly white screen pops up with  ‘My Lists’. What the @#$% ?  After my third try, when my blood pressure went down, I finally saw the little FAQ on the side.  Tadalist (which is quite a horrid name:  ‘Ta-dah a list’? ) and the next one, Todoist, operate on the principle that you have projects, and each project has sets of tasks to be completed. As opposed to WorkHack,  which just has you make a list, hierarchy be damned.  Once I figured out about projects, I was able to merrily create.  You can even RSS your list (to yourself, I guess) if you happen to be one of those.  Bad points:  1)  You can’t sort anything by date or urgency; 2) you can’t show your tasks on the main list page, only when you go into each individual list.  Tadalist does this intentionally, keeping things simple [somewhat]; 3) Tadalist upsells their other programs.  Pretty low-key, but irritating nonetheless.

Todoist.  OMG.  Obviously designed by geeks or engineers.  There are so many add-on-doohickey-web-thingys that it took me a while to figure out how to start a list.  The homepage boasts that it is simple and intuitive, but it is neither.  However, unlike Tada, there is a LOT of help info on Todoist, in the form of screencasts, which show you how things work.  The screencasts are a bit tedious (the creator/narrator could have used a tighter script), and obviously you can’t use it for a quick referral, but essential for figuring out this thing.

Todoist (another odd name) has a learning curve like Lombard street.  You can do a LOT in Todoist.  You can make hierarchies, date them, color-code them, make sub headings.  Bad points:  you have to figure out how to do these wonderful things. That takes time.  Lots of time.  Hope none of your projects are too pressing, or your deadlines will be shot to hell while you try to create your projects lists.  Todo* reminds me of Doug Adams wonderful Last Chance to See.  While observing an obsessive bird, Adams thinks of how he will happily spend the day creating a program that will pop-up a window on a certain part of text.  The creator of Todo* reminds of Adams.

In conclusion, I haven’t quite figured out which of the three works best for me.  They do all have their good points and bad points.  I like the ease and color coding of WorkHack, and the hierarchy of Tada*.  If I get the time to sit down and figure out Todo*, I can see that being very useful.  At present, I will continue to scribble in my calendar, and tape little notes to my monitor and above my desk.

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