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Toodledo beats Doit.im for now

I’ve been using Toodledo for years now as my task management app.  Recently, I had a “crisis of faith” that made me go rooting around inside a number of other task management apps ranging from Any.Do to IQTELL.  I ended up trying to us Doit.im for a while, but I just couldn’t find a way to make it work for me.

Here’s the short version of the apps I investigated, in no particular order, and why they were ultimately discarded.  I mean no disrespect to any of these apps by the brevity of my remarks; I just don’t want this post to become a tome.

Any.Do: Too simple; no start dates.
FacileThings: Only for people who are really into GTD (which isn’t me).
NirvanaHQ: I’m worried by lack of support and development.
TaskClone: One way sync only from Evernote to other services.
GetItDone: No start dates.
SmartTM: Couldn’t get it to work; no response to my queries to the support team.
Pocket Informant: No web/OSX version.
IQTELL: Too complicated; user interaction model too different from what I’m used to.
ZenDone: Weak mobile support; having an identity crisis.
ToDo7: Insufficient integration with email/calendar/evernote; stale Android app.
Doit.im: Too GTDy for me; no hotlist; weak Evernote integration; lacking sort by modification date; confusing organization of tasks; rendering of recurring tasks is highly unintuitive.

The reason there’s more issues listed for Doit.im is just because I spent a lot more time studying it since it seemed to be the pick of the litter for me.

At the same time, though, I also made some discoveries about Toodledo that I’d not realized before. In particular:

A pretty good bookmarklet.  While some people eschew bookmarklets, I don’t mind them - if they work properly.  And Toodledo’s certainly appears to work well.  It’s most useful for creating a task from Gmail.  Clicking on the bookmarklet will render a pulldown with a blank task, except that a link to the particular email message being displayed will be pre-loaded in the Notes field of the task.  That was I can create a task and then archive to Gmail message to get it out of my Inbox.

I can also use the bookmarklet to connect a Toodledo task to an Evernote, assuming I’m using the browser version of Evernote.  I prefer the standalone desktop version of Evernote, but I can still copy & paste an Evernote link into the Notes field of a Toodledo task and have it open that note from within Toodledo.  (Actually, to do this well, you need to copy a “Classic Note Link,” but that’s not a big deal for me.)

Since I only use Toodledo for active tasks (everything else is in Evernote), I also discovered that I really didn’t need that much organization in Toodledo.  In Evernote, I have all kinds of tags to capture contexts, projects, subjects, people, states, etc. Most of that is unnecessary given how I use Toodledo.  Now, I only use contexts in Toodledo; for me it’s the perfect trade-off between organizational overhead, and easy of use.  But let me stress, this works just because I have so much stuff in Evernote.

The last, and least important, thing that irked me about Toodledo was it’s look and feel, which is… kind of clumsy.  I discovered a Chrome plugin called Stylish that lets me rework the CSS for a site, which has let me clean up the UI’s appearance and give it a cleaner, easier to read look - for me at least.  (So, if you go down this road, you'll need to know CSS.)

It was a month in hell, quite frankly, studying all those alternatives.  And the irony of ending up sticking with Toodledo is not lost on me.  But there you have it.  There are lots of apps that seem poised to overtake Toodledo, but none of them have managed it yet, so I’m sticking with what works best for me.

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