Edit(2/5/08): Check out my latest post on using a notecard for the day along with Todoist!
So I renogiated my commitment to this thereaputic blog and called it quits after a short while to get other things done. This happend around April, but then you'll notice I posted once more in May to write a quick review of Dan Kennedy's No B.S. Time Management because I liked it. Once more, but this time after a many month break, I'm posting in order to review Todoist, the online GTD app. I wanted to be able to add my two cents in the off chance that someone was searching for reviews of Todoist or online GTD apps and searched far enough to actually find this.
I've been using Todoist for a few weeks now, maybe a month -- time flies when you're having fun you know. Before that I used Gmail to manage my next action lists and before that, Outlook. I switched from Outlook to Gmail because I loved Gmail and wanted to switch to that for email completely and didn't want Outlook running just for lists. In Gmail I used labels for context and project lists and emailed myself to put items into that list. I thought it was super wonderful since I could label one email with multiple contexts and projects. That worked fine for a while, but visually and operationally it wasn't as clean as I wanted. Visually, when I clicked on a label and saw all the emails (items/actions) in it, it wasn't clear what was done, what was next, and what could wait even though I tried with the read/unread and starred/unstarred options:
You can create hierarchies or subprojects faster than you can blink. Simply typing Ctrl+left arrow lets you indent a certain item over one tab so you can have one subproject name and a whole bunch of little actions associated with it that are tabbed over. This works for your list of items and for your list of projects as you notice in my screenshot above. Extremely handy little feature.
Typing an asterisk at the start of any line makes that line not have a checkbox, it's simply a little line of text. This is perfect for jotting down little notes, adding urls, etc. to a task or at the top for that project.
I'll be honest, contexts are not that important to me. Being a grad student, I find that most of next actions belong to a small group of contexts, and those contexts are often physically close to each other and accessible every day. Projects, on the other hand are vital since I'm always balancing a lot and on a given day have to make significant progress on any given project due to outside pressures (my advisor). In that regard, "cranking" through a given context list and getting something done in that context for a variety of projects is not a luxury I have. But, if I want to, I can in Todoist. Contexts are created as little unobtrusive but functional Gmail-style labels. And the best part is, when I'm creating an item, I don't have to take some elaborate number of steps to create the contexts either, I just append my item text with @home. That's it, the @ sign in the text creates contexts. Beautiful. If I do feel like seeing all of my @computer contexts, for example, at one time, I just type in @computer in the search box and there they are.
There is a great firefox plugin that, once installed, puts a little "Add to Todoist" link at the bottom of every Gmail conversation, which makes turning mail into action items a one click endeavor.
As with basically all online GTD apps, there is a premium subscription ($3/month) that you can purchase and it comes with perks like reminders, sms reminders, etc. I haven't found it necessary so I haven't bothered. Putting a date on a task and having it show up on that date as all the tickling I need since I use Todoist every day.
I wish they had more keyboard shortcuts. Some things still require mousing and that seems unnecessary. Also, I wish the search bar let you search for terms, not just by date. I suppose I don't really need this since I don't have a million next actions, but sometimes it could be useful. I wish editing a project were bit easier. Why can't I double click and edit.
Overall Todoist is a very solid, highly recommended, online GTD app.