I think I might be done with to-do lists. Or maybe you can help me?
At least, in the traditional sense. They seem more like a list of obligations than a collection of things you get to do (yay). To that end, I'm looking for a few things that may or may not exist in some sort of to-do/agenda/organizational/productivity application or applications.
Some of the things I'm looking for, in no particular order:
+ The ability to loosely schedule items (fuzzy scheduling?). "This needs to be done in the next few weeks" or even "long term/short term/immediate." Open-ended, too, which brings me to my next point...
+ What I call "chore hat/jar" functionality. These are some things you should probably do or even want to do, and when you have some downtime, you can pick one and just get it done. For some reason, this works better for my brain, because it's like, oh hey, here's this one thing I can do as a favor to future-me, rather than OH GOD LOOK AT THIS LONG LIST OF CHORES. One thing at a time, little steps, right?
+ Satisfaction. I have Astrid on my Android phone. And she(?) always gives such nice encouraging messages when I do something. I'm also into the idea of a "done" list, and occasionally make them
to keep alongside my paper to-do lists. I am terrible
at keeping track of my accomplishments; I'm always looking at the size of the "IN" pile. Again, I know I'm not alone in this.
+ Flexibility. Oh man do I have trouble rearranging/reorganizing/reprioritizing stuff once it's written down. Even digitally. Some kind of drag and drop functionality, or, even better, non-linear (task cloud?) organization.
+ Sub-tasks and dependencies. The former is more important than the latter. I mean, ideally, in a miracle world, the software would draw a chart for me: "A needs to be done before C, A and C need to be done before E, and E needs to be done by $date." What else is AskMe for if not asking for the moon and as many of the stars as you can hold before the whole mess passes its Schwarzschild radius?
I've used google/gmail tasks, outlook, Astrid, plain old .txt
, and emacs org-mode. Of those, I think I actually liked org-mode the best, but oh man is that a time sink. I'm getting better at allowing myself time when I'm not "actually doing stuff" and am instead "planning (how/when/etc) to do stuff," but I don't want to spend too
much time (if I can help it).
I'm not a great programmer (or even a good one?), but I'd be comfortable adding on to an existing program/using an API if necessary. As I'm learning to code, I'm also entertaining the idea of just building one myself if no such tool (or collection of tools) exists. That's not something I'd mind spending my time on, especially as it would be so much less
time-intensive once it was done