Web To-Do With Recurrence Based on Task Completion?
December 5, 2006 8:44 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a web-based to-do-list manager, along the lines of 37Signals' Backpack, that allows its users to have a to-do task recur a certain amount of time after it's been checked off.

I have been using 37Signals' Backpack for my to-do needs, but am finding that it lacks some features I really would like to have available.

In many ways, 37Signals' Backpack's interface is exactly what I like: AJAX and ease of entering tasks (no 200 setup screens for one measly task), the ability to group them together in different lists, etc.

The one feature I'm dying to integrate is a specialized kind of recurring task. I don't see it happening with Backpack any time soon, as I don't see recurring tasks happening on Backpack any time soon.

The recurrance pattern I'm looking for is for a task to reappear a fixed number of days after you check it off. It doesn't recur by a fixed date, but rather, by a set amount of time after you've accomplished it.

With regards to backing up the computer, for example: instead of backing it up every Saturday, it would be that you would be prompted to back it up seven days after you last checked it off.

Yet it needs to be a Web-based service that allows relatively easy addition of tasks, so that entering in a "don't forget to feed the cat" thing doesn't requires five minutes to put into your to-do list.

I'm not averse to paying, as long as we're not talking a prohibitively indecent amount of money. My Backpack account is free, so obviously I'd not like to graduate to a $20/mo. deal. Something like $5/mo. is palatable, $10 less so but possible for an extremely fantastico service. Free is, of course, quite good. :-)

Thoughts or recommendations? Obviously, I know I'm not going to get a perfect match to Backpack, but there are a lot of options out there, and I'm not sure what to check first.

The dancing Santa with the Satanic crazed expression on the Ask MeFi "post a question" page scares me very much.
posted by WCityMike to Technology (12 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Remember the Milk has the ability to 'repeat after' a task is completed.
posted by mister e at 8:49 AM on December 5, 2006

That may be completely what I was looking for. I know I was on RTM before and left it, but I can't recall why, but I think this is probably an extremely strong contender.

If anyone knows of any other services that answer the question, however, I wouldn't mind lots of options. ;-)
posted by WCityMike at 9:10 AM on December 5, 2006

Here are some options (I haven't used all of them):

Rough Underbelly
Task Freak
Task This
posted by mattbucher at 9:26 AM on December 5, 2006

Some of the to-do lists (backpack?) allow you to use emails or text messages to add to-do items. Many calendar programs (google, yahoo, etc) support sending reminders through email or SMS. So, add a repeating event, set the calendar to send an email to your to-do list address, and voila.
posted by chrisamiller at 10:21 AM on December 5, 2006

Mattbucher, quick question: do all of those offer the feature I'm after?
posted by WCityMike at 10:33 AM on December 5, 2006

do all of those offer the feature I'm after?

Short answer: I'm not sure. It's not an integral feature of a to-do list so it's not going to be the #1 selling point on the front page of the site. Like I said, I don't have accounts at all these places. You said you'd like some options!

Have you considered emailing the guys at 37signals and requesting this feature? I think your best bet is to try to make this work in BackPack rather than switch applications, but that's just my two cents.
posted by mattbucher at 10:48 AM on December 5, 2006

Alex King's Tasks can do recurring tasks.
posted by mrbill at 1:13 PM on December 5, 2006

Try Sciral Consistency. Although, what you're looking for, if I understand you correctly, is the ONLY thing that it does, if I understand IT correctly.
posted by claxton6 at 3:12 PM on December 5, 2006

Have you considered emailing the guys at 37signals and requesting this feature?

That's is the funniest thing I've read all day.

That said - this wouldn't be that difficult to work up some sort of backpack-API type thing for. I've been working on a bunch of API-driven things for my Backpack where I append some sort of text 'command' to the end of a list item or reminder (like '4txt' if I want to be paged when something comes near due or 'arc' to save a copy after I check it off). Then the scripts go through my Backpack pages every half hour or so trawling for these commands and executing them. Seems to me one could write a repeating-events driver that took a command like 'again: 4 weeks' and passed the timestring to a parser and did something useful with it.
posted by dmd at 6:15 PM on December 5, 2006

That's is the funniest thing I've read all day.

You are a cynical dude with the wisecracks and everything. I am trying to be helpful and not insult others' ideas.

37signals has implemented user-requested features before. And they request that users email feature requests to support@basecamphq.com
posted by mattbucher at 6:49 PM on December 5, 2006

Well, I just linked to a bunch of basecamp stuff for a backpack question so shoot me now. I suck and I will leave ye nerds alone.
posted by mattbucher at 7:07 PM on December 5, 2006

mattbucher, I think it is posts like this from the 37signallers that informed dmd's "That's is the funniest thing I've read all day" comment.

for what it's worth, it can't hurt to put in a feature request. But I would look for a short- to medium-term replacement tool to meet your needs until/if/when they implement said feature request.

As for a tool for right now, seconding sciral consistency, except that it isn't web-based.
posted by misterbrandt at 12:55 PM on December 6, 2006

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