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Chrome: Astid is your favourite to-do list manager, and now it integrates with your favourite email service. The Astrid Chrome extension now brings your to-dos into Gmail, and makes it simple to add any email as a to-do item on your list, or just manage your to-dos without ever leaving Gmail’s interface.
Chandler, an open-source, cross-platform scheduling app, was conceived back in 2002 as a potential Outlook-killer—a free organiser that would process all your email, calendar appointments and tasks into one smooth workflow, no matter what format or system they were on. Over its long and storied development, intriguingly chronicled in the book Dreaming in Code, Chandler morphed into a meekly-dubbed “Note-to-Self Organiser.” There’s a lot of neat ideas in Chandler, implemented in rough ways, and if you’re a serious to-do hound, it just might find a place somewhere in your work flow. To find out, let’s check out some screenshots of this long-awaited Personal Information Manager.
Productivity blogger Merlin Mann says he wasn’t nearly as ruffled by yesterday’s Gmail outage as many folks were because he organizes his tasks using GTD-style contexts. Any given project he is working on has next actions in a multitude of contexts, like “@phonecalls,” “@web,” and “@email.” Mann writes: So if you forgot your phone, skip “@calls,” and move to anything else. Boss out to lunch? Skip “@Boss,” and move to anything else. Internet went down? Skip @web, and move to anything else. Gmail is down? Yes! You’ve already guessed it! Skip “@email” and move to anything else. Anything else. Anything. Else.
With tasks put in the right contexts (instead of piled up in your email inbox), you won’t be left flailing helplessly if utility workers accidentally sever your broadband link. Gmail Outage or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love GTD Contexts [43Folders]
If all the methodology of the best GTD applications loses you in the productivity shuffle, there’s nothing like a classic, simple to-do list to keep you on track. You’ve never had more options—both simple and robust—for managing your to-do list as you do today. Today we’ve rounded up our readers’ five most popular to-do list managers. Photo by elusive.
Webapp NowDoThis displays the most important item on your to-do list in a clean and simple interface. Hit the “done” button and NowDoThis shows you the next most important item. To get started, enter your to-do list into NowDoThis’ simple text area in order of importance, as shown. Save your list and NowDoThis (otherwise known as “the boss”) will spit out the most important directive. Press the “done” button and NowDoThis displays the next one. When your list is complete and the boss has nothing to yell back at you, you can feel like you’ve accomplished something. NowDoThis is extremely simple, especially for those 3-4 most important tasks of the day; it’s one of the most basic (yet useful) to-do lists I’ve ever seen. Thanks, Mark! NowDoThis
Weblog Third Error suggests a clever use for your Windows Active Desktop: Embed your Remember the Milk to-do list on your wallpaper. In all it’s pretty standard use of the oft-disregarded Active Desktop, but the main trick is that you subscribe to the Remember the Milk iGoogle gadget so you get a nice, clean interface for your to-do list directly on your desktop. We’ve detailed how to embed your local to-do list before, but if you’re a RTM user, this slight tweak is a must-have for your desktop. Your Remember the Milk To-Do List on the Desktop [Third Error]
The iPhone-toting blogger at Minddriven says that the cameraphone is often within reach when he wants to capture a task to his to-do list—so he snaps a photo of what needs to be done instead of writing it down. If he needs to buy more toothpaste, he snaps a photo of the empty tube and stores it in the to-do album. When he buys new toothpaste? He deletes the photo. Definitely a nice way to track tasks for the more visual folks among us, though I wonder what happens when he thinks of the empty toothpaste tube but isn’t standing in front of it. The fastest ToDo List is a ToDo Album … [Minddriven via Micro Persuasion]
Windows/Mac/Linux (Thunderbird): Harness the to-do-managing power of Remember the Milk from inside your mail reader with an alpha extension for Thunderbird. Once installed and authenticated with your RTM account, the task manager provided by the Lightning extension will have bi-directional access to your tasks, which you can add, delete, modify, and prioritise from inside your mail manager. Hit the video above to see a few of the things you can do with the extension, and hit the via link below for step-by-step installation instructions. Remember the Milk Provider extension is a free download, but requires a free Mozilla Add-Ons account to download, needs the Lightning calendar extension, and works wherever Thunderbird does. Remember the Milk Provider [via Daily Gyan]
Email-based digital personal assistant Sandy can be a really helpful manager for to-do lists and calendar appointments, but only if you don’t mind composing new messages for every change. Reader Wyatt writes in with a quicker way to get Sandy’s attention, using Outlook, Windows keystroke launcher Launchy, and a custom line for its built-in Runner plugin. Create a new Runner command named “Sandy” or something similar and point it to the location of Outlook’s executable file, but add the following switches at the end (substituting your Sandy username): /c ipm.note /m firstname.lastname@example.org
Want to customise the resulting instant email further? Here’s a guide to more Outlook switches. Gmail fans can also piece together a similar quick-launch Sandy through a Gmail script for Launchy. (Original Sandy post).