I heart iGoogle and Todoist

It is the year of "i" -


And now we have iGoogle.  I'm in love.

The best thing for me about iGoogle is that I can have widgets for all the web functions that I previously accessed by

1) going to Google.com
2) searching for what I wanted (e.g., dictionary)
3) selecting the link I wanted from the list of search results
4) using the function.

With iGoogle, everything I use frequently is there on my start page.  Instead of the cumbersome multi-step process, I can get what I want in one click.  I can move things around to suit my fancy.  I can minimize things I use infrequently so they don't "clutter" my world.

Since I work at a place that blocks certain sites (like gmail...), I am absolutely thrilled that there is a gmail widget that lets me preview my gmail subject lines.  This way I can glance at my screen, notice any messages that are time critical, and take action when appropriate.

So in all this beauty, I decided I wanted to upgrade from the limited "sticky note" widget to a more formal "to do" list.  I didn't hold out a lot of hope, because to do lists don't work for me.  I have too many balls in the air and nothing had worked for my "style."  I searched for "to do" in the widget finder, and selected several likely candidates, one of which was called todoist.

Upon reviewing the list candidates on my home page, todoist was a clear standout - I find it fundamentally aesthetically pleasing.  With a couple of clicks I was watching the explanatory webcast.  The structure is elegant and adaptable to a wide range of needs.  I can do recurring tasks (type something like "ev weekday" in the "due by" field), I can create flat task lists or hierarchical task lists.  I can create "chains" (append !chain to a task) to see if I've been consistent on those quotidian tasks.  I can create a task for filing taxes (ev 15 apr) or scheduling my annual physical (ev 8 Feb) , knowing it will show up quietly and persistently when it needs to happen.

I can assign priorities (1-4) to tasks to affect how they present/sort on my screen (important for the widget with it's reduced display area).  I can move tasks from one category to another.  I can capture notes (prepending "* " in front of the note text to differentiate it from a task).

I went through the notebook I've used for notes and taken all the starred items (my manual symbol that it's an action item) and transferred all that to todoist.  I had a recent shift in job responsibilities, and the todoist list for the area I'm relinquishing made turnover painless (for me - the younger man assuming my former duties is still shell shocked...).

I'm a day into it and todoist is tracking 48 action items for me - and that doesn't count the dozen or more that I've retired during that time because todoist helped me focus.

Here are what other (more coherent) people say about todoist: http://todoist.com/Help/viewBuzz

The free version is fantastic.  And for just $3 per month you can upgrade to take advantage of additional features that the serious net-savvy, mobile "to do" lister could use to make this sweet little tool even more useful in cutting through life's clutter.

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