As they say, knowing the problem is already half a solution.  Here is my problem – lag.  I am lagging far behind in a lot of things, which slowly-slowly, one-by-one built up to an impressive list of tasks.   I knew I was lagging for some time, but yesterday I spent a few minutes trying to realize how much and how far behind really I am.

In terms of movie reviews, here is the list of films I’v watched in the past couple of weeks: Cop Out, From Dusk Till Dawn, From Paris with love, Hitman, Jarhead, Michael Clayton, Tenacious D – The pick of destiny, The Girl with the dragon tattoo, The great debaters, Un Prophete, Rush Hour 3, Remember Me, Repo Men, Armors of God, Armors of God : Operation Condor, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Terminal, Terminator, Bruno, Collapse, Tapped, The Rise of the Footsoldier, Ong Bak 3, Armored, Traffic, The Brave One, Religious, Capitalism, Goodfellas.  Some of these are new, some are old.  A few of these I have already reviewed before, but most I haven’t.

In terms of photos, I am even worse.  Latest pictures at Flickr photo stream are those of my Eurotrip last year.  And I haven’t even got half of those in.  More than a year!  Just the thought is horrifying.  There is almost 500 new photos that I still need to sort through, post-process, and upload.  At least I got them all off the camera and into my laptop yesterday – that’s the first step.

I am also lagging in a few other areas – work, side projects, hobbies, etc.

Don’t get me wrong, I always had things on my todo list.  Never, for as long as I can remember myself, I thought that everything is done, all is in order, and I can sit back and enjoy myself.  But for the last year or so things are getting out of control.  I’ll need to reorganize myself a bit.  Starting now.

Looking for a king of TODO list managers

Recently I did another round of TODO applications testing.  There are plenty around, but none of them seemed to fit into my work flow.  I wanted something online, but something fast.  I wanted something simple, but with enough features to integrate with the rest of my toolbox.  This, that, and a bit more, and preferably free.

Just to give you an idea where I was before the TODO list manager – I was using Google Calendar with tasks written down as all day long events, which I was constantly moving forward, spreading them across the upcoming week.  Needless to say this was somewhat time consuming and boring, with a few low priority tasks falling off the list every now and then.

My  quest for TODO list manager started with Hiveminder.  This is a really nice web application, which is easy to use. It implements some really neat ideas, like doing a brain dump first and then reviewing and reorganizing tasks later. It also integrates nicely with the outside world.  There is a way to link it with Google Calendar, as well as follow things via RSS feeds.  There is some integration with email.  And, also, there is a very nice system in place for sharing tasks with other people.  Plus, Hiveminder is the baby of the same parents who gave us RT request tracker.

As I said, Hiveminder is a really nice application.  But it didn’t fit into my work flow somehow.  And I was a little bit turned off by the interfaces. Needs a bit more polish  I guess.

Then I tried … well, I don’t really remember now all the applications that I tried.  What I remember is that there are plenty of good ones.  Each does something differently, focusing on different areas of TODO list management.

… then I settled on Ta-da List from 37 Signals – people, who really know how to web applications.  I loved Ta-da List the moment I saw it.  After all those features and ideas that I saw everywhere, it captured me with it’s simplicity.  There is practically no functionality.  Just create lists, add and remove items, and subscribe to the RSS feed. That’s pretty much it.  That’s what I was looking for.  In case I wanted something extra – plenty of functionality is available through commercial upgrades.  But, at that time, I didn’t want any extra functionality.  I’ve seen so  much of it everywhere that I wanted to get away from it for some time.  And it worked.  For some time.

Finally, I arrived to my current choice of TODO list managers – Toodledo.  A few of my friends were trying it out independently of each other, and all seemed to have only positive feedback about the service.  When I tried it – I understood why.

Toodledo is a very feature rich service. It has lists, goals, contexts, priorities, notes, due dates, and a tonne of other features.  Somehow they are organized so that they always nearby, but without jumping into the face.  The interface feels like it had a lot of thought put into it.  But the best of all – the connectivity of the service with the rest of my tools.  RSS feeds are there.  Google Calendar is there (and it’s done better than that of HiveMinder).  There is Firefox extension with sidebar and toolbar buttons.  And there is even Twitter integration.  What more can I ask for?  (Provided that I don’t use iPhone, for which they also have an integration).  In this place and time, Toodledo is just perfect for me.  If you are in search for a good TODO list manager, I strongly recommend that you give it a try.