23
October
2006

Autodo 08:46 on Monday

A small update to pump some life into this blog. I will still be working like crazy this week, coding Flash, meeting new clients to discuss consulting projects, etc. So there’s still not much time to blog, let alone read other blogs.

Between working and visiting Tallinn to see Underworld play there, I’ve also started a new concept proto. I call it Autodo. It’s a todo list that borrows a little from existing ones (especially GooToDo which I use now), but also has a unique twist.

You see, todo lists like GooToDo and TaDa List are simple. Some others have 20 fields for entering all kinds of details. But all variants have problems handling a lot of todos — if you drop everything there that you want or have to do, you quickly end up with a list of tens of todos and a feeling of todo overload.

When the overload hits, you’re normally faced with the task of prioritization: you can drag the items around the list to put the most important to the top. Anyone who has tried that with more than 20 todos knows it can be an impossible task, or at least impossibly frustrating.

The idea of Autodo is that you cannot prioritize the tasks yourself. You can only give the tasks more detail, and the application sorts the tasks based on that detail. If the tasks are not in the order you want, tell the app why.

I find this idea interesting because:

  • It seems to go somewhat against the idea of simplicity in software as something with not much detail. Then again, it goes very well hand in hand with “make it as simple as possible, but not simpler” — you can keep the todos simple and undetailed, until the mess of todos requires more detail, ie. the todos become too simple.
  • It can actually make decisions for you (or reflect your subconscious decisions, whatever view you want to take).
  • Is it at all a good idea to delegate decisions to software?
  • If it works exceptionally well, are there withdrawal symptoms if you suddenly cannot use it?
  • It might not work at all.

I’ll post a demo of Autodo when it starts to look like something usable.

[tags]todo list,productivity[/tags]

One Response to “Autodo”

    Links from my other posts:

  1. /personal » Blog Archive » Organization, economies of scale, and a bit of Autodo