Todolicious: A deliciously simple to do manager for Mac

| Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

Todolicious ($4.99 currently, 50% off) by Mustacheware is a simple to do manager for the Mac. And, wow, is it gorgeous.

The app sports an elegant interface consisting of a dock icon, a pop-up window that lists your tasks, and a pop-up box for entering your tasks. That’s it. Todolicious does not include contexts, due dates, repeating tasks, or any of the other information you find in other task management applications for the Mac, such as OmniFocus (reviewed here) and Things (reviewed here). The developer intentionally made this app simple, arguing that the more complex task management systems eventually get in the way of productivity. He says, “Over time the system begins falling out of consistency, the user gets tired of the mental burden and spending so much time maintaining their tasks, and they gradually give up using the tool. Ultimately, organization is counterproductive” (blog post, 8 January 2011). Todolicious removes the burden of managing your tasks by making things less complicated.

To enter a task, simply click on the dock icon and tap the plus sign in the window. Or, even more simply, assign a hot key for creating a new task (I made mine command-T). A task window pops up, and you type your task. But the coolest part of the task window is that it is HUGE! I love this feature. Just the mere act of typing in the task and seeing it in big letters helps me visualize getting the task done. Hit enter, and the task is added to your list (along with a little audible confirmation sound that you can set in the preferences).

When you’ve completed the task, invoke the application and click in the checkbox. The app rewards you with the sound of applause. This little detail just makes me happy.If you’re a diehard GTD-er, Todolicious is probably not for you. In fact, the developer advocates a philosophy completely opposite that of GTD: KISS (keep it simple, stupid). Todolicious is task management for the folks who find GTD methods overwhelming and complicated.

However, I don’t think task management has to be either/or. For example, I’m an OmniFocus user. I need an application like Omnifocus for long-term planning. I have to be able to put all the tasks that are coming up in the next few months somewhere (lest I forget them), and Todolicious would get awfully crowded if I tried to put everything in it. So, I’m going to continue using OmniFocus for most of my task management. But, because I usually have three or four “must do” tasks each day, I’ll use Todolicious to post those. As I tick off each one, Todolicious will reward me with applause (OmniFocus, sadly, doesn’t clap for me).

What’s Macgasmic: Todolicious certainly does what it aims to do. It is elegant and simple and fast. It gets out of your way and lets you focus on getting things done rather than worrying about which contexts or tags to assign to your tasks. If you find yourself overwhelmed by complex task management systems, Todolicious might be just the thing for you. Or, if you’re like me and need a more complex collection system for long-term projects, you can use Todolicious as a complementary program alongside your task management application.

What’s Not: Some people might think Todolicious lacks specific features (due dates, tags, etc.) But to suggest that the developer add more features would miss the point of the application: simplicity. Todolicious is fine as it is. The only suggestion I have (and this is one that I’ve seen in reviews of Todolicious on the App Store) is that the developer allow the app to run from the menubar rather than the dock in order to save precious dock space. The $4.99 price point seems perfect to me. I’m not sure people will pay $8.99 (or whatever the regular price will be) for an app like this.

Summary: If you’re in need of a simple task list, or if you want a daily to-do list that complements your regular task management system, Todolicious is the perfect choice.

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