[kwlug-disc] Todo Lists and task management

Andrew Cant acant at alumni.uwaterloo.ca
Fri Mar 19 16:53:17 EDT 2010

I have been using vim-outliner <http://www.vimoutliner.org/> for my
recent project management.
Plus a syntax file that highlights some GTD related tags.

As other have mentioned I really like the simplicity of text files.

However, I have been thinking about using something like ikiwiki or
jester to get my files into the "cloud".

Kyle, I think that might be similar to what you are doing with Lion.

Has anyone else used a wiki or wiki compiler for project management/notes?


On Tue, Mar 16, 2010 at 12:31 PM, Chris Irwin <chris at chrisirwin.ca> wrote:
> Is anybody else keeping an electronic todo list? Are you finding it
> effective? I'm trying to get a feel for what works for everybody. I
> haven't found anything that works great for me yet, and typically have
> spent more time managing tasks than just doing them (My tasks span
> everything from "Update package dependancies for new version" to
> "Build a deck before winter (deferred from 2009)" with the odd "Sell
> awesome project for billion dollars before 2012" thrown in for fun).
> My requirements are pretty simple:
> - Priorities
> - Notes for each task
> - Simple data store I can parse with scripts (e.g. for display in
> conky, count tasks completed last week to guilt me into doing more
> this week)
> Things I would prefer, but are not critical:
> - Due dates
> - Completion dates
> - Dependancies
> - Task recurrence
> I had been using a plain text file with vim, but I find that once I
> add a few notes under each task it becomes a pain to get a task
> overview, I have to drop to a shell and grep. The other downside is
> that it is computer/console-only, so i have no ability to add or
> review tasks from my phone.
> I've just started to switch again, and before failing to adapt to a
> new process (or get such process to adapt to me) I figured I would at
> least see what others are using. Somebody else *must* be doing
> something better. There is so much software out there to tackle todo
> lists ("Getting things Done" seems to be all the rage lately), but it
> all seems to fall flat in one area or another, whether it is a backend
> format that needs a million lines of code and five XML libraries to
> parse, or a complex interface that is a pain to use (thus I will
> "update it later"), or stuck to a specific device that I won't always
> have around.
> The current plan I'm considering is using an email inbox with a unique
> address. It gives me a create date, subject, and notes (message body).
> I get an outline in my email client, and can open specific tasks to
> review. I've always got evolution open anyway, and it is an interface
> I am already accustomed to. My mail is pulled to maildir on my
> workstation, so I effectively have all the simplicity features I had
> with the text file. It does give me comparable support on my phone and
> any computer I can access my webmail. It doesn't give me due dates,
> completion dates or dependancies though, and my priority range would
> be limited to important/normal.
> So the email option looks rather favourable since it seems to strike a
> balance of simple and hit most of the features I want. But Todo lists
> should not be that hard, and the general rule I follow is "If you need
> to invent something simple, somebody smarter has already done it
> better". So, back to the original question: What is everybody else
> using, and do you find it effective?
> --
> Chris Irwin
> <chris at chrisirwin.ca>
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