Haha, I agree – Toodledo’s UI puts me off too! But there are skins for it and much of my GTD is managed on my iPhone as I travel a lot. What attracts me to Toodledo was its flexibility, the fact that it syncs with Google calendar (don’t know how well it works IRL though), which in turn syncs with my iPhone’s calendar, and the friendly tone in their support forum. Given that I’m basically entrusting my life to their system, having attentive support is encouraging.
One thing that has so far put me off 2Do, and therefore Toodledo, is not having an inbox = dumping ground. In Awesome Note, I can scribble down a quick memo, save it as a note and it automatically plops into my inbox to be processed later. Since I tend to jot down thoughts as they come to me during the day this feels very intuitive and a counter on the inbox tells me how many notes are waiting to be processed. Someone on 2Do’s forum suggested creating a calendar/tab and calling it inbox – I have to see if that works for me. Also, since I’m a PC user there’s no desktop app to sync with (2Do syncs with iCal, in addition to Toodledo). I’m all for cloud sync and the convenience of having access anywhere and from any computer, but I travel abroad a lot and free WiFi or hotel PC aren’t always available, so I’d have to rely on my phone when working offline.
Awesome Note has its limitations. Dates don’t include year. Making a note read-only makes phone numbers clickable, but I have to enter them manually, rather than simply attaching a contact from my address book. The sync with Evernote isn’t as tight as I would like, it doesn’t sync with Google calendar and doesn’t support tags or sub-tasks.
My workaround for tags is to start the title of a note/To Do that I want to be searchable with the appropriate place, person or project. Usually I sort by due date, but if I’m going to contact person ABC I can sort the To Dos in my @Contact folder alphabetically to make sure I cover everything “tagged” ABC. I try to have one Next Action note per place, person or project that lists all items to discuss, buy, whatever, but this ensures nothing gets overlooked. One tag per note is usually enough for me (@Errands = place tag, @Contact = person tag and so on) and it only takes 2 taps to sort – quicker than doing a search (no saved searches in AN). My workaround for sub-tasks is to list them on the parent note, e.g. “Project XYZ”, and then cut/paste them into individual To Dos as I work through that project.
Still, I find AN’s layout with memo, inbox and tasks due today (with badge) at the top of the screen and my folders underneath most intuitive for the way I think and its limitations force me to keep things simple. That’s mainly from a phone perspective, though.
I also looked into Springpad, prompted by Dan Gold’s enthusiasm for it – yet another fount of inspiration I must thank you for since I discovered his blog through his comments here! I think SP could one day become the app of choice for me, but right now it seems to be very US centric. I live in Europe and users here say that the value added info provided is often not useful for them. Also, I don’t think there’s a desktop client. It does look promising though and I will keep an eye on it.
I’m really sorry, what was meant to be a quick reply turned into a novel! Once again, thank you very much for your inspirational article and your kind and helpful replies. In fact, this conversation prompted me to review and improve my system further. Nice talking to you and I will report back on my experience if and when I try Toodledo!