Wednesday, July 20, 2011

TeuxDeux

I think there are two kids of people in the world, those that like to-do lists, and those that don't get anything done.  Well, OK, maybe it's not that serious, but if you ARE one of those people that likes both the inner calm that comes from converting your mental to-do list into an on-paper or online version, and the satisfaction that comes from crossing things off the list, then have I got a service/app for you!  I am definitely a hardcore list maker, in fact, I have been known to add things to my to-do list that I've already completed, just for the satisfaction of crossing them off.  Yes, dirty little secret, I know.  I believe that it keeps me productive!

I am all over the idea of GTD ("Getting Things Done", http://www.davidco.com/), but when it comes right down to it, what makes me happiest is a simple daily list where I can just put the stuff that needs to get done.  On a good day, it's full of productive things like "wash laundry" and "make batches of lasagna to freeze".  Some days, I have to put "shower" and "eat breakfast" on the list, just for the satisfaction of being able to cross SOMETHING off.  I have been using the TeuxDeux website (http://teuxdeux.com/) which is free, and the accompanying iPhone app (which is inexpensive, $2.99 in the app store) to keep track of the daily things that need accomplishing.

The concept is really simple, you can enter in a one-liner for each task, and put it on the appropriate day (today + 4 days in the future, plus a "Someday" section).  Once it's done, cross it off.  Once it's crossed off, it stays put.  If at the end of the day, some of your to-dos remain undone (I'm absolutely certain that this doesn't only happen to me...), the service simply rolls them over to the next day.  There are no fancy deadline fields, priorities, tags, or categories to manage.  You simply put in what you need to do today, get cracking & cross stuff off as it gets done, and anything you don't get to, no problem - the app rolls it over into tomorrow.  You can edit or delete any of the items you've put into the list, you can drag-drop items to put them in order (if you like to group your @home and @errands stuff into separate sections, the sorting helps do this), and you can even move stuff to future days if you know you won't get to it today.

I especially appreciate their humourous and informative FAQ section - one of the questions is in regards to how many days to display - can the whole month be displayed?  Their answer is "Whoa there partner. Let's just take it down a notch. Don't worry about the whole month. Live for today. So, short answer: No."  My thoughts exactly.  With two kids at home I try not to think too far out in the future (we have Google Calendar to keep track of dentist appointments and kid checkups and the like).  Having an app that helps keep me focused on the daily priorities, and is almost as satisfying when it comes to crossing things off as actually putting a line of ink onto paper.  Plus, since the iPhone app syncs with the online service, I can cross things off while I'm out and about.  Post Office to mail letter?  Check!  Buy Groceries? Check!  I can also add things while on the go, or even just add them while walking around the house with my iPhone.  (Yes, I've walked around and added stuff like "wash unidentified gunk off kitchen window" and "ask husband if he drained the kiddie pool or if it sprung a leak" because if you're like me, you'll forget those things when you're in front of your computer and not staring at the gunky window or empty pool.

Check out the service at http://teuxdeux.com/ and the app on iTunes at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/teuxdeux/id384291782?mt=8.

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