Software

Review: Gootodo Web-based task list

Gootodo is a Web-based task list application that allows users to turn emails into task list items and get things done.

Gootodo is a Web-based task list application, designed and developed by user experience expert Mark Hurst. It aims to allow users to quickly reduce the amount of "bit clutter" in their lives by turning emails into task list items, and to present a task list that helps you to actually get things done.

Specifications

Who's it for?

Anyone who is overwhelmed by their email inbox or consistently finding themselves behind on their to do list will find Gootodo useful. A few people out there take the time to build reminders from their emails, and instead of having an overflowing inbox, they have an Outlook reminder window with a hundred tasks in it. Gootodo is useful for people who need to cut the size of their inboxes or get more organized with their task list.

What problems does it solve?

Most of working professionals seem to have an email inbox that is a rat's nest of items, some of which require action and some of which don't. By making it easy to turn email items into task list items, Gootodo allows you to quickly slash the size of your inbox and focus on your true mail items, and at the same time, effectively manage your task list. Its interface encourages the habitual use of Gootodo, unlike many other task list applications out there, which are often much more work than they are worth.

Standout features

  • Super easy interface: You can create tasks with a simple Web-based interface, or by sending an email to the Gootodo system.
  • Helpful task organization: Instead of putting all tasks onto a giant task list with a due date, Gootodo has a separate task list for each day. If a task is not done when expected, it automatically rolls over to the next day.
  • Reduces email clutter: By creating tasks via email, it becomes trivial to cut your inbox down to size, just forward any email that requires action to Gootodo and delete it from the inbox.

What's wrong?

  • Cannot completely replace Outlook reminders: Gootodo is purely for task management, not time management. You will still need Outlook (or something similar) to keep track of your time sensitive meetings and appointments.
  • Web-based application: Not everyone likes Web-based applications or has consistent Internet access.
  • No formatting: Gootodo stores its tasks in plain text. While this makes the interface easy, it means that formatting in the original emails gets lost as well, which may be a problem.

Competitive products

Bottom line for business

There are a lot of different task list, PIM, to do list, and other similar kinds of applications out there. All of them can competently store your tasks with a due date assigned to them. What separates Gootodo from other similar applications is its built in concept of workflow.

By accepting items through email, Gootodo becomes an active partner in reducing the clutter in your inbox, which allows you to really focus your email activities separately from your time management activities. This lets you feel much less overwhelmed and stressed out, as well as making sure that you are able to find the information that you need and quickly respond to emails. The idea of day-based to do lists instead of a large list with due dates makes the day's work load feel much more manageable.

Gootodo is not for everybody though. Some people would prefer a desktop application for one reason or another. Others do not have enough task volume or email volume to justify this kind of work flow management tool. The lack of features and functionality which allow Gootodo to be sharply focused on doing one thing and doing it well may make it too underpowered for some users. And it does not offer a way to integrate with any products other than receiving the list items through email.

If you are willing to spend a little bit of time experimenting with a new kind of workflow management, give Gootodo a try. You may find that its philosophy of time management works for you and makes you more productive.

User rating

Have you encountered or used Gootodo? If so, what do you think? Rate your experience and compare the results to what other TechRepublic members think. Give your own personal review in the TechRepublic Community Forums or let us know if you think we left anything out in our review.

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About

Justin James is the Lead Architect for Conigent.

5 comments
tiago
tiago

What makes this tool beter than the Gmail's "add task" feature? It relates the email without loosing the context or formating, and offer a tasklist that integrates with Google calendar for time management. Plus, can be accessed from a mobile phone.

ShadowSpawnOFCS
ShadowSpawnOFCS

I use Nag which is part of the Horde suite. I have to admit the project pages are a bit sparse, but it offers categorizing, creating tasks from emails (using IMP, the horde email app), SyncML-based syncing, and shared task lists. Down-side is that you either have to run your own web server and install Horde or you need to find a service provider that offers it; up-side is that you can run your own instance in your enterprise and not have to pay an outside vendor and possibly keep corporate data on someone else's server. http://freshmeat.net/projects/nag http://www.horde.org/

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

How do you keep your task list organized? Are you dependent on a particular application or system?

Justin James
Justin James

I've never touched GMail, so I really can't compare the two, sorry! J.Ja

LocoLobo
LocoLobo

was that I ignored my task list. Priorities change from day to day. What seemed important yesterday is put on the back burner today. So I created folders (not too many) and send myself tasks or problems as straight emails. My system has problems too. Subjects need to be clear and concise. The body needs to fully describe problems & solutions when they come. There's nothing like trying to reinvent the same wheel you invented last year but can't remember or find how you did it. But my real problem with task organizing is I just have to get around to it: http://www.quantumenterprises.co.uk/roundtuit/detail_roman.htm :)