Published on February 28th, 2011 | by Kyith1
Creating the best Android GTD To Do List: WAToDo!
Around June last year, 3 friends and I got ourselves interested in this new open source platform called Android. Back then, we only have Astrid as the main to do list.
Over at iOS we have very competitive alternatives to choose from and we felt can offer something competitive over at the Android platform.
This week we release WAToDo! Android To Do List on the Android Market.
For Agile and Simple task management
WAToDo! aims to be the to do list to help users to Collect, Plan, Execute and Monitor tasks on their Android Smartphones and in the future Android tablets.
It aims to not just follow David Allen’s Getting Things Done to make sense of task management (For a primer on this, read my Getting Things Done Series), but also to be malleable for users from all walks of life to bend WAToDo! to fit their personal task management system.
Community Driven Development
For this to work, we decided to offer what we feel are the most basic functionality and seek users support and feed backs through our community forum to build subsequent features or workflows into it.
Apply Getting Things Done to manage task the right way
WAToDo! was created very much with the GTD methodology in mind, but really what it hopes to achieve is to make you the user more effective.
Here is a modified workflow diagram from my Getting Things Done Series. Why GTD works is because it make sense of the aggregation of ideas, thoughts, frustrations, finds a way to process them and teaches you how to execute and monitor them in a systematic manner.
In the following sections, I will guide everyone through how GTD can be carried out with WAToDo!
Collecting your thoughts, ideas, frustrations and things encounter
What makes the smartphone such a great device is that we always have our cell phone with us, when we have an idea or something that we just thought of that needs to be done, we want to lock in that idea immediately and not forget about it.
With WAToDo! your thoughts and ideas can be entered into your smartphone Inbox. Just like a mail inbox, this will be information in the most raw form.
The cross in each Task List brings you to the task creation section. Be sure to use actionable key words to describe your task. The more clearly define your task, the more likely it gets done.
Our interface is coherent in the sense that for most decision and entries area there is a Save and Cancel button on the top action bar.
Upon Save, task will be created. You will be brought to the detail manage task section
WAToDo! provides numerous parameters to tag to each task.
- Make Task into a Project
- Due date for task
- Assign Priority to task
- Change status easily between uncompleted, completed or next action
- Assign multiple tags to task
- Assign which Task List or Project the task belongs to
- Recur task upon completion
- Tag Notes to task
We recommend assigning due date to task that are constraint to finish within a certain day and tags to better describe how this task should be handled. We will go into Tags, Task Lists and Projects later.
Better Monthly Calendar Date Selector
One of the thing I find lacking about the Android platform was the date selector. While on the iOS we have a calendar selector that we can at one glance see where Today falls upon, how far we want the due date to be.
At WAToDo! we provide one step further by providing some commonly used date entries like “Today”, “2 Weeks from now” or “3 Months from now” simply because most of the time this is how our cognitive minds think about setting due dates.
Setting Task to Next Action
Why do we enable you to toggle a task to “Next Action” ? Simply because while reviewing your task it makes it easy for you to select a task to do immediately and highlight it as Next to do.
Attach Multiple Tags
WAToDo! thinks Tags is one of the most important aspect of a to do list, so much so that you need to be able to create your own tags and choose multiple tags to tag to your task. We will later see why this is important.
Some people see value in repeating task. We do as well as some tasks you will do it every day, every 2 weeks or every 30th of the month.
At WAToDo! you can easily specify this.
Planning with Task Lists and Projects
Once you have collect the task it is time to organize them so that they make sense.
WAToDo! provides 2 kinds of task containers: Task Lists and Projects. What is the difference between the 2? When do you use each type?
Each Task List can contain Projects. And Each Projects can contain more Projects. Nested Projects is a feature of the Full Paid version.
For a better tutorial on this read Organizing Lists and Tasks with WAToDo! >>
We would recommend using Task List to group your 1 year goals or your areas of responsibilities.
Some examples are
- Personal (Family Man) – for all things done to be a good father or mother or spouse.
- Project Manager Duties (Work) – to be objective in your focus to be a good planner/manager at work
- Project Armada – all tasks and projects to ensure the success and completion of Project Armada
- Project Waterloo – another project but its another key performance indicator and better to be kept seperate.
- Investor & Money – to be focus in your pursuit for good wealth and capital appreciation
Readers would be aware that a task can be toggle to be a project. A task can be explicitly define as a project when its likely make up of multiple actionable tasks to fulfill an objective.
A good example is this:
- draft out documents required for the audit coming up
- check with the QA personnel what is required for the upcoming audit
- get my subordinates to validate the existing documents for audit again
These tasks belong to a common theme. They are not so much of an area of responsibility or focus to create a custom list for them, but you cannot group them under a task called "To prepare for audit".
This task is too big and if you define it as just "To prepare for audit" you will procrastinate and not fulfill it.
A better definition will be a task project.
Easily move tasks between Inbox, Lists and Projects
WAToDo! makes it easy for you to move tasks
Doing the Tasks
Each individual have a different way of doing their task. They either:
- Go by date
- Go to a specific List or Project and do it
What we recommend based on Getting Things Done is to really Tag tasks well and execute them by filtering the Tags.
We believe that tasks fall within 3 dimensions:
- Location Specific – Tasks can only and only be carried out in this specific location. e.g. Site A, Office, Home, Errands, Commuting
- Person/Group Specific – Tasks that are related to a person. Agendas with a certain person or group of people. e.g. Team A, Boss, Best Friend
- Time Intensity – An estimate of how much time it requires to carry this out. Normally broken up into Low, Medium and High Intensity or Long/Short, 1 hour/half a day/1 day or more.
Either way, with WAToDo! you can easily create tags flexibly based on these 3 categories of contexts
Notice that next to each tag, you will be able to see the overdue in red and uncompleted tasks in blue.
So how do you do the tasks based on these tags? We have provide you with a workflow as follows:
WAToDo! enables you to filter by ANY or ALL tags selected to carry out the workflow above
More Tutorials at WAToDo! Guides
We can’t cover everything because there are just so much you can do with WAToDo!
At WAToDo! we provide these guides:
- Defining and collecting tasks with WAToDo!
- Organizing lists and projects with WAToDo!
- Reviewing and executing tasks with WAToDo!
In addition, we continue to add more guides to the site to help users make sense of task management.
There will be 2 version of WAToDo!
- The LITE Version will be Ad-Supported. Although it is termed LITE, it is fully functional and we are not limiting the duration you can use it or number of task input. You can download and install it here >>
- The FULL Version is priced at USD 1.50. We believe this is less or around the cost of a burger in US. In UK its even lower than that. You can purchase and install it here >>
We humbly don’t think we have gotten everything right currently, but we made a commitment to continue to improve upon WAToDo!
The great thing is that Android is a great platform for us to see how we can take leverage on.
We continue to explore features that would benefit our users. A list of what we are exploring can be found here.
So why not download a FREE copy of LITE version and experience WAToDo! first hand today