My Secret Life as a Spaghetti Coder
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I have a job where in any given week I might be working on any one of 30 projects spread across a half dozen product lines. I freelance, sometimes with a single company, but I also work a lot through another company for several different customers. I have my personal projects too, of course, and then there's non-work type things like getting a haircut, building a garden, or changing the air filters around the house.

Problem

My list of things to do is too complex for me to keep in my head. It doesn't fit in a typical list because I might want to see what needs to be done, not just at work, or not just for a client, but also for different customers or projects, or both.

Furthermore, it doesn't quite fit into a project management tool either. I need something more flexible that lets me keep my professional and personal lists in the same place, and that gives me just a list when I need it, or some predictions and statistics and data when those things are appropriate.

Goals

So when I started on this project, I wanted something more than a todo list, but not as involved as a project management suite.

I wanted to manage both my work and personal tasks in one place, without too many fields to fill out, but still having the ability to collect information that could be used for more than just seeing what needs to be done.

I wanted a simple view of items most of the time, but allowing for a more in-depth view when I need it.

I also wanted something that realizes some things have to be done at a certain time, some things can be done in a span of time, and some things just need to get done, regardless of when.

Most importantly, I wanted something that would allow me to divorce the view of tasks from a specific calendar or list, and let me look at what needs to be done in a variety of ways.

Progress

Today, todoxy collects a task in a single field, where you can specify a calendar, supply tags for an item, give it a date/time, and an estimate it can use to tell you when you might expect to be done based on your past performance.

Lists aren't wed to calendars: you create them for a specific calendar if you like, or a set of tags, or a time frame, or any combination of those things.

Rather than try to explain to you how this works in text alone, I figured a video might help: (you'll probably want to watch it in 720p, and bigger than fits here in the blog so you can read the text)



Basically, it shows: There is a single input interface. Create a calendar by typing a colon (':') after the first thing you type. Create tags by prefixing them with a hash. Estimate items by using est=X where X is a number. Toss in a natural language reference to a date / time, and it will try to guess what you meant.

You can create lists based on tags, and then you can click a link to see a burndown chart that tries to predict when you'll be done based on your estimates and past performance.

Help Wanted

It doesn't do everything I want it to yet, but I've been happily using it for a couple of weeks now, so I figured it would be a great time to get some feedback.

To do that, I need some of you who are interested to sign up and use it. I don't have a lot of slots open because it's hosted on a free account right now, and performance will suck if I let too many people in. But if you think you'd like to try it out and don't mind providing me with some criticism and feedback, I would appreciate it!

Just head on over to todoxy.com and sign up.

As always, comments and criticism are greatly appreciated! I can handle the negative ones, so don't refrain, but make them constructive so I can take some action on them.

Thanks for your help!

Hey! Why don't you make your life easier and subscribe to the full post or short blurb RSS feed? I'm so confident you'll love my smelly pasta plate wisdom that I'm offering a no-strings-attached, lifetime money back guarantee!


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