The Best To-Do App

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Fair warning: this is going to be one of my geekier posts. Let’s get to it shall we?

At the beginning of 2014, I started thinking about all the things I wanted to do this year, making the usual resolutions and so on. To record those thoughts, I opened up my trusty todo.txt file, rattled off some things, rattled off some more, deleted a few things I’d done… the usual. Then, in the middle of the work, a reminder went off on my phone. It was time to go, so I saved the file and ran off to have an adventure in Baltimore.

While waiting on the bus outside, I thought of a few more items for my list. Unfortunately, my todo.txt file isn’t on my phone. I thought: maybe it’s time for me to finally grow out of using an old-fashioned text file to keep track of my to-do list. I thought: nowadays, there’s an app for pretty much everything under the sun, and there’s got to be at least a zillion different apps for keeping track of a to do list. It should be a simple matter of finding the one that meets my needs. So what are my needs?

I’m looking for a to-do app that has (all of) the following features:

  • store/edit the list as a .txt file
  • available via the command line (terminal on OSX and Cygwin)
  • tags for things like context and project
  • set due dates and reminder dates
  • reminder alerts on an iphone

Some features that would be nice:

  • turn an e-mail into a to-do item, the way Outlook for Windows can, but without the need for Outlook
  • recurring tasks, like the ones available from the iOS Reminders app

There’s already an app named, fittingly todo.txt that comes close to what I have in mind but not all the way. I wonder if there is such a thing? I’ll try it for now, along with the iOS Reminders, and see which one works best. Meanwhile, if anybody knows of other options, please let me know.


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