A to-do list! A bane of existence to some, and a life saver to others. Some people see a to-do list as a way to never get anything done while others can use it to be really productive. Today, I’m going to detail this to-do list software that I found really useful and I hope it will try to get some of you guys towards the middle ground. Maybe you’ll even grow to like making these lists! (Fat chance)
As I was looking at the long pile of homework we had planned for the next two weeks in Biology, I had a sudden urge to just pull out a Notepad and go to town. My professor had handed us a sheet detailing the assignments that were due next week and since some of them were online they would be listed, but ultimately, as life’s responsibilities start piling up or you start getting caught up in other activities, you’ll end up getting a 0 in there for a forgotten assignment. I, like many of you, don’t ever want that to happen. Getting a 0, not for laziness but for forgetfulness is unforgivable. Thus, I decided to go hunting on Google for a good to-do list software. Low, and behold, I clicked on the first link and I was hooked.
The software is called Swift To-Do and it really lives up to it’s name. It’s so quick to add tasks and get stuff done and everything is intuitive. No one wants to spend 10 minutes trying to remember where a menu is so a lot of your common functions are laid out in nice big buttons. That’s always a nice feature. That big green button highlighted there allows me to add a new task.
From there, that’s when things begin to shine. You can start adding new columns to organize your tasks. You can add deadline, priority, status, context(add a little note), time estimate, whatever. You can add as many columns for your particular task as you want as is relevant. For homework, I add done completion which adds a little percent thing until completion. I always group my assignments so I know what I’m looking at and I group them by color. My tests are black, homework assignments are pink, and quizzes are green. That way, even if I don’t see the group of the assignment right away, I know what it is right off the bat. And, as always, I add a priority to all of my tasks.
Another feature that I really like is rich text formatting notepad you get on the bottom of all of your tasks. You may end up coming back to the tasks a week from now or they might need context, whatever the reason it’s really simple to add a note to it. You simply type your text after you added your task. You can also add the note right at the time of the task creation like so:
As you can see, you can also attach specific documents to that task. That’s really handy if you’ve been working on a paper for one of your homework tasks, you can access it right there.
Another great option, that I found is the ability to hide tasks until a specific time. If you’re like me and you find yourself just adding stuff way in advance or a huge list of tasks intimidates you, you need a way to organize these things. At task creation, you have the choice to hide that task until a specific time. Even better, if you despise looking at calendars to figure out when you should hide an assignment or make it due, the program has plain English words like “Tomorrow” or “In a Week” so you can schedule your tasks without the need for the calendar.
Obviously, a good to-do list allows for reminders and you can set a good amount of them. You can select options like before the due date or on the due date to remind you or at a specific time. You can also email reminders to yourself. If the program is off and you miss the reminder, no worries, if you play with the settings in the options, you can get the program to remind you of stuff on start-up.
What if you want to share your to-do list with the world? You can choose a variety of options of what to export and it will export it as a HTML document. You can do this from File -> Print/Export
And the HTML file looks like this:
How about if you need the full fledged version and you don’t have the program on a computer? No problem. You can run the program with all your tasks included on a flash drive. File -> Deploy to USB Flash Drive -> Select location and you’re good to go. (Here, I’m using the Trial version so this is the message you’ll get but you get the picture)
You can always back up your tasks or files and everything is automatically saved so you don’t have to worry about having to press anything for your notes!
You can also include stuff like memos which I usually use to include little pieces of information about my class like the office hours of the professor and their contact information, like so:
Finally, the last bit of stuff I’m going to say about this thing is you get the ability to archive your tasks which is very useful when you want to look back at old homework, read the notes about an old completed project or get the email address of that professor you need a recommendation letter from.
It looks just like a recycle bin where you can recover your old tasks and still get a glimpse of them in mini window.
Alright, I get by now I must sound like a used car salesman pitching you this program, but honestly I think it is a real intuitive and easy to use program that can really aid you in your productivity and your ability to get your responsibilities in order. It’s big buttons, it’s ability to be run on any computer and it’s multitude of features are much more than I can go into depth here.
I highly suggest you check it out, you get a free 30 day trial without too many annoying messages and the cool thing is, very little features are locked in the trial version. In fact the only thing that I ran into that was locked was the USB version which is understandable since you don’t want your program running on something without a license anyway. The Standard Edition which is the one I’m running costs $44 bucks but that’s not a bad price for something that can do so much. I do tend to pirate my software, so that’s your call. Either way, I hope this post has really helped you guys out and hopefully will go a way towards getting your homework or work lives sorted out!