I’m not a huge fan of task managers, as a rule. The more features an app has, the more time I spend micromanaging each entry. It turns into a procrastination tool, rather than a productivity tool. So instead of fancy, high-tech apps, I use messy, unreliable notes scrawled on whatever scratch paper is laying around. Either that or I commit it to my even more unreliable memory.
God knows how long I’ve been able to survive until now. But I’m laying it out there. I need help. Serious help. Electronic help.
So when I started my search for a task manager, I set up four absolute “must-haves” for my To-Do List.
- Simple interface. As few features as possible. Nothing to distract me from the actual tasks.
REJECTED: iCal, Google Tasks
- A calendar. I need to focus on short-term, daily tasks, but I also need to be able to see deadlines coming from far off.
REJECTED: Do It Tomorrow, Wunderlist
- Needs to work on my clunky old laptop. Just to let you know—this Mac is so old that the latest Flash update won’t even run on it. That means the app has to be web-based.
REJECTED: Evernote, Dropkick
- It has to be free. Yes, I’m a cheapskate. So sue me.
REJECTED: Toodledo, Remember the Milk
After a lot of winnowing, I finally found an app that fit all four criteria, and then some: Teux Deux.
Don’t let the fancy spelling fool you. It’s just pronounced “To-Do”.
Sign up is free, and Teux Deux is entirely web-based, so you can log on wherever you have Internet access. This is a major plus for me, because that means I can use this one list for everything—my day job, freelancing deadlines, fiction writing, and home stuff, and be able to refer to it wherever I am.
The iPhone app isn’t free, though. It’s 2.99 on the app store, but I don’t have an iPhone anyway, so it doesn’t really matter to me (I have an iPad and an iPod Touch, but they never leave the house).
The first thing that struck me was how clean it looked. It’s a very minimalist design, and I love how the task list gets most of the page’s real estate. Makes sense when you think about it–it’s supposed to be the whole point of the app, right?
You enter your tasks in the text field for each day, which appears on the list below. You can rearrange them in order of priority (and also move them from day to day) by dragging. Easy peasy. Clicking on an item marks it as done. You then have the option of deleting it, or leaving it on your list. I prefer the latter. It makes me feel like I actually accomplished something.
As you move up the week, unfinished items from previous days automatically get pushed up to the current date. So no, there is no escape. Teux Deux is cracking the whip and shoving your leftovers back onto your plate, you sneaky procrastinator!
It’s restricted to a 5-day view, but you can also the arrow buttons at the top of the screen to move forward or back. There’s also a calendar button for when you’re looking for a specific day.
Another nice feature is the “SOMEDAY” list, for tasks that don’t have set schedules. You can even fake a header and create categories, like what I did in the above screenshot.
In all, Teux Deux is a pretty useful task list, and I’m glad I found it. Its built-in features are helpful without being overbearing, and task input/management is flexible without being a pain in the butt.
I Teux Deux. Deux Yeux?