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A little fire underneath your seat



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Linh

Posted: Jun 29, 2010
Score: 0



Hi Toodledo,

Lifehacker ran their own little survey about readers' favorite to do managers, and the results are a little disappointing for Toodledo, yet not surprising.

http://lifehacker.com/5575748/best-to+do-list-manager-paper

If excluding paper and the expensive Things application, Toodledo came in last relative to direct competitors.

I agree that TD serve a niche to-do market, those who like power, features, and GTD, and by definition, would never take the majority of market share. However, my point in showing you this survey is that I think too many people are turned off by the interface. I know Toodledo has been working hard (read your news post about cleaning up the code), but I hope this survey provides an extra motivation to get working on improving interface and workflow.

Toodledo is my choice for managing to do's, but with those improvements, you would surely win a greater market share.
Transisto

Posted: Jun 29, 2010
Score: 0



I don't think a 3 employee company has to be that secretive about what they're working on.

Adopting a todo system is so intricate, personal and demand so much trust.
Toodledo has so much potential, I'd like to see the owner risk/invest more in finding good employee and stop trying to do everything himself.

No matter how many feature is being added to Toodledo, if step #1 (the user interface) is broken it will get rejected by most people.
Toodledo is the very opposite of how apple OS attract customers yet it put lots of energy targeting the iPhone users.

Just to see what it's like for newcomers I started to page 1 again. registering a new account.

The first page is black on white and look plain ugly without line-break on a 1920x1080 screen.
Many people will quit before ever finding the "Add a Task" button.

Collaborate
Easily work with other people on shared projects with Toodledo's collaboration tools

(not suppoted on iPhone app)

3rd party iPhone app provides features you advertise but don't even deliver, like sharing task (by email).

I wouldn't even bother to complain about the iPhone app if it didn't seams to be your main focus lately.

On pricing, I'm not sure why I would pay 30$ for having my files stored, I'm 95% certain it would be more of a pain to use than anything else, see dropbox. Not that I care, but it's not even supported on the iPhone app, Where I would most use it (to attach audio/picture) .


This message was edited Jun 29, 2010.
Jake

Toodledo Admin
Posted: Jun 29, 2010
Score: 0



We were very happy with the results of the Lifehacker survey. If you just compare the online task managers, we came in 3rd, which I am very pleased with, considering that there are dozens and dozens of competitors. We must be doing something right!

We weren't even on the chart a year ago. Maybe next year we'll be 2nd :)
Transisto

Posted: Jun 30, 2010
Score: 1



Posted on lifehacker:
I think that paper winning shows how incomplete the digital offerings really are.


If lifehacker readers prefer paper, How about the population in general ?

I would seriously consider a toggle for Basic/Advanced Interface mode.
TheGriff

Posted: Jun 30, 2010
Score: 4



Posted by Transisto:
I don't think a 3 employee company has to be that secretive about what they're working on.

No matter how many feature is being added to Toodledo, if step #1 (the user interface) is broken it will get rejected by most people.
Toodledo is the very opposite of how apple OS attract customers yet it put lots of energy targeting the iPhone users.


I've been keeping quiet for a while now but it's finally time to ask you why you continue to use Toodledo. Just about every post you make is negative. I think everyone who reads these forums understands you feel the user interface is broken and in need of a redesign. While I agree that'd be nice I have NO problems keeping track of my entire day including multiple clients within Toodledo.

While I am all for providing feedback I would hope you might back off just a bit. Your concerns have been heard and repeating them just serves to be annoying to me and I would bet a bunch of other people in this forum.

That said, congrats to Jake and Toodledo! Third place isn't bad but it's good that you still have progress to make. Maybe next year you'll be number 1!
huwevans projecthelm.com

Posted: Jun 30, 2010
Score: 0



I love the toodledo user interface the way it is. Have tried many others, and this one works great for me.
Linh

Posted: Jun 30, 2010
Score: 0



Posted by Toodledo:
We were very happy with the results of the Lifehacker survey. If you just compare the online task managers, we came in 3rd, which I am very pleased with, considering that there are dozens and dozens of competitors. We must be doing something right!

We weren't even on the chart a year ago. Maybe next year we'll be 2nd :)


In that case, congrats! With so many vocal members clamoring for better workflow and interface (by workflow, I like Taska's, the iphone app), you would clearly have more satisfied customers if you improved on that. I know you've been budgeting and planning on it, but I hope you understand its urgency too and would give it appropriate priority.


Also, it's great that satisfied customers flock to defend Toodledo...but people should understand that oftentimes a product's biggest critic can be the most helpful.
hibanayama

Posted: Jul 01, 2010
Score: 0



I have found Toodledo's interface to be the easiest to use and understand of all the online task managers. For me, the user interface is actually one of the best parts. Everything is visible and changeable right from the list. I can see the complete picture of what needs to be done without having to click on individual tasks or open up flyouts or whatever. Everything seems intuitive in terms of the way the tabs are set up. I spent years with RTM and could never get used to what to me was a bizarre and rather ugly UI. I've also tried several other ones with pretty UIs which look really nice in the screencast but fall apart or get clunky if I try to put in real tasks.

It is also misleading to say that Toodledo did not do well in the lifehacker poll. Lifehacker is very pro-Gmail, so it doesn't surprise me that Google tasks comes in first, but Toodledo's showing is very respectable--they've made up a lot of ground on RTM. Basically Toodledo is the second most popular task manager on the web.

Here are the results:

Which To-Do Manager Is Best? (Poll Closed)
Google Tasks 22.3% (2,018 votes)

Paper 22.6% (2,046 votes)

Remember the Milk 17% (1,535 votes)

Things 9.9% (900 votes)

Toodledo 12.7% (1,145 votes)

Other 15.5% (1,407 votes)
ken

Posted: Jul 01, 2010
Score: 2



Some interesting points in this thread, as well as interpretations of the poll.

I'm not so sure I buy into the idea that if paper and pen came in first, that is a reflection on the electronic options out there. That sounds like a fundamental difference in preferences/work style where the "analog crowd" is sticking to a paradigm that works for them. It's rare to read about someone who desperately wants to use *some* kind of digital task/GTD solution, but the offerings are so lacking, he/she *settles* for paper and pen. The analog fans like using paper and pen. For the vast majority of paper and pen users, that is their first choice.

Like a few that have posted, I really like the Toodledo interface. I came from RTM - though I was never a heavy RTM user. Frankly, I *hate* that interface. I could never get used to how RTM works. Just not for me. I recently came back to Toodledo after a short break (tried getting by with Outlook tasks again - and failed). For some reason, I decided to try the Multi-line format - I had always used the Grid layout in TD. And Multi-line is working for me right now. I'm really liking the cleaner interface when all the tasks are collapsed and I can zero in on a few specific items as needed.

And that is one of the beautiful things about Toodledo - it is immensely flexible. The difference between Multi-line and Grid view fundamentally changes the way data is displayed and how I work with that data. How many other web-based apps allow that? For that matter, how many desktop apps allow that?

I know Toodledo isn't perfect, and there are things that I wish were higher priorities instead of working on things that I don't care about - because (me! me! me!) I want (me! me!) what I want for me. Overall, I'm extremely satisfied with Toodledo and happy with the development and direction the app is taking. For the things that I'd like to see improved, I will respectfully continue to ask about.

Here's something I read the other day from Topic: subtasks only go down one level? (http://www.toodledo.com/forums/2/1247/-8875/subtasks-only-go-down-one-level.html)
Posted by Toodledo (Apr 30, 2009):
I really don't want to lose a customer, but if you need 7 levels of nested hierarchy, I don't think Toodledo is the right tool for you. The only other alternative is for you to simplify your system down to 3 levels. We do have plans to add at least 1 more level, but we don't have a release date in mind.


How many developers will answer honestly like that? I respect that approach - and feel respected when a developer responds that way to me. I may not like it - but at least I'm not getting empty promises. (just an example - personally, I am fine with the level of subtasks)

Finally, I am glad Griff called out repeated negativity. There is sometimes a thin line between constructive criticism and just complaining. I have crossed that line myself. There is a distinction - sometimes it's a simple matter of frequency. More often it is tone. I've always believed that even my favorite app in the world (and Toodledo is certainly one of them) is not above criticism. Everything can be improved. But it's probably a good idea to check myself when posting to see if I'm posting to be constructive with the hope of the software improving, or I'm posting because I'm frustrating and just want to vent. Asking myself "what am I really trying to achieve" before posting has helped me. YMMV
stephen.ferro

Posted: Jul 01, 2010
Score: 2



I agree with Ken and TheGriff completely. The Lifehacker poll to me shows that roughly half of people participating in a poll want a simple to do application. Paper offers as many lists as you want but no searching, tags, etc. Google tasks is pretty minimal too (nothing as complex as RTM or TD).

I came from RTM after a long time of frustration with the lack of development (and frankly the attitude of the development team towards RTM users) Toodledo isn't perfect by any means, but the development team is responsive, they openly discuss issues and take input, and they are actively (VERY actively IMHO) improving their product.

Transisto, please take TheGriff's advice and either tone down the negativity and repetitive comments or move to another tool. Maybe consider paper since then you can control the UI and functionality 100%.
PeterW 

Posted: Jul 01, 2010
Score: 1



Posted by ken:
For some reason, I decided to try the Multi-line format - I had always used the Grid layout in TD. And Multi-line is working for me right now. I'm really liking the cleaner interface when all the tasks are collapsed and I can zero in on a few specific items as needed.

And that is one of the beautiful things about Toodledo - it is immensely flexible. The difference between Multi-line and Grid view fundamentally changes the way data is displayed and how I work with that data. How many other web-based apps allow that? For that matter, how many desktop apps allow that?


Great post, Ken!

Like you, I ran Toodledo in grid format for a long time and recently switched over to multi-live view. I really like the minimal interface and believe it helps my productivity immensely. When I need to see more, it's easy to expand a task.

I've tested a few of the new sites recently but did not like the fact that I had to shoehorn myself into their way of thinking - way too inflexible. And missing many features Toodledo has had for years.

Toodledo's flexibility and feature set make it a very powerful tool, probably more than most new users would realize. I recently saw a post on the official DavidCo/GTD forums from someone looking for an online task management system who decided against Toodledo based on its appearance. So I posted some screenshots of my Toodledo setup and they were surprised at what could be done. This is probably where Jake's efforts need to be directed - i.e. making the system attractive enough to keep new users on board.


This message was edited Jul 01, 2010.
Transisto

Posted: Jul 03, 2010
Score: 1



Posted by PeterW:

Like you, I ran Toodledo in grid format for a long time and recently switched over to multi-live view.


As users of the multi-line view what do you think of this:

(from my first post 8 month ago) http://www.toodledo.com/forums/2/4321/0/web-interface-big-improvements-to-be-made.html

3. When in grid mode, the "empty" default text are dark and thus indistinguishable from user entered data, "Context: No Context, Goal: No Goal, Start: no date, Repeat: None ...
Like the "Tag" and "Length" field, they are really empty, or showing them light gray as in the multi-line mode.

http://pkoi.ca/ffftoood.png
I can't stand the multi-line view because of this clutter.


This message was edited Jul 03, 2010.
PeterW 

Posted: Jul 04, 2010
Score: 0



Hi Transisto,

I'm not sure what you meant in that thread about the empty fields being 'dark'. I don't remember having a problem like this in grid mode. Can you expand on this?

BTW, your screencap was pretty funny. Probably wan't meant to be but it made me laugh.

Regards,
Peter.

p.s. Vive le Tour!
Transisto

Posted: Jul 04, 2010
Score: 1



I have to agree the multiline mode is very neat when all details are hidden.

It's about having our content stand out of the container.

Imagine a page full of ,,,
Folder: No Folder Context: No Context Goal: No Goal Due: no date Repeat: None Length: Timer: [start timer] Priority: 1 Medium Tag: Status: Planning
Add Note

Can you spot the difference between, "Length:" and "Goal: No Goal"

Level of possible improvement
0. Goal : Mr Goal / Goal : No Goal (now)
1. Goal : Mr Goal / Goal : No Goal
2. "Goal : No Goal" (light gray)
3. "Goal :"
4. " "

I've set a goal called "No Goal" and one "My Goal", and one look stupidly identical.

It's the same thing for Context : NO CONTEXT and so on...

Grid view <span id="fol98743561" old="0" class='dim'>No Folder</span>
Vs, multiline
<span id="fol94845447" old="0" >Folder: No Folder</span>

WFT factor : 10, Time to fix : 1 min, Due Date : 1 years ago


This message was edited Jul 04, 2010.
Transisto

Posted: Jul 05, 2010
Score: -3



This post has been hidden because of negative votes. Click to reveal
PeterW 

Posted: Jul 05, 2010
Score: 0



Hi Transisto,

I must say that I do not have the same problem with reading the interface as you do. Although I don't use goals yet so perhaps that's part of your issue?

I agree that Toodledo looks a bit "legacy" and needs some interface modernisation - this definitely turns some new users away right off the bat but Jake is well aware of this and I hope is well advanced with an upgrade.

As I've mentioned in other threads, I have recently tried a few of the new cloud-based task managers out there and while they have very modern looking interfaces and some neat ideas, they still don't have Toodledo's depth of functionality nor stability. Perhaps you should also try a few of them out to gain some perspective?
Transisto

Posted: Jul 05, 2010
Score: -2



This post has been hidden because of negative votes. Click to reveal
Transisto

Posted: Jul 05, 2010
Score: 0



Repeat: None

Repeat: None

Repeat: None

Repeat: Daily

Repeat: None

Repeat: None

Repeat: None


Length:

Length:

Length:

Length: 4 hours

Length:

Length:

Length:
PeterW 

Posted: Jul 05, 2010
Score: 0



Sorry, I wasn't joking. I just didn't really grasp what you meant. I think I understand now.

As I mentioned above, I'd like to see interface improvements too but I get by fairly well in its current format using a Stylish theme in FireFox.

But if it's causing you that much anguish, you need to seriously consider alternatives because constant posting and criticism about it won't make Jake and the team go any faster. Improvements will take as long as they take and they will arrive in the order that Jake determines.

As I mentioned in my earlier post, there are some new cloud-based systems out there that you might like. Give them a try.
Transisto

Posted: Jul 05, 2010
Score: -2



This post has been hidden because of negative votes. Click to reveal

This message was edited Jul 06, 2010.
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