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Ask Slashdot: Best To-Do/Task List Software? 278

Albanach writes: Despite searching, I have not identified a good solution for managing to-do lists, a problem that can't be unique or unusual. For a variety of reasons, I need something I host myself, which allows me to organize tasks, give them due dates and/or priorities and to easily reorganize. I'd prefer a web interface so that I can access my list from home/work/mobile. My searches generally turned up hosted solutions that don't work for privacy reasons, or very old software that has shown no sign of updates in years. What are other Slashdotters using to manage their real-world task list?

Ask Slashdot: Best To-Do/Task List Software?

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  • Self hosted on a FreeNAS machine.

    Accessing it from the outside web requires a login/password, it's not password protected from the LAN.

  • Why are your todo lists so top secret? What are you planning? I'm forwarding this to the authorities.
    • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

      Well, this dude is so fussy, it is simply better to say, roll your own. Basically write a tiny little database, with a simple interface, do it with libre office for example, if you can run it on your phone and simply host the database with your ISP, encrypted. So where ever you are load it on up. To be honest I have found people who do not manage todo with scraps a paper, a simple diary and memory will not manage them no matter the technology. Reality is though todo list are simple databases, you want pushe

      • That’s what I thought.
        Especially when he says some options are just too old and havn’t been updated. They haven’t been updated because there isn’t much to update. A to-do list is a simple program that any first year CS student can program. File IO, Arrays, simple interface.

    • Why are your todo lists so top secret? What are you planning? I'm forwarding this to the authorities.

      What ever it is, I suspect you're now at the top that list! :D

    • by Cederic ( 9623 )

      - build web interface
      - build server back-end
      - develop branding
      - secure investment
      - find alpha testers
      - start alpha
      - finish alpha
      - start beta
      - finish beta
      - set up launch party
      - launch
      - IPO
      - crush microsoft
      - buy google
      - world domination
      - create bug tracker
      - meet parole officer
      - write book

  • by Zombie Ryushu ( 803103 ) on Sunday March 04, 2018 @10:11PM (#56208107)

    Run an eGroupware on Apache with CalDAV Turned on. Tasks lists are just another form of Calendaring.

    On Linux and Windows: Configure Mozilla Thunderbird with the Thunderbird Lightning extension.
    On Android: Configure DavDroid From F-Droid with CalDAV resource.

  • by Tensor ( 102132 ) on Sunday March 04, 2018 @10:12PM (#56208115)
    Before Yahoo, with their longsightedness bought and killed it for absolutely no reason, astrid tasks was effing glorious. The old sources are still up and this for is still being worked on there is also an android app for this second one.
  • by El Cubano ( 631386 ) on Sunday March 04, 2018 @10:13PM (#56208119)

    ... or very old software that has shown no sign of updates in years.

    How is that relevant? I understand if the software has outstanding major bugs or is not feature complete. However, as you point out, the todo list is basically a universal problem that has been around since the beginning of time. So what if some application was last updated 10 years ago if it does the job and is essentially bug free?

    I also get it if you really want a nice responsive mobile experience and the only tool you find was "completed" before responsive design was a thing. But, the point still stands: a lack of recent releases does not automatically make a piece of software unsuitable or undesirable. Lack of responsive design would be an example of a missing feature, as opposed to an outright bug.

    I would be interested to see what came in your search that you deemed "too old". Assuming that age is the only problem you found with them, I suspect that one or more are actually still quite useful.

    • So what if some application was last updated 10 years ago if it does the job and is essentially bug free?

      "If it does the job" can change as your needs change. Do you want to be locked to a fossil that has no hope of growing and changing with the times? What if a new vulnerability like Shellshock or Heartbleed affects the software? Do you just say, "Oh whelp, nobody updated the software in six years so I guess it's time to move on?"

      • What if a new vulnerability like Shellshock or Heartbleed affects the software? Do you just say, "Oh whelp, nobody updated the software in six years so I guess it's time to move on?"

        Probably. Or just upgrade the dependency if that's possible and push that change to all the other users.

        It's fine to use "is actively being updated" as a factor, but it's hardly a deal-killer. Especially for something as low-security as a todo list.

        • Sorry to comment here - this is just for "Actually, I do RTFA" - Who ask a question about rural suicide rates and Simpson's paradox. Suicide rates are much higher in low density areas of Canada because native Canadians make up a higher percentage of the low density areas. Native Canadians have an extremely high suicide rate compared to the non-native population. If you really wanted to compare rural to urban suicide you have to compare it by demographic subgroups.
    • Cross platform support.

      New features (on said platforms?)

      Faster / more secure / better syncing, more sync options, adding attachments, sharing

      There's a heap of ways to improve software, I am with you a trillion % to not fix what ain't broke, but if it's a good developer, then constantly fiddling isn't always a bad thing if it's positive.

      (best example I can think of is display fusion multi monitor tool, exceptionally supported)

    • by Cederic ( 9623 )

      Look at this from another perspective.

      Someone that writes a to-do tracker clearly has completion issues. They need software to help them track what they need to do, because they're just not getting it done.

      So abandonware suggests that either they completed their to-do list (which clearly they can't do, as they wouldn't need to write the software if they could) or that the updates/bugfixes/security patches are still on the to-do list, just lower priority than everything else.

    • How is that relevant?

      The likes of MyTinyTodo uses obsolete mysql calls. You can't even run it with an up-to-date MySQL server. Of course I have the source, so could update it, but it leaves you wondering if there are other flaws. Since the environment it's running on will change over time, it's useful to know the software might survive it.

      Also, I see updates (even infrequent ones) as some evidence of an active user base. Again, that means that if there's some significant change required, it's more likely to

  • Self-hosting (Score:3, Insightful)

    by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Sunday March 04, 2018 @10:13PM (#56208121)

    Right there you’ve eliminated 95% of the applicable software.

    Do you actually need to self-host, or is it just necessary due to your own philosophical predilections?

    • This is slashdot. We're a bunch of nerds with a tech bent. Even if our paranoid delusions didn't convince us we need to hide our grocery lists from the NSA, it would need to be self-hosted because we can self-host it.
      • I understand that... but that nerdy “tech bent” can sometimes get in the way of pragmatically selecting the best tool for the job.

    • Re:Self-hosting (Score:4, Insightful)

      by humankind ( 704050 ) on Monday March 05, 2018 @12:25AM (#56208601) Journal

      Self-hosting is making more and more sense nowadays in the marketplace where cloud based apps offer "free" services at first and then squeeze their customers to death later.

      • You get what you pay for. It might be that a Digital Ocean droplet, an application server on LightSail, or something similar might be a lot better in the privacy and security sense than trusting a "free" provider. Or, it might be useful to have a VM farm on a DMZ and host it from your Internet connection.

        The downside is that you have to maintain, back it up, and secure it, but the upside is that you pack your own parachute, and know what you are getting, and where your data sits.

    • Re:Self-hosting (Score:4, Informative)

      by coofercat ( 719737 ) on Monday March 05, 2018 @09:01AM (#56209651) Homepage Journal

      I wonder too...

      It's 'cloud' hosted, but thus far has been pretty well behaved: Todoist ( It has about a bajillion features I don't use (hell, I don't even put due dates on my tasks). It's a nice way to quickly take down items you need to remember and then tick off later though. I'm on the free version, which hasn't been 'nagware' at all, offers enough basic functionality to be useful and so far doesn't appear to be showing me "related ads" or any such thing.

      So if 'self hosted' is an absolute requirement, I'd recommend checking them out so you know what you need to copy ;-)

    • Right there you’ve eliminated 95% of the applicable software.

      Wouldn't it be more constructive to identify and perhaps compare some of the 5% that remain?

    • Is that self-hosting too hard to get understand? I too have a need for that
    • Do you actually need to self-host, or is it just necessary due to your own philosophical predilections?

      Yeah, possibly sensitive information, so it needs to be self-hosted.

      As the AC said, it's probably not that unusual a requirement for a To-Do list, which left me a little surprised at just how much this has moved to the cloud in recent years. I can imagine a whole host of folk from doctors and lawyers through IT security folks would want to have easy access to their to-do list, but wouldn't want a copy of i

  • Trello (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tearmeapart ( 674637 ) on Sunday March 04, 2018 @10:14PM (#56208123) Homepage Journal

    Does not fulfill all of your requirements, but it is simple, and has web and mobile apps: []

    Made by [] , who has a style that most, but not all, developers like.

    • Does not fulfill all of your requirements, but it is simple, and has web and mobile apps: []

      I'm not sure why you've been modded up, even taking into account that "all your requirements" caveat you tossed in. TFS has only five sentences, the second of which says "For a variety of reasons, I need something I host myself...". That seems like a pretty immutable part of the spec, and Trello doesn't satisfy it.

    • Why is this insightful? It is not self-hosting!
  • Emacs org mode (Score:2, Informative)

    by seasunset ( 469481 )

    I am one of those who moved to emacs because of org-mode.

    Give it a try []. If emacs is the kitchen sink, emacs is the rest of the house. And it is especially good as a (human) task manager

    • org-mode has all the capability one could desire -- outlining, integrated basic spreadsheets, embeddable links to all kinds of stuff. I actually do use it for some things.

      **BUT** ... EMACS key bindings are insane. There are good historical reasons for that. But nonetheless few people are capable of learning them, and even fewer actually do so.

      **ALSO** EMACS has been around a long time -- longer than all common GUIs. As a result, many problems that are handled pretty consistently in browsers, Windows, K

      • I failed to mention the obvious. EMACS Org mode has scheduling/task management features. As it happens, they aren't a great fit to my needs, but I think they will likely work better for others.


        What does my Python task management software do?

        • There's a date ordered list of tasks
        • Each Task has:
          • an editable date with an (optional) date step (n days/weeks/months/years)
          • a title
          • an optional text field with unlimited amounts of free form text
          • Optional links to unix shell scripts

        It has buttons/fields to step th

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      I have a much simpler solution that works with any text editor. I just leave TODO: comments in my source code and grep them later.

      • by Cederic ( 9623 )

        Quite apart from that being a fucking awful development antipattern it's entirely fucking useless for people that want to track non-coding activities.

        cashLedger += credit;
        debtTracker -= debit;
        TODO: buy milk, feed cat
        output("This made sense when I wrote it, but only to me");

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          On the plus side I have a git history of all my to-dos and can compile statistics on how badly I fail to complete them.

    • by imAck ( 102644 )

      No way. Use vi to edit TODO.txt on a server you can SSH into. Use SVN if you need to sync across devices. Vi for life.

  • by TigerPlish ( 174064 ) on Sunday March 04, 2018 @10:28PM (#56208173)

    Seriously, my phone. It goes where I go, and if I keep the list in apple notes, then it's cloudified and i can hit it from my PC or ipad or from any browser, really.

    Alternatively, a... a.. *GASP* I can't say it in this day and age!

    A... s small spiral-bound notebook, be it hinged at top or at the side, and a trusty old Pentel .5mm pencil. Like a really, really old one like the P225. I have at least half a dozen. Yeah. One of them dates to 1978 or so. That one has a place of honor on my piano, it's from 4th grade.

    Hey, you asked. Sometimes the oldest of tools are still the best...

    Truth be told, I prefer paper and pencil..

    • Wife and I ended up with a habit of taking a picture of the dry erase board on the fridge before going to run errands.

      Or asking the person at home to text a picture of it.

      It's a mix of old and new school. Not great, not even good, but it mostly works.

    • I second the old-school methods. I'm using sticky notes on a a4 notebook. The visual representation is very quick to grok what needs doing (particularly when the notes are ordered), the ease of creating a task and moving tasks between categories is unrivalled (IMO) and the satisfaction of peeling a completed one off and chucking it away is unparalleled :)

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Retro iPhone... Spiral bound notebook... Vintage mechanical pencil... Piano in your house....

      I just realized that it's pretty hard to tell a nerd from a hipster now. Do you even own a TV?!?

  • TaskFreak? []

    Yeah, it's old. But also you can host it yourself, it's simple, it has a web interface, and it works. Just because something is old, doesn't mean it's bad. Especially if it's a solution to "a problem that can't be unique or unusual"

  • by trawg ( 308495 ) on Sunday March 04, 2018 @10:33PM (#56208197) Homepage

    I have tried a bunch of TODO lists of various types. There are tons of them and many of them are great pieces of software; marvels of design and user experience and technology.

    But all of them have the same critical fault: they require you have discipline. If you don't have discipline they quickly turn from a handy list of all the things you need to do into an extensive catalogue of your failure to get anything done at all.

    The thing that made the biggest difference to me was to stop listing things and start putting them into my calendar. Give them an actual slot in your life like any task you have to do at work.

    Obviously this still requires the exact kind of discipline but I found it way easier to get things done - both at work and at home - if I'd already set aside a time to get things done. Plus all your time management and task management and TODOs are all in a single application.

    It's not perfect but when I started putting my entire life into my calendar - 'extreme calendaring'! - I found that I was more effectively able to manage my time for the drudge tasks that otherwise I'd just put off inevitably. Of course you do end up 'snoozing' items, but if you get in the habit of this meaning 'move it to another free slot' it takes a lot of the boring overhead out of trying to figure out all the things you have left to do.

    The downside is you end up feeling a little bit ruled by your phone and computer constantly telling you what to do. But I found this better than the constant background radiation of dread knowing all the things on my TODO list that I kept procrastinating about.

    • by Anrego ( 830717 )

      Same sentiment about discipline, though not necessarily the same solution.

      What works for me is dedicating a half hour (Friday morning) to making sure my TODO list still reflects reality, in addition to just the learned discipline of putting stuff in the list as it comes up.

      I end up roughly grouping items on my list into: today / immediate, short term, long term, and "parking lot". The specific meanings of those is kinda subjective and varies on a day to day basis.. and if anything has a specific due date I'

      • by trawg ( 308495 )

        Yep, I've tried this as well. I found it tough because my mornings were often basically "disaster recovery from all this emergency that happened overnight", so I really struggled with finding a dedicated chunk of time in the morning. Definitely think this would work in different roles though.

    • Calendaring has been one of the major work-organization concepts for a long time. David Allen's "Getting Things Done" (GTD) made some good arguments against it. A summary follows in the specific context of your post, but good overall summaries are available elsewhere - and of course the book. GTD got a huge following - not entirely undeserved, so it is worth repeating its lessons. Of course, it is not for everyone.

      1. In "knowledge work" as has become most of the work in the last 3 decades : one is not alway

      • by trawg ( 308495 )

        Great post and that book has been on my reading list for a while. Totally agree with everything you say and that it doesn't work for everyone. Some specific comments though:

        1. In "knowledge work" as has become most of the work in the last 3 decades : one is not always the master of one's own calendar. Unforeseen tasks of variable priority keep popping up by the minute. It can be frustrating and can cause induced helplessness if one is forced to reschedule tasks multiple times.

        For work I found it doesn't bother me. The biggest hassle is my partner and I have a shared calendar and stuff will go into it (e.g., "dinner with Bill"). Because she can't give me notifications for those events I often don't find out about them until close to the event, when it's too late to reschedule.

        2. Context matters a lot. E.g. your stock of apples at home is low. Nothing urgent, but you need to get some in next 2-3 days if you are around farmer's market. With calendaring, you need to make a false urgency of needing to get apples "today". Even ignoring this false urgency, while appearing on the calendar when you are at work, is not only useless but actively pushes away the real things you can do at work.

        I get your example but for me t

        • Good, let's keep looking. Even if you don't adopt GTD, it should give you good ideas.

          This is the one feature I would like in Gmail - 'turn this email into a calendar item'.

          This is the one feature I hate in Gmail. If I get a soft ticket in my email (for a hotel reservation, flight etc.), Gmail converts it into a calendar item.

          But giving the option to the user would be against their philosophy. Google needs to decide what goes into your calendar.

          • by trawg ( 308495 )

            But giving the option to the user would be against their philosophy. Google needs to decide what goes into your calendar.

            Settings -> Events from Gmail -> Uncheck 'Add automatically' :D

            I have loved that feature for the last few years as I've been doing a lot of travel for work (and pleasure) and have been dependent on the calendar to easily understand my travel windows more easily.

    • by Cederic ( 9623 )

      That approach wouldn't work for me.

      My to-do lists are simple text files (one each for work and home) organised in a 'most important at the top' order.

      The order constantly changes, new entries keep appearing, and the granularity can be massively different. e.g. 'Write book' is one row below 'get eyesight tested'.

      My work to-do list can have four year old entries. They're still relevant, they'd still be nice to get done, but they've never been the best use of my working time. More immediately, the thing that w

  • (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jshackney ( 99735 ) on Sunday March 04, 2018 @10:34PM (#56208203) Homepage

    I just use Google Keep. It's not great. In fact, it's utter crap, but I don't need anything too fancy. When I do (e.g. sorting), I weep silently in my corner, clutching my knees tight.

    • (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Anrego ( 830717 ) on Sunday March 04, 2018 @10:46PM (#56208251)

      Google keep feels like it would be perfect as a day to day (non-work) TODO list.. if it was just a _little_ bit better.

      I use it for things like my grocery list and it works well enough for that, but it could be so much better.

    • by UpnAtom ( 551727 )

      I love Google Keep. Losing it was the worst thing about giving up Android.

      Instant note taking either typed or voice. Fantastic UI. Good integration with Google Calendar. Syncs online. Can pin to-do list, distinguishing it and prioritising it over other notes taken.

      Found nothing to replace it on Sailfish.

      • Google keep is available on iOS. Just download the app and away you go. I use it all the time for my grocery list. I input the list on my mac, and then access it in the store via my iPhone. I love being able to dismiss line items that I've put into my cart, so the list doesn't become a mix of checked and unchecked lines, by the end the checked items are all at the bottom.

        I just wish it you could bold individual lines, so I could bold the store names. Instead I have to put ***STORE1*** before the items,

  • If you like kanban, Kanboard [] is great. Is a web application but it's simple to install. If you can self-host a webserver, installation is really simple and has both kanban methodology and all the features you pointed out.

    • by ColaMan ( 37550 )

      Similarly, Wekan [] is nice - I use it to manage stuff at work, with slots for "Awaiting parts", "In progress", etc

  • I've only had my schedule.todo.txt file for 19 years now.

    ftp, download, edit, upload, done.

    grab a quick web site, dropbox, one drive, or any other file hosting service if you don't like ftp as a protocol for transferring files.

    start lines with a date stamp or two, and you can sort it in any reasonable text editor, or manually in mere moments.

    make it a spreadsheet instead of a text file if you really think you're productive enough to get through that many todo items in the first place.

    why are you making it d

  • []

    I doubt anything better exists. It is CLI, but third party GUIs are listed on the web site.

    Suggestion: Learn the CLI first. Then install the syncing server "Taskserver" once you gets used to its awesome power.

    • by Mondragon ( 3537 )

      Taskwarrior is fantastic. You can access the data from all of your devices, and although it will require some effort the upside is you have full control over all of your data, as well as a significant level of control over how tasks are prioritized, tagged, annotated, etc.

      The server is a bit of a pain to set up, but it's worth it.

    • by higuita ( 129722 )

      +1 to this one

      it is very powerfull, it really helps managing tasks, the main program is cli, but you can integrate is most other tools, phones, web


  • Multi-platform, mobile apps, Android widgets, web version, offline mode, priority, date, category, flexible recurrence, sub-tasks, notes, delegation, powerful, flexible (better on both the latter counts than the anemic Wunderlist).

    Only thing wrong: it lies about tasks without a "due time". In fact, such tasks have an unstated time of midnight on the due date. Which means that when you cross a time-zone boundary, and your phone's clock gets a new time zone, all your time-less tasks are hopelessly fucked unti

    • Your favorite (I tried RTM & liked it 'ok') and mine don't have self-hosted options, I believe. But I still feel the need to share b/c it seemed like such a simple problem to solve and frustrated me until I found SplenDO on Android. I was also a little surprised by what turned out to be most important for me in a task tracker:
      1. web interface. SplenDO allows you to use google calendar tasks. It doesn't matter that it feels clunky at first because what's important is I'm already always logged in, so i

  • Nothing beats... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by EzInKy ( 115248 ) on Sunday March 04, 2018 @11:13PM (#56208375)

    ...pencil and paper. They take effort to use and it takes effort to stick to a plan.

  • I use a custom LibreOffice Database with a single table: fields for Header, Priority, DueDate, Done, Body. Simple, but it's been my most critical tool for years; the first thing I open on my desktop and leave there every day.

  • Nextcloud (Score:5, Informative)

    by Duckman5 ( 665208 ) on Sunday March 04, 2018 @11:17PM (#56208395)

    You can rather easily host an instance of Nextcloud [] on rather modest hardware in my experience. It just needs to be able to run apache/nginx, php, and sqlite (you're supposed to use mariadb/mysql but don't absolutely need to if you're just running it for yourself). Activate the tasks app [] and you're good to go. The entire infrastructure is all open source and you get a whole lot more benefits than just self-hosted tasks.

    Everything is accessible with CalDAV so you can use the built-in sync from the iPhone or DAVdroid [] and OpenTasks [] on Android. For desktop/laptop you can access it from the web interface or through your preferred groupware software.

    Since security is an issue, if you don't want to pay for an SSL certificate you can self-sign one or get one from Let's Encrypt.

  • I was recently looking for a good todo app as well, turns out what I really needed is actually akin to a project management/list management/mind mapping tool.

    I need a mind mapping list with dependencies and resource management. Project management tools are too ridgid (no wonder nothing ever gets done by PM's) and mind mapping tools just become an unmanaged web of semi-interconnected things.

    Ideally I would have something that takes speech and associates it with the right "project"

  • Self Serve: CLI server and free local mongo DB integrated with install. Modify to heart's content with JavaScript

  • ... allows me to organize tasks, give them due dates and/or priorities and to easily reorganize.

    Use index cards, wrapped with a rubber band; carry them in your pocket.

  • Horde has a web client and can sync to phones. Does lots of stuff that you probably need done on your phone anyway - email, calendar, contacts, tasks, notes, etc.

  • For some reason I forgot about it.
  • by dbrueck ( 1872018 ) on Monday March 05, 2018 @12:39AM (#56208641)

    It's relatively low tech, but I've tried just about everything over the years and I always come back to using a spreadsheet. I use a Google Sheet, but only because it's super convenient to have it "sync" to every computer and device I use, but there's no reason you can't just store an actual spreadsheet (ODT/XLS) file on a server. I have some misgivings about using Google for this, but the utter convenience of it trumps those concerns.

    A huge consideration in any sort of task tool /has/ to be the "cost" of the most basic CRUD operations. If it takes 20 seconds to add a quick task or reminder to your todo list, or to mark something as done, etc., then you are almost certainly going to stop using it before too long because the tool will be too much in your way - you need as close to a frictionless experience as possible or it will feel burdensome.

    A related issue is that any tool you use /has/ to very closely fit your organizational needs. If you have to adapt too much to the way the tool works or the way the author of the tool conceived its use, then again you will almost certainly stop using that tool before too long. This is especially important because your needs will almost certainly change over time. Sometimes I need to put subtasks into buckets and move tasks between them, other times I just need different areas to track tasks for unrelated projects. Sometimes I need prioritized lists, other times I just need to jot down lists of items whose order is unimportant.

    I am always on the lookout for something better, but a spreadsheet comes closest to hitting the sweet spot of flexibility and power at a low cost. It is just free-form enough to make it trivial to add a quick, unofficial or temporary todo list (and columns make it easy to add multiple lists to the same page), while also supporting more structure via tabs, sorting, and text formatting.

    Support for formulas is also surprisingly useful - for some lists I want to attach a time estimate or some other cost, and so it's nice to be able to include basic calculations like the total estimated time or the estimated completion time/date and have all of that update automatically. Or in the case of priorities like the OP mentioned, it's a trivial matter to constantly adjust priorities or add new ones and sort the tasks in whatever ways make sense.

    My spreadsheet ends up being a combination of my todo lists for work, personal life, etc., my daily/weekly/monthly calendar, and also the thing for tracking goals and progress. Since those things are all sorta related anyway, it ends up being really nice to use a single tool to manage them all.

    • A spreadsheet. That's all I use but was afraid to admit so on Slashdot. One column for priority, one for task description, and optionally one to mark completed.

      Anything more and I spend time managing task lists instead of doing tasks.

  • It has everything

  • by rwa2 ( 4391 ) *

    Still haven't found anything as nice to use as Progect for PalmOS
    https://progect-manager.en.sof... []

    There was a Linux desktop version as well that could sync. If someone could port that interface it would be awesome.

    I've more or less given up on the self-hosting requirement and have embraced... Google Tasks (somehow buried in the gmail sidebar) with the Gtasks app/widget. It's not ideal, but it's simple enough for long-term stuff, with due dates and alarms.

    For short term (daily) stuff, call me old-fashione

  • Old school dead trees. I've got to physically write the words or it doesn't stick.
  • I've found nothing better than Outlook tasks. Tons of flexibility in how you use them. Already integrated with Calendar and Email. They're pretty darn good.
    • by CAOgdin ( 984672 )

      I concur. And, if you add a tool named SimpleSYN, you can automatically share and manage a workgroup's combined, integrated Contacts, Calendar and Tasks/ToDos, so you can schedule meetings without waiting for everybody to tell you they're busy then. That sharing can be local, within a LAN to preserve the privacy of the data, or via the Internet, for people on the road, or other fixed locations (the usual caveats about security apply).

      Of course, you have to deal with Microsoft's ideosyncratic approach to s

  • Org-mode. If you use emacsclient then you can basically access it from anywhere via ssh.

    The OP didn't specify collaboration, which is org-mode (and Emacs') only real weak point, although if you control the list and only need others to view it then org-mode will export to HTML and you can slap that on a server or whatever. Emacs and Org-mode are cross-platform too, as regards desktop OSes, and there's a mobile client too although I've not used it so I don't know how good it is.

    The time-tracking and reporting

    • by ( 4475953 )

      I have to agree with that, Org Mode is the best Todo manager. Put it on a shared/synced volume for web access, but you can also ssh in, which would be more secure.

      Like the above poster, I'm assuming that the original poster is serious about it and has a genuine need for managing many Todo items.

  • If you want it self-hosted, just use todo.txt ( and and put it on whatever you want to. Use whatever you want to interact with it - CLI, Vim, Sublime, Thunderbird, whatever. Want to use it on a phone but self-hosted? Use SSH, or an editor that's able to connect to whatever method you're using for making files available, or fork one of the clients (e.g. or, or use somet
  • I use OSTicket [].

    It meets all your criteria, and it has a lot of features you probably do not need, which are aimed at large organizations. I use it to track multistep tasks. After a year's use it has not given me any trouble.

  • Todo lists can be viewed as bug lists. Redmine is an issue tracker, and works wonderfully for that task. Its main drawback is that it's written in Ruby. But if you don't want to dig into its internals, it is otherwise great software.

  • If you are thinking about lists with due dates then you're already in trouble. The best method I've found over many years is the Getting Things Done [] (GTD) method, though you don't need to take it to the extreme like he does in the book. If you follow that method, it'll change the way you think about to-do lists, for the better.

    Now at home I do have a system to organize papers by *when* we need to deal with them (think bills, permission slips, registrations, etc.). I made a stack of 183 (=366/2) plastic s

  • by msk ( 6205 )

    When I used PalmOS, I used DateBk3/4 from Pimlico Software. The author has kept up with the times and has a feature-rich product for Android: []

  • even though "TodoMVC" shows that a todo app is kind of a cliche, it's interesting how many of the same (incorrect) assumptions so many things make. (Also, many people make idiosyncratic lists of their own requirements, see below ;-)

    Table stakes is having good "repeat" events, and some choices for stuff like "Final Friday of Month" or whatever- as well as a crisp "this repeats when task is marked complete vs this repeats when task was dude" I've found some apps that do this pretty well (Appigo Todo - but it

  • I use a pen and a piece of scratch paper. It works during a loss of power. It doesn't require batteries. Even if exposed to many types of disruptions (including one wash cycle) it can still be read. Updates are simple. When all the to-do items have been executed, it can be easily discarded with little landfill acreage required.

    If security is an issue, dispose via a paper shredder. Use a cross-cut variety for additional security.

    Backups are as simple as your nearest xerox machine. Hosting is via

"We want to create puppets that pull their own strings." -- Ann Marion "Would this make them Marionettes?" -- Jeff Daiell