iido is a graphical to-do list application, or at least that’s the intention at the moment (these things have a habit of becoming more).
As a software developer for over a decade now, one of the most useful skills I’ve aquired (or put another way
become better at) is being able to organize my projects and tasks. Any developer who has ever worked on a medium to large project will have used some form of project/task management.
There is a labyrinth of good project management tools out there, both commercial and open-source, many of which specialise in specific areas of project management.
Even though there are all these tools available, the tool I use everyday is the mighty pen & paper (or if I’m feeling patient a plain text document and Dia). Why? Well, from a personal stand point it’s purely down to speed, freedom and convenience.
When I first started to think about writing a to-do list application, I first wrote down a list of things that I like about using a pen & paper.
- Speed – It’s not just that I can write faster using a pen (my writing is barely legiable to me), it’s that I can write, draw and visually associate various items on one or more pieces of paper, quickly.
- Freedom – All of us have a different ways of documenting our planning process, alot of the time this means drawing (rough) flow diagrams, tearing or folding paper, writing at an angle, etc.
- Portability – I can pick up a piece of paper, tear off what I want, put it in my back pocket and take it with me.
- Collaboration – Whenever I discuss an idea with a colleague I use a piece of paper to explain my idea, and usually in turn they will use the paper to amend my work, and so on and so forth.
- Unstructured associations – I often write down related information on a piece of paper like, contact information, reminders, ideas, etc.
- Unobtrusive – My favourate thing about a piece of paper is I can look at it instantly (no load up time), without switching my application.
Obviously there are also a lot of things to dislike about pen & paper, lack of consitency, poor accessibility for other users, no backup or version control systems, etc. This project is about trying to produce an application I’ll want to use instead of pen & paper, and in doing so provide the benifits of an electonic format without (where possible) comprimising on the benifits of paper.
Over the course of the next few weeks I plan to discuss and present ideas for the project on this blog, I’d much appreciate any feedback people have. Currently the team for this project will be myself and my father Andrew – and hopefully a little help from some of the talented friends I’ve been lucky enough to make over the last decade in software.