When my friend, Peter, reached out to me with a game-changer application that would help me manage my to-dos, you know I was all over it in a hot second. While Slack and Trello are my bread and butter when it comes to big picture management, it’s really my Google calendar that acts as my real-time brain when it comes to day-to-day functionality. I use CalenMob on my mobile devices, so Google tasks don’t mesh well with my personal view, so I list reminders as calendar events to keep me on top of things. When Peter told me I could have checkboxes assigned to calendar reminders and I could mark them off when I was done OR the app would auto-advance them forward to the next day if I didn’t get to something…seriously, I may have cried. Oh, and for extra win…if I happen to log in via desktop, I can see my complete list of to-dos. Ya know, just in case I want to go powerhouse and knock out everything at once. This is my #1 MUST-HAVE application for busy working moms. Hands down. And…it’s FREE. FREE PEOPLE. IT’S FREE. (Did ya hear me?!)
For many people – especially working moms on the go – work-life revolves around managing email (for communication), calendar (for meetings), and to-dos (for getting stuff done). We’re all lucky enough to have amazing tools such as Gmail and Google Calendar – especially on mobile…but when it comes to to-do apps, there doesn’t seem to be a great solution that integrates into our existing workflow of email and calendar.
I recently surveyed about 50 working professionals on how they manage their to-dos. The results were pretty shocking. While more than 80% of users had at some point in time tried a dedicated to-do application such as Wunderlist or Remember the Milk, after a few weeks of using them, most stopped using them. The steady-state usage followed the approximate percentages.
~10% of people continued to use a dedicated to-do app
~40% of people still used paper notebooks, post-it-notes, Notepad or other text program
~40% of people put their to-dos in their calendar – either as all-day events or scheduled events.
I am one of the users squarely in the 3rd bucket. I rely on my calendar to manage my schedule, but since I’m looking at my calendar all the time, I end up putting all my to-dos there as well. I’m sure many of you can relate to how hectic the day can be juggling work and family. Being able to just check one place – your calendar – for what you need to be doing is ideal.
The issue with putting to-dos in the calendar is that you don’t get the satisfaction of checking off my to-dos, and having to constantly look back in your calendar to see what to-dos are still incomplete and drag them forward in the calendar so you don’t lose them. Hardly ideal – especially for important to-dos.
I came up with the idea to provide to-do functionality (mainly checkboxes so I don’t lose track of items) WITHIN MY EXISTING CALENDAR. No other product provided this so I had to build it myself.
The result is #todo (www.hashtagtodo.com). A service that integrates with your Google Calendar and provides to-do functionality natively within your existing calendar events. All you have to do is add #todo to any calendar event title. That’s it.
In the background, our system looks for any calendar event with #todo in the title.
- Just put in #todo at the end of any calendar event
- This adds in a check box to the beginning of the event. Well, actually, its not a true check box but we use open/close brackets [ ]. To check off items, you just type in “x” between the brackets like this [x]
- We look for any to-do events that haven’t been checked off and move them forward at midnight so you NEVER LOSE TRACK of any incomplete to-dos. No more having to look back in your calendar.
The real magic to this is that because we are integrating into the back-end of Google Calendar, you can continue to use ANY CALENDAR interface you currently use. This is especially critical for mobile devices. You can continue to use whatever mobile calendar you like and #todo will work. NO ADDITIONAL CLIENT APP TO DOWNLOAD OR USE. You just continue to use whatever calendar you’re already using and it automatically works.
The reason we believe this is the right system for many people (and why other dedicated to-do apps have failed to satisfy the majority of people) is
- Most people spend all day in their email and calendar. Having to check a 3rd app for to-dos is too much trouble and is often forgotten – not a good thing to happen with important to-dos.
- People like using the apps they are used to. It’s a tough proposition to force them to use a different tool or interface. If you already use a calendar, it’s the exact same experience and interface. No learning curve (well, I guess a little – you have to type in #todo…)
- Losing track of incomplete to-dos is stressful and time consuming. We make sure you never lose track because if you haven’t checked the to-do off, it rolls forward in your calendar automatically. Save time not having to look back in your calendar. Save stress by not worrying that you missed something.
We’d love if you’d give HashtagTodo a try.