Wednesday, December 03, 2008


The Ultimate To-Do List Application for iPhone

I've decided to write a to-do list app for iPhone.

"But Kris," you say, "there are already 837 to-do list apps in the App Store. How can you compete with those? How will yours be different?"

Well, I haven't tried all 837 to-do lists in the App Store, but I've tried several, and I haven't liked any of them. So I'm going to put my programming superpowers to good use, and create the Perfect To-Do List application for me.

So, how will my app be different from the other 837? Here's my manifesto:

Simplicity and Efficiency

The problem I have with all the to-do apps I've seen is that they are too complicated, and require too many steps to do the things I want to do. All I want is to keep lists of items and check them off. Adding a new item will require me to simply tap an Add button, type a couple of words, and tap a Done button. I don't want to prioritize items, categorize them, specify due dates, set their fonts and colors, or align them with my personal vision statement. I don't want to sync with Outlook or iCal or OmniFocus. I don't need to do everything the Getting Things Done way.

With the tap of a button, I will be able to re-sort the list so that unchecked items are at the top.

With the tap of a button, I will be able to delete all checked-off items.

A List of Lists

The app won't just be a single to-do list. I will have a list of checklists, so in addition to a to-do list, I'll be able to keep meeting agendas, my grocery list, my Christmas shopping list, my Christmas card list, travel preparation steps, and every other list in this one application.

But I'm not going to have sublists. Two levels is it. I'm not creating an outliner.


I'll be able to save any list as a template. Later, I can create new lists by copying the templates. This is useful for recurring tasks, like grocery lists.


I will be able to send or receive lists from other users of my app. The particular use case I want to support is allowing my wife to make a grocery list and send it to me so I can pick things up on the way home.

Scratching My Own Itch

This will be my app, suited to my needs and usage patterns. I'll make it available through the App Store, but I will be my own most important customer. People who don't like my app can try out the other 837.

(By the way, the number 837 above is made-up. I have no idea how many to-do list apps there really are in the App Store. But I know the number is pretty big.)

oh this sounds like a dream come true! found your blog searching for a good to do list app - definitely update when your ultimate app is ready for use! i'll be your 837th customer. or second. Whichever comes first!
If you included sub-lists, it would have been perfect. As it stands, your app seems to be pointless amongst all the others, because 835 or so of them all lack the ability to create sub-lists. But this is your app built for your needs, so have at it, and best of luck.
I'm not sure why you say my app is "pointless." It does what I want; that's the point.
Hello Kris. Hope you're aware about the ongoing DST bug on Toodledo. They claim that its something to do with their iPhone app (unfortunately its universal). Any thoughts?

Sorry, I don't know anything about Toodledo or its bugs.
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