A Better To-do List

Of all the great uses for a computer, the calendar is probably the most significant to my life. Business execs get secretaries and the rest of us get iCal.

I can’t stress how important the calendar and to-do lists are for making sure I don’t forget everything. But there’s just something missing in terms of combining all my work in other applications with the calendar.

Life happens in terms of projects. I have to-dos tied to a particular project, using the title format “project name: to-do title.” So for my July blog post about running a successful web start-up, I had “startup: email boyd,” “startup: research boyd’s blog” and “startup” (the all purpose to-do when the whole project is finished). But I’ll have files (documents, music, emails, etc.) tied to the project with no way to centralize them.

A solution would be the ability to drag files and emails onto a to-do entry and have them linked. I could then easily access any related materials through the to-do entry. Most of my life is in iCal. A central project manager is the missing link.

On the Mac end, iCal still has a long way to go, but it’s nice to see Apple Inc. is putting a lot of development into the next version for Leopard. With all the cool features of the new OS, it’s pretty strange that the ones I’m most looking forward to are iCal and the new Mail, which will integrate with iCal’s to-do list.

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