Todo Lists

With a baby on the way, I’ve started reconsidering how I keep track of my TODO list.

Seeing as I spent an inordinate amount of time Emacs, org-mode is my go to tool when it comes to keeping track of my life. I can keep notes, track time and customize my environment to support a workflow that works for me. The problem is life happens outside of Emacs. Shocking, I know.

So, my goal is to have a system that integrates well with org-mode and Emacs, while still allows me to use my phone, calendar, etc. when I’m away from my computer. Also, seeing as Emacs doesn’t provide an obvious, effective calendaring solution like GMail does, I want to be sure I’m able to schedule things so I do them at specific times and have reminders.

With that in mind, I started looking at org-mobile. It seems like the perfect solution. It is basically a way to edit an org file on my phone and will (supposedly) sync deadlines and scheduled items to my calendar as one would expect. Sure, the UI could use some work, but having to know the date vs. picking it from a slick dialog on my phone seemed like a reasonable way to know what date it was...

Unfortunately, it didn’t work. I had one event sync’d to my google calendar, but that was the end of that. It didn’t seem to add anything to my calendar no matter the settings. That is a deal breaker.

I’m currently starting to play with org-trello instead. I’m confident I can make this work for two reasons.

  1. The mobile app is nice
  2. The sync’ing in Emacs is nice

What doesn’t work (yet?) is adding deadlines or scheduling to my calendar, but seeing as this new year I’m resolving to slow down, I’m going to stop trying to over optimize and just add stuff to my calendar. It is a true revelation, I know.

One thing I did consider was just skipping the computer all together and using a physical planner. The problem with a planner for me is,

  1. My handwriting is atrocious
  2. It doesn’t sync to my calendar

In addition to trying to understand my handwriting, I’d have to develop a habit to always look at it. I can’t see it happening when I can get my phone to annoy me as needed.

Part of this effort is part of a larger plan to use some of the tactics in GTD to get tasks off of my mental plate and put them somewhere useful. So far, it has been sticking more than it ever has, so I’m hopeful this could be the time it becomes a real habit. Wish me luck, as I’m sure I’ll need it!