Do You Trust Google With Your To Do List? (I Do)

by Matthew Russell

As I was browsing through some Google gadgets, I ran across To Do List and was incredibly impressed with it. I've been looking for a simple, elegant, web-based way to organize my various todo items for some time and have often thought that the ideal place for such a thing would be somewhere in GMail. Well, sticking a todo list on my customized Google homepage is the next best thing and works just fine for me. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so here's a sample screen shot:

Todo List

As you can see, the interface is simple and clean. There are no advanced settings to speak of, or anything else relatively complicated for that matter. You simply type in an item to stick it on the list. From there, you can delete it, edit it, or change the priority. I can't speak for anyone else, but that's about as complicated as I need it to be.

Also, these things look like they're as fun to develop as they are to use based on the information in the developer's guide. Can anyone attest to that?

Is anyone else finding these neat little gadgets to be a useful as I am?


2007-04-14 17:53:25
Love the sample to-do list

No visit podiatrist, buy eggs, pick up son/daughter, fill in taxes etc.

Yep, you're keeping it real.

2007-04-14 20:26:56
Yes. Yes. Yes.

I say yes three times because I have a gmail account for personal use, my day job, and my weekend job. I have a personal gogle homepage set up for each one. Each has this same to-do list right at the top of the center column (alongside gadgets for my Calendar, Docs & Spreadsheets, Groups, misc. other G-services and my links). Been getting things done that way for 6 months or so. Has been working out pretty wel for me.

2007-04-15 05:07:03
I really, really, really don't understand how everyone and his dog trusts Google so much. Think about it: With your setup (GMail, personalized Google homepage, Calendar, Docs & Spreadsheets) Google knows EVERYTHING about you. They have all your e-mails (so they probably know your girlfriend, too), they know exactly when you are doing what, they know what you ever looked for in the World Wide Web, they even have your documents. That's a horrible vision for me. Hello 1984. Big Brother is watching you.
Simon Hibbs
2007-04-15 05:36:10
Helge: I really, really, really don't understand how everyone and his dog trusts Google so much.

It's a matter of cost versus benefit. I don't keep any really vital or valuable data in google documents, notes, etc. So what if they know when I'm meeting my friends for lunch, or that I'm writing up notes for a roleplaying game. What are they going to do with it?

Admittedly my Gmail account does contain some sensitive info such as details of my DSL account, hotel and air reservations, etc bu that would be true of any email service provider so there's really nothing I can do about that.

2007-04-15 10:36:50
If you really want a kick butt ToDo List try the commercial - (really, go check it out, it's worth paying for!) or the free - - Both from - Their project management web application was the birth mother of "Ruby On Rails" (yeah, Chicken & The Egg Paradox). i.e. DHH (David Heinemeier Hansson - developed Rails as an internal API to assist with the creation of Basecamp. He decided it was too good not to share so he open sourced it at - All the applications are written in Ruby on Rails using the absolute latest Web 2.0 techniques such as AJAX, etc. They are outstanding web applications that are unbelievably useful!

I too love Google, check out the new Google RSS reader which I now use because I keep changing computers (Mac to Windows to Linux) and it's always available; unlike NetNewsWire which is what I was using prior. - Ironically, Google has yet to add search or filter features that I anxiously await. You can tag and group items but I would love a way to filter as well. Many blogs have different category tags for different types of content. For example, there are some fine technical contributors who post wonderfully delightful and geeky technical articles. But then they descend into politics and their rantings just drive me up the wall. I want a way to filter out the garbage but keep the diamonds. The categories are in the XML RSS stream so it's possible to filter on them if they are there. NetNewsWire could do the filtering using Smart Feeds (like Smart Folders on OS X)

I also use the FireFox Google Browser Sync extension - It allows you do sync your bookmarks, tabs, etc. Makes it easy to pick up where you left off from another browser session on another computer even cross platform! & the FireFox plugin is promising.

I use GMail but mostly to archive multiple mailing lists so it's easier for me to search for postings as the signal to noise ratio is outrageous on most mailing lists.

Google Earth is wonderful as well. Very useful to have a world map at your disposal when so much news filters in from little known parts of the world. Nice to take a look to see the geography of the place. Google Maps has beaten out Mapquest for me as well.

Multimedia Guy
2007-04-15 13:33:22
Also love the to do list. Uh taxes... :)

GMail, GCalendar, the custom home page, and Google Analytics are my favorite four, but also using docs and a few other services.