I love writing To Do lists. They're definitely one of my main productivity tools. But always on paper – never on a machine. It's not that I haven't tried. Over the years I've used all sorts of mainstream and niche applications, but never found one I can stick with. They're all too – how shall I say? – "feature rich".
I just don't need 16 levels of priority, folders, categories, tags, and so on. I need a nice clear list of things I have to do, so I can easily see them and tick them off when I've done them. That's it. Nothing more. As a result*, I've always gone back to paper lists.
Now – at last – it looks like someone has built the electronic To Do list I've been waiting for. Realmac's Clear app for iPhone is a breath of fresh air. It's just a plain, simple, To Do list with virtually no other features. And the result? It's number 1 in the US App Store, and number 2 in the UK.
If you need encouragement to try making your digital product simpler, or you need to persuade other people that your customers will love you for doing so, this is it. Take courage fellow simplifiers. The worm is turning.
[* Of course, there may be other reasons I prefer paper lists, such as the fact that they’re in my visual field all the time, they’re easy to write and modify, and my handwriting tells me subtle things about the content. Also, the very act of writing them may be part of the reason they work.]