Back to basics: Getting started (Todolists)


When your getting ready to start doing the tasks at hand you will have to start organizing the different tasks and prioritizing these tasks.

The easiest way of doing this is by using a Todolist application, there are a lot of different strategies of getting more productive but most of these ways and ideas are to get organized by using todo lists.

The main advantages of Todolists

  • Support: Getting Things Done (GTD)
  • Making it possible to plan things in a simple fashion
  • Centralizing information and tracking of progress
  • Organize tasks into projects and break down tasks into manageable chunks

Getting things done

Getting things done is a famous book and is also very much something you will want to study as a developer.

It makes heavy use of lists to organize the things you need to do.

Getting to stress-free productivity, from wikipedia:

The notion of stress-free productivity starts with off-loading what needs to get done from one’s head, capturing everything that is necessary to track, remember, or act on in what Allen calls a bucket: a physical inbox, an email inbox, a tape recorder, a notebook, a PDA, or any combination of these. The idea is to get everything out of one’s head and into a collection device, ready for processing. All buckets should be emptied (processed) at least once per week.

A developers view of this methodology:
The Joy of Freeing Up Mental RAM
10 Practical Tips on Freeing up Mental RAM

Getting started with GTD

and finally:

How to get yourself to actually do the things on the list.

The different options in Todo lists

Offline todo lists

Use Visual Studio’s task list option, you can also utilize it through your code.

The Outlook task list option this one has it’s own blog there is even a sidebar gadget.

If you practicly live in one of those applications it’s nice to be able to use them as your todo list tool of choice.

Abstract spoon has made a very nice todo list application you can download the source code and read a codeproject page about it.

Online todo lists

Simple shareable lists

Tadalist: You can’t get any simpler, the application which caused

Blablalist: My current choice of todolist

More advanced lists

Todoist: Todo lists on steroids with repeating items, scheduling reminders, keyboard accelerators etc.

Remember the milk: meta data, integration into a lot of different things, twitter, Google agenda and more.

Voo2do: mixing simple time tracking and todo lists.


With an organized overview of tasks and source control set up we are totally ready to start with development.

Well ok you do actually have to set up your development environment.
If you want help or direction in other things getting started please leave a comment and perhaps I can write another article about that.

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