Now using (ugly) Toodledo … Good riddance, (pretty) Remember the Milk

It was not easy to say goodbye to Remember the Milk. I’ve shelled out $25 for a Pro account (& I’m cheap when it comes to these things).

I also got a ton of tasks already up & running in RTM. Since they conveniently didn’t put an export feature, this has increased my reluctance to transfer to another task management system.

Another reason for my hesitation is that Toodledo, my best alternative, has an ugly website. I love my websites pretty. And RTM is pretty.

Unfortunately, it seems like pretty is all they have going.

So I remained a blind follower. Much like Apple fan boys are to Steve Jobs (“He said I don’t need MMS, so I don’t!”)

When the developers of RTM said that I don’t need all the features I was aching to have, I decided to believe them: So what if they don’t have subtasks? I can use tags for all my subprojects. I can live with it. Even if I accidentally create duplicate tasks because my tags get buried. Maybe I could just clean my list ever so often.

And so what if they haven’t updated RTM in ages? So what if they don’t publish their roadmap so we have an idea of what’s in store in the future? RTM said Apple doesn’t publish their roadmap either. And, er, they’re like Apple. Right?

But months later, I noticed I spend more time fixing my task list & removing duplicates than actually working with them.

And I needed subtasks, for goodness sake. Since they added a highly useless feature called locations, maybe they’ve changed their minds about subtasks. Right?

A visit in the forums confirmed my deepest fears. A post from RTM said they will not implement subtasks. Ever.

As we’ve now provided several ways to organize tasks (tags, lists, and Smart Lists), we have no plans to introduce subtasks.

A workaround for subtasks might be to use lists and tags — for example, I have a list named ‘Shopping’, and within that list I’ve tagged tasks with ‘supermarket’, ‘mall’, etc. I can then view tasks tagged with ‘supermarket’ in my ‘Shopping’ list, which helps to break down the list.

Hope this helps!

Fortunately, it did help — in making me decide to jump ship.

Pretty is thrown out the window, and I skipped happily to Toodledo, ordered the Plus account, & worked on my tasks from scratch.

It was wonderful. From the first few entries, until I’ve successfully migrated 100% (& more) of my tasks from Remember the Milk. My only regret is not doing it from the beginning, before I got suckered in by RTM.

Toodledo is very straightforward. The best thing about it is how I can configure it the way I want. Don’t want to work with Tags? Hide it. Don’t like Contexts? Hide it. Want to see tasks ordered by Due Date? Here ya go. How about by Folder? And there it is.

It still aint pretty. I still wish they would finally get the service of a fantastic UI designer to help them out.

But pretty isn’t everything. Even if I say so myself.

25 thoughts on “Now using (ugly) Toodledo … Good riddance, (pretty) Remember the Milk”

  1. I’ve just done the same thing, probably at about the same time (I switched right at the end of May), and for the exact same reasons.

    I hated the look of Toodledo when I was first evaluating both services, I thought, I’m sure there’s a way around not having sub-tasks, but there just isn’t. And the kicker for me was the absolutely anti-customer attitude of RTM’s support staff. Ridiculous. I can’t believe how much better toodledo is.

  2. Funny – I did the same thing a few months ago. I tried and tried to convince myself that RTM was truly as helpful as it should be. But once I saw the way a few coworkers were using Toodledo, I had to try it. After a day, I was done with RTM. After a week, I had upgraded to a Pro account and have not looked back.

  3. I’m completely in the same boat. Your post perfectly summed up my sentiments. Using toodledo (with the Todo App on the iPhone is taking some getting used to).

  4. I evaluated both RTM and Toodledo for a long time before leaving my Palm Desktop for the cloud. I listened while several co-workers raved about RTM. I finally opted for Toodledo. The kicker for me were the range of import and export functions. THe palm import didn’t work for me, but I was able to get my palm tasks into plain text easily enough and the plaintext upload was dream. Also, I want a periodic hard backup, just in case I can’t find the web. The csv support means I can easily add my toodledo tasks to a little db program on my palm tx. And I drop another in a dropbox folder so it is available all over.

    I love the contexts, was up and working in no time. Toodledo was a good choice for me.

  5. Don’t forget you can use User Styles or Greasemonkey scripts to beautify the interface :)

  6. I’m so glad you wrote this! I am just getting into GTD and spent the last DAYS reading about to-do lists and trying programs… there are a TON out there and I bought Toodledo for iphone even before I knew about all the others!

    So when I discovered all the others I went “Oh-oh!”… But then I realized Toodledo was really a complete application, even if with a so-so interface. Still checking and comparing and all, and RTM was one of the ones I was also contemplating… So reading this I feel I deserve myself a pat on the back!

    Oh, and thanks for the User Styles link, Brian! Really makes some difference!

  7. I am also a little late learning about all the apps available to us smart phone users. I did research on RTM, but felt is wasn’t exactly what I was looking for; after trying to get google (calendar, email, tasks, docs) to help me organize my day, I finally gave up and discovered Toodledo. Not crazy about the “Look and Feel” but its effectiveness in helping me organize is well worth the subscription.

  8. Another point for using Toodledoo is it doesn’t cost $25 a year to use with your iPhone. I’ve always been a Toodledo user but as has been mentioned the ugly website was ticking me off. However, perusing RTM’s site and seeing that I would need to fork out a yearly fee to use it with my iPhone and then reading this blog, convinced me to stick with Toodledo. Another good thing about T is the Notes feature which syncs wonderfully with Notebook on my iPhone.

  9. Not only is Toodledo infinitely more powerful and configurable, but the attitude and responsiveness of the developer is absolutely outstanding.

    Customer suggestions are answered cheerfully and acted upon. Upgrades are frequent and based on the requests of users. In fact, often upgrades are adjusted within days of being released based on the reaction of users, and tweaks that they recommend.

    We all agree that the “look” of the web interface needs work and the developer acknowledges this. But we all also recognize after just a few days that the functionality of the web app more than makes up for it. And the iPhone app is actually very, very good and is also updated frequently

  10. I feel the same way about RTM. Missing some fundamental features. But I honestly can’t stand Toodledo’s interface. Have you tried Todoist? I find that the best so far for simplicity, but like all of them, missing some crucial features. All of them miss something important, so I guess the key is ffinding the one with the most important features for you.

  11. I have to agree with your sentiments…

    I’ve been evaluating several todo list sites and their companion Android apps for the last two weeks, and I seem to be gradually settling on Toodledo as well. For me, the most important points are:

    – good site functionality, but jarring/ugly UI
    – subtasks!
    – reasonable annual cost
    – good third-party Got To Do Android app

    – nice UI, *great* keyboard shortcuts
    – no subtasks!
    – annual cost bordering on too pricey

    – good and interesting site UI
    – limited mobile device support
    – seems to be no active development

    In the end, I think subtasks will be the deal breaker for RTM. I think I can stomach Toodledo’s site UI since I seem to be doing most things from my phone.

    I’d like to see Toodledo redesign the site UI (including keyboard shortcuts). I’d also like to them launch their own Android app or work with the Got To Do developer.

  12. Started using RTM recently. Probably spend more time reading about GTD apps than actually doing my to-do list! ;)

    Have to say that I don’t understand the reluctance of RTM and Things against sub-tasks. At least Things have said that they will implement sub-tasks _someday_.

    Am on a one-month trial of RTM Pro at the moment which allows unlimited synching with my iPhone. Might jump ship to Toodledo (thanks for your article!), really depends on whether I find a need for sub-tasks…

  13. I have exactly the same ‘problems’ and I am testing Toodledo more and more at this moment (was a big fan of the RtM GUI till now, but Toodledo has so much more funtionallity and settings!). Also tested (tried): (has a good integration with Google!)…

  14. This is so funny to read. I’ve been feeling so nervous about leaving the google acquired good looking GTD product RTM for the very product you’re describing, toodledo.

    Reading the comments, it seems that toodledo isn’t very responsive being as the only complaint is that it’s ugly. I signed up a few months ago because RTM didn’t offer an iPad app. However, I’m now a toodledo customer so perhaps it’s not that important.

    I just installed the greasemonkey skins but using different browsers and different devices I think it’s best just getting over the ugly UI.

    Thank you for writing this article, I now feel A LOT better and am not going to look back to RTM.

  15. I am happy with ToodleDo, having looked at RTM quite a whhile ago.

    The multi-platform approach works very well for me — specifically the iPad ToodleDo client with offline functions, the Web 2.0 client on my mobile phone (Nokia N900) when I am not carrying the iPad, and desktop web browser access for the speed of a full sized keyboard and mouse…

  16. great post and discussion, thanks. Having just renewed my RTM pro account I’m quite pissed off by reading that they are never going to implement subtasks. Whatever is is my work context needs often that simple nested structure. This pure simple list esthetics is a good UI point but it comes at a too high price in terms of features. ciao all

  17. Nice post! I have been a ToodleDo user for a few years now. I briefly jumped ship and tried RTM – I wanted pretty! That didn’t last long at all, and I am back with ToodleDo and very happy with it. I use it online, and also on my iPodTouch, and iPad – I love it that it works offline!

  18. Toodledo is useful and ugly at the same time. It also has quirky behavior that is annoying ( hide future tasks is a ambiguous feature ) . So much so that I have a recurring task in Toodledo to look for something better than Toodledo. I haven’t found a replacement yet, but when I do I’ll be gone like the wind.

  19. I have been using Toodledo for a while now, but have just been researching the GTD methodology and after looking at a bunch of different alternatives (including Evernote, which I also use on a daily basis) I have discovered how well Toodledo is suited to such organization.

    BY THE WAY: I also thought TD had an ugly UI, but came across Stylish, an add-on for Firefox and Chrome. There are several (many) available styles for TD. I am using “Toodedo by nonimage.” It makes a huge difference. Try it out.

  20. Right on the dot: it just doesn’t work without subtasks.
    Signed up for Toodledo a week ago, and was also struck by the ugliness, but that *just* changed a couple days ago, brand new look. Check it out.

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