NoList, the To-Do list that is not a list.

by ZRR13



To-Do Lists are great for getting organized and getting things done.

The only problem for me? They are lists.

A list of things to do can be very useful for many people, but I'm just not good with lists. When a list starts to become too long (and for me this usually means more than 5 or 6 items) it starts getting more and more complicated to keep a mental notion of the things that I have pending as a whole.

I built the NoList App for Android to tackle this and several other characteristics that make lists not the best option for me.

This is how I see a list of 15 things to do in a regular list:

and this is how I see them in NoList:

This visual representation of the items in my To-Do list may tell you nothing, but it tells a lot to me (and yours will tell a lot to you). I organized the items this way while I was on the metro thinking about the things I have to do and how to organize myself.

I organized them this way for a reason, following my own patterns of visual organization.

To create a new item I touch any empty spot on the screen.

To move items across the screen I simply drag them. I move them around while mentally organizing myself.

To change the color or size of an item, I simply select it, click settings, then size, text or color.

I believe text is the less important thing on a To-Do List. In most cases you only need a word or two to know what was that thing you needed to do.

I've found that using NoList helps me remeber the things I have to do. Moving around the balls and organizing them in this or that order, by this or that criteria, and planning a strategy to get everything done in the smartest or most efficient way makes me remember everything. It helps me to remember in a visual way my to-do's.

When I need to see the text of an item I simply touch the ball. (But believe me, most of the times you just know what each ball represents.)

And to erase a To-Do when its done, I just drag it to the gray area on the bottom of the screen.

I do like the simple priority system of lists: things on top have higher priority. But still, it feels a little too rigid for me. Sometimes I don't want to place an item necessarily above or below another one. Sometimes i don't want priority to be an order criteria, I want to play with criteria and priorities while i'm thinking, and organizing myself.

I think to-do lists should be something more than just a place to write down stuff you need to do. They should be a tool that help us think about the things we have to do, and be creative about the best way to get them done.

This is another example of how I organized my pending To-Do's with NoList:

You just can't do this with a regular to do list.


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