To Do lists with Zenbe

I wanted a nice simple To Do list web service. I’ve been looking for ages.

In theory, it should be easy to get what I want. There are plenty of options to choose from, some of which are quite well-developed and popular. But most of the dedicated To Do managers are too fancy for me and add too much overhead. I don’t want to think about categories and subcategories and tags and expected effort and priority codes.

In order to make me happy, it only has to do a few things. I just want an easy way to make a simple list, and having created the list, I want to move the items up and down the list as needed. Also, it needs to be accessible from any computer. My Outlook task list at work is plenty good (and nicely integrated with work email), but it’s locked up inside my company firewall. I can’t get to it from home.

For a while, I was a sucker for every To Do list out there. The only one I used for any length of time was the obscure tasktoy, written by Toby Segaran. But it’s pretty crude and, as a side effort of one person, it’s clearly not going to grow up anytime soon.

I’m telling you all this because I’ve found my true love at last: Zenbe Lists. Zenbe.com wants you to use their email and calendar. I don’t need those particular services. But the Zenbe To Do list manager at lists.zenbe.com is just brilliant. Best of all, it has a very nice iPhone client. It all syncs up, and life is good.

2 thoughts on “To Do lists with Zenbe”

  1. I’ve been dissatisfied by the hostile UI on RememberTheMilk so I tried zenbe. Nice and clean – I like the idea. But you know how every piece of unusable bloatware has that One Feature You Can’t Live Without? That one thing which keeps you from using a slimmer, friendlier piece of software?

    If only Zenbe let me attach longform notes to my todos. It’s nice that the todo area can be of arbitrary length, but I don’t want to see all my details when I’m scanning the list. If only they collapsed the field down to the first line when displaying the list, it would be perfect.

    So close. So close….

    (I still can’t believe that the iPhone doesn’t have a built-in todo application. My 1997 palmpilot had it. Come on, steve.)

  2. … you know how every piece of unusable bloatware has that One Feature You Can’t Live Without?

    Well put! That’s exactly the situation I was in. I agree that long form notes would be great, but I’ve made my peace with Zenbe and sworn off looking around for new To Do managers. My greatest fear now is that Zenbe will start “improving it” with a clutter of handlebars and steam gauges.

    The iPhone doesn’t have a built-in To Do manager, as you say, and it’s taken Google (via Gmail and Calendar) many years to build one. For some reason To Do managers sit on a slippery saddle point between Too Simple and Too Complex. No matter where you start, you end up one place or the other.

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