Swipes - the Procrastinator's To Do List



For a while now I have been using Swipes. On the surface it looks like a run of the mill to do list, but there is a small twist to it. The way you "schedule" tasks is ingenious.

I don't need a to do list for the important things. Each morning I sit down and think about the three most important things I need to to today and I do them. Where things get lost along the way are all the small tasks. You know those tasks that are small, not really important, but hurt when not done. Tasks like cancelling a subscription, checking why Amazon is complaining about your IAM policies, you know those many 5 minutes tasks.

"If it takes 5 minutes, than do it now", is awfully bad advice. The problem is that I currently have 15 tasks (not all are 5 min long) and doing all of them would probably take 2 hours. But I don't have 2 hours to spare and half of the tasks I can't do now anyway; I can't decalcify my espresso machine when I am not home.

And here is where swipes comes in. Like any task list, you simply record the task and next time you have time to spare you look at your to do list and do as much as you can. So far so boringly common, but here is the twist: by default you only see your currently active tasks. When going through your to do list, you decide to do this task this evening, that task tomorrow and the next task this week end. Once you scheduled the task you will not see it again until the given time.

The result is that you are not mentally burdened by all the undone tasks. You can focus on those tasks you want to do now and when you are done, the list is empty. This is little, but the psychological effect of actually clearing the list is astounding.

Now if swipes could also run on my oldish phone...