Web-based To-Do Lists

Category: Websites & Videos

An extremely simple online solution for tracking and sharing home improvement (or any) to-dos.

Our Review

Restoring a house basically comes down to a million-and-one simple 'to-dos.' If it wasn't tough enough learning how to sister a joint, you have to keep track of all the different things you'll need to pick up at the store, too.

In our house this is complicated by two things:

  1. Our hectic schedules everyday, including my long commute to the Chicago suburbs.
  2. My complete inability to remember something that Jeannie asks me to do, no matter how reasonable or important the request.

In to this quagmire now enter Ta-Da Lists, a cute little website that actually makes creating, tracking and sharing to-do lists simple and even fun!

The site really is so simple that a description of how it works almost seems goofy...after you create an account you can create up to 10 different lists, each holding as many to-dos as you like. You then specify other people you want to share your list with via a simple email invite form.

The neat thing in my opinion is how easy it is to track your list in different ways. Simple buttons along the right hand side allow you to email the current to yourself or, if your a fan of RSS newsreaders you can have updates to your list syndicated too. In my case, this means any updates Jeannie or I make to the list appear automatically on my My Yahoo! page, like this:

This all certainly isn't rocket science, but I think Ta-Da Lists is exceptionally effective because the company behind the site--37Signals--takes design very seriously. If you've ever picked up an iPod you'll recognize the same feeling here--the simplicity of the design disguises the fact that lots of planning took place behind the scenes.

So, if your renovating a house (or if your just trying to get your spouse to remember to do stuff) I suggest trying it out!

PS--37Signals offers another website called BaseCamp that's a more robust project-management tool. I'm thinking of trying it out and will report back if I find it is useful as a more elaborate solution...

Looking for More?

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I looked at Basecamp for freelance use (I do web design on the side) - I read great reviews about it. Much better than Microsoft's project tracker, which is a pain in the butt to get started on.

The team at 37Signals are the masters of simple, efficient design. I love reading their case studies, I have learned alot about usability through them. (It's putting it all into action that's the hard part....) Great link!


I will admit that 37Signals has done a few things better than a lot of other people have, but I can't stand Basecamp. They break a bunch of user interface standards ... such as the alternate-d key combination to go to the address bar in a browser, just to name one.

I think everyone's different, but Basecamp is pretty nice for non-technical project management where you're managing chains of to-do lists. It's like a big ta-da list. If you're actually trying to manage a detailed technical project, you run up against basecamp's limits REALLY quickly.

Glad to know there are other addicts out there. I'm not sure I could cope without my lists; I have created my own organized to-do lists, a weekly grocery list, a "library books to checkout and return" list, a list of house projects to tackle, etc... I wasn't this neurotic until we got the house--now it's hard to keep it all straight! :-)


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Unbiased reviews of tools and resources based on our experiences restoring an old home.

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