18 January, 2007

To do notes: online or in a text file

Long time, no post.. I know.. I got a job and no time for freelancing, no time for blogging either.. But hey, let's take a look at the bright side: I'm back! :)

Anyway, I got a job and I dont know anymore what free time means.. This job had negative impact to my life especially in the first few months.. I needed a way to organize my life. I was desperate, many of my friends labeled me as not serious, even my mother complained she always calls me and I never do..

My first try to organize my life was the cell phone but prooved not efficient and not even reliable.. So I tried some old-school sollution: plain old text file! I enhaced the plain text file with some scripts and tried to live with it.. soon I realised that I need some online thingy, that would be able to sync with my cell/computer.

Searching on the internet I found many, I even considered using the industry leader (my opinion!) basecamp. Anyway, basecamp was much more complicated that my goal and I really don't want to spend too much time using it. To cut a long story short, I choosed 30boxes.com, as the domain name reveals it is a social/web2.0 thingy!

It might sound strange but yes, web2.0 is trying to get this aspect of your life too. I am sure many of you are curious what exactly is that 'social' at to-do notes. In fact, the ideea it's pretty old (again, see basecamp).
Anyway, I'll give you a quick, dirty brief review of what 30boxes it's all bout and why I like it so much.

You can easily add notes by writing into a box supporting auto-complete. The way you make an entry requires you just to write everything down into a text box, eg. meeting with Larry tomorrow 8am remind 30 Mins tag personal tag beer. Isn't it great? It let's you write down notes the way it should do a reminder app: fast and easy!! No clicking thru drop down menus or tabbing through different text boxes.

You can set up groups of friends and can share some or all your notes, reminders with them. Reminders can get updated (you or some of your friends you shared the note with can change status of add notes) just like a support ticketing system. You can also share events with people who are not using 30boxes and they don't have to signup to read and understand the note. You also are given the option to set reminders by email or sms, to generate feeds with your events.. Oh, almost forgot, they have tags too!

The best part of 30boxes in my opinion is that they have a public api so one might write a mobile app for this service. Actually, I already wrote a script that uses their api for adding, deleting and listing notes. I plan to run it in cron every 15 minutes and to notify the user (me) about upcoming events and to list the events on shell login. As soon as I will finish up the script I'll post it here.

LATER UPDATE: Due to lack of time there were again no updates for few months. Related to the above post: check out www.todotxt.com.


Patrick said...

Hey man,
hiveminder it's the best. They provide a scipt for command line usage! Anyway, check your mail, I sent you a script for 30boxes. It has some issues but it's a starting point! Correct it and post it here..

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