Doris – A Minimalist Productivity App for the Task Masters
When you have 25 hours of work and 24 hours of the day to do them in, one wonders where to start from. Well, as any productivity priest will tell”¦begin the night before. Task management is all about planning early and then following it through with some old fashioned ‘bubble gum’ attitude. That’s right; you got to stick to it.
Well, as a harassed freelancer, I have spent a lot of time on productivity how-tos. Personal productivity by the way is a universe of its own. Just stick the word in the Google search field and check out the number of resources and productivity apps that gets listed. Along with many blogs and websites, what also gets listed are tools that help us make headway with the day ahead of us. There’s a whole Amazonian forest of productivity apps out there. Some like Remember the Milk are standard examples of to-do applications.
More online and offline productivity apps are coming in each day. Why? Because mastering procrastination is as old a battle as any. Also, with the boom in handheld devices (PDA, iPhone), productivity apps have found new fields to mushroom.
So with a shout of more the merrier, let’s say a polite hello to Doris. Doris is a web-based productivity tool. It also has an iPhone app available at the App Store [iTunes link].
So, let’s check out if the beta persona of Doris has beauty as well as brains. As Doris herself says, it’s about three things – simplicity, usability and speed.
A Quick To-Do for the Day with Doris
With a login that’s quick and straight, you are presented with the My Tasks interface. As principles of productivity and GTD theories say, it’s important to offload all pending to-dos from the head to the paper.
The interface is designed around quick listing of all tasks that need to be done for the day. After listing everything out in a random list, the interface supports drag and drop of the items into an order of priority i.e. how d you plan to go through them from top to bottom.
The drag and drop feature also makes it easy to create Groups and add related tasks into them. In the next screenshot, two similar tasks have been hived off into a group named as Work Related.
Another approach is to drag and drop tasks from the Groups into the Today view so that the immediate tasks can be brought to the fore. When the list and groups get too much for the length of the monitor, you can collapse the individual groups to manage the view.
Completed tasks can be marked off with a simple checkmark. The task gets crossed out. And yes, I agree with what Doris claims”¦crossing out completed tasks does give a high.
To enhance that feeling, you can go into Task History at the end of the day and gloat over your accomplishments. Any task that that been crossed out by mistake can be restored to the list with a click on Restore.
An End of the Day Opinion
Doris does live up to the three virtues. There’s nothing complicated about the interface, you can log-in and straightaway start creating your to-do list. The drag “˜n drop feature makes prioritizing slick and smooth. Keyboard usage is limited to typing out the tasks. The interface is uncluttered and the only piece of clutter that’s there is some informative stuff from the Doris blog feed.
Doris seems to suggest that you should get the things to do off your mind into an organized list as rapidly as possible and then focus on doing them.
If you are starting off with to-do’s and productivity tryouts, then do give the Doris productivity app a try. Its apparent lack of advanced features could be a blessing in disguise for the guy who hankers after minimalism.
Try it out for a day, and tell us if you felt happy, crossing out a few tasks from a Doris to-do list.
Image credit: gothick_matt
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