Managing TODO Lists Using ifttt.com
Recently, they added a couple of new actions to their Dropbox channel. The most interesting one, in my opinion, is this one – “Append to a text file.”
I immediately thought of a post by Merlin Mann I read years ago about appending to text files using Quicksilver. I used that technique for several years to manage a collection of todo lists and I loved it.
With ifttt.com and Dropbox and SMS I can make this even more useful.
While I use Omnifocus to manage all of my projects and tasks, I still use a few other technologies to help me work best in different contexts. (I’m a big believer that many GTD zealots spend far too much time obsessing over putting things in one place. The idea is to have one system – that doesn’t necessarily mean one tool.)
One of the tools I use is Taskpaper. I keep a small collection of .todo files so that I can refer to them on my phone or iPad and cross them off as I finish them. It works for me.
I’ve set up a different recipe for each of my todo files (so I can use a hashtag to decide where to place each task). One of them looks like this.
One nice plus is that if the text file does not exist, it will be created.
One problem, from my perspective, is that I can’t specify the name of the file exactly.
My todo list is named TODO.todo
When I specified that as the filename, ifttt.com created a new file called todo.todo.txt
I also experimented with creating a new file, and it always creates it with lowercase letters (my preference for almost all file except these).
Specifying TODO.txt does work if I already have an existing file with the capital letters it does use that file without creating a new one with lowercase letters.
To solve my little aggravation, I wrote a quick little Python script to copy the data over and move them. I’ve set mine up as a cron job, but you could also set it up as a folder action or something.
#!/usr/bin/env python import os a = txt = todo = for f in txt: if f not in todo: .