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Summary:

After reading my review of uTodo and seeing that I was looking for a Windows equivalent of the Mac GTD app, Things, I was contacted by Richard Watson, developer of Tudumo. Richard wrote, “I wondered if you’d heard of Tudumo?  It’s fairly similar to Things in […]

tdlogoAfter reading my review of uTodo and seeing that I was looking for a Windows equivalent of the Mac GTD app, Things, I was contacted by Richard Watson, developer of Tudumo. Richard wrote, “I wondered if you’d heard of Tudumo?  It’s fairly similar to Things in concept, with maybe a bit more of a minimalist feel. I suspect not as slick – they’ve got a few more guys on the team than me – but I’ve always thought of it as ‘a Mac-like experience on Windows’.”

Intrigued, I rushed off to download it, and having played with it for a few days, I can say that it’s very close to what I’m looking for – perhaps as close as I will get without buying a Mac.

Tudumo is a tiny 2 MB download, although it does require the not-so-tiny Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0, so if you don’t have that on your machine already you’ll be prompted to download it during the install.

After installing Tudumo, the first thing you notice is that it has a very clean, minimal interface. The functionality is straightforward too: add actions, filter your view, group actions under headings.

Tudumo showing all actions

Tudumo showing all actions

Each action can be assigned a state (Next Action, Action, On Hold, Done, Waiting For and Someday/Maybe), given start and due dates (good for deferred actions), tagged and have notes added to it.

Tudumo keeps its clean look as you add more actions to your to-do lists. You can filter your view by heading, tag, date or action state. So when you’re working, you can set Tudumo to only show you Next Actions, and that way you won’t be distracted by actions that don’t need your attention yet.

tudumo-nextactions

Filtered view showing only Next Actions

Tudumo is pretty flexible as a to-do list manager: it doesn’t constrain you to the GTD model. Indeed, in the documentation you’ll see that Tudumo’s goal “is not to exhaustively represent all areas of GTD, but rather to create an enjoyable and effective day-to-day experience that includes some GTD concepts.” This suits me perfectly as my own system is based around GTD, but doesn’t follow it too religiously. I have Tudumo set up to use tags for contexts (“@Work”, “@Home”, etc.,  although as I noted in my review of uTodo, I only tend to use GTD for “work stuff” so contexts aren’t so important to me), with Projects under their own headings.

It’s nice to see that the menus at the top of the app are pretty minimal, and most of the action takes place in the app’s main pane. It’s easy to work with Tudumo using the mouse: drag-and-drop works exactly as you’d expect, you can edit fields by double-clicking on them. There are handy tool-tips to help you navigate when you’re starting out.

However, to get super-productive with Tudumo, you’ll want to learn the keyboard shortcuts. Happily, there are shortcuts for nearly everything you can do with the app. Even if you just learn the basics (add new action, add new heading, change state), you’ll be flying.

There are a couple of features that I really liked in Things that you won’t find in Tudumo. Firstly, Tudumo is missing a global hotkey for adding actions. However, it sits in the system tray when closed, like uTodo, so it’s never too far away. Secondly, the ability to state that actions should recur would be really handy. Richard tells me that he’s working on this capability, but you’ll have to make do without for now. I’d also like to see tag auto-completion, and it’s worth noting that Tudumo can’t handle task hierarchy and subheadings (so you can’t have projects-within-projects).

Due to its tiny size, Tudumo can easily fit on a USB stick. It’s also pleasing to see that you can export your data to a CSV file – if you decide to stop using the app, your data is not locked away inside it. It also features auto-saving.

If you’re looking for a simple, intuitive and uncluttered GTD app for Windows, you should check Tudumo out.  There’s a 60-day free trial available so you can whether it suits your working style; after that a license costs $29.95 (including free updates for a year). Upcoming features include the aforementioned recurring actions and web sync.

Have you tried Tudumo? What did you think?

  1. Quick update: you can use ctrl-win-t as a global hotkey to pop up a quick add box. Tudumo also does have tag autocompletion, but it didn’t work for me with shorter tags (maybe only really useful with longer tags anyway).

    Developer Richard Watson has pointed out to me that the license includes free updates for a year, or until the next major version, whichever is longer.

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  2. You’ve already identified the global hotkey for quickly adding items. Additionally, as an addicted Launchy user, it was quite easy to make this work as a Launchy command.

    I agree that there are a number of features that could really enhance this program, such as easy syncing between computers; expanding and collapsing headings; ability to create multilevel hierarchical structures; ability to view by tags instead of just headings; ability to work with multiple files or multiple lists in tabs; ability to ‘tear away’ heading sections into separate windows; repeating tasks; etc. And I would love the ability to work with the data in a browser interface when I’m away from my desktop.

    The developer does address a number of these features in his blog and website, and discusses why he has chosen not to include them in the program, as they do not fit the way he thinks we should work. I, however, would prefer an app that gives me the opportunity to use those features or not, depending on my personal preference for how I work.

    I bought the program about a year ago after working with the free beta version for several months. During the beta period the developer was pretty good about routine updates and adding some suggested features. Since going to the paid version, however, it seems as if updates have been both fewer in number and lighter in added features, leading me to wonder if this app is really going anywhere beyond its current state.

    The program does have a simple interface, and its tagging features are excellent. Overall, its one of the best GTD apps that I’ve found for windows that hasn’t grown itself into a complicated and convoluted program. And I commend the developer for that. So the lack of apparent features does balance itself with the simple interface.

    I would certainly recommend Tudumo to someone looking for a straight-forward, basic task management solution.

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  3. [...] Yet another GTD app for Windows… Tudumo is pretty flexible as a to-do list manager: it doesn’t constrain you to the GTD model. Indeed, in the documentation you’ll see that Tudumo’s goal “is not to exhaustively represent all areas of GTD, but rather to create an enjoyable and effective day-to-day experience that includes some GTD concepts.” This suits me perfectly as my own system is based around GTD, but doesn’t follow it too religiously. [...]

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  4. [...] although it does support multiple to-do lists. I’m not tempted to move from my current app, Tudumo, but if procrastination and distraction are ruining your productivity and you’re looking for [...]

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  5. Rollo Tomazzi Friday, April 24, 2009

    - No recurrent tasks
    - Doesn’t cope with large number of tasks (currently have 75 active ones, and each time it refreshes I can see it doesn’t handle GUI resources very well)
    - No hierarchy
    - No easy way to work on your projects as first-calls citizens (they are just headings)
    - No sorting of projects / headings
    - As was said already, since the app has gone commercial, there have been very sparse updates and each update is minimalistic (maintenance mode)

    Dunno who had the idea to compare this with Things.

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  6. @Rollo – it nowhere near as good as Things, but it’s the closest experience I’ve found on Windows. Do you have a better suggestion?

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