Why You Shouldn't Use Twitter to Manage Your To Do List

lifehack.org’s Craig Childs suggests using micro-blogging and message sharing tool Twitter to manage your to do list:

[it’s] particularly useful while I’m away from the computer. I can send Twitter an SMS of something to do when I get back home. Or just something to remind myself of something; a song to download or an an email to write.

It’s basic but requires a few extra functions. One being tagging. At the moment it’s very linear with the most recent tasks starting at the top and working back. There’s no room for prioritizing, or sorting – with tags.

Also I can’t cross a task off after completion. I can, however, Trash the item, or mark it with a star as a favorite – which is the closest I’ll come to tagging.

Ben Mattes expands on the idea of SMS-to-Twitter to do lists by describing how he uses a desktop RSS aggregator KlipFolio to manage to dos once he’s added them to Twitter. KlipFolio organizes feed subscriptions into post-it note style windows that you can move around on your desktop.

If you’re using Twitter for personal to do lists, however, you may be missing out on its social and professional potential. It can recreate the office coffee room talk and flow of personal news that you otherwise do without when you work remotely from your associates. Twitter can deepen virtual relationships in a way that email and IM doesn’t.

Twitter’s also useful for tracking your accomplishments through the day–with a social twist. It’s better as a “done list” than a “to do list.” Send a twitter update when you’ve checked a new feature into your team’s source tree, posted a new blog article, or created a wireframe of a website you’re designing. Check out MyChores if you want an automated way of twittering when you’ve finished your household chores or other recurring tasks. Your Twitter friends will get to know you and your work better. They might be inspired to tell you what they’ve accomplished too.

Besides that, Twitter just isn’t a very good to do manager, as Craig from lifehack.org pointed out. There are tools that are designed to manage tasks, supporting checking off items, prioritizing and tagging, and reminders, among other features. Twitter doesn’t do any of those things.

If you really like the idea of adding to do items by text message, there are better options than Twitter. Remember the Milk allows you to add items to your to do lists by SMS and subscribe to the lists as RSS. You can add calendar items to Google Calendar with text messages and get upcoming appointment information with commands like next (next appointment) and day (all your appointments for that day).

Have you tried Twitter yet? Do you consider it a personal productivity or social networking tool or both?


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