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Years ago I coined the term ‘hashtag’ while in a very active blog-to-blog and Twitter conversation with Chris Messina, the inventor, who suggested using the pound or hash character (‘#’) before a string of text to create something he was calling ‘channels’ — more or less the way we use hashtags today to create a chat session. I was more interested in the idea of tagging tweets to indicate their topic, like blog or Flickr tags. At any rate, here we are, and hashtags are very much a part of the modern digital world, and have bled into everything, as this recent Jimmy Fallon video indicates.
What is less known is the term ‘microsyntax’ that I coined around the same time, which I use to indicate the various punctuation marks and typographical conventions in tools like Twitter, like ‘#’ for hashtags, ‘RT’ for retweet, ‘@’ for mentions, and other conventions.
In the past few months I have see a slew of new tools that are based around a microsyntax-based approach to work management. I wrote about telety.pe recently (see Telety.pe is a minimal microsyntax-based work management tool) which relies on microsyntactic characters ‘#’, ‘@’, and ‘&’ to denote labels (tags), users (mentions), and projects, respectively. I also just wrote up Fetchnotes, which likewise relies on inline microsyntax for sharing and tagging notes (see Fetchnotes, a small and simple notes app, goes social).
This week I learned of Twoodo, another microsyntax-based work management tool, which is quite immature in some ways but has a direct and intuitive design. In Twoodo, we have ‘#’, ‘@’, and ‘+’ for tags, mentions, and projects, in an almost exact parallel to telety.pe.
The tool also has some predefined tags that are associated with specialized sorts of posts and metadata.
In the screenshot above you see the autocomplete popup with predefined tags, like #todo (tasks), #vote (for yes/no/maybe polls), #question (people can answer), and various priorities.
In the screen below you see a post posted in the research project (‘+research’) and tagged as ‘#report’, with a comment thread in which another user is creating a task inline.
Here’s that same comment after being added. Notice the check box indicating it is a task.
The Bottom Line
Twoodo is a well designed and cleverly done take on work management. I think I would switch over and try it for at least a few projects, aside from the limitation on file attachments: it supports uploading and downloading of files, but lacks Dropbox and other file sync-and-share integrations, and as yet does not support viewing docs inline, like Crocodoc integration would allow. However, David Arnoux of Twoodo tells me that Dropbox integration is coming next week, and he is looking at Crocodoc as well.
Definitely an app to watch.