Flipping Heck! Learning To Be Productive One Day At A Time

Review: Smart To-Do List

Orange and green pen laying on notebook with to do items on the page

Review: Smart To-Do List

Update May 2020: It would appear that the SmartToDoList website is no longer working. This article is for information purposes only

I was contacted a while ago by Scott Karstetter of Smart To-Do List asking if I’d be interested in reviewing their new Smart To-Do List software. And, of course, never being one to turn down a free lunch I jumped at the chance.

I’ve written recently about the fact that I’m slightly unhappy with the way I’m managing my various tasks and was trying various things to see if I could improve my current productivity methodology. I tried using Thinking Rock as suggested by a reader but I didn’t really get on with that (I’ll put a post up about my experiences soon) and being a paper-based GTD freak I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from their software – especially after my “nightmare” with Thinking Rock!

Smart To-Do List

Scott kindly provided me with a licence for the software so that I could try it out – the usual cost is $14.95 (approximately £7.90 at the time of writing) full the full version so it won’t break the bank, however you can download a free starter version (Limited to 2 projects – and it looks like you have to accept some form of trial offer) so you can test it and see if you’d like to grab the full version.

So, let’s get on with the review – oh, and before I forget this program is Windows only!

On running the program, the first thing I noticed was how uncluttered the interface is. Usually Windows programs are full of icons, menu choices and general gumph that you don’t need. Smart To-Do list has a great interface that allows you to concentrate on getting your projects and tasks into the program.

Smart To Do List Start Up Screen

Smart To-Do List – Initially opening screen

The screen’s broken down into 4 main sections; To-Do/Command (task), Tag, Projects and To-Do list.

The first thing I did was to delete the sample project that comes pre-added (simple right click/delete) and then added a new project. There are loads of shortcut keys available but I didn’t look into these too much as I wanted to get to the meat of the software (and, I was on a PC and get confused with command keys now as I mainly use a Mac!).

Smart To-Do List Add New Project

Once I created my project I then began to add tasks:


Which can the be “Tagged” – think GTD’s Contexts:

Smart To-Do List New Tag

Simply hit the “Enter” key and the task is added to the To-Do list – it’s a simple as that!

Smart To-Do List

I kept adding my tasks and tags so that I ended up with the following list. It only took me about 5 minutes to add them all – and the majority of that was thinking what to add!


Smart To-Do List Complete List

So, at the moment we have our tasks, but which are important? Simple – just click on the grey square to the left of the task and you can change the priority, click again and make the task high priority:

Smart To-Do List Priority List

You can filter items so that you can see the different priority items all in one list:

Smart To-Do List Filters

Selecting the “Tag” tag on the left of the screen brings up the tag list (across all projects, not just limited to the project you’re in).

Smart To-Do List Tag List

You can the select a tag and view all tasks under that tag:

Smart To-Do List Tag Filter

As mentioned previously, Smart To-Do List is Windows only but it will run from a thumb drive. You can also export your lists in text and HTML formats:

Smart To-Do List Text Export

So, what’s my final verdict? I’d definitely use Smart To-Do List if I worked on a predominantly Windows platform but, as I’m more Mac orientated these days it’ll be difficult to use in my everyday working life (until I get Parrallels or similar).

If you’re on Windows and are looking for a really simple and easy to use program I’d heartily recommend Smart To-Do List.

Do you have a product or service that you think might be of benefit to my readers? If so, contact me to arrange a free review

About The Author
Katy is always trying to be more productive one day at a time! Whether it's analogue, digital, motivational or psychological who'll try any system that will help her get things done and get organised. As well as running, she also loves making music and reviewing things.
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1 Comment

    Scott Karstetter
    April 8, 2008 at 5:37 am

    “Thank you very much for the review! Any suggestions or comments are welcome by your readers.
    You can download the free edition, that is limited to 2 projects (no time restraints) without any hitch. On the download page there is an offer to use a service called Trial Pay that allows you to get the Full version of the software for free by signing up for a trial of some service like e-music or Rhapsody. But that is optional, you can just download the free edition if you’d like!

    The keyword commands are really helpful as well. If you’d like to check them out at:

    Thanks Again,

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