I’ve been using Remember the Milk for awhile. I noticed The Deadline, and gave it a try.

I’m not what you’d call a hard-core Milk user, though I do have a paid subscription, in order to synchronize my iPhone with the web site frequently. I have a few Getting Things Done (GTD) contexts, and a large Someday/Maybe list.

Deadline looked interesting, because of their claims about AI and their ‘virtual assistant.’ I’d also seen some talks by their head techie, and he seemed like a pretty smart guy. What really interested me was that the app is an example of an HTML5, fully offline-enabled web site. I wanted to see just how good an offline experience was available.

(Side note: I ran across The Deadline because they use Clojure and Closure, and I’ve been learning a little Clojure and Closure.)

I wanted to like Deadline, but here’s why I went back to RTM:<ol>

  • No ability to filter on tasks NOT tagged with a tag. (e.g. Show me all my tasks that are NOT tagged with "someday.")
  • Waiting while the app downloads an updated version of itself
  • </ol>

    Each of those is a pretty big deal for me.

    I use not-tagged-with a lot.

    The issue with downloading updated pages is more subtle. Sometimes I use my phone where the signal is pretty weak. The app picks up on the need to update quickly enough, but re-downloading updated pages/libraries can take some time. When the “Oh, I need to capture this task” moment hits, the whole point of capturing it is to get it off my mind quickly. That doesn’t work if I have to wait.

    The wait isn’t ALWAYS a problem for me. The big difference between a real smartphone app, and an offline-enabled HTML5 site, is that I get to choose when to update the app, but the site decides when I have to wait for updated HTML/JavaScript.

    For some applications, that’s not such a big deal, but for a to-do list, it’s a problem.