As the developer behind Voo2do, I'd like to welcome you to this new
discussion group. My goal here is to listen and learn from users of
Voo2do, in order to make Voo2do better.
I want to do this by better understanding what's working and what
isn't. I don't mean this in a strictly-software way; I've always
thought that Voo2do is more about teaching and facilitating a process,
and the web application is one way to do that. So I'm especially
interested in learning about how you use Voo2do, and what brought you
I'll start with my own story. The event that started me toward Voo2do
was a stern meeting at work. You know, the kind where two of your
superiors sit you down and tell you how you're screwing up. And this
wasn't some pointy-haired bozo at a throw-away job. These were two
senior engineers, smart guys I respect, telling me how my blithely
missing a deadline had messed up a bigger plan.
"We know things sometimes take longer than you first expect", they
said, "but we count on you to tell us when things go off track. You
need to pay more attention to your deadlines, and communicate any new
information right away, not just when it's already late."
I felt like a failure. But I also knew there were a lot of people
asking me to do different things, and I was losing track of what was
due when and to whom. I started looking for a system to track all
that, and found Joel Spolsky's "Painless Software Scheduling" .
Joel lays out a very simple system -- set up a spreadsheet with
columns for the feature, task name, priority, original time estimate,
current time estimate, along with time elapsed and remaining. I
started using this system at work.
For the first time I had confidence that I wasn't inadvertently
slipping past deadlines. When someone came to ask me to do something,
I'd stop and think about it, and I wouldn't promise to do it until I
could put it in my spreadsheet with a time estimate and deadline that
felt honest and realistic.
The difference was dramatic, and I didn't have to have another one of
After a few weeks, though, my spreadsheet was cluttered. I kept having
to reorganize tasks so they'd show up the way I wanted -- ordered by
deadline and then priority, with completed tasks in a separate
section. And I wanted the same system for projects I spent time on at
home, although the spreadsheet file was at the office. I wanted a way
to add notes, and maybe something that didn't look as sterile and
boring as a spreadsheet.
So I started working on Voo2do. I made it my mission to keep the
system as easy and appealing to use as possible, which was challenge
for my techie mind -- I'd never though so hard about color schemes or
help text. I launched it in August 2005, and it quickly exceeded my
wildest expectations for popularity.
Since then, I've continued maintaining and using Voo2do. As you've
probably noticed, I haven't added any significant new features in a
couple of years. I've been focusing on other projects, but now I'm
drawn back to working on Voo2do and reconnecting with the other people
who use it.
I'd love to hear the story of how you're using Voo2do, and where you'd
like to see it go in the future.
 Joel Spolsky's "Painless Software Scheduling":
http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/fog0000000245.html . Joel now
says that Painless Software Scheduling is made obsolete by Evidence
Based Scheduling, but that's mainly a judgment on its power to predict
a release date for software built by a multi-person team. On an
individual level, the data each person needs to track is pretty
First, I'd like to thank you for your great work, I'm really fond of Voo2do.
Now, about my own experience :
During my last two years at school I've had to manage my school projects for the two school I was in (sometimes like 20 projects at the same time, with very different deadlines), my work as teaching assistant (again, lots of different projects), as teacher, my own life (shopping, familly birthdays and presents), the preparation of my end of studies' internship... So many things I couldn't remember and organize without an appropriate tool.
After sending mails to myself (and responding to them to keep them "on top") for a time, I switched to Google Calendar, which is a bit more appropriate. Still, it doesn't provide an easy way to visualize "tasks". Looking for another tool, I've tested Remember The Milk, Vitalist... at least ten different web-based tasks managers. Only two of them were close to what I was looking for : toodledo and ... Voo2do. After using both of them for a time (testing), I remain using Voo2do (I think it was only because it was free as in Freedom, but I'm not certain), and I'm very, very happy with it.
Now, about what could be improved :
The first thing I miss with Voo2do is Google calendar support. I'd really enjoy having my Voo2do tasks in my calendar (I already have my calendar in my GMail). I prefer Google calendar's presentation for a global view of, let's say "future", and I already have several agendas there. Moreover, it would allow me to receive text messages on my cellphone for deadlines.
Second, it would be great to have some documentation for the source code : missing Google calendar support, I wanted to add it by myself, thinking it would take me some hours but not much. But taking the code and understanding it was not as easy as I though, and I eventually didn't do anything (I even though about coding my own with Python Django...).
Third, a concept of "dependency" between tasks (ie. knowing that task B cannot be done until task A is finished) would add even more value to the tool.
Last (but it's really not a main issue for me) : it would be great to be able to hide/show and reorganize notes and to show a full context right in the dashboard (using "next" doesn't allow to see all tasks at the same time).
Today, I've less parallel tasks to handle, so my use of task management tools decreased. Still, I'm very glad to hear you have projects for Voo2do.
Again, thanks for your work.
PS : What about a public repository with a ticket management system like Trac?
-- Jérémie Roquet Programming artist Developer in natural language processing - Exalead
I think you did a great job with voo2doo. The time and tasks
management methodology is improving everyday, and voo2doo is still
very useful. I would like to see some new development on the project,
as I use it every day and I think that many people could benefit from
What I'm missing mostly is offline support, using Google Gears or some
other technology (HTML 5). Also, the design could use some "touch up",
as it is a little bit outdated.
Other than these things, I would like to be able to change the "done"
date on the completed tasks, as I sometimes forget to mark the tasks
complete when I do them (I do it a day after or so) and then I don't
have the history of what did I complete on what day...
Thank you for your great job, and also for keeping up and managing the
infrastructure behind the voo2doo, as a part time system admin, I can
only imagine how much effort goes into this.