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The Disadvantages of Adding Todo Management Features to Arbitrary Software

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I've read an article about the desire to add time-machine and todo management into a web browser. I'd like to comment on it.

Reading the article gave me the impression that (1) the author is really focused on his web browser and (2) he therefore maybe lost the general point of view.

My recommendation would be to use and maintain a standard todo management system and move tasks related to reading web pages as simple tasks in this system.

This way, you get all the benefits from a classic todo management systems for your reading tasks: adding meta-data such as notes, assign scheduled and deadline time-stamps, a standardized status transitions, task priorities and so forth.

In my opinion, this would be much better than trying to re-invent the wheel within the web browser yet again.

Reimplementing those aspects within the browser context would not be beneficial in my point of view because of several things:

You'd need to maintain yet another todo system which is bad for data fragmentation. People often mis-use email as todo management. This is very well studied in research and shown that this comes with many negative impacts.

If your desired feature would be implemented in the browser, you'd start to wish for the other todo management features as well, ending up in yet another - potentially not very well done - todo management system.

People would start to replace their todo management system with the browser-based one, submitting feature requests of standard task management features that have a low or non existent connection to web surfing, resulting in bloated browser software that does not provide good service for both, web browsing and todo management.

Therefore, I would re-think this feature request.

Since the original article does not provide any possibility to comment, I've published it on my blog and sent an email to the author.

Comment via email or via Disqus comments below: