TeuxDeux is the best, simplest, and most useful to-do application in human history. No exaggeration. Pencils and sticky notes dominated for about 80 years and, since their slow decline, no software design team has managed to beat those tools until now.
Writing short to-do items on a calendar should be simple, so TeuxDeux is.
While every other to-do application in the past two decades has been overbuilt, TeuxDeux is both confined and enabled by an elegance of design. The soft but stark interface and limited features make you want to use the application as soon as you see it. As is often the case, it is the adherence to simplicity that makes this elegant and appealing user experience possible.
To underscore just how appealing obvious simplicity can be, founder Tina Roth-Eisenberg got a big round of applause at last night’s New York Tech Meetup for one of the simplest features that many calendars make awkward or skip altogether — to-do events automatically rolling forward to the next day. Obvious, simple, easy. Perfect.
With this in mind, it is important to note that this is not a calendar. TeuxDeux has a calendar interface, but you can’t store appointments and block out bits of time. You can’t assign an item to a particular client, nor email them an invite or reminder. Keep using your CRM systems and calendar applications or whatever you need for that stuff. The whole point of TeuxDeux is to strip away the complications and distractions of most time management and planning tools. TeuxDeux simply presents what’s at hand and let’s you get to it.
You also don’t need to commit to days on the calendar at all. The “someday” trough at the bottom of the app display allows you to jot down anything you intend to do sometime in the future, and define categories for different kinds of projects. So “finish mixtape” might go under “Wife’s Birthday” while “pinball machine” or “’65 Mustang” might go under “Wish List.” All of these someday to-do items are quietly available below the calendar, always at the ready.
The TeuxDeux mobile app is equally appealing and useful on the iPhone. The design matches the browser version exactly, and it is even easier to switch between TeuxDeux accounts if you have multiple to-do lists (e.g. sharing household to-dos with a spouse). It is certainly superior to any calendar app UX I’ve seen for mobile.
The only serious flaw I’ve found is the inability to layer this app directly onto my cornea.* As easy as it is to use, it is also very easy not to use. Like all browser-based apps, users like myself will quickly lose sight of it in a sea of windows and tabs. But because it is browser-based, you can easily solve this by making TeuxDeux.com your browser home page. Roth-Eisenberg told the NYTM crowd that she has TeuxDeux saved as her browser landing page, so every time she opens a new browser window she is presented with everything she should be doing instead. This is the way to use TeuxDeux, because, frankly, if you have to type in the URL each time (how is that spelled again…), you’ll probably forget it exists, or all too easily ignore the things you need to be doing.
TeuxDeux is free to try and the ongoing cost is minimal. After a 30-day free trial the monthly cost is just $3, and an annual option is available for $24. So sign up, make TeuxDeux your landing page, and stop getting distracted from all you need to do.
*Tina may want to sit down with Ray Kurzweil and the Google Glass team to address this issue.