Sunday, October 02, 2011

Email to Task: Remember the Milk gets it wrong, Appigo and Toodledo do it right

I use Toodledo's task service every day; sometimes through Appigo's, sometimes through their web interface. I'm a customer, but not a fan. I need Toodledo to add full text search with the web UI, a feature that has provided since day one. I've been asking for it for years, but it's only recently that Toodledo told me they have something in the works.

Toodledo does have one killer feature. I BCC my toodledo mail-to address when I send email with an important f/u task and toodledo creates a task with the subject line as the task name. I use this all the time. It's the analog of Outlook's ability to create a task by dragging and dropping an email, note or Calendar item to the task icon. (Surprise! Bet you didn't know Outlook did that.)

Since I'm no fan of Toodledo I considered setting up Emily with their primary competitor -- Remember the Milk. First thing I did was evaluate Services / Remember The Milk for Email.

They got it totally wrong. Their primary use case is not task creation, it's importing tasks en masse. Every line in the email becomes a task, including the email sig. At a high level they support "emailing tasks", but it's completely useless for my purpose.

Sigh. If I were wealthy, I'd build a task/web app that works.

In the meantime, I'm evaluating toodledo's web app. It's supposed to do search, but did they make the same mistake they made with their online service?

Update: Stop the presses. Appigo's own cloud service, which I've never take seriously, supports Creatings tasks via email, and they do it right:

When an email is sent to Todo Online, the subject line becomes your task's title/name and the body of the email will become your task's note.

Except it's not working. I created the mailto address for Emily but the emails aren't turning into tasks. I'll give it a bit more time before I open a trouble ticket. Opening a trouble ticket, of course, is a great way to evaluate a service.

Another bad sign. There's no "Help" or "Support" link in the Appigo Todo Online UI.

Update 2: The task to email problem was a 'confirmation message filtered into spam folder' problem. The bounces were going to Emily's email so i missed them. On the other hand, this is a good way to test a service. When I tried to cancel my ticket I got "Fatal error: Call to undefined function mcrypt_get_iv_size() in /var/www/kayako/includes/functions.php on line 3434".

They are missing Help and Support links in their Todo Online UI.

Update 10/7/11: Appigo's mail-in support requires authentication of the sending email address; users can have only one sending service email. Toodledo lets any address work. Appigo's support network seems to have been down for two days. Lastly, the more I see the absence of a help or documentation link on the online service they less I feel they are a real company. I am also, somewhat laggardly, realizing that Appigo has NO data export service at all.

Update 10/7/11b: I switched Emily back to Toodledo. She is continuing, for now, to use the Appigo It only took a minute to make the switch; there were a few duplicate tasks to delete. Emailing a task now works as it should. FWIW this is a free feature with Toodledo, but a Pro feature with Todo online.  I miss full text search; I'm back to waiting for Toodledo to enable this. In the end though the functionality, the mailto implementation, and data freedom brought me back. We'll get the Pro account if it works for Emily.

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