Stuff To Do updates

After two weeks of being operational, Stuff To Do has been a big success at work, because it lets people keep track of what they’re doing with a minimum of hassle. Truth be told, I’ve never been that wild about “productivity” software, but I’m pretty happy with the system I’ve created. I really have attempted to make something that stays out of your way as much as possible. That has involved making some choices – for instance, instead of buttons to start or stop time tracking for a given task, Stuff To Do [aside: it would be much faster to write ‘STD’, but I think that might not be such a good idea in terms of marketing] uses some javascript to see if you’ve moused over (or blurred, or typed, or done anything, basically) to the window where it lives in the last 15 minutes. This will certainly reduce the accuracy a little bit, and if you get ‘in the zone’ and don’t hit the browser for a while, it won’t count your time, but all things considered, this is better than having to hit a stupid button every time you do anything, because you will invariably forget to hit the button, and leave it going overnight, and then have to go back and manually edit everything, and…. yuck. I also have some ideas about how to further improve the javascript in order to make it even easier to track whether you’re active or not (with your consent, of course!).

In any case, I’ve fixed up a number of small bugs, and added a few new features:

  • You can now only drag tasks with their title so that you can cut and past text from the ‘notes’ section.

  • The notes now use ‘markdown’ so that you can mark them up some.

Some other things I’m considering for the near future:

  • Enable sending tasks via email with one or two clicks – this would make it so you could add a default email address (of a bug tracking system, for instance) and automatically submit the stuff you’re working on.

  • “Warp” a task to the top of the list of things to do via a link for each task. You can currently move a task around by clicking, holding, and them moving the mouse scroller, but that’s kind of cumbersome.

In the process, I also happened upon Active Merchant, which is some cool code by the fine folks at, which was quite handy for integrating Paypal. Being somewhat of a perfectionist, I found a few things that I wanted to do just slightly differently, and sent in a patch.

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