Welcome and thank you for your interest!
Hi. I'm Vladimir Golovin. Some of you may know me as the founder of Filter Forge
, a desktop image processing app.
During the past two years, I, together with a small team, have been developing a todo app because I'm unsatisfied with Wunderlist, Todoist and other todo apps currently on the market.
This is a temporary site I set up in a couple of hours. Sorry for the messy screenshots and possible errors.What's wrong with other todo apps?1. Non-Addressable Dates.
In most todo apps, you usually have "Overdue", "Today", "This week", "This month", and that's it. You can't jump to a specific day and see what tasks you have for that day - let alone recurring tasks. Calendars do this, todo apps generally don't.2. Recurring Task Fragility.
Most todo apps implement recurring tasks as an optional field within a regular task, which leads to confusion. What will happen if you delete a recurring task - you'll delete just this instance, or all future recurrences as well? If you postpone a recurring task, will this shift the entire recurrency pattern?3. Due Date Pollution.
A lot of todo apps insist on most tasks having Due Dates. Want to postpone a task? Set a due date. This is because these apps confuse two concepts: the Due Date (by which the task should be done), and the Start Date / Hide Until date, by which you'd like the task to appear on your todo list.4. Lack of Snooze.
Very few of the existing todo apps separate the concepts of Snooze / Hide Until / Start Date and Due Date. Snooze is when you just want to hide the task for a while, for example because you're not in the right environment to do it right now - for example because you can't vacuum the floor when you're outside. Snoozing a such tasks doesn't and shouldn't involve assigning it a Due Date.5. Single-Line Todo Items.
This is my personal pet peeve. Many of the popular todo apps, Wunderlist included, have single-line todo items, which goes against the principle that you should be able to describe the task in as much detail as you want. Compare: "Widgets!!" and "Research which Widget to buy. Call Bob, he's a Widget expert." Which task will be more clear to a future you, a week or month from now?How does Matterlist solve these problems?1. Infinite timeline, even for recurring tasks.
Matterlist is built around a calendar-like timeline, where each day is precisely addressable. For example you can jump directly to April 20, 3017 and add a task "Buy a flying car". The timeline displays recurring tasks as well. For example, if April 20, 3017 is Saturday, and you have a recurring task to "Buy Groceries" on Saturdays, you'll see it on that day!2. Separate definitions and instances for recurring tasks.
Unlike other todo apps, Matterlist defines recurring tasks as separate entities, not as regular tasks with some optional repeat settings. This allows you to treat the recurrences of recurring tasks as normal, regular tasks. You can delete them, rename them, postpone them - without the fear to mess up all future recurrences. No more walking on eggshells around recurring tasks.3. Separate Hide Until and Due Dates.
The Hide Until date defines when the task will appear on your list, and the Due Date tells you by what date the task should be done. Tasks don't have Due Date by default, you should explicitly assign it. Assigning a Due Date doesn't hide the task from your list, it merely adds a red label to it, and marks that day on the timeline.4. Hide Until / Snooze.
Just right-swipe any task, and Matterlist will ask for how long do you want the task to disappear. Then the task will disappear from your list and won't bother you until the date and time you just selected. This works with regular tasks, subtasks (remember, Matterlist has first-class subtasks!), and recurrences of recurring tasks. When you snooze a task to a specific day, and then jump to that day on the timeline, you'll see it there.5. Multi-line todo items.
This may seem like a trivial thing, but a surprisingly large number of todo apps restricts you to single-line todos. Matterlist was built to support multiline todos from day one.Is Matterlist a Wunderlist alternative?
Yes. Definitely yes. First, it is being built by a heavy Wunderlist user (me) as a replacement. Second, Matterlist uses the same interface paradigm: list of todo items, with completion checkboxes on the left and star toggles on the right, where tapping each task leads to a screen when you edit its properties. Checking the box completes the task, left-swiping it deletes it - same as in Wunderlist.
However, Matterlist does a lot of things differently. It separates Due Dates and Hide Until dates, it separates definitions and recurrences for Recurring Tasks, and its subtasks are first-class tasks (with priorities, due dates and other properties), while in Wunderlist subtasks are just a field within a task. Wunderlist doesn't support subtask hierarchies, Matterlist does.
Also, at the moment Matterlist does't have an equivalent to Wunderlist's Shared List functionality. It is being developed as a personal todo app.
Is Matterlist a strict GTD-adherent?
No. A system that is conceptually closer to Matterlist is Mark Forster's Autofocus. Just like Autofocus, Matterlist relies on the principle of mental readiness and allows you to quickly de-clutter your list from tasks that are not "ripe" for being done right now.
Also, Matterlist has no concept of daily / weekly / monthly Review, or a dedicated planning step, similar to that of AnyDo. In Matterlist, the review is an ongoing process, spread out across the timeline. When you're postponing a task, you're implicitly assigning a "next review date" for this task. This, in my case, turned out to be a major benefit, because spreading the review out across multiple hours / days avoids the willpower punch-in-the-face that the proper GTD reviews deliver to you in the mornings.Our Development Approach
We're developing the mobile clients as native iOS and Android apps - we've decided against cross-platform solutions. On the desktop, we're planning to go with Xamarin. The web client is still undecided, because we're using Realm as a database / sync solution, and they still don't have a Web / JS API.