Notes from a Floating Life Thoughts about productivity, digital living, and leading a simpler life

Keeping Your Lists Simple, with minimaList

I constantly say that simple isn’t a four-letter word, but people keep treating it like one. Especially when it comes to simple applications. Unless even a single-purpose tool comes with the kitchen sink plus a death ray, it’s derided as being useless.

Case in point: to-do list and checklist applications. Beyond letting you create and view and check off items in a list, what else does this type of application need? Anything beyond that is just extra baggage.

Which brings me to minimaList. It’s a web-based list tool that’s, as its name implies, very minimal. You use it to create lists. And that’s all.

minimaList is reminiscent of a now-defunct tool by 37Signals called TadaList. It does one thing, does it well, and doesn’t pretend to be anything it isn’t or so anything it can’t.

To use minimaList, head on over to the site and click the Make a List button on the main page. You don’t need to come up with yet another password. Instead, you get a unique URL for your lists. All you have to do is bookmark that URL, and you should be able to access your lists from your computer or from your mobile device. I tried minimaList on my main laptop, my Chromebook, my tablet, and my crummy little smartphone. It worked very nicely on all of them. In fact, I was surprised by how well it worked on my cheap, under-powered smartphone.

After you click (or tap) the Make a List button for the first time, you’re presented with an empty list named UNTITLED. Double click or tap and hold on the title to rename it. Then, click or tap below the title and type the first item in the list. When you’ve done that, press Enter. Type as many items as you need. As you complete an item in your list, click or tap checkbox beside it. That strikes it out and marks it as complete.

To add a new list, click or tap the + icon on the left side of the minimaList window. Then, repeat the steps in the paragraph above. As I said, simple. In the extreme.

I’m not sure if there is a limit to the number of lists you can add to minimaList. But if you find you’ve got too many completed lists, you can delete them by clicking the trashcan icon beside the name of the list on the left side of the application’s window.

There’s no minimaList mobile app, but you can use it on any smartphone or tablet. And while it doesn’t have all the features of, say, other web-based list applications like Remember the Milk or TeuxDeux, minimaList lets you focus on your lists. It’s quick, it’s simple, and it gets the job done. What more do you need?

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