August 1, 2008

Vitalist – Slice and Dice Your To Do List


There are so many choices available to get organized, from complex checklists to project managing programs. Despite the options, most of us can keep things under control with a good old-fashioned to do list. Still, if your to do list is at all comprehensive, browsing it can be overwhelming. The online application, Vitalist, makes your to do list easy-to-use, easy-to-access, and easy-to-slice into manageable chunks.

Vitalist consists of a dashboard (providing an overview of what’s happening with your list), an inbox (for new tasks that haven’t been categorized yet), and Actions (your main list). There’s also a section for delegated tasks that you’re waiting on, tasks that you’re saving for some day in the future, ticklers, and reference information. Once items are on your list, you can assign a project and a context – such as where you’ll need to be to do this task.

Vitalist makes it easy to look at your list in the manner most effective for you. Items can be sorted by project, due date, priority, or context. When you’re at home, you can limit your view to projects that can be completed at home—or just display items that must be completed by day’s end. Vitalist also makes it simple to add new tasks to the inbox, since it works with email, Jott, and Twitter, along with mobile devices such as the iPhone.

Practical Uses:

  • Use Vitalist to implement David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” (GTD) organizational system
  • View your to do list while at work, home, or any computer in-between
  • Keep your home and work to do lists in one location – without having to sift through work tasks when you’re at home and vice versa
  • Receive an email or text message to remind yourself to call a client first thing in the morning

Insider Tips:

  • Start by customizing your contexts and projects
  • In the Settings area, tweak your opening page or dashboard view to fit your needs
  • Avoid using your email inbox as a to do list – instead, forward an email including a task to your list in Vitalist
  • If you use iGoogle, Netvibes, an RSS reader, or iCal you can integrate your Vitalist items using one of the many widgets and feed options
  • Customize your print settings to print tasks with or without notes

What we liked:

  • Vitalist works with iPhone and other web-accessible mobile devices
  • Emailing tasks to your Vitalist inbox is reliable and easy
  • Paid plans allow users to email file attachments with their tasks
  • Vitalist allows you to drag and drop items to new places on your list
  • You can add tasks with Twitter (
  • Vitalist’s connection with Jott ( allows you to send tasks to your Vitalist “inbox” with a voicemail

What we didn’t like:

  • The free version of Vitalist limits the number of projects to 10


Company Info:

  • Launched: August 2006
  • Privately Held
  • Headquarters: Garland, Texas
  • Founded by: Matthew Berg and Robert Walker
  • Web site:


  • Free (for a very basic version), with $5/month and $10/month subscriptions available


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