Keep Track of Deadlines with Deadline
I’m on a quest for the perfect deadline reminder application.What I want is a simple online app that I can enter the due dates of my various writing assignments and projects into, and that will send me an email listing the upcoming deadlines. I already keep to-do list items and project planning stuff in other applications; my needs here are for a simple email that will just tell me what’s due, and when.
As it happens, it’s not a very lengthy quest, since as far as I can tell, there’s only one candidate: the aptly named Deadline. Deadline is a simple, free application that only does deadlines; you enter the task and the date it’s due, and Deadline sends you a reminder on that day and another as many minutes, hours, or days before as you select in your settings.
Entering tasks is simple: Deadline uses a natural text parsing system so you can enter things like “Interview with Dustin Wax due Jan. 18th at 5pm” and it will figure it out. Once entered, Deadline adds the entry to the list and adds email notifications to the queue. When it’s done, you just click the “Done” button and the task is removed from the list.
I have Deadline set to send me reminders three days before anything is due, which is an ok compromise time for me but not perfect – I’d rather have the ability to set different notification times for each item individually, and in some cases, to set more than one. For example, for a 650-word piece with minimal research, three days is fine; in fact, two or even one day would be fine.
On the other hand, for a major academic presentation I’m giving in April, I’d rather have weekly notifications so I can make sure I’m on track to finish in time and plan the various steps as I go. Getting a notification three days before the conference won’t be of any use – if it’s not done by then, it’s not going to get done! (Sure, I could use project planning software to set milestones and schedule each step, and I will – but I also want the security of something putting the deadline in my face on a somewhat regular basis.)
Still, it’s a handy little app, and I hope the developers will add a few features to it as time goes by. I appreciate the simplicity, so I hope they don’t go overboard, but given that they’ve incorporated the ability to customize the look and feel of the site (with built-in themes or custom colors and backgrounds) I would think they could manage to allow some customization of the actual functioning of the app without overloading it with complexity.
Deadline – Free