Tasks for Chrome

I’m starting this blog by writing about an application I have had in mind for some time and that I could finally see being developed here at DevXS conference.

The application is called Tasks for Chrome and is a Google Chrome extension/app. My team and I started building it yesterday morning, less than 16 hours ago.

Basically what follows is a description of the ideas and concepts behind our project. I have tried to be as non-technical as possible – details of the implementation can be found on github. I’m writing this around 3 AM and we hope we can get a prototype up and ready in the following 9 hours.


I try to show in this section that the ideas behind the project are quite general and that they can stand as a guideline for possible future implementations of Tasks for Android/iOS/Thunderbird/Firefox et cetera.

What Tasks and Tasks for Chrome are about, essentially:

  • a user-friendly personal organizing tool that can must be easy to use
  • a tasks/todos app that could resemble the simplicity and practicality of leaving notes on post-it flyers
  • also a tool that packages smart and powerful features – while stripping away the usual plethora of useless ones (sorry, fellow developers!)
The context of DevXS was quite favourable to our project, because we had the chance to implement a really innovative feature for students. The “Scholarly Publishing” challenge has inspired my colleague, Andrew, to think of the following feature:
  • importing reading lists retrieved from specific universities/departments/courses using Talis Aspire and Mendeley

First-tier features (“must-haves”)

  • TODOs: a list of bits of text describing a certain “to-do(e.g. “Do the algebra homework”)
  • Projects: each project contains a list of TODOs (e.g. project called “groceries” and containing {“milk”, “coffee”, “sugar”})
  • Activities: like a TODO, but something you would like to be reminded to do each couple of days (e.g. “go to gym”)
  • Reading lists: basically a project (i.e. a list of TODOs), but they are generated by the application after the user has requested the reading material from a certain course
Note: these are also the basic structural elements of the application and they will appear in the main view of the application

Second-tier features (“nice to have”)

  • Local caching of tasks: accessing Google Tasks API can result in a 2-3 seconds lag and many users have complained about this when reviewing other similar Chrome extensions; local caching is a simple way to avoid this issue
  • Intuitive input: when you add a new task the information from that string (following some simple formatting rules) is parsed to assign it to a project or to set its interval (for a recurring activity) (e.g. “buy ballons #dave’s” would automatically add the task “buy ballons” to the project “Dave’s party”)

People: Team York

Repo: github

Chrome Web Store: <coming soon>

Hosting: http://www.wave3k.net/devxs/


2 thoughts on “Tasks for Chrome

  1. Pingback: DevXS | The Winners are…

  2. Pingback: DevXS « Rural Ramblings

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