Why two productivity gurus made a to-do app

Paddy Donnelly and Ashley Baxter's side project puts their money where their mouths are.

Toddle app

Toddle encourages you to log in every day to make yourself more productive

Working from home, working for yourself or taking on more freelance projects than usual can really make you feel snowed under. Whilst some relish the pressure, others can feel overwhelmed, causing you to procrastinate more than ever.

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Toddle is a new to-do app that aims to improve your productivity by encouraging you to log-in every day. Creators Paddy Donnelly and Ashley Baxter talked to us about how the project came about and how its production slotted in around their day jobs.

Who are you, and what do you both do?

Paddy Donnelly: I'm a freelance illustrator and UX designer, mainly working on iOS apps.

Ashley Baxter: I run Insurance by Jack – business insurance for web people – and I shoot weddings in the summer.

Tell us a little bit about Toddle...

AB: Toddle is a to-do list app. Users log in and input their goals for the current day, then return the following day and mark them off.

PD: It differs from other to-do apps because it
asks you to follow the daily stand-up type schedule, rather than checking things off as you do them.

Why did you decide to embark on the project?

AB: Paddy and I record a podcast called Working Out. We explore a lof of topics around shipping, side projects and sticking with things. Ultimately, we wanted to put our money where our mouths were and record a series about building a side project, from idea to execution.

What's the feedback been like?

PD: Doing the design and development out in the open and documenting the process via the podcast meant we got a lot of feedback along the way, and could invite people to be our beta testers.

Toddle app

Why do you think side projects are important?

PD: Variety. Escaping. You can get too close to a design problem and never see the solution. You need to let your subconscious have a go at it, so distracting yourself with a side project helps.

AB: They teach you a lot of valuable skills about time management, commitment and handling criticism.

Toddle app

Are you planning on starting any new projects?

PD: Like many people I have a long list of side projects waiting to be done. Shipping more kids' apps with weetaps.com is at the top of that list at the moment.

AB: Always! I like the idea of doing a small project for every unused domain name I own. Side projects shouldn't be taken too seriously – they don't have to make you millions, they can simply help you exercise old skills or teach you new ones.

This article first appeared in net magazine issue 263.

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