I keep lists of things to do, but they’ve often been spread all over the place. I’ve used a text file for some items, a blog with several entries for a few lists and another blog with draft entries. I decided to combine those lists and began transferring them all over to Backpack, a slick web application that lets you create todo lists. It’s like a Wiki on steroids.
However, I ran into a problem. They want you to pay if you want more than 5 pages, and though I wanted 5 pages, I didn’t want to pay $60/year to do it. I decided to install my own wiki and use that instead. It’s not as slick, but it has no limit of pages and it’s fast enough for what I need. I looked at the Wiki comparison table on Wikipedia, and thought about using MediaWiki (the one they use at Wikipedia) but I didn’t want to mess with MySQL just to keep track of my lists. I then tried DokuWiki, but after installing it the pages loaded rather slowly, possibly due to all the Perl regular expression errors it showed. I didn’t want to spend time troubleshooting that, so I found QwikiWiki and gave it a try.
I found it on the C2 Wiki Choice Tree, which was nice because it allowed me to select a wiki engine based on features (like using plain text files for the backend instead of a database). I’m very pleased with it so far. It’s quick, very simple to configure (it took about 2 minutes to get to the point where I could create a new page) and it even has a few styles to choose from.
I’ve converted all of my lists over, although I’m still using Backpack for my very short term to do items because I like being able to check them off as I finish them instead of just removing them from the page.
Now that I have all that taken care of, I can get to work on completing the tasks on all the lists.
Update: After using QwikiWiki for several months, I became frustrated with the markup rules they used. It was too much of a hassle to have to change my writing (for instance, it automatically turned two words with capital letters into a header, so it was very frustrating when entering book titles or people’s names in an address list) just to get it to look right. I decided to sacrifice complexity of installation to get ease of use when editing and installed MediaWiki. Now that it’s installed (it wasn’t all that bad in the end) I love it.