For the most part, if you switch to Linux, you’re going to be successful in finding the apps you need to do your computing fairly easily. Do you need a Photoshop alternative? There are at least two good ones, maybe more. Do you need a Microsoft Office alternative? There are three excellent office suites available on Linux that will suit your needs very well (I’ve actually started to like LibreOffice more than I ever liked Office).
For almost everything you could need, Linux has you covered. It wasn’t always the case, of course. Ten years ago, Linux apps were hard to come by and most were rudimentary at best. But today? Linux apps are full-featured, well designed, and capable of completely replicating a Windows or Mac workflow without much of a learning curve.
There are two areas that are lagging behind, however. The first is gaming. This is a common complaint for Linux users, and will likely remain so. It has gotten better now that Steam has a full library of games that work on Linux, but still, there are always going to be a lot of AAA games that never make it to Linux.
The other area that I have complaints about is the lack of proper ToDo List applications on Linux. Not that there aren’t any, there are. However, there aren’t many that are all that great at doing the things that ToDo lists need to do, at least for me. I know these types of apps seem like they should be simple, but I like my list app to be fully functional for the way I work. It isn’t really asking much given that I think the things I want are universally wanted by many others.
First, a good ToDo list app has to be cross-platform and has to sync with those other platforms. As much as I might not like it, I use other platforms other than Linux (Android and Windows). I need my list to follow me to those places, otherwise, it’s basically useless. There are so few todo apps on LInux that do this that are also at least somewhat native to Linux.
That brings me to my second need. I need the app to run natively, not in the browser. I know this is nit-picky stuff, but I spend my day in and out of browsers, and everything there blends into the background. I have thirty tabs open. If one of those is my todo list app, it gets lost. So, I want to be able to run it like an app. If that means Electron, then so be it.
That’s it, really. I mean I like to have the app integrate with my Calendar, but it’s not a deal breaker. I would like some sort of AI suggestibility like Todoist offers (in other words, an app that allows me to write in something like ‘Do this by 10 PM on Wednesday’, would then take that info and create a list item that is due by 10 PM on the next Wednesday).
If you search for todo list apps for Linux on Google, you’ll see that there are some. But there aren’t many good ones. In fact, I’ve yet to find one that has fit my two biggest need outside of an app called AO, which is an Electron-based app that provides a web interface to Microsoft ToDo. Microsoft ToDo is so utterly useless as to be ridiculous. All it does is create a list. If that were its only problem, then fine, but the UI is so terrible I find it hard to use. Half of the UI is taken up with a pointless mountain graphic that it almost buries your list. It sucks.
Todoist offers a Google Chrome extension. It’s fine if you pop it out and run it as a Google app, but it gets lost and requires you to sign in every time the browser relaunches. It also can’t be docked on a panel or on your Plank Dock.
There are others like GNOME Todo (which doesn’t work well on KDE without struggling with dependency issues), KOrganizer (which looks, feels, and works like it was designed in the 1990s), and a few others.
The point is, where are the todo list apps for Linux? There are a few really good ones for Android, Mac and iOS, and Windows, but Linux seems to have been left behind. And that makes me a bit irritated. Oh, it isn’t going to keep me from using Linux, but it does make it a bit harder than it should be.
I know this is a common complaint, and that the ‘lack of proper software alternatives’ has been an argument against Linux since the beginning, I get that. I do. My point isn’t that for the most part, proper software alternatives is really no longer an issue for Linux users outside of a few minor areas that just don’t seem to get the attention that they do on other platforms. Seriously, go to Google Play and search for ToDo List apps. You’ll find hundreds. Same on Windows, Mac, and iOS. Yet on Linux? You might be able to list 10 of them in total, and those aren’t as full-featured or as well supported as their competitors on other platforms.
Maybe, todo list apps aren’t important. And let’s face it, in the grand scheme of things, they aren’t. But it seems to me to be an odd omission considering their commonality on other platforms.
What do you think? Let me know in the comment section below!