I'm a procrastinator, and I have multiple todo lists all over that I barely get half of done. So, the goal was an app that requires the choice of a deadline for every task. I'm also really into space, so I thought to visualize tasks as planets orbiting a star of categorization.

What it does

AetherLists is a Todo app that lets you separate into folders and visualize your tasks as a solar system. The planets move are arranged from the star in order of deadline. So, over the course of a week or month, you check your tasks and see that planets are falling into the star. They're a threat to your way of life, so you must destroy these rogue planets before they disrupt your solar surface.

How I built it

We used OSX and Arch Linux for development environments, and did all of our testing on iOS. The framework is cross-platform but I don't have a sound Android test environment.

Challenges I ran into

  • Rendering with just shaped views and no OpenGL is pretty limited, especially in an environment where there aren't enough robust libraries to keep it simple.
  • Splitting tasks and not overlapping
  • Documenting code well enough
  • Figuring out exactly what we wanted from the app and how that would looks

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

  • Built a nice enough space visualization with shapes and maths without OpenGL.
  • Something looks somewhat like a solar system.
  • First non-WebView based mobile project.
  • Fluidly using git between people on a short time scale without any issues.

What I learned

  • Getting something substantial done on a somewhat finicky platform in this short amount of time is quite difficult.
  • My coding comrade doesn't sleep nearly enough.
  • There's a much easier way to do most of the rendering. (8:27 AM)

What's next for AetherLists

  • Making the visualizations look better, generally.
  • Looking at other todo apps and focusing on figuring out what functional features this app needs to be different, rather than focusing mostly on how it looks.
  • Adding settings.
  • Making the visualization mode the default (or at least a setting for this) so that you can't ignore it when you check your tasks.
  • Animations for focusing on a planet and exploding planets.
  • Using it for tasks. Recurring use over time will bring out structural flaws
  • Android testing and support
  • More personality and color outside the visualization itself
  • Color picker
  • Reminders for deadlines based on the timing of other nearby deadlines.
  • Emotional weight to the destruction of a planet. Currently, a circle just disappears. There isn't enough attachment to make the user really want to finish their tasks.
  • Long press folders to edit their names.
  • Some choice or luck whether a planet is saved or destroyed by completing the task
  • Many things...
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