Introducing Goblin Tools – at last, an app to manage your whole life

Introducing Goblin Tools – at last, an app to manage your whole life

I have blogged before about productivity tools and tried to sound enthusiastic but this time I have hit gold. Thanks to the rise of our future AI overlords, we have Goblin Tools: an app that offers to turn the chaos inside your head into an ordered plan of action, make your writing stand out, check your writing sounds professional, friendly and engaging, and will even help you turn whatever is in your store cupboard/fridge of a Thursday evening into dinner. It’s truly a moment where I have found something I didn’t know I needed in my life before, but now doubt I would want to be without it.

Sometimes, life gets so hectic that just compiling a meaningful list of tasks can become deeply challenging. It can feel like by the time you are settled into one task, a dozen others are popping up to compete for your attention. The world of study and work swirls like a storm of competing demands and it is easy to succumb to paralysis by analysis – spending more time planning out what you need to do that there is no longer any time to do it! Happily, there is now a free app and website called Goblin Tools that uses AI tools to help you organise your life and express yourself in writing.

Remember to save your work

Before I get started and enthuse you about using this tool to manage everything, it is still being developed and comes with a coy health warning about not saving everything you have done as you go along.

If you are working on the website version, remember that you must save, sync or print your To-Do List before you close your browser tab. You can sync what you are doing across devices using your unique username but that apparently is in the experimental stages and not guaranteed to work, so it is best to do all your planning on one device, download a backup, and save it to your Google Drive. By all means sync it as well, just save a backup first!

Scroll to the bottom of this post for simple guidance on how to save and sync your work.

Better to-do lists

From brain dump to action plan

Tell Compiler everything you need to do in some order in any way that makes sense to you and it will turn it into a simple task list and invite you to turn it into a Magic To-Do List.

Magic To-Do List helps you break down tasks into manageable chunks, breaking tasks you are unsure how to approach into suggested steps and even estimating how long each step will take to complete, allowing you to plan your work easily and completely in mere moments.

You can drag and drop tasks using the crossed arrows icon on the left to reorder them.

Click on the magic wand button beside a task, and the AI will break the task down into suggested steps and list them as sub-tasks. If you find the suggested approach unhelpful, click the More (three dots) button beside the subtasks you don’t want and choose to delete them or to get rid of all of the subtasks, click the More button beside the main task and choose the mop icon labelled “remove all subtasks”.

If you can’t work out how to do something, you will find it listed under ‘More’.

Work management

My ability to estimate how long any particular task is very variable. Sometimes I am spot on, sometimes I get more done in a morning than I thought I could accomplish all week, and at other times the day ends and I just don’t know where the time went. If you have similar experiences, Goblin Tools’ Estimator can give you a broad estimate of how long a task might reasonably be expected to take. This can also help if you are supervising others on a project or at work, letting you know roughly how long you should be allowing before wondering why something isn’t getting done.

When you are creating a Magic To-Do List, you need only click on the More icon (three dots and choose Estimate to set the estimator to work out how long tasks and subtasks will likely take).

Better emails (and WhatsApp messages, etc)

If you ever find (or just worry) that what you have written in an email or assignment does not come across to your audience the way it sounded in your head, Goblin Tools has a couple more useful tools to help you out:

Formalizer takes whatever you have written and attempts to rephrase and reword it into formal English, making you sound more professional and in some situations making it more likely what you have written will be taken seriously.

Judge lets you know how your writing is likely to sound to others. I tested it and was delighted by how detailed and helpful its feedback was.

Time to eat

For many people, study and work are one thing but what really defeats them when staring into a half-empty (or even fully stocked) fridge, freezer or cupboard is the prospect of making dinner.

Hit the speech-to-text icon (the little microphone image) and tell the app what ingredients you have and any particular requirements or constraints – perhaps that you are diabetic, vegan, and/or only have ten minutes to cook – and the app will suggest meals you could cook.

Backup and share

Underneath your Magic To-Do List are a couple of options: sync and share.

Sync is an experimental feature that allows you to share your to do lists across all devices with the Goblin Tools app installed and the website version.

Share allows you to download a copy that you can then save as a backup to your Google Drive for safe keeping. Worth doing once you have prepared your master plan for conquering your coursework, life, the universe, and everything in case the live version somehow goes wrong.

This is also where you can restore a saved to-do list by uploading it to the app/website. From here, you can also print a copy of your to-do list, if you prefer to tick things off by hand using pen and paper or just want your detailed to-do list to be always visible.

Assistant Librarian (Promotions) at the University Library. An enthusiastic advocate of libraries, diversity, inclusion, equity, and social justice for all, inside and outside the workplace.

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