HowToDo combines How-Tos with To-Dos. Just enter your To-Do, and we will come up with matching How-Tos. It breakes down your To-Do item into more actionable To-Do items, so that a daunting task like get my driver's license is split up into more managable steps, like pay application fee or pass a vision test.
We eventually envision the web being providng a huge collection of How-Tos, from the very specific – like deliver furniture to 3544 Jones Av, Apt 27 – to generic ones, like the ones we find today. This will be enabled by using Semantic Web technologies to describe the How-Tos, discover them with a higher accuracy, and even to connect them to services on the Web so that some parts of your To-Dos can be resolved with a single click. HowToDo is a prototypical implementation of a small part of this puzzle.
This will let you to manage your To-Dos better and faster: wonder what the next actionable step is? Say your goal and we will help you get there. It's like GPS for tasks.
HowToDo works best when the To-Dos are covered by the existing How-Tos. Using the current How-To repository, this means that generic To-Do entries like sell car or prepare for camping will match better than specific ones like meet with John. There has been complementary research to address the latter kind of To-Do entries, and we think that a hybrid solution will eventually lead to best final results.
Also, the current implementation is limited to English.
HowToDo is not meant — and indeed cannot — be used as a To-Do application itself. We think, there are plenty of To-Do applications, tools, websites, apps, and methodologies out there already (like everyone's favourite, pen and paper). Instead, HowToDo's API can be queried by an existing To-Do application in order to match either the existing list of To-Dos or a newly entered To-Do entry against our How-To repository. If the matching finds a result, it will return with a list of steps, that can then be added to your list upon expection (hey, we're far from perfect!).
HowToDo is a research prototype that you can use for free. If something is broken, please let us know. We are thankful for feedback and comments — contact us.
The work is funded by the program W-SHARING: Towards Shared Repositories of Computational Workflows by the National Science Foundation (NSF) under Grant number IIS-0948429 (September 2009 - August 2011).
HowToDo is launched.