After many years without extensions, the Opera web browser team announced that with Opera 11, due sometime in 2011, Opera would now join Firefox, Google Chrome and other browsers to allow third parties to create utilities to extend the browser with additional features via extensions. An alpha release of Opera 11 was released to the public a few weeks ago, and I recently decided to take the plunge, not only to see the new browser itself, but particularly to check out some of the 100+ extensions already being released. I’m always looking for ways to make myself more productive, so one of the first I looked at was a simple to-do list manager, called Checklist. After using it for a little while, I’m comfortable in declaring it a basic tool, but certainly well-done.
Using Checklist is very easy. Once you’ve installed it from the Opera add-ons page, you’ll see a new icon in your toolbar. Clicking this icon brings up the Checklist interface. From this main interface you can add items to your list, mark items completed, and delete items you’ve either finished or no longer need to do. You can also email your to-do list.
Adding items to the checklist is easy. Just click in the text entry field, type what you need to remember to do, and then either hit the Enter key or the Add button. Your item will appear below, and both the Total and Remaining items will increase by one. You can keep adding items until you’re satisfied, then either hit the Escape key or click the toolbar icon again and the window will disappear.
When you’ve accomplished a task, simply return to the main interface. If you still want to see the item, but want it marked as complete, just click it. The task will be identified by using strike-through text, so it’s still legible, but also obviously “done,” and not to be worried about. If you simply want to get rid of it, tick the check box to the left, then hit the Delete Checked button, and it will disappear. If you’re a fast worker, and are done with all your tasks, you can hit the Delete All button, and your list will once again be empty.
You can also email your Checklist items to someone if you like. When you have items to complete (the feature won’t work if your list is empty), click the Email button. The interface will change to show a big button that reads “Mail remaining items,” which will bring up a new dialog the first time you use the feature. The dialog allows you to choose exactly how the list is to be emailed. You can use your system’s default email client, the Opera WebMail interface, Opera’s built-in email client, or one of four other webmail hosts. My main issue with Checklist at the moment is that I’d never heard of any of the four hosts. One of them (if I remember correctly) was Russian, the others were all new to me. Hopefully hosts like Gmail or Yahoo will be added in the future, although the feature is still quite usable for people who either use a desktop client, Opera WebMail, Opera’s built-in email client, or one of the supported hosts.
Still, Checklist is a nice extension. It’s certainly not complicated, and it’s actually not groundbreaking in the least. If you’ve used the Checklist webapp at the following address, you’ve used the Checklist extension:
That’s because the Checklist extension simply loads the checklist webapp in a smaller window. In spite of this, it works quite well (although it does mean you’re limited to what you can do when not connected to the Internet). Still, it’s a nice first step, and it’s certainly good to see as many Opera extensions – currently well over 100 have been released – available already. Checklist is simple, but effective, and hopefully it will only get better as Opera 11 nears and the extensions platform matures.