You know that feeling you get when you cross something off your to-do list? It’s a brief rush that helps some people actually get stuff done.
Now think about your web browser. You know that feeling you get when you close a tab that you don’t need? It probably feels even better than crossing something off your to-do list. That’s because our addiction to information spurs us to open more and more tabs until we’re anxious and overloaded. Having too many open tabs stresses us out and finally closing them can feel like a sigh of relief. So what if there were a way to harness that anxiety toward productive ends?
That’s what Gabe Whaley is trying to do with FMlist.io. It’s a simple web app that creates a new tab for every single task you make. When you complete a task, you simply close the tab.
“It’s simple, kind of annoying, but kind of effective,” says Whaley, who is also the mastermind behind the Wingman app, the sexist tip calculator, and an animated gif with which to troll your iPhone-owning friends.
Whaley originally made FMlist over the weekend as a joke with some friends. But after posting it on Reddit, he got feedback from people who surprisingly enough actually found it helpful.
“I thought it would be funny to create a tool that at first makes this problem worse, but then ends up actually helping,” says Whaley. “The act of closing a tab, for most people based on feedback so far, is far more gratifying internally than crossing something off a list.”