At a recent training event, I was pointed in the direction of a nifty new website and App called Goblin Tools. Off the bat, the name was rather interesting given that it was explained to me as a task chunking tool utilising AI … consider me intrigued!

Immediately, the clean and intuitive interface of this website was obvious, and greatly appreciated. Listed across the top are tabbed windows offering each of the six tools on offer here, alongside the ability to switch between light and dark modes as per user preference. Quickly drawn by the advertisement of both iOS and Android app functionality (at a cost of 99p), this was also swiftly downloaded to have a good look. As the web-based version of Goblin Tools will be the most universally compatible to those reading, I’ll be speaking about this specifically, but a neat app package certainly offers many pros.

Magic To Do - this was the tool that was explained to me on first discovery, essentially allowing the user to add in a ‘task’, and have AI chunk this into steps. The real winner for this tool is the ability to control how much assistance one needs in this task (referred to ‘spiciness’ with a scale of 1-5 chillies, 5 being maximum assistance and 1 being least assistance). In practice the difference that this adjustment on the chilli scale makes is quite remarkable. Adding ‘Pack School Bag’ as my task, with 5 chillies for help, I was presented with a list of 20 steps, breaking down these into very specific details; opening the zipper, placing a pencil into a case, placing an eraser into a case, zipping the bag up etc. In comparison, 1 chilli gave me 10 steps, with more details and more scope for taking on a wider version of this task; including necessary assignments, packing snacks, necessary equipment such as calculators etc.

In all lists created, the user can check the box when the task is complete, and they will see a strikethrough the task to make this known. The user can also use the ‘estimate’ icon (a small clock to the right hand side of the task), to let AI predict how long this might take. Subtasks can be added, and these can be chunked with the AI tool too, so the possibilities are endless here!

Whilst I appreciate the clean, largely monochrome interface here, delving too deep into task lists in particular might be quite challenging to follow visually, as you could easily end up with a vast body of text which may be overwhelming. Tasks do indent on the page as you add them, but one to note in the absence of any other formatting to distinguish these sections.

Formalizer - As the name suggests, this tool allows you to take some text, and let AI change the ‘tone’ to suit what you’re trying to convey, be it more formal, more casual, or more to the point to name a few choices. Again you have the chilli scale here, for assistance (1-3 this time), with quick tools for dictating your text, and copying the result to clipboard.

Judge - this one lets you read the ‘tone’ of some text, to check in that you’re interpreting this as AI does. I have missed feelings about this one, and it would likely not be one I would rush to AI for to make a judgement like this! I do think there is valuable space for this, but one to be careful with overall - written text communication is notoriously challenging to interpret the tone of …

Estimator - much like in the Magic To Do list, this will predict how long something will take. Incredibly useful to some, but I’d be inclined to use the list format for organising such support into a more usable format.

Compiler - As the page tells you right away, this effectively is a brain dump space! AI takes your potentially disorganised information (again, this can be dictated for some extra waffle too), and provides you with a more succinct and to the point list of tasks.

Chef - Now this is one I think we could truly all benefit from! By letting the tool know what's left in the fridge, and whether there are dietary restrictions or time constraints, you’ll be given a recipe to create your meal! I’ve heard plenty of stories about AI suggesting recipes to my colleagues and friends, but what I really value about this, is the shortcut to add the resultant recipe to your Magic To Do list - letting you take advantage of all of those lovely chunking and time estimation tools a little bit more!

The main event for me here is the Magic To Do list. I think that the real power here comes from its simplicity in interface, meeting a hugely powerful independence boost for so many individuals. Intuitive interactions with the lists, and detail towards time estimates and the tasks themselves can give users the confidence that they’re capturing their tasks as a whole, and that they can execute them effectively. There is certainly much to be achieved with all of the Goblin Tools, and I’ll be sure to explore them in some more detail to see what hidden aspects might be within. With so much talk about AI, it is refreshing to see a tool which is simply harnessing some good and practicality for its users, I’d urge you to explore!