I tend to over-analyze and thoroughly research all options when it deals with my daily workflow. As I’ve tried to focus my energy on Getting Things Done and eliminating distractions, it was only a matter of time before I had to purchase a proper to-do app. The age-old reliable Stickies and countless text files filled with dozens of to-do’s (all incomplete, or maybe they were completed?) were not going to suffice any more.
Of course, I had certain requirements before purchasing any app. These were as follows:
- First and foremost, it must have a native Mac desktop application and synchronize (ideally a push) to my iPhone app. I like knowing my to-do list is always accessible no matter where I feel unproductive.
- Allow categorization of to-do’s. Neat-freaks like to categorize!
- Must have logic to sort the to-do’s based on priority or other means. I don’t want to-do’s for next month showing up at the very top of my list.
- Must have a quick keyboard shortcut to add a to-do instantly without having to launch the application in a new window.
- A clean user-interface. Let’s face it! If you’re going to buy an app nowadays, this is an expectation.
So after many days of banging my head and reading hundreds of reviews, I narrowed it down to two:
SimpleTask is extremely simple and non-intrusive. It won’t bog down your laptop with unnecessary features and junk. It does to-do lists perfectly. Additionally, it doesn’t force you to fill out every field on a to-do entry whereas other apps do. With SimpleTask, you can color code your to-do’s which is great. Though, guys like me will probably forget which color refers to what category. However, the fact that their desktop app is free should be enough to go download it immediately and try it out for yourself. Did I mention FREE?
Desktop App Price: FREE
iPhone App Price: $1.99
While the online reviews for the desktop app were definitely positive, their iPhone app needs a few more updates, specifically around synchronization. And if you’re a developer with the right stuff, feel free to help them. They have a great product and I’m sure the next version of their iPhone app will be spectactular. Regardless of this setback, for a cost of $2, you could have a to-do app for both the desktop and your iPhone which is pretty darn good in my opinion.
Things is a Mac desktop app which has all the right features without being too overwhelming. They claim, Task management has never been this easy, and I wholeheartedly agree. It met all my requirements above, but I really wished the apps were cheaper.
The bad? One notable downside is that they have promised to deliver synchronization via the cloud, but yet to fulfill that void. Other competitors have already delivered cloud synch functionality so I’m baffled Things hasn’t caught on yet. Though, it’s worth noting you can synch via Wi-Fi, but who does that anyway? If I’m going to pay this much for an app, I expect it to be the leader and not get left behind.
Overall, I still think Things desktop app is downright awesome, and if they get cloud synch functionality baked into the app, I’ll be all smiles. But the price tags make Things the top pick for serious to-do’ers and list-makers, but not the everyday person.
Desktop App Price: $49.99 (ouch!)
iPhone App Price: $9.99 (ouch, again!)
If you’re wondering which of these two fantastic apps I eventually chose, the answer is Things. I’m fine in spending $60 (in total) to bring sanity back into my to-do lists. After all, productivity means more money.
At this point, you’re probably wondering what the heck does this have to do with bloggers and web site owners? Simple! They are inefficient (actually, I am) and could use a to-do app. Time and time again I hear bloggers complaint about nothing is getting done, how they procrastinate so much, and the rant continues. Well a solid to-do app and the discipline to cross items off the list will yield better sites whether it be with more content, better designs, or just happier bloggers. (this post was on my to-do list! Now I can cross off that to-do. FUN!)
Save your time and energy as I’ve already done the research. If you’re an organization freak like me, then you need one of these apps. But if you disagree with my choices, sound off below and let me know what’s on your list?