App Review: FCmobilelife Tasks by FranklinCovey for iPhone
Once upon a time, all of the basic features that we use a smartphone for were previously handled by the standard PDA, and before that, pen and paper. I used to carry the FranklinCovey planner system with me, where I faithfully checked off my task list as I completed them. FranklinCovey has done well to embrace the digital age, and now they have a Task app in Apple's App Store - FCmobilelife can be found here for $5.99.
Given there seems to be as many task and to-do apps as there are fart apps, how well does FranklinCovey's FCmobilelife Tasks hold up? Will it help you prioritize and get things done? Read on for a quick review!
Under The Hood
FCmobilelife uses the proven FranklinCovey methodology for creating tasks and prioritizing them in a way that will increase efficiency in getting things done. It takes advantage of the easy-to-use iPhone interface by delivering an attractive interface for managing your personal and business tasks.
Like the FranklinCovey paper version before it, FCmobilelife allows you to input a task and rank it using the ABC-123 system of prioritization, but this is just scratching the surface of it's capability. You can also add notes to your tasks to really flesh them out and give them more detail, if needed. The app provides a means of tracking due dates of tasks, assigning categories, and create recurring tasks using the Complete-and-Forward feature.
The use of spoken tasks and managing attachments really beef up this app, and to make things easier, you can simply drag and drop a task to instantly reposition it for a higher or lower priority based on your changing priorities. The beauty of this app is that it's as powerful or simple as you want it to be. If you want to simply create a to-do list each day and check them off as you go, then it's easy as pie to set up your tasks. If, on the other hand, you want to add attachments (photos), voice record your task, add due dates and categorize your tasks, you have everything you need in this app to be a power user.
FCmobilelife is quite polished and easy to use, but there are a couple minor problems I have with this app. First, it can be a bit sluggish when changing to different views and, most notably, when scrolling through a list. The animated transitions are nice from screen to screen, but I'd like to see it happen with a bit more speed. Also, if you want a simple to-do app without the prioritization, this app is not the best for that kind of simplicity. It would be nice if there were either a 4th view for a bare-bones to-do list, or an option to disable the minimum two-step process of entering tasks when using the Master list view.
A Quick Run-Through
Before dropping down your $5.99 for this app, take a look at the demo video that FranklinCovey has put together on YouTube. It gives you a nice walk-through of this app so you can get a good sense of it's capabilities.
To summarize the video, FCmobilelife has several views to choose from: Today, Plan, and Master views. The Today view gives you a look at current due tasks in order of priority - A (vital), B (important), and C (optional) tasks. Under each priority, the tasks are further prioritized by numbering 1, 2, 3 and so on. The Plan view presents a list of tasks also sorted by priority, but condenses your task list into an easier view for all your items. The Master list view are tasks that have not been designated a due date or priority. This view is great for entering tasks on the fly that you want to return to and prioritize later.
All past due items can be moved forward to the next day with the press of a button. If you wish to sort your tasks differently, then just press the "Sort" button at the top left and then drag items to a higher or lower priority, or even delete them. When creating a task, you can name it and assign a priority and due date. Spoken tasks are also great when you don't have the means or time for entering text. Completed tasks are automatically archived for you by date, so you can always go back and view your accomplishments.
FCmobilelife is a great app for those looking for a fairly simple way of managing tasks or the power user who is steeped in FranklinCovey's culture and methodology for prioritization. The interface is polished and the features are powerful. The need for a little more snappiness and the lack of a bare-bones task creation option is just enough to prevent me from awarding a 5-star rating, but I can definitely recommend 4 stars. Give the demo video a look - if you want a solid task manager, then $5.99 isn't much to pay for a winner like FCmobilelife.
- Packed with features
- Simple, polished user interface
- Voice tasks
- Filtering mechanism and recurring tasks
- Photo attachments
- Sluggish list scrolling and transitions
- No "bare-bones" way to create simple to-do's