I've joked that to-do apps are like gym memberships -- something people throw money at out of guilt and good intentions, but seldom follow through on using. Finish by Basil, just released for the iPhone, aims to to help with that through a combination of good design and the understanding that failure often is an option. In fact, Finish is crafted precisely with procrastinators in mind.

Here's the gist. You create a to-do -- name it, date it, and done -- and assign it to a time period that's sorted into short term, mid term, or long term. As time passes, the tasks automagically re-sort accordingly. If you don't get it done on time, rather than make you feel like complete jerk, it just moves it to the next appropriate time frame and subtly urges you to boot yourself in the butt and get it done already.

Basil has done a lot to de-stress the to-do experience as well, keeping long, intimidating lists out of sight until they really need to be in mind, and letting you choose a notification level that bests suits your temperament. Whether you're easily distracted or truly overwhelmed, time-frame based tasking might be just what you need.

Controls are gesture based for the most part, but they're well hinted -- sometimes too well hinted, with expository text that lingers long after you get the hang of it -- and there are buttons where there should be, so you can spend your time using instead of figuring out how to use.

It's iPhone only, so multi-device users and power sync-ers take note. But if all you're looking for is an elegant, thoughtful, realistic way to manage your tasks, give Finish a look. And if you've tried it already, add your thoughts in the comments.

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