[This is a TiPb AT WORK App vs. App Review! Last week, it was the Instant Messenger Showdown, with BeeJiveIM squeaking out the victory. But which blog commenter won a copy of the winning IM App? mr. Hi-Definition Congratulations!
This week, the TiPb iPhone Forums voted on their favorite Task/To Do Apps, we took the top two, and now they're going head-to-head. But wait -- there's more! One of the forum voters has already won a copy of the winning App... Congrats coreymol! Want another chance to win? COMMENT BELOW! and make sure you leave a valid email address in the comment form -- it won't be made public, but it will be used to contact you if you win! Check out the full contest details, then grab your iPhone and get ready to get things done -- the TiPb AT WORK Task/Do To Showdown is on!]
I use my iPhone all the time. At work or play, it completes me. I have a few gripes (no sense beating the cut/copy/paste dead horse) - there are some glaring omissions that make it difficult for people to take the iPhone seriously for business or just everyday productivity.
Some kind of sync-able task or to-do list is such a basic feature, and fortunately, the advent of 3rd party apps have made it possible for developers to provide a plethora of apps to remedy this deficiency. The two apps that you folks in the forum picked for this TiPb AT WORK smackdown is Things and Appigo's Todo. Users have given them both a 4-star rating in the App Store and, quite honestly, it's a VERY close call to me.
Which of these two get-er-done apps are the best? How do they stack up? Read on!
Things, available in the App Store for $9.99, is a task app that promotes it's simplicity to use and offers a time-based and priority-based approach. The interface is clean and easy to use, with customization for creating specific task lists. A desktop sync app is also available as a separate download from the main site. The simplicity of the interface and layout of tasks by order of priority and project is very appealing at first glance.
Appigo's Todo is also sold for $9.99 in the App Store and has a simple interface that allows for the creation of task lists and setting priority of importance and due dates for tasks. Rather than provide a desktop syncing app separately, Todo will sync online with either ToodleDo or Remember The Milk, both of which are popular web apps for the iPhone.
The Same, But Different
Both Things and Todo offer similar functionality in giving you the ability to manage tasks/to-do's on your iPhone. They both have ways to sync your tasks in a location other than your iPhone. They both allow creation of multiple task lists. Both have an "In-Box" to hold hastily created tasks that you can add detail in the future, like categorization, priority, scheduling, and notes. Both have a nice, easy, and clean interface. There are differences though, and the differences just might give one an edge over the other, but this "edge" may also just boil down to personal taste.
Things is the task app that gives you a timeline/priority approach to managing your tasks. First, you have your Today items - obviously, the items that need to be done today and not tomorrow! These are tasks that you have entered to be completed for the day or are scheduled tasks that have become due. The Next list contains single to-do items and also action steps from active projects. These are the tasks you will do as soon as you can get to them. If the Today items give you a up-close look at your tasks, the Next list is taking a step back and seeing things from the 100 foot view.
Scheduled items are things you will do in the future. These are tasks you will begin at a later date, and as the date arrives, they will show up in your Today view. This may be like looking at your tasks from the 1,000 foot level.
The Someday box is where you place the things you want to do someday, no specific date required. Store your dreams here, if you want. It is like the 10,000 foot view of your tasks - no pressure, just a place to capture your ideas for more shaping and molding.
Things makes it easy to move tasks from one box to another. Then, as you complete tasks, they will appear in your Logbook so you can review the completed items later.
A nice touch is the "+" icon located at the bottom left of each screen. This app wants to make sure that adding tasks at any time is easy and straight-forward. Just hit that "+" icon no matter what you are doing and you can enter a quick task that will sit in your Inbox until you can give it more specificity later. Cool!
Right now, you can download a functioning desktop app that allows you to wirelessly sync your tasks between your iPhone and Things. In the future, this desktop app will be on the pricey side: $39.99 for those that register before the official release, and $49.99 for the johnny-come-latelys. However, if you are a big-time to-do/task person, this is a good investment. You will have a stand-alone app on your desktop that is married to the app on your iPhone so you can both backup your tasks as well as enter them easily from your desktop.
Todo takes a different approach to syncing. Rather than a desktop app and the additional expense that goes with it, their app syncs online with both Toodledo and Remember The Milk, two popular web apps. The upside to this is that these apps are free and are available to you anywhere you have an internet connection. The bad news is you need an internet connection or you aren't syncing, period.
Multiple task lists and projects are also available on Todo. You can create repeating tasks, prioritize tasks, and also create tasks quickly that are placed in your Inbox for adding detail later. You can view all important tasks by setting the filter to "All Lists" so you can knock out those urgent tasks no matter what category they are in or project the are a part of.
A nice feature on Todo is the availability of custom "strikeouts" for completed tasks. This is a great way to give your task list that personal touch. Whether it's a scratch-out, footprints, or a good 'ol rubber-stamp "DONE", it's a fun way to get that feeling of accomplishment when you've completed a task.
Another very useful feature offered in Todo is the linking of tasks to contacts and websites. If you need to call someone or send them an email, you can do some right from a task. You can also share tasks by sending them via email. This adds a very useful dimension to your task list when you can link straight to a contact for a call, email, or visiting a related web site.
And The Winner Is....
Both Appigo's Todo and Things are excellent choices to manage your tasks. They bear several similarities and are available for the same price. The winner is really .... you! In my opinion, you can't go wrong with either app and so it's really up to your personal tastes. The desktop syncing app for Things is a little pricey, but for some of you it may be worth it to have local syncing that isn't dependent on having an internet connection. For others, spending another $39.99 or $49.99 is NOT a good deal when you can have online syncing for free with Appigo's Todo.
If you need multiple task lists, projects, an Inbox for lighting-fast task entry, and task prioritization, then it's hard to choose. The differences reside in the syncing methods and some personal touches in customization (using custom strike-throughs in Todo or the prioritizing method in Things, for instance).
Since I get to choose, my personal favorite is Things because it gives me the option of syncing with a desktop app, which I find more convenient than using a web app. Things also seems a little simpler and straight-forward to me, something I really value in a task manager. I like that I can be very specific with urgent items or just dump ideas for later thought in the "someday" bin. But like I said before, regardless of which app YOU choose, they are both winners.
Appigo's Todo Rating: