I’m on a quest for new Personal Information Management (PIM) apps! Recently I moved to an iPhone from a decade-long stint with the Palm OS. My husband’s Treo 650 went into an infinite reset loop and we were ready to renew our AT&T contract. It was time for a new phone, we had to stay with AT&T (only wireless service that will work in our house), and neither of us wanted a Centro (only PalmOS choice), so it was time to move onto another platform.
I’m on a quest for new Personal Information Management (PIM) apps! Recently I moved to an iPhone from a decade-long stint with the Palm OS. My husband’s Treo 650 went into an infinite reset loop and we were ready to renew our AT&T contract. It was time for a new phone, we had to stay with AT&T (only wireless service that will work in our house), and neither of us wanted a Centro (only PalmOS choice), so it was time to move onto another platform. I’ve been ready for an iPhone for a long time (already had an iPod Touch), but had hesitated because of the whole movement-of-10-years-of-data I’d be faced with. I also do not want to be faced with carrying two devices–the iPhone is too powerful to use for just a phone. So I’m saying goodbye to my T5 and hello to iPhone.
My current quest is for a good to-do app. Cost is not a factor, except for the fact that I don’t want to buy a whole bunch of apps to find the perfect one. I don’t mind buying a few, but since the number of to-do apps on the AppStore is numerous, buying and trying all of them is not possible and crazy!
I also have a unique computer hardware situation. My main desktop is Linux. I have a Macbook (the machine I have set up to sync my iPhone infrequently) and also a laptop with Windows, but I do not want to dig them out on a daily basis. I do not really need to sync, except from an input or archival standpoint. I do not plan to use my to-do list on my computer, but on my iPhone. I have a lot of old to-do’s on my T5, so starting from scratch would be tough, but since I probably need to revisit a lot of my tasks, being able to transfer those to the iPhone is a plus, not a must-have.
I’m an old school time management type. I started with a Franklin Planner (and methodology), have had Covey seminars, but have been told I probably do a lot of organizing using the GTD methods without realizing it. My system works well for me, so I have no desire to learn a new method. I’m merely looking for a new tool.
That said, I’ve started a spreadsheet of to-do apps (only 11 listed so far–I did a quick search on AppShopper for ‘todo’), with key features listed. I plan to expand on this data as I continue my quest. (Hopefully my quest will be short, but in the meantime, pen and paper will have to suffice.) If a cell is not filled in, either that feature is not included, or it wasn’t possible to tell from the description.
I’m inviting my readers and any iPhone to-do list developers to contact me and make suggestions of apps I’m missing, help fill out my spreadsheet with their experiences, and offer any other comments and insight. Otherwise, going forward, I plan to search on to-do keywords to suss out the apps available and slowly add them to the list. I hope to try as many of the “lite” versions as I can. If it makes sense to write a separate review, I will.
My suggestions to developers–try to better highlight your feature list. Many descriptions I’ve looked at are hard to validate that basic to-do list functionality exists. Descriptions explain why you need a to-do list (I think if you are looking for a to-do list, you know why you need it), or include blurbs from reviews, which are fine, but shouldn’t be your only description.
Things I want to know:
1) Can I organize into categories or projects set by me? (Tags might suffice.)
2) Can I set importance, priority, or weights to the tasks? i.e. 1-2-3, A-B-C, red-yellow-green, urgent-required-someday… Are they visually coded (color, etc)?
3) Can I set a due date (real or artificial to move it up the list)?
4) Can I set an alarm?
5) Can I set recurring tasks?
6) Can I sort and by what? (i.e. Date, Project, Priority…)
7) Can I select what I want to work on today, without setting artificial due dates or priorities? (a focus list?)
Many of my requirements are influenced by the Palm PIM to-do app, which was adequate but missing many features. In the past, we had hoped to write a better to-do list for Palm ourselves, but it never was a priority. I want to be able to list my tasks by project, but then complete them by sequence. Since I multi-task, this is crucial.
So, please take a look at what I’ve started and help me fill in the data. I will share what I learn and not only will I find a suitable to-do list, but perhaps the information will help you, too. Thanks!
I think I found it!! Just watched the video of the update to Todo 2.0 by Appigo. It’s weird, but they hit on pretty much all my points with this update–what I wanted to have the app do. I just bought it ($9.99 is cheap–I’m used to Palm pricing). I’m going to play with it and hope to provide a review here after test driving it for a while. But I’m very optimistic that it will do what I need it to do. (No pun intended.) You can buy it here:
Stop the presses! Just had a panic moment with Todo. I upgraded via my iPhone, which is the way I always upgrade, since I don’t connect with our Mac everyday. My everyday machine uses Linux, which is incompatible with iTunes. I had sync set up with Toodledo, but did not realize that subtasks for projects and shopping type lists were not sync’d. I wasn’t worried because these were on my iPhone anyhow. However, the recent update to Todo erased all my subtasks and sublists. I had done a whole set of brainstorming for promotion of Date Wheel, for example. I panicked. I checked out Appigo’s FAQ’s on their website and their first suggestion was to “backup before upgrading” via iTunes. Nice to know, after the fact. (Add heavy sarcasm here.) Lucky for me, we had been connecting my iPhone to our Macbook frequently lately, since we were doing debug on Date Wheel for iPhone, so my apps had been backed up at least a week ago (when we were done and submitted Date Wheel). However, in the meantime, I had planned out September in my calendar today, doing a lot of clean-up work, plus I had entered a few passwords into eWallet. I’m trying to keep paperless, so I did not note these items elsewhere. So, doing the backup erased all this data. My point being, having to choose which data you are going to lose permanently is unacceptable. So, now I have to take time to enter all the todo’s I’d entered in Todo, into a spreadsheet on my computer before I delete my $9.99 app that is no longer of use to me. Sorry Appigo, but data is too important for me to risk losing. Otherwise it was a great app that met my needs, even with a few bugs (which I had noted, but lost in my update). So much for getting anything done today. Complete train derailment….
I found out that some pics that I had taken with my iPhone were also deleted when I did the backup. If I had realized they were not sync’d or that they would be lost, at least I could have emailed the important ones to myself. My daughter asked me to take a picture of her name up on the board for belt promotion in her karate class and that was one of the pictures lost. Very disappointed little girl and frustrated mom. I am going to delete Todo as soon as I am able to transfer my tasks to a new app. I do NOT recommend this app.