February 15, 2012

Clear iPhone app, Taskpaper and the rest - a roundup

Clear dropped yesterday and Twitter is abuzz with comments and reviews. Here is my take:

Clear - design and simplicity are the keywords here. Functionally, this is a simple list app. No sync, no tags. It is as if everyone thinks the design is slick grease that will push you on to increased productivity. I bought it and liked the UI a lot (props to the Devs)  but immediately missed the simple (one-document) broad view afforded by Taskpaper as well as higher-level functions like tags, scripts and syncing.

Taskpaper - my recent go-to app. Dropbox sync, tags, flexibility make this system a winner. No repeats (which I address with weekly todos that expand with TextExpander). I do very fast tagging with TextExpander snippits. Has a fast-scroll feature which allows a fast over-fly of all tasks. I keep the Inbox at the bottom so that hitting the (+) button instantly puts the cursor there and ready to go. It doesn’t take too long to activate Siri after that. I add tasks on the Mac with Quicksilver, my friend all these years. Low tap requirement to work the app. Can add tasks from mail. Scriptable.

Omnifocus - is the famous heavy-lifter in this category. It is popular and powerful. A major con for me is slowness, enough of a downer on the iPhone that I dropped it. Also, using it feels like drinking the KoolAid or watching Titanic or Avatar - everyone is doing it.

Listary - a super-simple list app with fast collaboration via Simplenote. I’m ramping this up for sharing tasks with my wife.  I might go to this fully in the future for personal tasks due to the Simplenote / nvALT backend.

Wunderlist - allows free syncing of tasks across several platforms but lacks repeats. I don’t quite like the UI.

Asana - I mention this because I looked at it this month for sharing tasks. Looks like it has potential but falls short on speed like Omnifocus.

Things - the original Player when it comes to iPhone todo apps. GTD philosphy, pretty good design. It has suffered for, what, 2 years (?) under the cloud of promised (but not shipped) cloud sync. It is apparantly in beta since August (!!!!). Too many taps to enter data.

Reminders (iOS) - has Siri integration but suffers from Tap-itis to do anything else. Tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap and it seems to never stop. I’m hoping subsequent updates improve this. It does sync via iCloud.

There are others that I am not so familiar with other than reading stuff here and there, including some that have cloud sync, tagging, and others that are minimalist.

I think I will continue to use TaskPaper for reasons noted above. I need more than a sweet exterior paint job - I also need some umph under the hood.

  • apps
  • iphone
  • productivity

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