As time passes and iOS software matures, the iPad has increasingly crept into each aspect of our digital lives, taking over light word processing duties, casual gaming, and media. But if there’s one thing I’ve always felt the iPad excels at, it’s task management.
There’s a lot of software in the App Store which promises to be the perfect companion for getting things done, yet no matter each individual app’s approach and strengths, I find myself returning to Things. So why continue trying other options?
Reinventing the Wheel
Residing as it does within a genre which is packed with compelling apps, 2Do seems to set itself apart from the competition by moving away from the minimalist aesthetic which is employed by some of its rivals, in favour of a UI which recreates a classic Filofax look. Personally I usually find this kind of styling not to my taste, but rather than coming up with an overly fussy interface, Guided Ways Technologies have nailed it – 2Do really is a beautifully designed piece of software, which also packs a host of easily reached options.
2Do‘s features can be checked out in full here but a few which struck me as noteworthy were its choice of five themes, audio notes, picture attachments, and clever use of GPS to offer ‘nearby’ tasks. However, it’s when these and all the others are combined, that one gets a sense of the possibility and flexibility open to the user. When you add the fact 2Do is one of the cheaper task management apps currently available, that’s great value indeed!
Unlike many other productivity applications on the market at present, Guided Ways Technologies have opted not to develop a desktop version of 2Do. This is not an oversight or a matter of time, the developers clearly state in their FAQ that they do not plan to create a desktop client as there are already good options available to users.
This unwillingness to develop a product which they feel would be superfluous reflects well on the team behind 2Do. The app instead comes with a host of syncing options, offering the ability to hook up with iCal, Toodledo, and Outlook. In addition, MobileMe support can be enabled for $2.99 via an in-app purchase and this will continue to work once the switch over to iCloud is complete.
Day to Day
2Do’s layout is carefully considered and hosts more options within easy reach than any other similar app I’ve yet come across. Inevitably, despite the app’s intuitive design, this customisability does come with the cost of reducing simplicity somewhat, but the learning curve is very slight indeed and 2Do seems to work happily on two levels: basic organising for light users, yet with a lot for power users to get stuck into. I think that 2Do has the balance just right and this will help give the app longevity.
Using 2Do daily, I was quickly impressed by the app’s approach to helping me manage my life. Whereas in the past, I found Things and Taskpaper very useful for managing my work schedule, for whatever reason I’ve shied away from using them for typical home chores like remembering to buy milk or paying the month’s online bills – with 2Do however, I now felt encouraged to join these areas of my life and, with the help of features like its voice notes and picture attachments, it soon became an integral part of my daily routine.
Guided Ways Technologies have a very good web-presence and their FAQ is a good first port of call should you have any questions or issues with 2Do. In addition, that same FAQ offers some insight into the philosophy behind 2Do’s hands-off approach to being useful. Rather than attempting to fit user’s lives into a particular productive ‘box’, 2Do instead simply hands all the tools needed for the user to find their own way of working, as is highlighted by this brief quote:
What particular GTD method does 2Do promote?
None (or all, depends on how you see it).
Although we appreciate that there are various ways of Getting Things Done, we don’t necessarily agree an interface should be tied down to a single way of doing things. For the average user, existing GTD apps have an overly complicated interface (not referring to the graphical aspect of the interface, but the actual work-flow one has to go through) and force you into Doing Things Their Way (DTTW !).
It’s only possible to use so many productivity applications before they become a time-sink and I initially questioned whether there was room in my life for yet another. However, 2Do delivers such a great user experience that I found it irresistible on first use and it has since replaced Things as my go-to task management app of choice.
Potential users may be slightly put off by 2Do‘s lack of dedicated desktop client, but I feel confident that the app more than makes up for this by taking a genuinely new approach, and granting a greater level of control over managing your day – which is the point of this software after all.
For another take on 2Do, and some background information, do check out Julia Altermann’s 2010 review!