Astrid: Organize Everyone and Everything

It’s Productivity Month on iPad.AppStorm! Throughout July, we plan to share with you all our tips, tricks, apps and resources to help you both improve your iPad experience and work better and more productively!

There is a glut of task management apps cluttering up the Productivity section of the App Store: Wunderlist, 2Do, Priorities, Remember the Milk, Things… the list goes on and on. One app that caught my eye in this particular category, however, is Astrid.

Astrid first rose to fame on the Android platform and was subsequently released on iOS back in late 2011. Since then, Astrid has developed quite a following and as we are celebrating all things productive here on iPad.AppStorm this month, I have decided to take a closer look to see what, if anything, makes Astrid stand out from the crowd. Hit the jump to read on.

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First Impression

I am a connoisseur of cute, and cute is something that Astrid definitely does well, right down to the finest detail. Launching with an adorable pink octopus, one of the first things I noticed was how visually pleasing Astrid is compared to other apps of its type. Task management need not be a dull and uninspiring affair, and the developer, Todoroo, has realized this and made the necessary amendments.

Creating an Astrid account is highly recommended.

Creating an Astrid account is highly recommended.

Before using Astrid for the first time, creating an account is highly recommended in order to access the many features that this app has to offer. Registration is quick and painless, and you can log in via Facebook or Google if you prefer, or not register at all to save time, although by not registering, app functionality will be limited.

Getting Around

Personally, I found Astrid tricky to navigate at first due to the lack of a decent tutorial. Sure, a handful of icons are labelled when the app is first launched but, after that, nada. It took me a good ten minutes to figure out which button does what and begin setting up my to-do list for that week which is not ideal if you are a busy person or in a hurry.

Astrid would benefit from a more in-depth tutorial.

Astrid would benefit from a more in-depth tutorial.

Astrid will send you an e-mail every so often featuring a tip on how to get the most out of your new task management application. This was how I discovered that you can forward an e-mail Astrid to be turned into a task. Ideally, an app should tell you a tip like this upon launch, not via e-mail almost a week later, hence the need for a more in-depth tutorial.

Sharing is Caring

Bossy is my middle name so, naturally, the ability to delegate tasks to friends and family is a welcome addition. Well, for me, anyway… my partner, not so much! Available for iOS, Android, and the web, Astrid is accessible to everyone, even those without an Astrid account, so there is no excuse for forgetting to buy milk or not mailing that all-important letter for your mom.

Tasks can be delegated to friends and family.

Tasks can be delegated to friends and family.

Delegating a task is simple once you know your way around, and allowing the app access to your Contacts makes the process a whole lot quicker, especially if the person you are delegating a task to is a fellow Astrid user as the task in question will automatically sync to their device. Alternatively, people who are not a part of the Astrid network will receive an e-mail inviting them to sign up, detailing the task at hand and asking whether they would be willing to complete that particular activity.

Hey, Good Lookin’

As I mentioned above, Astrid is attractively designed, combining cute and colorful graphics with a simple, minimalistic interface. I am a sucker for a good looking app and the inclusion of teeny tiny octopuses (octopi?) made planning my week just that little bit more interesting.

Astrid is attractively designed which makes planning your week just that little bit more interesting.

Astrid is attractively designed which makes planning your week just that little bit more interesting.

Astrid vs. [Insert App Here]

How does Astrid compare to Wunderlist, 2Do, and the like? To be perfectly honest, Astrid is practically identical to every other task management app out there, but that’s not to say it isn’t worth your while.

If you are new to the world of task management, then Astrid is a powerful app to begin with and will serve you well. However, should you be content with your current choice of to-do list then I would not advise switching, at least not just yet, anyway, due to Astrid not being 100 percent stable and the fact that it is similar to other apps of its kind.

The Verdict

I like Astrid: it is easy on the eyes and has successfully managed to keep my life in order for the past week but then again, so has every other task management app that I have ever used. The ability to e-mail Astrid with a task when you do not have access to the app is especially useful, as is being able to delegate tasks to others regardless to whether they have an account or not.

Unfortunately, Astrid loses a point or two for intuitiveness, although this could be easily rectified with a brief tutorial, and the fact that the app crashed fairly often which, as you can imagine, is very frustrating. If the developer addressed these problems then Astrid would definitely be on par with Wunderlist and the many other brilliant task management apps available right now.


Summary

An attractive yet powerful task management app.

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