The Overview

From the simple list – “Get Milk, Deposit Paycheck, Buy Bouquet, Beg Forgiveness” to an extremely elaborate project management system complete with deadlines and Gantt charts, “To Dos” (better called Task Managers) are the basis of what we would call “productivity.” And the App Store provides us the entire range from the simplicity of the built-in, free NotePad to complex, expensive things like, well, Things.

Each of these apps fits a different audience and their needs – are you a simple list jotter who needs to remember errands to run? Do you need to be reminded of reccurring tasks such as paying bills or taking meds? Are you looking more to organize a monumental list of tasks that have interdependence in order to get accomplished?

Voodo falls in between the two extremes. It has a very powerful tagging system for grouping tasks together (even by where the tasks needs to be done). It also has a customizable badge icon that can display how many items need to be done NOW – whether, for you, that is the next couple of hours of next couple of days.

The Features

One of Voodo’s most distinctive features compared to other To Do apps is its filing tasks by geographic location. Create as many different location as you like and mark them using Google Maps. Instead of being a simple To Do item, it becomes more like a “next time I am at X, I will…” item.

You get to make as many custom tags as you like and tasks can have any number of tags. This allows sorting of tasks into convenient categories instead of just simple priorities. Tags are also auto-pruned after they have been left unused for a period of time.

With the tagging system, you can also create a powerful Getting Things Done system. If you’re not already part of the cult of GTD, google it….you may just find yourself pre-fixing all your tasks with ‘@’ ‘_’ ‘#’ et. al.

The Breakdown

The Good

Voodo is built the way I like ‘em: lots of options and power under the hood but a simple, clean set of controls. You can easily set up any number of tasks and use Voodo as a basic checklist style app. Or you can create a a complex system of tags to keep your entire life organized with ToDo goodness.

Syncs up with your Google Calendar account using a special sub calendar called Voodo. This is done in the background whenever you have an active connection – no need to worry about it!

The Bad

No way to set up recurring tasks within the app, itself. You need to either set up a recurring task in Google calendar and let it sync. Or set up a one time task in Voodo then after it syncs it to Google, set it up as a repeating task there. Wonder if that means I have to set up a second task to make sure I update Google. :)

Otherwise, the worst thing about Voodo is that in order to mine a lot of its best features you have to RTFM. As a long time Mac user, I’ve always found reading the manual a chore. But, honestly, Voodo does such a good job of hiding many features to keep the interface elegant, you really DOhave to read the instructions to figure out all you can do with it. So suck it up and read, already.

The Verdict

Reviewing To Do apps sometimes feels like an effort in futility. All reviews almost boil down to “I would recommend this To Do app if you were looking for this, this and this but not that and your budget was between x and y.” With Voodo it feels more like “Unless you need the high end project manager functions, Voodo will cover a wide spectrum of your Task Management needs.”

So, I highly recommend it except when we consider the budget part of the equation. With so many free and cheap apps out there that include a ToDo checkmark in there logo, there doesn’t seem to be any need to shell out the $5 for Voodo. However, Voodo has a depth of features I barely started to scratch over the two weeks I used it. If you’re unsure, grab the Lite version. It is somewhat crippled – but not so much you can’t get a good idea of what this Task Manager can really do.