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Review: Todo

November 30, 2009



photo Todo by Appigo is a premium task manager for the iPhone and iPod touch. At $9.99 it touts many features, which it delivers to varying degrees of success. Not unlike most premium task managers in the App Store Todo follows the popular GTD methodology, but whether or not it is the ultimate task manager is questionable.


The most important function of a task manager is to organize your tasks so you can manage your time more efficiently. Todo gives you many options of sorting your task, mostly based off of the Getting Things Done methodology created by David allen. Todo organizes tasks by lists, contexts, and tags. You can then sort your tassk by each of these headings. There is also the ability to search all tasks. IMG_0057 Just like most GTD inspired task managers there is the ability to create projects that have subtask. These subtask can have due dates and priority rankings. If you want to use subtasks but have no need to put due dates to each subtask Todo has the ability to make checklists. Making these checklists is simple and intuitive using the quick add feature. If need be you can re-order your subtasks via the drag and drop tool. This tool can also be used to change due dates or list headers. IMG_0033 Todo has two features I personally think are mandatory for all todo managers that I have yet to find together in one application. Repeating tasks and full calendar view are the two features that stuck out the most to me in the Todo app. When picking a due date the app gives you the full calendar view so you can visualize exactly when you want something due. The popular scrolling wheel is easy to use but often doesn't give you the day with the date. In full calendar view you get both. The repeating tasks feature is great for those who have tasks or processes they must do regularly. Projects and Checklist can also be repeated which makes streamlining important processes a breeze. To further help you keep organized and flexible you can decided to repeat tasks from the due date or the completion date. If you want to share you work load Todo enables you to share your tasks by email. If you're emailing a fellow iPhone/iPod touch yielding Todo users they can import your tasks into their Todo application. This can be exceptionally handy when sharing a checklist or a project.

The Breakdown

The Good:

IMG_0052 Todo has many customizable features. These customizations can help you get things done more quickly or they can be UI changes that are more aesthetically pleasing to your eye. The ability to organize by any combination of lists, contexts, and tags helps you keep your tasks organized to your personal liking. You can color code the different lists and you can select the strikethrough that shows over your completed tasks. Other customizations included changing the color of overdue dates and picking which set of symbols helps you determine the priority rankings of your tasks. Todo does a great job of working with your native iPhone applications. When entering a new task you can select the type of task it is. This is not only where you select if the task is a project or checklist but you can also add actions to task like call, email, or SMS. When selecting these options you can pick contact information out of your phones contacts list or add new contact information. There is also the ability to "Visit a Location," which lets you add a contact's address, mark your current location, enter a new contact, or enter an address. When going to complete these tasks you will be direct to google maps with the information. Also there is the ability to "Visit a Website," which allows you to go to a bookmarked URL.

The Bad:

Todo touts two very big features that it handles vary poorly. The first being push notifications. When you first open the app it will ask you to set up notifications. You do this by entering your name and your email address and then they send you an email that you must use to verify your email address. This is puzzling because you are never offered the ability to have emails sent to you at notification times. During this process you select the duration before a due time that you want to be notified. This time must be one of their preselected durations and they range from five minutes up to two days. All of your task that you add due times to will use this predetermined time to notify you. This is very limiting when applying notifications that fit your lifestyle. Whats even more limiting that out of all of the task I assigned due times to I was only notified once. This one time happen to be several hours after my due time. All other times I was never notified. On the upside if you do get a notification you can pick from a verity of alert sounds that come with the app. IMG_0044 Todo gives you three options to sync your tasks. You can download free software from their website that will enable mac users to sync with iCal and PC users with Outlook. I tested this on my mac and it worked fine. However, if you have a lot of task managing them via the iCal becomes cumbersome. iCal does not support subtask and so your subtasks look just like all of your main task in iCal when after syncing. Moreover, if you are a fan of GTD methodology you will find that iCal also does not support contexts or tags. Your lists become calendars in iCal and your calendars in iCal become lists in the Todo app. I have no experience using outlook and I do not have a PC so I was not able to test that. However, I must mention that the free download for PC customers is highlighted as a beta release so I am sure it does not work perfectly every time. There are two other options for syncing with this app. You can sync to the Toodledo and Remember the Milk web services. Syncing with a free Toodledo account garners the same results as syncing with iCal on the mac. Unless you upgrade your service for an additional fee subtasks will not work. The limitations syncing with iCal and a free Toodledo account make the feature useless because if you ever need to use that data to back up your tasks you will find your subtask not organized as they were before. Syncing with Remember the Milk requires their Pro account which is an additional $25.00 dollars a year. This is ironic because one of the features advertised for upgrading your remember the milk account to a Pro account is that you get to use their iPhone app for free.

The Verdict

Todo is feature rich but these features do not always work, or they do not work well together. With so many good features its hard to believe that the biggest features like push and sync work so horribly. This is slightly infuriating because the app touts 30 different strikeout images for completed task but can not get the big features to work properly. If you are willing to pay for a pro Toodledo account or you already have a pro remember the milk account but you do not like their free app then Todo might be right for you. If you do not fall in those two categories I do not recommend this app, especially at its premium price of $9.99. If you want to test drive this app for yourself try the lite version that limits the number of tasks you can imput.

Mentioned apps

Todo Lite
Todo Lite
Remember The Milk
Remember The Milk
Remember The Milk

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