I’m definitely a sucker for productivity, thus my addiction to various to-do apps that have come and go over the years of the App Store. While my main continues to be OmniFocus, I still enjoy exploring the other options that are out there and available to iOS users. One I’ve stumbled on as of late is DOOO, which has been around for the past year, but has just received a big update last week. I decided to take the app for a test drive, and so far I’ve been pretty happy with the experience, give or take a few flaws.
DOOO is going with the new trend of “flat” design, featuring a monochromic look to it with some splashes of color. There is no depth to the interface — everything is just flat, as you expect iOS 7 apps to be. It also eliminates the standard iOS chrome, which means no status bar at the top, leaving you with a “full screen” experience. The toolbar at the bottom features easy access to the voice recording, new to-do, and additional attachments that you can include in your tasks (new image, photo library import, drawing, and location).
The main screen of DOOO will be he “Dooo” list, which is basically the inbox. Any new note that you include will go here, unless you swipe to the right to reveal the side panel with other lists. DOOO comes with several lists by default, including “Work,” “Idea,” “To Buy,” and more. Each list comes with a slick looking icon so you can easily differentiate between them. You can add new lists as well, just by scrolling all he way to the bottom and tapping on the “+” button. You will be prompted to give it a name and select the icon. Unfortunately, there’s a set number of icons available, so if you plan to have a list for everything, then you may end up with duplicate icons.
To view a specific list, you will have to select it in the side panel, making sure that the arrow is pointing to it. I wish that DOOO included a view that allowed users to view all available tasks, rather than requiring you to select the list individually. If this was implemented in the future, then the app would definitely be close to perfection for average users.
Each list will be split into two sections on the screen: Today and Unsolved. Any items that you add in will fall under the Today column. After 24-hours, any incomplete tasks from the day before will be in the Unsolved column. This is a great way to prioritize your tasks for the day.
When you want to add a new task, just tap on the center button of the bottom menubar. Your task can be up to 120 characters in length, and you can also add a reminder alert to it, with the option of having the task repeat every hour, day, week, or month. When you have everything set, tap on “Add” to drop it into the current list.
For those times when 120 characters is just not enough, or when you need to drive, or are in urgent situations, you may not be able to type it out. Fortunately, DOOO features voice recording capability, which is accessed with the button to the left of the new task button. The app will begin recording immediately once this is pressed, so there’s no delay in capturing your voice. Tapping done on the recording will save the audio and you can enter some text to create the new task.
The other options for attachments were photos (new capture or import), drawing, and location. To get to these, tap on the button to the right of the new task, then select the one you want to attach. Drawing gives users the very basics, which is just a pen and eraser, with three different choices of ink color. Save your attachment, give the task a name, and then save it in your list.
I did not like how the Shift button was always on by default when typing in DOOO, which results in all caps for everything unless you manually press the shift button while typing to get lowercase. This provides an annoying user experience, and I hope that it wasn’t designed this way on purpose. Hopefully the developer eliminates this default setting in a future update.
Tasks in your lists can be swiped on for different options. If you swipe right on a task, you can assign urgent priority (!! and red), important (! and yellow), or delete it. A swipe to the left will bring up options for locking the item (so it does not move to Unsolved), changing reminder, and marking as complete. You can also do a tap-and-hold on an item to bring up a contextual menu with the option to edit, move, delete, or share via email or messages. I wish that it was easier to mark things off as done, such as a long swipe or even checkboxes. There should also be an archive to access completed items, in case you need them again to serve as templates for new tasks, or if you accidentally marked them as complete.
From what I can tell, there does not seem to be a cloud solution for data backup or syncing at the moment. This is surprising, as I would have thought an app that has been available for this long would have such a feature, either with iCloud or Dropbox at least. The data seems to only be stored locally at the moment, so be warned.
Despite the flaws, I think this is a pretty good app for managing tasks for the average user. It features an intuitive interface, and it’s always nice to be able to attach voice recordings, images, locations, or even drawings to your to-dos. I just hope that the developer fixes the always-on Shift key, adds a way to view all tasks at once, makes it easier to mark things as complete, and implements a data backup or syncing option. If these were fixed, then this app would be an even greater option to consider for the average person.