Proud ($4.99) by Peter Szwach is a sleek new app for helping you become more productive in this new year. While Proud may be just another task manager app to the naked eye, the developers claim that Proud will have a more positive effect on you due to their redefined concept of time. But the real question is will it hold up? Let’s find out.
For several years now, I have considered myself a productivity nut after discovering many to-do apps on the App Store for my iPhone. I’ve stuck with some tried-and-true favorites during that time, such as OmniFocus and Todoist, but I’m always looking for other alternatives that may improve my workflow. I’ve tried sticking with the old-fashioned GTD formula, but sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming for my needs. That’s why when I saw Proud, I was intrigued, because it didn’t follow the cookie cutter formula of many other task managers.
The design of Proud is simple and flexible, with an aesthetic that certainly reminds me of Clear from back in the day. Proud is rather colorful with different colored screens for each of the three views (Lists, Upcoming, and Done) and smooth transition animations as you navigate around. The sans serif typeface is rather simple and plain, but still legible and fitting for the app. There are also some fun sound effects as you do things in the app, though it can lose the charm after a while — fortunately, you can turn these off in the app’s settings. Navigation is done through taps, pulls, and swipe gestures, so it feels natural and flush among iOS. Overall, the developer has done a rather fine job with making a beautiful and fun-to-use interface for a task and list manager.
Despite the simple appearance, Proud is a rather powerful app. In addition to managing your lists and tasks, Proud can also help you stay focused on long-term goals and even de-stress right from the app. To access your goals section, just pull the screen all the way down on the Lists section. Proud comes with some default goal text, but you can just tap on it to edit it for your personal goals. Swiping the small section to the left will bring you to the De-Stress Superpower section, where you are encouraged to relax with some breathing techniques. To hide these sections, just swipe upwards from the bottom of the screen.
While you’re on the Lists screen, just pull down to add a new list. Tap on a created list to view it, and then pull the screen down to add a new item to it. You can drill further down into these items by adding subtasks to them, or you can swipe on them to bring up contextual menu buttons: swipe left to delete, or swipe right to give it a due day and time or complete it.
When you want to assign a due date to an item, you’ll get a screen with several different circular buttons, similar to how Mailbox used to handle snoozing email messages. You can set the item to be done now, tomorrow, next week, weekend, or a custom date, and you can pick morning, afternoon, or evening. Or, if you need something more specific, the app allows you to postpone by minutes, hours, or days. Items can also become recurring tasks by toggling the repeat option, or just pulling the screen upwards. Just pick how often you want it to occur and on which days of the week. Proud can turn recurring tasks into habits to keep you focused.
As you assign due dates to your items, you can view all of the upcoming ones in the second section. Everything will show up in chronological order according to when you set them to be due, so it’s easy to follow. If you pull the screen down as you did in Lists, you can access the focus and relax superpower or“Give me more time,” where you can move all of your tasks for a later date. The Done section will display a full history of your completed items, and over time, you’ll get a nice line graph showing your daily progress with the superpower section, or go back in time.
To access the app settings, just tap on the button in the superpower section in the Lists screen. You can change core options like soft times (default start, ending, afternoon, and evening times), notifications, privacy (Touch ID), and iCloud synchronization. There are miscellaneous settings like gestures and labels, 24 different color themes, and sounds.
For those of you with an Apple Watch, there is a native companion app that works even if your iPhone is not around. The Watch app allows you to check your upcoming tasks and start a focus and relax session in case you need it. It’s rather nice, giving you a small feature set of the app on your wrist.
I’m not sure if Proud is going to become my daily task manager app from now on (I’m still rather content with Todoist), but I do like the app’s concept of being an all-in-one productivity hub. It’s slick and pretty simple to use once you get used to the system (it had a bit of a learning curve with me), and the feature set means that the app is designed to be flexible with your workflow. I recommend giving it a try if you are looking for a simple list and to-do manager that can be powerful, but it is not for those who want to manage complex projects or location-based tasks. However, be warned — it did crash on me a few times, so hopefully the kinks get worked out soon.