Zippy - Tasks and Reminders ($0.99) by Amit Wadhawan s a to-do list app that wants to help you get better at completing tasks over time. If you’ve tried other iPhone task management apps, but want something that gives you a bit more insight, then Zippy is worth a look.
There always seems to be a new to-do list app every week, and while most of them are always the same thing, I always end up trying them anyway. I’m not sure why, I just love finding new productivity apps to see if they will work for me and fit in my workflow. And for me, a big chunk of being productive is how I manage my tasks each and every day. So when I stumbled upon Zippy, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to give it a shot.
I’m a sucker for well designed apps, and Zippy is one of them. The app itself is gorgeous, featuring a completely flat, colorful interface that is a delight to look at. I’m also rather fond of the font being used, as it’s lightweight, looks great, and is still fairly legible with my eyes. The app itself is quite intuitive to use, with a tutorial list of tasks to help you understand the basics (though it seems fairly similar to most other task apps). Zippy also organizes your tasks in chronological order, so you can quickly see what is upcoming at-a-glance, which is quite nice. Think of the Forecast view in OmniFocus 2, but laid out in a list form, so you can digest more information at once.
When you launch Zippy, you’re greeted with the main view of the app, which will be the reddish-orange To-do’s section. Here, you will find all of your current tasks organized chronologically, with header bars that indicate how long until it is due. You can tap on the tag button in the corner to filter your tasks by the tag associated with them if you are looking for something specific. This will also be the area where you can add new tags and delete existing ones.
To add a new task, just tap on the “+” button at the bottom in the To-do’s section. It will bring up the New Task screen from the bottom in a smooth animation, and this screen is also quite nice to look at. Rather than go opaque, the New Task screen is a bit transparent, so you can see the to-do list blurred out behind it. It’s very iOS 7-ish, and quite appealing to see. You can give your task a title, and then choose the tag to associate with it. While you don’t have to add a tag, it makes it easier to find items with the filters.
The next step for a new task is to give it a due date. Zippy will bring up a 3×3 grid with several options to choose from: Later Today, Tomorrow, In Two Days, This Weekend, Next Week, Two Weeks, Next Month, Custom, and None. Select the option you want, and then it will ask you for the time for whatever you chose. The time is selected by dragging your finger along the time scrubber, which will go from 12 a.m. to 12 a.m.
I noticed that this method will only give users the option of selecting the time in 30 minute intervals, and there is no way to really customize the time if you need something exact, like :10 or :15. I would like to see the developer consider adding the option to tap on the time to use the standard iOS time picker, and have complete minutes for full customization. This way, the current time selector can be used for quickly assigning a due time.
Another thing that bothered me was the fact that there is currently no support for recurring tasks, or even brief notes. I have current tasks that I need every day, or every week, so this is a bit of a letdown to me. I also find it a bit surprising that a to-do list app just doesn’t have repeating tasks — isn’t this something that should be considered standard?
As you start completing your to-dos, it’s time to knock them off the list. This is done by swiping an item to the left to reveal a contextual menu with a checkmark for marking it as done, as well as other options. The other options menu gives users the choice to delete, reschedule, snooze, and share the task through Messages, email, Facebook, and Twitter in a custom share sheet.
I would have liked to see a quicker way to mark items as done, such as a single or double tap, or just a single swipe without the need to tap a button. Hopefully this process can be streamlined in the future. At the moment, tapping on an item will take you to the Details view of it.
When you tap on the “hamburger” button, you will unveil the side panel menu. From here, you can choose to view your To-do’s, Completed, Insights, Settings, Share, and send Feedback to the developer.
The Completed section is basically the archive of everything you’ve completed so far. You can also delete everything at once from this screen if you don’t need to have a history of your finished items.
The Insights section is one of the most interesting things of Zippy. Over time, as you complete tasks, it’s recommended to check back here for a complete analysis of how you manage your tasks. You’re able to see how many tasks you’ve completed total, as well as a breakdown of items completed early, on time, the next day, two or more days late, and how many items were done with no due date. Scroll down further and you will find information like how far in advance you plan your tasks, when you create & complete tasks, and much more.
All of this information is presented in a beautiful, infographic-like style layout, complete with line graphs and other eye-catching visuals. This information should be used to help you get better at task management in the future.
Zippy comes with a few different settings for users to be able to customize their experience. You can change the default snooze time (from 30 minutes to one day), toggle sound notifications, or reset the analytics data.
I think Zippy is a unique approach to task management, mostly due to the Insights feature, but it still falls a bit short for me to use it daily. The most important thing that it is currently missing is recurring tasks, which really should be a no-brainer for an app like this. It would also be nice to have the ability to attach notes to tasks as well, in case someone needs to add a bit of detail to a to-do. There should also be the option to use geolocation information for some tasks, rather than only having tags as a way to organize everything.
Currently, there isn’t a way to add multiple alarms to a task if you plan it out ahead of time and need more than one reminder, so hopefully that also changes in the future. And the biggest annoyance is the fact that there is no backup or sync method, so your data is currently only available locally on your device. I hope to see either iCloud or Dropbox syncing in the future, or something of the sort. Apps like this should always have some option for keeping your data intact across multiple devices or in the cloud in case anything happens to your device.
Zippy looks nice and is quite easy to use, but it is missing quite a bit of features to make it a top-notch task management app, at least for me. I hope that the developer considers adding the features I mentioned in the future, because then it would be an awesome way to manage all of your tasks.
If the flaws I mentioned don’t bother you, then Zippy is still a decent to-do app. The Insights feature can definitely help you become more efficient over time. But if you need the things I mentioned, then perhaps it would be best to wait on Zippy, at least until it gets those features.