I was reading an interview last week from a popular writing app author where they made the statement
I want to love Drafts for the iPhone, as I could really use the core features of the
It has been a fun week with Realmac Software’s Clear todo manager on my iPhone. Swiping through my list of things to do each day. That said, even if the UI is the direction of the future, I still need the polar opposite at times. Lately, that ‘enhanced’ Task manager being used is PocketLists. This is a iPhone only app that is all about building lists with a ton of information and being able to share the work with others. This weekend, PocketLists is showing up on iTunes for FREE!!!
To jump in, you create a ‘List’ of tasks or todo items. Each task in the list is individually entered with it’s own unique settings (covered below). Prior to starting to type the first task on the list, PocketList offers to let you take a photo of a list that it will run OCR on and enter as your tasks. This works fine on a printed list like a recipe, but I did not have it work a single time on a handwritten list. That is fine, the rest of the app’s power makes me soon forget about one feature.
The Project, or as PocketList calls it, your Lists, can be customized in many ways. Each list customization does not effect other lists so each can be unique in look and feel depending on the type of work list it is.
Each task List can have a icon to make it easier to understand the list contents later without having to open it. PocketList provides a nice group of icon to choose for all the usual list types. Imaging a list of things for home, an idea list, a list of calls to make, etc… of, you can put all your ideas/calls/projects into one List and ID each task differently within the list.
When setting up or later editing a task, PocketList allows a note to be added, item color coding, Due date to be set, if you wish it to be Repeating as well you can tie the task to a location. The last ‘List’ is handy if you have a task in one list but need to move it to another.
Using colors per item in a list makes it easy to notice high priority items vs things that can be pushed off to later. PocketList lets each item be checked off or opened for more information. The full list can also be checked off all at once if needed.
Applying the background color to a full list makes it easier to sort and quickly recognize Lists when the overview gets long.
I seem to be leaning towards the classics lately. Keeping things simple and more single purpose to avoid
By now, I’m sure you have seen all the press Realmac Software has been getting with their ‘Clear’ To Do app. All that was shown was a nice video of the app being used. But, me included, all got excited about a new use of finger gestures to get things done on our iPhones.
The concept is simple, make getting to the work easy and it can get done. With Clear, it appears your tasks are your own and seeing, managing and clearing off the list is what is important.
Clear does not offer sharing your list with others, or saving to your cloud storage, or adding icons to list items, or setting a due date, or creating repeating tasks (well, sort of). Clear does offer the ability to create list of things you need to get done and work through that list without tapping. It is also very enlightening that check boxes and ‘tap for more info’ isn’t needed, Realmac Software is offering a fresh look at UI possibilities.
Onto what your get for your hard earned dollar (US$, introductory pricing). Everything in Clear has been divided down to three layers. There is a list of projects, above that layer is the settings area and below each project is the list of items that make up the project. With the exception of typing a title, everything is done with a swipe… ‘gestures’ has come to the iPhone!
Start off by setting up a new Project. Just tap the screen to create a project and type in it’s name. The number that appears next to the Project name is the quantity of un-finished tasks in that list. If you accidentally tap and a new project box appears, just don’t type anything in it for a title and any other action will result in Clear removing the empty/no named project. When your ready to start your list, tap Done on the keyboard, then tap the Project.
Tapping the Project title will take you to a screen to start your list. Tap the screen to create a new Task item, then type in what the task is. To create another task, tap Done on the keyboard or just tap the screen. Clear offers the ability to rename Tasks and Project titles by simply tapping the text.
Just keep adding items to your Clear task list. When your list is longer than a page and you have no place to tap to create new, remember you can still add new tasks by pulling the list down slightly to see a ‘Pull to Create Item’ then ‘Release’… at which time, you should release to add! Pulling the list down further will take you up a layer to the Projects list.
Don’t worry about getting the items created in the order you need them to be. To resort your list just drag an item up/down with your finger. The coloring on that item will change to it’s new place on the list. Darker at top for ‘next’ or ‘high priority’ to lighter coloring farther down the list.
When your done with a Task, just move it to the right. Clear also offers this action at the Project layer is you want to mark a whole project as done in one swipe. A simple swipe of my thumb and the task is done… it seems more natural than tapping a check box, yet I have lived with checkbox lists my whole life.