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Productivity

Despite the fact that I’m not as busy as I like to think I am (read: I have no life), I have a fascination with calendar apps and task managers. My most recent search is for an app that combines both calendar tasks and my to-do list. That first led me to Agenda, but it’s not perfect. And I’m not one to settle for anything less than perfect.

My next stop is Cal, the calendar app from the folks behind Any.do. I was new to Any.do as well — I had tried it before, but never stuck with it. Because Any.do and Cal are seamlessly married to each other, I thought it was time to give them a shot. And after spending three weeks with Cal, I’m ready to share my thoughts on the app. (more…)

I’m not going to lie, Remember the Milk is an application that has never really appealed to me before now. I much preferred the more professional-looking task management apps such as Things and 2Do rather than one that has a hand-drawn cow for an icon.

Regardless, as the old saying goes, you should never judge a book by its cover, and so I have decided to give Remember the Milk a chance to prove itself as the app does indeed come highly recommended by many. Hit the jump to find out more.

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Task — what’s the first thing that comes into mind? To-dos, check boxes and lists, right? With so many task management apps available, you tend to expect the same structure, features and UI elements. Well, what I’m about to share with you is an app of the same family, but built with a completely different direction in mind.

Task is a task management app that defies tradition. While its name brings to mind task lists and ticking off to-dos, it’s actually a minimalistic calendar app designed to make adding and scheduling tasks easy on your smartphone. It is gesture-centered with a lot of animation going on, and also slightly resembles Clear, Realmac’s popular to-do app. Even the app icon looks deceptively similar.

While some of Task’s features are creative and interesting, there are those that I didn’t agree with. In any case, those who are used to the typical way of using a to-do list app may either welcome this unique approach or back away from it. It all depends on how you use the app and how it fits into your workflow. (more…)

Innovation has stagnated for productivity apps on the web. On the mobile front however, multitouch interfaces have opened up the floodgates of creativity. Productivity apps like Clear, Soonr, Any.DO, Wunderlist and many others push the limits of the platform to make staying productive fun and efficient.

The latest to join the list is Task Player, which is doubly unique. It targets the niche of pomodoro users and lets you play your tasks like music! I’m equally curious to see what that’s all about. Join me after the jump! (more…)

Probably my least favorite thing about creating tasks is scheduling. I always end up with a giant task list filled to the brim with todos all scheduled for tomorrow or, worse yet, yesterday. I never take the time to schedule tasks because all that scrolling and figuring out what day of the week July 30 falls on is such a pain.

Swipes has that sewn up, making scheduling a simple swipe and tap. There’s lots more to this great to-do app though, including tags and task history. All that, and it looks pretty fine, too. (more…)

Like most individuals, I’m all for things that make my life just a tad bit easier; it’s one of the reasons why I spend so much time researching apps. There are plenty of productivity options to be found in the App Store, but many lack a key characteristic that makes a productivity tool so incredibly handy — automation. Instead of manually setting an action into motion, why not utilize a tool that can do it for you?

IFTTT, an acronym for If This Then That, is an Internet service that launched in late 2010 that’s designed to automate tasks that you create. The service has received considerable praise since its release, even being named one of Time’s 50 best websites of 2012. Since it came out in the App Store last week, IFTTT seeks to become one of the best iOS apps in 2013. But will it? (more…)

I spent about two weeks making my initial decision to use Byword or iA Writer. I sound like a typical writer making the typical choice between two predictably minimalist apps, which is very true. But the reason I took so long is because I wanted something that fit my life perfectly. When your life involves writing online and your personal device is an iPhone, using a minimalist tool makes sense. I’m not writing for print here.

Originally, I chose iA Writer. I liked the blue cursor and the way the app felt when I used it. I loved the animations, and I liked its colour scheme. Today, thanks to Byword’s 2.0 update, positions have reversed and I now use Byword for all my writing needs. Read on to find out what made me switch.

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I often buy stuff. In fact, you might call it a hobby of mine. Depending on the type of stuff I buy, I’m typically entitled to some type of manufacturer warranty. This applies to obvious items such as the computer I’m using right now to write this review, or the iPhone I’m using to try out the app for review. But warranties, limited as they may be, are often awarded for many items such as small appliances, video games or automobile parts.

Another item I deal with from time to time are serial numbers for software purchases. Buying items from the App Store and Mac App Store have all but eliminated the need for tracking serial numbers, but there are definitely exceptions on occasion. Keeping tabs on warranty items and serial numbers is rather important, but isn’t a task I want to think twice about. Serial+ by Enabled Apps aims to keep me from having to do so. (more…)

When it comes to task managers and note-taking apps, iPhone users are spoiled with choices, as there are literally thousands of ideas out there on the App Store all crying for our attention and our credit cards. I’m a man of simple tastes, which is why I don’t really use my iPhone for note-taking — I’ll probably use something like Drafts to scribble down something quickly when I’m on the move but I still rely on my trusty Moleskine for all my proper note taking. Yep, I’m old fashioned like that.

But when Elevatr was released back in May, my eye turned for two reasons. First, this looked like a nice, simple way to jot down my thoughts and ideas without having to waste an hour getting acquainted with the app. And secondly, the interface is so minimal and flat it’s positively infectious (and I’m a big fan of flat interfaces, which is why I’m looking forward to iOS 7 so much!). Read on after the break for my full thoughts about Elevatr and whether it is the de facto app for managing your ideas on the iPhone. (more…)

I have a huge thing for writing apps. It’s not that I want to write on the iPhone all the time; it’s just that I do. My iPhone is always with me and I’m always writing with it because it’s insanely convenient. And I have a core group of apps I always use to get the job done, but always feel there could be room to grow.

My feature list is admittedly pretty basic: I want great Dropbox support. I like a good font and I don’t need a lot of choice. I want to keep it simple, but that doesn’t mean I’m opposed to complicated functionality presented in simple ways. I just want something that works well and, most importantly, makes me want to write. Write for Dropbox is an app that promises me just that. (more…)

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