For those not needing a fully fledged task manager but keeping track of their to-do’s with iCal, synchronising to the iPhone or iPod touch is a constant source of frustration. Tasks from the computer don’t easily show up on the mobile device.
With 2Do, this is history. The to-do manager syncs tasks seamlessly between local and mobile devices and impresses with a functional and beautiful interface.
What is 2Do?
Put simply, it’s a well-designed iPhone app that offers comfortable task management. With a beautiful tabbed interface, it couldn’t be easier to quickly find, add and edit tasks belonging to different calendars or categories, set alarms or add actions to tasks. In addition, the app syncs seamlessly with iCal (Outlook & Toodledo sync are on the roadmap).
Setting Up 2Do
Guided Ways, the makers of 2Do, offer two versions of their app: lite and full. The main difference is that the lite version does not let you sync with iCal and you are limited to 3 calendars with 25 tasks in each. Still, by downloading the free version, you can get a feeling for the interface and the power beneath the pretty surface.
If you decide to go with the full version and want to sync to iCal, you have to download the free Mac Sync Helper from Guided Ways’ website. After a very simple installation process that doesn’t require any configuration, you can sync your tasks immediately via WiFi.
Depending on your settings, the application will open with Today’s tasks, All tasks or the Last opened calendar. The standard settings show your calendars as tabs to the left with badges indicating the number of tasks that are currently set. The task overview lists your tasks with an indicator as to which calendar they belong to and how important they are (the small grey horizontal bars indicate priority).
You can set the order in which tasks are displayed by touching the small clock in the upper left corner and you will be presented with a number of options. Additionally, if you have a large number of calendars in iCal or if you use different calendars as a means for managing a large number of projects, you can sort or hide specific calendars to unclutter the tabbed sidebar.
The Settings panel offers many more options to configure the app. Most notably are the Sharing & Alert options, which will ensure that you never miss a task again. By entering your email address, you can receive email alerts for starting tasks, you can set Push alerts (very handy) and even configure their sound.
Adding, editing or removing tasks is a breeze with 2Do, even if you have quite a lot of them. If you want to add a task in the mobile application, just touch the large “+” (plus) sign in the top right corner of the main screen. You will be presented with a blank template for a task that you can fill out. Start by entering a name (and no, unfortunately there is no landscape keyboard yet).
A very handy set of options are available through the Action menu: you can define a search term for Google, set up a call or send a SMS when the task starts. Assigning a priority to a task is is also just one tap away. When selecting a calendar, you’ll be presented with a list of all your active calendars to choose from.
In case there are some details to the task that are important to consider, add a note. And use the More Details option to define your task even further.
Remember the alarm options you configured in the Settings panel? Now you can make use of them by choosing either a message or an alarm to be displayed when a task starts or to receive an email. You can also set all three alarm options for a single task. Additionally you can set recurring options if you have a repeating task (weekly meetings, monthly payments etc).
After filling in all the options you need, touch Create at the bottom left and your new task is created. If you are happy with your input, you can easily sync the task to your computer via WiFi by tapping the Sync option in the main app window.
You will discover many more options when you play around with the app, but here are some I found helpful:
- You can remove the tabbed calendars from the main screen by tapping the Tabs icon (top left)
- If you define a Focus in your Settings panel, for example only tasks within the next 3 days, you can quickly reduce the view to only them by tapping the Sun icon in the main window (top right)
- If you want to sort or hide calendars or assign a different color to them, you don’t need to go into the Settings panel, you can do that too by simply touching a calendar tab and keep pressing until the options panel appears
There are of course many to-do apps available in the app store and depending on your requirements, 2Do may offer too little or too much for you. It cannot and doesn’t strive to be a fully fledged task manager like Things (even though the developers are working on adding Projects and Sub Tasks), and it is definitely overkill if you are looking for a simple note taker or reminder app.
But if you try to keep track of your tasks and need automatic reminders and sync with iCal, 2Do just might do the job for you. With the thought-through interface and the intuitive workflow, task management is no longer daunting, but quite beautiful.