Diacarta: A Mental Picture of your Day

I’ve tried and reviewed a ton of productivity apps for both Mac and iPhone. Some I love, some I hate, but the dividing line between these two usually comes down to a few simple features as they all pretty much work the same way. A truly unique day planner or GTD app is quite the rarity. In fact, it’s more of an empty promise put forth by every app in this category and fulfilled by very few.

Diacarta is that one app that finally said “enough.” Enough of the same old productivity app reproduced in one hundred different variations, enough taking more time to enter tasks into your schedule than it actually takes to do them, and enough scrolling through a boring lists of tasks not designed for visual thinkers.

Below we’ll take a look at what Diacarta is and how it uses a simple and brilliant interface to change the way you plan your life.

Meet Diacarta

When you first open Diacarta, you are taken to a simple but attractive retro themed clock with the date and time and the top of the screen and a few buttons along the bottom. You can already tell that this isn’t going to be your typical planner.


AM/PM Clock Screens

The default screen is an AM clock. Swipe your finger left to access the PM clock. These are the two main screens that you will use to view your tasks and appointments. If you continue to swipe left you can access the AM and PM clocks for future dates. Tap the home button to immediately be taken back to the current date and time.

Calendar View

Tapping the calendar button will allow you to directly access any date you wish. Simply navigate the calendar with the arrows and tap on a date to see the clocks for that date.


Calendar View

Notice that the dates with tasks planned contain a dot under the number. Hitting the “back” button at the top of the screen brings you back to the clock view where you can add tasks to the current day.

Adding Tasks

Back at the clock screen, tap the “+” button to add a task to your day. This will bring up a list of icons to choose from to represent the task. There are nearly sixty icons to choose from that adequately represent an impressively diverse range of activities.


Adding a Task

When you select an icon it will appear on your clock screen. As you drag the icon around, a block of one hour will be highlighted on your clock and a line will be drawn that connects your icon to that time segment.

To schedule your task, simply drag it to the appropriate section on the clock. In the image above I’ve created a music-related task that goes from six to seven PM.

As you continue to add tasks, a visual picture of your day begins to take shape. Though it may not be appropriate for everyone, I love the visual representation of my daily tasks and think the icons make for an awesome and quick read.


A Typical Day

Notice that you can have tasks that overlap either partially or completely in addition to tasks that aren’t tied to a specific time slot. The latter of these is great for adding items that you need to accomplish on a given day but don’t require a specific timeframe.

When you complete a task, tap the star button then tap the task to bring up the option to mark the task as completed. Completed tasks will then appear as a star on the clock screen.


Completing Tasks

It took me a while to discover this functionality (it’s not completely intuitive) but it really makes cluttered days a lot easier to sort through as you begin to complete tasks.

Tweaking Tasks

Double tapping a task from the clock view will bring up a screen where you can customize the specific details of the task. You can add a name, location, start time, finish time and additional notes as well as delete the task or change its icon.


Adding Details

Though the default task length is one hour, you can schedule tasks in increments of 15 minutes. If a task crosses over from AM to PM (or vice versa), it will appear on both clocks with the appropriate portions of time highlighted.

Custom Tasks

One feature that I found particularly handy was the ability to create custom task icons in the event that you don’t like those offered. To accomplish this, simply choose the very first icon in the list (the blank one). A task with a blank icon will show the name of the task once one has been entered.


Custom Icons

As you can see in the screenshot above, I created two tasks featuring custom icons: one for lunch with my wife and one simply titled AppStorm. If this method better fits your personal preferences, you can give all of your tasks custom labels and skip the pre-made icons completely.

My Thoughts

As I’ve already indicated, I think Diacarta is a breath of fresh air in this category. The interface is beautiful, easy to use, efficient and quite innovative. I really enjoy using the app and have almost no problems with it. However, as always, I do have a few feature requests that I think the developers should consider for future releases.

First of all, it would be nice to be able to schedule tasks in five or ten minute increments instead of fifteen. It’s often the case that a movie or a meeting will start at some arbitrary time such as 6:40pm and it would be great to have a little more control in this area.

More importantly, I think there should be a way to create a list of favorite icons that you want to access regularly. This would save you from scrolling through the list over and over to find the same three or four icons that you access repeatedly. It would also be great to be able to save the custom text icons that you create so you can reuse them either without naming the task or in addition to applying a separate name to the task.

The two items above are minor personal tweaks that I’d like to see implemented. There are however two missing features that prevent this app from nailing a perfect score because they represent basic functionality that really should be present.

As with many of the other planning apps I’ve reviewed, Diacarta doesn’t support automatically reoccurring tasks. This is a huge feature for many people with set weekly schedules and it can be a huge time saver. Additionally, the lack of reminders/alerts is quite disappointing. Above all else I recommend finding a way to implement these two features. Both are present in the iPhone’s default free calendar app and are therefore expected in any paid app that claims to be an improvement.


Despite the grievances listed above, Diacarta is an awesome app well worth $1.99. If you’re a visual thinker sick of traditional planning apps, give Diacarta a shot and let us know what you think.

Leave a comment below and tell us about any other apps you’ve come across with truly unique interfaces that accomplish an old idea in a new way.


Diacarta is an awesome and innovative daily planner that allows you to visualize your tasks with a unique clock-driven interface. Simply drag icons onto the clock screen to schedule them and see the flow of your day.