Task: It’s Not a To-do App

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.

Like the article? You should subscribe and follow us on twitter.

Tasks on a Timeline

The first feature you will notice is the timeline, which is the organizational structure used to arrange tasks scheduled for a particular day of the week.

The timeline is divided into two parts: present and past. The former shows your current and scheduled tasks, while the latter shows tasks scheduled for the past seven days. Tasks for today are placed at the bottom of the list, and it ascends as you continue to schedule tasks for future dates.

The Task timeline.

The Task timeline.

Many have questioned the direction of the timeline, stating that the current tasks should be placed at the top instead. The developers have remained firm with their decision to keep today’s to-dos at the bottom. It turns out that Task’s main job is to manage future events in such a way that it keeps you up to date on what’s next on your list:

A lot of users asked us to display the tasks due today at the top of the screen. This would mean reversing the timeline direction. We say no. A timeline must display future at the top and past at the bottom. Because Task is mainly used to manage future events …

I think the confusion is due to the fact that the app itself isn’t clearly defined. The word “task” is heavily associated with everything related to the to-do list structure, and so to differentiate it would need clear effort into explaining what exactly Task does and what it cannot do.

Task Creation

Task’s design is superb. It’s clean and simple, content is large and readable, and it’s all set against a black background to give the white and blue colours a strong contrast.

Creating a task in Task.

Creating a task in Task.

Gestures are one of the app’s highlights, as it allows you to create, add and schedule items seamlessly. Just tap on the screen to create a task or pinch between two items to create in the given location. Swipe right to complete a task and left to delete it. You can also tap on the day header (e.g., Today, Saturday, Sunday) from the timeline to create a task scheduled for that specific day. You can also tap the day header to unfold the calendar. The farther the date, the lighter the colour the day header turns into.

Task reminders in Task.

Task reminders in Task.

Finally, above the blue-coloured day header is where you can set reminders for your tasks. Just tap on the grey reminder header to choose the time you’d like to receive a notification. You can also indicate if a task is high priority by tapping on the exclamation point button found on the top left.

Archives.

Archives.

I noticed that Task allows you to schedule tasks to past dates. Doing so will automatically place it under the Archives list where tasks more than seven days old are found. I don’t see the point here, as it seems needless. Fortunately, it can be disabled to keep the focus on tasks meant for the present.

The Bells and Whistles

Animation is another feature that gives Task a more dynamic feel. So far it doesn’t drag, lag or feel intrusive to the whole user experience. Besides this, you can customize how Task works by changing its default settings. From the Present timeline, long swipe down to visit the Preferences to turn on syncing to iCloud, change themes, or enabling vibration and the app icon badge.

Preferences within Task.

Preferences within Task.

The app comes with only Classic Blue as the default theme plus additional sound effects for reminders. You can pay an extra $0.99 (as an in-app purchase) to unlock seven more themes. I’m digging Ivory, Carbon and Emerald Green for my timeline.

At this point, Task pretty much nailed event creation and scheduling beautifully, but I noticed that it’s missing the one feature that every calendar app I know has: it doesn’t sync with my calendars. Without the ability to sync to my iCloud or Google calendars, it remains to be a to-do list with just a bit more emphasis on scheduling. Moreover, it doesn’t seem practical to have to work with another separate calendar.

It Could Work

Considering its beauty and how easy it is to create an event, Task serves its purpose well. I can walk down a busy street without worrying about taking too much time just to add and schedule an event.

However, I feel that Task lacks a clear image of what it really does and how to project it to its users. Is it a to-do list app or a calendar app? If it’s a calendar app that integrates with task management, can it sync items to my iPhone calendar? Can I sync it with my iCloud and Google calendars too?

Once it is able to iron out these issues and have a clear direction in place, I’m sure that people will be able to appreciate it even more. Heck, it could even pioneer a whole new breed of task management apps for the iPhone.


Summary

A task management app that organises current and future events within a timeline. It's built with gestures, animation, themes, iCloud sync and more.

  • Task 2.0.1  | 
  • $0.99 (with an in-app purchase of $0.99)  | 
  • 1Button
7