I’ve been looking for a good task application for a while. I don’t want to spend a lot of money (less than $3); I want it to be a simple app, and I want to be able to use it with others (at work or with my wife). I’ve tried a bunch of apps and even have a folder on my iPad that serves as a graveyard for those that haven’t quite made the cut.
Here’s the rundown of what I want in a task application:
- Collaborative. I want to know what’s on my team members plates and I want them to see what’s on mine. I want team members to be able to assign me a task, and I want to dole out tasks to them.
- ios ready. It needs to have an interface (or application) that works on my iPhone or iPad.
- Simple. I want to open up the app and see my projects and tasks. At the core, I want a utility that focuses on projects and the tasks I need to complete to be successful. Everything else is gravy.
Well, when it rains it pours! Not only have a found one application that works, but I have found two quality applications that makes all the others look old fashioned. Both of these tools go above and beyond my requirements by offering threaded comments for tasks, beautiful web apps, and email integration. Sheesh! Now I have to eliminate one–and it pains me, because I like them both!
Orchestra To Do
Orchestra To-Do is an ios application and web application that instantly impressed me. It boasts a clean interface which makes it easy to share tasks and projects, a threaded view of comments and changes for each tasks, email integration, and a beautiful web application. I use it with my wife to keep grocery and other lists in sync.
The creation of tasks can be completed by typing into the interface, dictating to the iphone application, or by sending an email to email@example.com. By sending the following text in an email to orchestra, you will create a task in the project called “party.”
Don’t forget to pick up the cake for the #party !anyone
The cool thing is that anyone who is a member of the party project has the ability to see the task and accept it as their own. (For more information about the nuances of using email to create tasks, see their handy instruction sheet here). The ability to throw a task “out there” for anyone to claim sets Orchestra apart from any of the other task apps I have seen. Just press the button “I’ll do it” and the task becomes your own!
Orchestra’s selling points
- Ability to create a task that any team member may claim.
- Language recognition.
- Robust email integration.
Do.com is Salesforce.com’s entry into task management. I’m a Salesforce fanboy, so I downloaded the application the day it was released. I have been using do.com at work for the last couple months and have found it to be easy to use and meets my needs. It easily fulfills my requirements of being collaborative, ios ready, and simple.
Aside from the basic requirements, it also lets you upload attachments to share with your teammates. These attachments can then be linked to tasks. It’s nice to be able to attach documents so they are easily accessible when you are reviewing your tasks. The attachment functionality is currently only available on the web application.
Also, do.com provides the ability to add notes to tasks and projects. So, meeting notes and jottings from telephone calls can be put right next to tasks in their respective projects. You can even send notes via email to do.com by sending to firstname.lastname@example.org.
do.com’s selling points
- Ability to add attachments to tasks and projects.
- Ability to add notes to tasks and projects.
- Email integration (although not as robust as Orchestra).
I like these tools so much that I don’t think I’m going to eliminate either of them. Until one of these applications pulls away from the other, I’ll continue to use both. Do.com will continue to provide me direction at work while orchestra will help me organize my my personal tasks and lists.