App Review: InstaTodo for iPhone
Developer: jProductivity, LLC (developer of the popular app: MyPhoneDesktop)
App Review written by Clay Russell (The iPhonaddict) of the iPhone Docked Podcast
I am a huge fan of "Getting Things Done". Task management is sort of like a hobby to me. I enjoy taking on projects, breaking them down into tasks and experiencing the rush as I check items off on the todo list within those projects. Many people out there shy away from taking on major projects as they are overwhelmed with the complexity and magnitude that the project entails. A proper task manager can help fight those urges to resist taking action and help to break those projects down into simpler action steps that can be done in small segments of available time when it is convenient for you. Enter InstaTodo.
InstaTodo is a task manager that can help you get a hold of any project and break it down for you by organizing each detail of a task or project by date, priority, category and location. You can color code your tasks and sort them into folders for easy review at a later time that you specify. Upon first opening the app, it looks a little overwhelming as there is so much information in front of you. Don't let that deter you from digging in a bit deeper as you will see that what you see on the initial page can be modified to your liking. I personally, did not want to see any projects due next month. However next week's projects were critical to me so I made sure that I kept that folder visible.
As you further familiarize yourself with the app, you get more comfortable using it. Within minutes, I had went in and added and edited locations and categories that applied more to the contexts of the projects I was involved in. I found that little if anything at all was missing from this app in terms of function.
InstaTodo also has a few bonus features that are nice and may come in handy for some that have already embraced the "Getting Things Done" methods. It syncs with Toodledo (one of the most popular online task managers). So if you are already using Toodledo, sign in with your credentials and your tasks will be harmoniously synced with InstaTodo. One other feature is what makes this app one serious top task manager contender. It features templates. By using a template, you can quickly create repeated tasks within seconds. Templates are created and edited in the settings menu and easy to manipulate. There is a quick action button in the bottom right corner of the screen that is visible no matter where you are within the app. This is there so that you can quickly capture information as it comes to you without leaving your place in the app. Finally, and this may serve as the most useful of all, is the action menu. You can assign actions to your tasks that with a push of a button will dial, email or text a contact. There are actions that will link to a map or website. You can also include an action that allows you to jot down a note or take a photo.
This developer was also smart enough to take advantage of fact that he has developed other productivity tools as well and that by using the MyPhoneDesktop desktop or web client, you can send tasks to InstaTodo on your iPhone directly from your PC or Mac.
So here is a breakdown summary:
-well thought out, bonus features not found in other task managers, active developer working hard at updates to be coming in the near future
-syncs with Toodledo
-UI a little complex at first
-I experienced occasional crashes when creating new projects
-I would have liked to see the text applied within the note of a task to automatically be entered into the body of a text or email when using the action button
-when selecting project date, you are presented with a date wheel but no day view making it difficult to assign some tasks pertaining to a certain day of the week
-syncing to MobileMe would be nice
Price: At $4.99, this app is worth every penny and could not be priced more appropriately. For a first release, it is good real good and given the more expensive options available in the App Store, feature for feature, this is a tremendous value and I would recommend it to anyone who takes task management seriously.
Summary: While there are negatives, they are heavily outweighed by the positives. I give this app a thumbs up and a "do download".