With so many task management, GTD, and to-do apps available, for a new task management app to be worth the trouble to try out, it has to give you that extra bang for your buck. A good task management application has to identify a hole and try to fill it, and do a really good job at the same time, or it’s just not worth moving from another task app that’s getting the job done.
Currently available to download for free while in beta, Nokumo is attempting to solve your task management woes, make your workflow more productive, and make it worth your while to switch to a new app. Giving you a space to keep your contacts, events, tasks, and projects under one roof, Nokumo looks to be a powerful application. But can it deliver on its promises?
Serious Project Management
The contacts view gives you an overview of all of your contacts on your Mac. There’s also a tab to view just organizations, which is incredibly handy, as getting your best friends mixed up with the company that cleans your carpets or mows your lawn isn’t the most effective way to manage your rolodex.
You can tie contacts to tasks or calendar events, useful for people management if you’re planning a party or a get-together. Similarly, link organizations to documents inside Nokumo or to projects you’re working on. This will allow you to see the history of a relationship with a business or partner over time and easily keep track of what you’ve worked on together in the past.
Tasks can be created in Nokumo or synced from Calendar. You’ll be able to set start and end dates, allowing you to create tasks that begin in the future and won’t appear on your radar until you’re ready to start working on them. You can categorize tasks and link them to different projects. There’s also an alarm feature that will let you alert yourself just before the task begins, just before it’s due, or even at the halfway point.
Projects are similar to tasks, but you can assign projects to multiple people. You’ll set start, due, and end dates, just like a task, but you can also create milestones. Within the project, you can track its progress, so you have a good idea if things are going to plan or if it’s not going so well.
Notes and Documents allow you to store data for your projects and tasks. Keeps notes about what’s going on and link them to your projects for reference. If you have any files that are relevant to your projects, you can browse for them in the Documents tab and then link them where appropriate. You can even link notes and documents to contacts and calendar events, and your documents can really be any sort of file, not just text or PDF files.
Where Things Didn’t Work
This is the first beta for Nokumo, or so the splash screen says when I open the app, and it shows. The interface isn’t at all intuitive, and it took me awhile to figure out what I was even supposed to use the app for. The help file was no help, as each feature gets a one sentence description but no actual explanation.
Nokumo is still referring to Calendar as iCal, and that’s okay in a beta, especially as the Mountain Lion shift is so new. However, Nokumo is a cross-platform app, and while it works well on the Mac, there are some PC remnants in the menus and in the interface. I hope as Nokuma moves out of beta, compatibility on the Mac isn’t an afterthought.
A huge problem for me was the inability to sync with Google Calendar. The majority of my calendars, and I have more than a few, are managed in Google Calendar and are synced with Calendar on OS X and iOS. I have one really out of date calendar on my Mac, and that’s the only one Nokumo could find or do anything with. For me to be able to do any sort of meaningful task or project management, I’d need access to those calendars, and it just wouldn’t be practical for me to move all of that to Calendar right now.
There were a few other annoyances with the UI, but the biggest of the small bugaboos was how difficult it was to create new categories, project types, groups, and tags. These are all similar ways of organizing the different pieces that make up Nokumo task management. However, you can’t just create a new tag or type when you’re creating a new project or task. You have to open up the application preferences and create each one at a time. It’s time consuming and counterintuitive, as I know what I want to tag a project when I’m creating it, not an hour ahead of time.
There’s still a lot of good here, and Nokumo is a robust project management app. If you haven’t already found something that’s working for you, this is one to give a try. The ability to link contacts to tasks to projects to documents is incredibly useful, so that you have everything you need organized in one place.
Nokumo is still in beta, and hopefully when they get to the final release, they’ll have all their ducks in a row. With a more intuitive user interface and syncing, Nokumo could really show itself to be a powerhouse. Until then, it’s usefulness is only so-so.