Task management applications are becoming just another part of our electronic lives as we find evermore convoluted ways to deal with our increasingly busy existence. One important aspect of managing all of our tasks is getting that occasional poke when something needs to be done. We do forget sometimes!
Notification features built into GTD apps, though probably essential to most, can become a pain to deal with and are often unreliable. Notificant attempts to alleviate this problem somewhat, while also providing some other handy features that aid in not forgetting important things.
It’s an interesting thought, but do you really need another application to manage reminders? Read on to find out.
What is it?
The name of the software makes this fairly evident, but Notificant is a notification system. That alarm setting you use on your task manager has basically been separated out into a separate application.
There are absolutely arguments against using yet another application to help keep our everyday lives in order, but Notificant does a couple of simple taks very well and it is easy to see why it may be worth it.
Notificant is available on the App Store so installation is a breeze. As with all App Store downloads the app will be stored in your Applications directory and you’ll see an icon in the Dock.
Notificant will also install as a menu bar item. The Dock icon can be hidden via the system preferences, but you’re stuck with the menu bar icon which really is the best way to use the app anyway.
The main goal of Notificant is to make sure you get notified of a reminder no matter where you are. Task manager or calendar alarm systems are often restricted to a single device, or are not very easy or reliable across devices.
This application will enable you to get notified on any of your Macs and also via email. It is even possible to choose what devices (email is considered a device) get notified for a specific notification.
Creating a notification is very simple. Click on the menu bar icon and pick New Notificaton. The New Notification dialog box above will appear. Type the text for your notice in the text box, adjust the time accordingly and choose the devices you’d like the notice to go to.
There is a 160 character restriction on the notification text. I don’t see this as an issue. If your notification can’t fit into 160 characters it probably belongs in more than one notification.
There is also a url shortener available within the New Notification dialog box. With the character restriction in place, this is a welcome feature. Url in notifications may not be that common, but you could for example, set yourself a notification to read a particular article later in the day. This way you won’t disrupt your current work and also won’t forget about it.
When a notification is executed, the devices you selected for that particular entry will be notified. The main Mac notice is a small box that shows the text of the task. It will remain on the top of all of your open windows until you actually close it.
It’s almost impossible to lose it in the shuffle of your other work. You’re forced to interact with it to get rid of it (probably a good thing).
As mentioned, an email notification can be used as well. There are no surprises here. At the time of notification execution, a basic email with the notice text will be sent to the connected email address. It’s very basic, but it is all that it needs to be.
Notificant’s core operation is from its web app. In fact, you will need to create a Notificant account to actually use the Mac application. Storing your notifications in the cloud is what will allow multiple machines to be synced.
It is also a way to make sure you don’t lose important notifications in the event something happens to your Mac and gives you a place to see/change/modify your notifications should you ever be away from your primary computer. The notifications are stored in the cloud so they are not at the mercy of any of your hardware.
The web application is beautifully designed. There are many very subtle details that make it really shine. You can tell that time was spent desiging this interface. I doubt you’ll spend a ton of time here, but it is certainly nice to have a web app this well designed to be able to use if need be.
The same functionality exists here as with the Mac app, but there are a few additional features worth noting. First off, this is the place where you will go to view all of your notifications. They will just stack in the order that they are scheduled to execute.
You can see the full text, time and also are able to edit each notification. Notifiction creating and editing within the web app use a lightbox effect as seen below.
The web app also has an Archive section that will show past notifications. Not necessarily essential for everyone, but it is good to know you can look back should the need arise.
Notificant is a very well-polished, simple, inexpensive notification application. As you’ll find with a lot of applications, the simple ones that do one thing really well just stick out. Notifcant is no exception.
Unfortunately, there is no iPhone application to accompany as of right now. This seems like a complete no brainer and I’m guessing we’ll be seeing one at some point. Being able to include mobile devices as options to send notifications just makes sense. This is really the only complaint I have.
Having notifications stored and accessible via the cloud is really the core feature of the application. Multiple machines can be synced and the web application can also be used on machines where the app isn’t installed.
There are a ton of possible great uses for Notificant. It could arguably take over your task management. If all you require is a bit of text and a notice then this is absolutely ideal. Is it worth using as an addition to your full blown task manager? Yeah, I’d say it is.