There’s more to-do list and project management apps out there than you can even reasonably list in one article, and most of us could list a half dozen we’ve tried off the top of our heads. But when you get into collaborative project management, with tasks listed in a calendar flowchart, alongside notes and files for the project, with everything synced with your teammates, there’s relatively few apps that can fit the bill.
One of the best apps to fit the bill is Pagico, a Mac, Windows, Ubuntu, and iOS app that is great for managing your own personal projects or working with a large team on collaborative projects. We liked it when we looked at Pagico 3 years ago, and it’s better than ever today. Here’s what’s brilliant about one of the few cross-platform project management apps on the market.
Everything for Your Projects Together
Pagico’s headline feature is its cross-platform apps, but even if you only want to manage projects on a Mac, it’s got everything you could want. Pagico lets you add todo lists, notes, and files to your inbox — the default place for new things in Pagico — or into projects where you can organize your data to keep you focused on your work. Projects and the Inbox can have as many task lists as you want, and tasks include comments, start and due date, and options for recurring tasks and as many reminders before they’re due as you’d like. Notes can include rich text, and files can be opened in Finder, edited, and saved back to your Pagico database to keep everything in one place.
You can add comments to anything in Pagico, move stuff around on a project or between projects, and even print out a project or export it as HTML to keep track of it elsewhere. You can even link related projects together to quickly jump to them and keep common info together, and manage your contacts in Pagico right alongside your projects. In short, it’s got everything you could want to manage your projects.
The Best Features in Pagico
Talking in-depth about the main features we’d expect in a project/task management app, though, gets redundant fast, since at the end of the day there’s dozens of tools out there for scheduling your tasks. Pagico has several special features that make it nicer to use than you might expect at first. Here’s the best:
See Everything at a Glance
Pagico does a great job at pulling everything together, no matter how scattered your tasks are between your inbox and projects. Just head over to the Dashboard, and you’ll be able to see your tasks plotted on a week calendar, with the tasks that you must do and might do listed below. You can add new tasks, complete them, or dive into their respective projects for more details in one click, so for the most part, you can just work right from the Dashboard. It’s your one-stop-shop to make sure your work is on track.
Automatically Find Important Stuff with Smart Collections
Smart filters aren’t anything new, per se, and yet they’re very nice to find in Pagico as “Smart Collections”. You’ll just add the keywords you want to look for, and any tasks, projects, or notes containing those keywords will automatically show up in the folder. You can then add those words as tags purposefully to your tasks, or just write normally, and Pagico will find the stuff you need. It’s simple, and brilliant.
One of the very nicest extras in Pagico is the popup menu, reminisce of PopClip, that opens when you select text anywhere in Pagico. It gives you quick options to Google the text you’ve selected in your browser, or create a task, project, or contact from the selected text. It’s a little thing, but it, along with the move popup that lets you move stuff to any project, just makes Pagico that much nicer for keeping your projects completed.
Sync if You Want to
Most apps offer an all-or-none sync solution. Even OmniFocus, which lets you sync to your own server or the OmniGroup’s sync server, doesn’t have a way to sync only parts of your database. There’s good reasons for this, since it makes sure you’ve got all your data everywhere, but everyone doesn’t need to keep all of their projects and tasks synced all the time.
Pagico has an interesting sync solution that’s perfect whether you want to sync everything, just some stuff, or nothing. First off, with a free Pagico account, you can keep your Inbox synced between all of your devices. You can sync your own entire Pagico database on your own via Dropbox or other personal sync tools. That works great if you, say, use a Mac and a PC and need your projects on both, but we’d suggest not syncing this way if you need to use Pagico on two machines actively at the very same time.
Then, though, there’s Pagico’s Workspaces. Custom-designed to let you share and sync just what you need, Workspaces cost $15/yr for personal use (with up to 100Mb of cloud storage and 4 synced devices — with 1 year included for free if you buy Pagico Plus for iOS) or for teams (starting at 1Gb of cloud storage and 8 synced devices for $4.99/month). Once you’ve subscribed or joined a workspace, you can create projects inside your workspace or move existing projects to the workspace, and they’ll be shared — completed with tasks, notes, and files — with everyone you’ve invited to your workspace. Best of all, you can join multiple workspaces at once, so you can keep up with, say, your business and personal projects in one place. It’s everything in Pagico, shared with your team members right from your Mac or PC without having to open a browser.
All together, this is a bit more confusing than direct iCloud sync between personal devices, or a web app where everything’s automatically shared. But, it is a nice combination of cloud and local, shared and private, that should work nice for most users.
Cross Platform That Really Works
We’ve been conditioned as Mac users that cross platform apps usually offer a mediocre experience to each platform, and Macs usually get the worst end of the stick. Firefox still doesn’t have modern scrolling and zoom on the Mac, Mac Office typically lags its Windows counterparts in features and performance, and OpenOffice/LibreOffice looks like it got hit with the ugly stick on Windows and even more so on the Mac.
Pagico is a rather refreshing difference, as a cross-platform (and web-based — the app’s UI is HTML and CSS based) app that feels perfectly at home on the Mac, but equally so on Windows and Ubuntu. It’s fast everywhere, with a UI that leans more towards Cocoa design sensibilities without feeling too foreign on Windows. It’s got a menubar app for quickly adding tasks, and even is integrated with Alfred 2. It is somewhat more sluggish than you might expect from most Mac apps, perhaps on par with older versions of Evernote, and the text formatting keyboard shortcuts are Windows-styled (ctrl+b for bold, for example) where all other normal Mac keyboard shortcuts work fine. Otherwise, though, you’ll find very little to complain about with Pagico on the Mac.
Pagico feels like a Mac app, and is a great project and task manager even if you don’t need cross-platform compatibility. But if you do need cross-platform compatibility, or if you need to collaborate with others on your projects, Pagico is practically unparalleled aside from web apps. I left the app impressed by what they’ve pulled off, and can’t wait to see how Pagico continues to improve going forward.