Pagico Professional is a task management application that is much more than a simple GTD app. In contrast to the trendy to do applications that have arisen lately that purposely stay lean on features, Pagico targets professionals with complicated workflows by piling on the possibilities and integration options.
Today we’ll go over how to use Pagico’s major features as well as whether or not we think it’s worth your time to download and try for yourself.
What is Pagico?
Pagico is a mixture of a GTD program, a notes organization tool and a contact manager. It’s a bit like Things, Evernote and Address Book all rolled into one.
Pagico presents a unique workflow where all of these three functions are tightly integrated and effortlessly managed. We’ll take a look at each of the primary functions individually and discuss how they work together.
Interface & Projects
The interface for Pagico is much like you’d expect in any GTD app. There’s a sidebar with icons for navigation and a main content area that is contingent upon the active sidebar selection.
The fundamental element in Pagico is a project. Everything basically revolves around this basic organizational feature. When you create a project, you’re creating a container for tasks and notes. If you want to create a task or note that is not contained in a project, simply select the Inbox and insert the item there. Your Inbox serves as a sort of catch-all for any unorganized bits of information.
As you can see in the shot above, selecting the Projects section in the sidebar will bring up your complete list of projects, organized by tag. Here you can browse your current projects or create a new one.
You can also search for a project, contact, task or anything else using the search bar located at the top left of the application.
Once you find the project you’re looking for, selecting it will take you into a page that holds all the information related to that project.
Here you can edit the project’s tags, add notes and tasks, manage related contacts and references, add the project to your “Quick-Access” list and/or link it to other projects.
Using the little button strip in the top right of the project view, you can activate an interactive timeline that shows all of the due dates for upcoming tasks.
Also in that button strip is the option to bring up a slideshow containing everything in that project. This feature could be great for meetings and group collaboration.
Adding Items to a Project
When you’re viewing a given project, you can begin adding items by hitting the little plus tab on the left side of the window.
From here you can add a note, task, or associated file.
When you add a note, an editor pops up with all the text editing options and features that you would expect.
As you can see, the note editor is sort of like a mini word processor with font options, highlighting, multiple alignments, etc. You can also title the note, edit the note in fullscreen and optionally assign an associated date and time.
When you want to add tasks to a project, you first create and name a task list, then add tasks within that list.
After you enter a task, you can optionally assign a description, start date and due date. Clicking on the start or due date sections will bring up a calendar so you can easily select a date. Instead of using the calendar and your mouse, you can stick to the keyboard and tab over to the field to enter the date manually.
These date fields are intelligent and can take a number of inputs. Examples include 05/31/2010, Monday, and next Saturday. You can also enter a question mark here and the task is automatically set to a “Someday” task.
Organizing Project Items
As you add notes and task lists, they appear in an organizable list format inside of the project.
Simply drag the left side of an item up or down to reorder the list. In a given project, you can add as many task lists or notes as you like. You can also assign each item with a color label for easy visual categorization.
Under the “Contacts” section, you can browse, search and add contacts to your database. Unfortunately, you start Pagico with a blank list of contacts and there doesn’t seem to be any option for syncing with your Address Book, Linked-In or Facebook contacts. You can drag in vCards from Address Book one at a time, but that’s a far cry from a sync, especially when you have hundreds of contacts.
Viewing an individual contact is much like viewing a project. Here you can create notes and tasks associated with the contact, label a contact as male, female or business, add contact information (email, phone, website, etc) and link the contact to specific projects.
Interestingly enough, the only items (notes or tasks) that pop up on the contact’s page are those that you add here. In other words, if you have a project with three tasks linked to one of your contacts, these tasks will not show up on the contact’s dedicated page. Since Pagico is all about integration, it would be nice if you at least had the option to add this functionality.
Since Pagico allows you to create a lot of disparate information scattered throughout the application, it’s nice to be able to step back and view important items from every category all at once. The Dashboard section below allows you to do just that.
Here you can view all your upcoming tasks from every project in an easy to read timeline. There’s also a section that divides your day up into “Might Do” and “Must Do” tasks. Must Do tasks are those that are due today and Might Do tasks are those tasks that aren’t due immediately but have approaching due dates.
Finally, at the bottom of this window there is a quick reference of recently viewed items.
Sharing and Synchronization
Pagico has a “Channels” section that can be used to collaborate on projects with team members. The Channels feature is currently in the testing phase so there isn’t really any information available for how it will work or when it will be available for public use, but it’s nice to know this functionality is on the way.
There is no built-in feature that allows you to sync Pagico across multiple machines but the developers recommend that you use a free Dropbox account to accomplish this. Just place your Pagico database in your Dropbox folder and load that database on every machine that you install Pagico on.
When I first downloaded Pagico, I was extremely skeptical of how unique it could possibly be. I expected that it would be just another GTD app, of which I have plenty. However, Pagico turned out to be so much more than simple task management. I really only outlined the major features above, there are still plenty more little features and options that really round out the experience.
I absolutely loved the integration of notes, task lists and contacts. This one application has the ability to replace three others that you currently use while providing you with more integration than you could possibly get from separate apps. The new kind of workflow presented here can drastically simplify your daily organization of information and tasks and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a better way to manage both their time and digital clutter.
My only real complaints revolved around the contact management system, which I believe could be a lot stronger. As I mentioned above, I was immediately discouraged to find a blank contact list upon first opening the app. I’ve spent lots of time building and tweaking my contact list and have no desire to start over in Pagico or drag in all my contacts one at a time. An option to automatically sync with various existing sources would go a long way here.
Also, the contact/project integration would’ve felt a lot more solid if clicking on a contact would show me tasks and notes that are related or linked to that contact but resident in various projects.
Overall, these complaints are fairly small in light of how much I really enjoyed using Pagico. Be sure to stop by the Pagico website to download a trial version and watch some screencasts on additional features.
Pagico is a GTD app, note organization tool, and contact management system all rolled into one. The integrated workflow is a breeze to use has the potential to drastically simplify your digital life. My only real complaint is that the contact management could be a lot stronger and could especially use an Address Book synchronization feature.9