Producteev has long been one of my favorite web-based task management solutions. Before Producteev, there were fully-featured GTD solutions and there were free solutions, and the two almost never overlapped.
Then Producteev came along providing free web and iPhone apps, automatic task syncing, multiple workspaces, due dates, labels, and a lot more. The one thing that it has always lacked is a native Mac app. That problem was remedied earlier this week. Let’s take a look.
A Team that Listens
Before I jump into the review I want to say that Producteev won me over not simply because of the software, but because of the people behind the software.
They have the strangest habits that I’ve ever seen in an app team. In the early days of Producteev, I would send them a tweet to tell them about a bug… and they would actually respond. Further, within 24 hours, they usually let me know that they had fixed the problem.
The same goes for feature requests, when Producteev first launched there was no support for recurring tasks, users said it was important and the Producteev team made it a top priority to get it implemented.
It’s incredibly refreshing to see a developer take an active interest in the concerns of an app’s user base. You would be surprised at how truly rare this is.
Producteev for Mac
Producteev for Mac brings all your favorite web features to a slick desktop environment. Everything you do here will automatically sync to both the web and iPhone versions. Perfectly synced task management is a beautiful thing.
One thing that I really like about the Producteev Mac app is that it doesn’t seek to emulate every other task management app out there. The interface does use a familiar column layout, but it manages to look and feel completely unique.
As you can see, it’s a nice mix between light and dark areas, the contrast makes for a really sharp interface that fits perfectly into your Mac environment. It’s all quite intuitive and can be picked up in an instant, but let’s take a closer look to see how it works.
Sidebar and Task Column
As you would expect, the sidebar holds your various lists and sections, but the system is a bit different from what you may be used to in other apps.
By default, you’ll see a list of filters and labels. The filters include all your tasks, your inbox and special groups of tasks like starred and hot. You star items manually but “hot” items are those with a due date coming up.
As you can see, next to the sidebar is a column holding all of your tasks within the current filter and workspace. There are large buttons for checking off a task, starring it or assigning it to someone.
The little “+” icon under the task name allows you to quicky add labels and the little clock icon on the right lets you add in a due date.
Where some apps have separate task lists, Producteev has “Workspaces,” the idea is basically the same and just gives you an easy way to keep your projects separated.
To change Workspaces, you simply click on the the name of your Workspace near your avatar at the top left of the screen. This turns the sidebar into a list of your Workspaces, just click on one to activate it.
The “Overview” Workspace will allow you to view all of tour tasks from every Workspace in one unified list, sortable by due date, last updated, etc. You can add new Workspaces (and labels) via the “+” icon at the very bottom left of the app window.
New Tasks and Notifications
Clicking the little pencil icon at the top of the screen will bring up the new task window (there’s a menu bar shortcut for this as well). This little guy is wonderfully designed. Right off the bat you see only what you need to create the task but you can quickly access the controls for adding any additional information that you want: due dates, labels, etc.
The little globe icon brings up the notifications panel. This is mainly used for collaboration: the free plan allows for two users, the premium ($220/year) and platinum ($330/year) plans allow for unlimited users.
When you select a task, all the related details show up in the task info column on the far right, which is collapsible and can be hidden at any time.
Producteev is a remarkably powerful task management solution and keeps a ton of info for each and every task in your Workspaces. Here you can not only track basic info like labels and due dates, but historical information such as comments and notifications as well.
How Is It?
Producteev is one of those products that I continually think is too good to be free, and the Mac App falls right in line with this theory. It’s attractive, highly usable and gives you complete freedom to run your entire Producteev account instead of forcing you to open the web app for more advanced actions.
For users who have tried simpler apps like Wunderlist but need a little more power behind their task management solution, Producteev is the way to go. It really has tons of muscle and certainly can’t be accused of lacking in the features department.
The one thing that I miss in the desktop app that I enjoy in the web app is the calendar view. For whatever reason, it’s quite hard to find a task manager with a calendar view and that’s one thing that helps Producteev stand out. I’d love to see it implemented on the Mac app as well.
To sum up, Producteev is a fantastic task and project management solution and the Mac app is a worthy addition to the family. Whether you just want a simple and free task list or you’re looking for a high quality, professional solution to manage projects across large teams of people, Producteev has you covered.