Todoozle: Minimalism Taken A Step Too Far?

These days, there are a vast number of apps that aim to help you handle your tasks and get things done. Most of them, however, have far too many features that nobody would ever use, and cost too much for the ordinary consumer. People don’t need a huge interface full of icons, they just want a quick way to jot down their tasks for the day.

Todoozle could well be the solution. With a simple and intuitive interface, it couldn’t be easier to use. But does too much simplicity compromise its functionality, or is less really more? Read on to find out.

Getting Started

Todoozle is only available on the Mac App Store, so your installation process is very easy – Just click the “Buy” button, and it’ll hop right into your dock. Open the app, and you can get straight into adding tasks. There’s no need to go through any tutorial, introduction or help, everything is dead easy – You’re not going to get much more minimal than this.

AppStore

Todoozle on the Mac App Store

Interface

If there’s one good thing I can say about this app, it’s that it has a great interface. With something simple like this, the designer doesn’t need to worry about fitting all kinds of icons and buttons in, and they can focus on how it looks and feels.

Laid out in a simple vertical stack of tasks and input fields, it feels very intuitive – You know exactly where everything is, and there’s no chance of finding a hidden feature anywhere.

Interface

Interface

You can also choose from four different themes in Preferences, all beautifully designed, and which feel like they fit into the OS X style perfectly. Which style you decide is up to personal choice (after experimenting, I found the default “Todoozle” theme the nicest), but whichever one you go for, you won’t be disappointed.

Organising Tasks

As with pretty much everything in this app, adding and organising tasks is very straightforward – Simply type your task into the “What do you need to do?” field, hit enter, and you’re done. You might want to disable the sounds in Preferences, as a sound every time you enter a task can get repetitive, and, quite frankly, very irritating.

You can organise a task into different categories, which is also very easy. Pull up the Categories window and add as many categories as you need. It would have been nice to just see the Categories appear in a tab, or sliding out, as opposed to a separate window, as having loads of windows open can make it hard to find the one you need.

It’s not all that quick to put something into a category. It would have been nice to just drag a task into the category to assign it to that category. Even a simple drop-down menu would have been nice.

What you have to do instead is right-click, and you’ll be given a list of all your categories when you hover over “Assign Category”. This isn’t hard, but it can be a little time-consuming if you have to do it in bulk!

Categories

The Categories Window

You can view your individual categories, which is nice, but there’s no way to see all your tasks organised by category. A failure to be able to add a colour to a task means that it can be pretty hard seeing what task is in what category quickly, especially if your categories have a similar number of letters (“Home” and “Work”, for example). In short, sorting your tasks is pretty much useless in Todoozle.

Viewing tasks by category

Viewing tasks by category

When you’ve completed a task, just tick the box to the left of it, and you’re done. It won’t remove tasks when you’ve done them, so you’ll have to clear the completed to-dos every once in a while (which isn’t too hard – Just hit Shift-Command-Backspace).

Is “Minimal” Just Not Enough?

Sometimes, you want something simple, and too many features just becomes hard to handle. But there’s a thin line between “Minimal” and “Feature-less”. Todoozle is missing a few features which would be very much appreciated.

The first is simple – Adding notes to a task. More often than not, one line isn’t enough to detail everything you need to remember about a certain task. If I want to phone Steve to tell him about a meeting, I need to be able to access his phone number, the time, date, and location of the meeting too – “Phone Steve” just isn’t enough.

Secondly, and a very important feature in my eyes, is recurring tasks. If I check my e-mail one day, chances are I’ll want to do it the next day too. But having to enter “Check e-mail” every day is more effort than checking my e-mail.

Wunderlist

Wunderlist is available on a number of devices

The third feature that has yet to be added is a dealbreaker for me – a lack of cross-platform support and synchronisation. I don’t spend my entire day at the same computer, so want to know what I have to do at all times during the day, on any device I have.

At the very least, an iPhone, and an iPad version would be handy. If building two whole new apps is too daunting, a web app would be acceptable – Anything where I can see what I need to do, anywhere.

Conclusion

I love a bit of minimalism – It makes everything much less complicated and easier to use. But when you have to sacrifice essential features in the name of “Clutter clearing”, then that’s gone too far.

Unfortunately, Todoozle has gone too far. If you want a completely minimal to-do experience, this isn’t bad – but at a price of $4.99, it’s just not worth it. I can think of at least five minimalist apps that do the same job, better, and for free. Personally, I’ll be sticking to Wunderlist!


Summary

Todoozle is a simple, unobtrusive task manager that stays out of your way, but helps you get on with your day.

5
  • http://todoozleapp.com Nicholas Penree

    Conor,

    I am the primary developer of Todoozle. Thanks for taking the time to review our app. You’ve touched on some points and new features that are currently in development and on our roadmap.

    While we are constantly experimenting with new ways to add and sort tasks to help our customers stay organized, we did want to point out that tasks can be added directly to a category by simply choosing that Category from the popup in the bottom bar before entering tasks for that category. This should help when you are brainstorming or loading in your initial task lists.

    Todoozle 1.0 is just the beginning; we believe that our refined approach will help our customers stay focused on the tasks that are most important to them.

    Nicholas Penree
    Conceited Software

    • http://davidappleyard.net David Appleyard

      Hi Nicholas,

      Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts here – I really appreciate it.

      I’m really excited to see how Todoozle develops, so feel free to keep us posted with future releases.

      All the best for your future plans with the app!

    • http://inspirationoverload.org/ Conor O’Driscoll

      Hi Nicholas,

      I’d just like to echo David’s comments, it’s always nice to see developers caring about their users.

      For the record, I found Todoozle perfectly nice to use, and with the features that I outlined, it would be an absolutely wonderful app – I hope that you keep building and wish you all the best with Todoozle and other projects.

      Thanks,
      Conor

    • Ryan

      Please don’t add new features just for the sake of it or because other apps have them, I think the reviewer here doesn’t *really* appreciate or understand minimalism.

  • ChrisM

    You want minimalism? Try using TXT files and TextEdit. Done.

    • Sweet

      sweeet dude! Gimme DOS anyday. Green EGA gfx and Black backgorund. Norton Command FTW!!

  • Joshua Johnson

    I think there’s room for both types of apps. As a parallel, I use both Evernote (big and powerful) and Simplenote (basic and minimal) on a daily basis. Each is good for different types of information.

  • Jenn

    I don’t think its been taken too far. Seems perfect for what i would need to use it for. looks like a great little app.

  • http://www.hammyhavoc.com Hammy Havoc

    This is the best way to ease people into the ‘GTD lifestyle’.

  • http://appoplectic.blogspot.com DeadDoll00

    I’ve used Evernote in the past but this seems like a good little alternative, think I’ll look into this one, thanks for the review!

    App-O-Plectic

  • http://www.graphiics.com Graphiics

    Its too nice….and very useful

  • http://twistereli.com Eli

    Looks good and will be just right for some sort of people that don’t want to over-organize.

    I’m not sure if they should ask money for it actually.

  • http://modernisten.tumblr.com/ Robin Lundgren

    If you depend on these functions on the list, your not striving for minimalism and this is not the tool for you. Simple as that.

    Minimalism aren’t for everyone. It’s a way of life and “doing” life. You seek out the most basic functions and get by just fine with that small basic.

    Let’s say you made a review of the texteditor “Byword” in the same style as this review, and started complaining of the non-existance of tables or some type of feature like that. Well, duuuh.. It’s a minimal/”zen” text editor, why on earth would there be such features? You can just use tab to structure things in a table-like fashion.

    Sorry, but it’s dumb to criticize a minimalist application for not having a few luxury features.

    Am I right?

  • http://altamiraweb.es altamira diseño

    simple is better

  • http://www.studiomarch.com Sukh

    No trial?

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