There’s no shortage of task and to-do list managers for the Mac and iPhone, but today I’ll be looking at one which takes a slightly different approach. Put Things Off is a new iPhone application from Spiffing Apps with a beautiful interface and simple goal.
Rather than offering a huge array of scheduling and grouping features, each to-do has three simple options: Today, Put Off, or Done. This review will take a look at the design, basic functionality, and also show a few competing iPhone apps which may be of interest.
The first thing that you’ll notice about Put Things Off (PTO) is the antique, wooden design. This major departure from a standard iPhone interface really appeals, and makes the application feel fun to use.
At the same time, it doesn’t detract from usability. PTO functions exactly as you’d expect it to and remains intuitive. Icons follow the same theme throughout the interface, so once you’ve got to grips with how PTO works you can very quickly navigate visually around the app.
As mentioned previously, the basic premise of the app is very simple. You enter a task which immediately appears in your Inbox. If you’d like to, you are also able to specify a due date to automatically move the task into the “Today” section on a given day.
Tasks appear as a small, rectangular note with two icons. If you’re viewing the Inbox, you can either move a task to Today, or Put it Off. If viewing the Today section, tasks can be Put Off or marked as “Done”. PTO uses contextual design very well to minimize interface clutter.
When moving a to-do item around, visual animations help to show exactly where you’ve moved it to. Very handy if you accidentally tap the wrong button. Editing a to-do once added can be done through double-tapping it – something that isn’t immediately obvious.
And that’s it! Nothing spectacular, nothing complicated. Just a simple, well executed to-do list system. It allows you to do one thing with great ease.
It’s worth noting a couple of other applications which can help achieve a similar result (these links all go to the App Store):
With the exception of Things (which I’m a big fan of), I don’t feel any of the above apps really come close to offering the enjoyment of using Put Things Off. That said, they’re worth taking a look at to see if they suit what you’re looking for.
Put Things Off is priced at $2.99 – very reasonable for such a well designed application. If you’re looking for a tool for managing a very simple to-do list (or are trying to cut down your daily schedule into one or two “key tasks”), I would definitely recommend taking a look at Put Things Off. If you need calendar integration, groups, syncing or any other advanced features, this app isn’t for you.
The developer notes that future updates are likely to include a search/filtering feature to automatically recognise contexts (“@work”) and tags (either “/mytag” or “#mytag”). This would be great, providing a simple way to break down tasks into different areas of your life. I would certainly find it useful to separate work and personal to-do items.