We’ve previously covered a range of complex task managers for the Mac, but what if you’re looking for something much simpler? Today I’ll be investigating a number of basic to-do list applications that can help with managing a straight-forward set of tasks.
Most are desktop applications, but a few are really fantastic web apps combined with a site specific browser called Fluid. As the New Year rolls in, these should offer a great place to store that list of goals and aims for 2010!
SimpleTask for Mac brings both a beautiful interface and an unparalleled ease of use to a to-do list. It looks great, and keeps things simple with a colourful and friendly appeal. Search is fairly powerful, with the ability to filter by color as well as pending/completed tasks.
It’s also great at syncing with their iPhone version of the software over Wi-Fi.
Developer: SimpleTask Team
Requires: Mac OS X 10.5.6 or later
Anxiety’s aim is to “provide a streamlined, easily accessible interface to add and check off your tasks, while remaining poised to melt into the background at a moments notice.” It does it well, and keeps everything in sync with Mail and iCal.
A simple menu bar icon toggles the interface on or off, and it can be placed anywhere on your screen. Very lightweight for simple to-do management.
Developer: Model Concept
Requires: Mac OS X Leopard 10.5+
Another remarkably simple, free app, TaskMate follows the same trend of a small footprint and minimal configuration. It doesn’t offer any advanced features of syncing or integration with iCal/Mail, but does a good job of offering a simple place to store a quick list.
Developer: Ryan Conway
Requires: Mac OS X 10.5 or later
EtreTask is a small, fast, easy-to-use to-do list manager. It offers a very, very minimal feature set, but does so deliberately. The developers believe that having features such as “sort by due date” encourage you to work on tasks in an illogical order.
It’s starting to look slightly dated, but could be perfect if you want something with no frills, and no distraction from the app’s primary purpose.
Requires: Mac OS X
Check Off is a quick to-do list that sits in your Mac’s menu bar. The interface is starting to look a little dated, but it has several appealing features. It mirrors the colour scheme of Finder labelling, can sync with your iPod through the Notes function, and can organize tasks into folders.
Worth a look, though possibly not worth paying $13, considering all the excellent free alternatives.
Developer: Second Gear Software
Requires: Mac OS X Leopard or greater
DoIt is another simple app, though has the interesting feature of allowing you to associate a file or email with a particular to-do item. Although this is a common feature in expensive task managers, it’s not so common for a free app.
Unfortunately the quirky interface lets the app down a little, not fitting in with the standard you’d expect from an OS X app.
Developer: Jim McGowan
Requires: OS X 10.4 of Later
We don’t usually cover web applications here (that’s reserved for Web.AppStorm), though I felt the need to mention this one. Mac lovers take pride in design, and this is one of the simplest and most effective designs I’ve seen for a to-do list interface.
Combined with Fluid to turn the web application into a desktop tool, it’s a brilliant option if you need something that looks great.
I’m completely aware that these aren’t all the to-do list apps available for the platform. The fact is, it’s probably one of the first applications any developer makes when learning to develop for OS X! If you know of, or use, another, please feel free to share in the comments.