A New Take on GTD

It’s hard to consider yourself a true Mac power user until you’ve got a project management or todo list app that can handle anything you throw at it. Historically, that’s meant picking between a few big-name tools like Things or OmniFocus, and while those are undoubtably great options, I never stopped my search for something that could fit my workflow just a little bit better.

Enter – a Getting Things Done app that promises a beautiful interface and incredible cross-platform compatibility. But wide compatibility often comes at the expense of the end user experience. Does offer an experience on-par with the best or has it’s broad focus relegated it becoming a jack of all trades, and master of none? Read on to find out.

User Experience and Design

The first thing I noticed about was it’s icon, which actually grabbed my attention in the Mac App Store. Without a doubt, its bright blue color and slight sparkle make it stand out from the crowd. Unfortunately, once downloaded, the icon actually something closer to nightmarish.

It’s rounded edges look like they’d be better placed on iOS and it was bigger than everything else in my dock. Using an iOS icon on a Mac just doesn’t work and it’s especially bad when you consider it’s downright awkward sizing. Moreover, due to it’s size and shape, badge notifications end up looking like a last-minute hack.

You’re probably wondering why any of this matters, and the answer is simple; when up against such fierce competition, the little things count. If you do decide to use, do yourself a favor and replace the icon. So, with my complaints, about the icon aside, and with somewhat lowered expectations, I was ready to see what had in store.

The main interface was a pleasant surprise.

The main interface was a pleasant surprise.

Upon first opening the app I was shocked to see what a beautiful interface it really had. As a new entrant into the Mac application space, the developers of were able to take full advantages of many of the newer design elements in OS X. Where I was expecting little more than an Adobe Air app, actually proved to be one of the best user experiences for a web service ported to the Mac that I’ve seen in awhile.

Everything feels “right” with design touches taken from it’s best-of-breed competitors. From spacing to scrolling, your tasks will look beautiful just sitting there in the inbox. In terms of user interface, is really just like any other Getting Things Done app, if you’d used one, you’ve basically used them all. While it’s far more complicated than a simple todo list, if you take some time to get used to the GTD way of life, you should feel right at home. In short, looks and feels like a more refined version of Things with all the high-end trimmings you’d expect from a native Mac app.


If there’s something you want to do with GTD, chances are, does it, and exceptionally well, at that. The app is divided into four groupings: Collect, Focus, Projects, and Contexts. Again, any experienced GTD user will feel right at home here, and each group works as expected. Collect acts as your Inbox for tasks waiting to be sorted down by date (Focus), Projects, or Contexts.

In my daily use, I’ve found that Projects work the best for long term goals, like a home renovation or anything involving a long process, whereas Contexts provides a nice way for to view my tasks at a specific place like work or the bank. Focus sorts tasks into either Today, Tomorrow, Someday, or Waiting folders; each working as expected. When you schedule a task further in advance, though, there’s no way to view it in Focus mode.

The window for adding a task.

The window for adding a task.

It should be noted that these options for organization aren’t mutually exclusive. For example, you can have a task in a Project, with a Context, and with a Focus all at the same time. It simply depends on how organized and specific you’d like to get. There’s also a “Smart Add” window which can be brought up system-wide which allows you to quickly enter a task while still being able to apply the aforementioned sorting options.

Other functionality of note includes the ability to customize shortcuts for just about everything, arrange your inbox by Context, Priority, or Deadline, and an “Add from clipboard” tool which works as expected, but annoyingly enough, doesn’t give you any confirmation that your task has been added, often leading to quite a few duplicates.

Competition and Conclusion

As I mentioned before, has its fair share of competition. If you’re just looking for something to handle simple todo list management, chances are this is overkill; I’d suggest looking at tools like the built-in Reminders app or Cheddar. If you’re ready to commit to the full GTD system, though, can easily handle it’s own against OmniFocusĀ or Things.

While it doesn’t quite have the community support of those two, it more than handily makes up for that in features, interface, and value. On that note, is priced like a subscription service rather than a standalone app, with a Pro plan (required to use the Mac app) priced at $20 a year or $2 /month. Compared to $140 for all the OmniFocusĀ applications or $80 for full suite of Things applications, is a winner on price, hands down.

Editor’s Note: We originally wrote that all of’s data is stored in China, but that was incorrect and we’re sorry for reporting wrong on that. The team got in touch to let us know that all user data synced to is stored on Amazon’s servers in Japan and the US, and your data will only be synced to Chinese servers if you’re in China. If you’re in China, you should signup for at, but everyone else should signup at

Summary is a great alternative to Things or OmniFocus for those who need wide cross-platform compatibility and a beautiful interface.