Silo: Innovative List Management

Always on the search for a new way to get things done, I jumped at the chance to give Silo a go. It has a companion app on just about every device, so I’ve always got my list and todos on me, something I’ve found is important not only to me but to anyone committed to being truly productive. I put the Mac version of the Silo app through its paces to see how it stands up to the competition.

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A New Take on Lists

There are a bunch of great features I love about Silo, but before I can really talk about those, I need to create some lists. I first tried Silo on iOS, and list creation on the Mac works a lot like it does on my iPhone, which is both good and bad. I like the carryover of the same gesture of dragging up on the lists panel to make a new one, because it makes the entire experience cohesive and I don’t have to relearn a new app with which I’ve already become comfortable.

I can have a ton of lists, entries, and tags, and it all looks great.

I can have a ton of lists, entries, and tags, and it all looks great.

The gesture for a new list doesn’t work without any hitches, though; on a trackpad, I have to pull from the very bottom to the top or nothing happens, and even with a mouse, the gesture is pretty huge. I sometimes have to take several whacks at it to get a new list created. Luckily, when I hover at the top of the window, a plus sign appears that allows me to slide a new list in more easily.

Adding a new item to a list works the same as list creation. It’s the same gesture, and if I’m having problems, I can hover over the top of the window and get a plus sign to add a new todo a bit more easily. Silo supports tags, and I haven’t reached a limit on my tags, yet, so stack them to the ceiling. Any similar list items receive a hashtag and when clicked, will all line up neatly together. Unfortunately, todos with the same hashtag but in different lists won’t link up, but it’s nice to sort out all of my #yardwork todos from my #kitchen todos in my Household Maintenance list.

I didn't add all of those extra entries. That was all Silo.

I didn’t add all of those extra entries. That was all Silo.

I’ve used todos and list managers before that didn’t allow for any sort of reorganization, and it just kills me. I put todos in as they occur to me, but I want to be able prioritize them somehow. In Silo, just click to the left of the list item and drag it to a new location. Double-clicking on the text of an item makes it editable. All of this works for reordering and renaming lists, too. I want to be able to drag todos from one list to another, too, and there’s nothing doing there, but that’s not specific to Silo. One day, when I find the todo manager that has everything else I need and lets me drag from one list to another list, that todo manager will get all of my money.

Share and Share Alike

I’m pretty much in love with Silo because it has a great sharing feature that just works perfectly. I mean, we’re planning on running off to Las Vegas for a quickie wedding, Silo and me. You’re all invited. That’s how much I love sharing my Silo lists. Just right-click on any list, select Share List, and enter the recipient’s email address. It makes things a lot easier if your fellow list-user has already signed up with Silo, though. Find out who can see your lists by right-clicking a list and selecting View Members.

My favorite thing about Silo is sharing my lists.

My favorite thing about Silo is sharing my lists.

This may seem pretty simple and not the sort of stuff to cause a woman to write love sonnets to a Mac app, but I’ve struggled to find a list app with sharing capabilities. I can hear you out there, telling me to try Wunderlist already. And you’re right, it’s a great app, but for all the sharing invites I sent, I never actually got a single list shared. Silo has never given me a moment’s trouble where sharing is concerned, and while that may not be a dealbreaker for everyone, I need to be able to share shopping lists and household todos with everyone else in my house. It’s a must-have feature, and Silo wins on this one.

What’s Missing

Where Silo doesn’t win is in reminders and due dates. There aren’t any. I’ve almost hesitated to call Silo a todo app for that reason. It really is more a place for lists, lists that don’t have a specific end date. I use it for grocery lists and recurring tasks, but I also use it for quick recipes I want access to easily and to keep track of ideas. It’s not actually where I put anything I need to remember to do tomorrow or the day after. If I were to forget to peek into Silo first thing in the morning, and again throughout the day, I’d miss my deadlines.

There’s also a weird bug in the Silo Mac app, something I haven’t seen replicated on iOS. Sometimes, in fact pretty often, when I add a new list item it is doubled, tripled, or quadrupled. It happens that the list itself is duplicated, too, empty except for the new list item. I can simply rename the list items or delete them, but there doesn’t seem to be a way to prevent it happening in the first place. I won’t pretend that it doesn’t get annoying sometimes, and I have trouble excusing it.

I didn't add all of those extra entries. That was all Silo.

I didn’t add all of those extra entries. That was all Silo.

Final Thoughts

Okay, so Silo has a bug that duplicates list items and sometimes even lists. I don’t know why this happens or how to make it stop, and it really sucks. I can’t deny that I still love the app, though. I can share my lists and tag just about anything however I like. Silo syncs with my phone, and there’s even a web app if I’m away from all of my devices. Oh, and I can make it just about any color I like. There’s also support for URL schemes. Silo’s just got a lot of great features. And one huge drawback.


A great app for managing and creating lists but with a huge bug. Some will miss reminders, too, but the support for URL schemes is a great addition.