Task Management App: 2do

I’ve written about my long-time search for a better way to manage time and tasks: Task Management, Task Management 2.0, and Time Management. My latest stop on this journey is the iPad app, 2do.

As I’ve stated before, my journey started with a Franklin Day Planner when I was in college. Over the years, I’ve used paper planners primarily, and mostly formats I created on my own. I tried a PDA about a decade ago, and in recent years, I tried an online service. But I always returned to a paper format because I want to see everything at a glance.

In recent months, I’ve spent a number of hours researching iPad apps. I tried out a number of free apps to get a feel for what I like, but I usually gave up on them, often within minutes (if not seconds) of trying them. Because I didn’t want to waste any money, I did a lot of research on paid apps like Todo, Toodledo, Pocket Informant, among others, including Things and OmniFocus, which are both expensive, cluttered, and possibly overkill for my needs.

Of course, everyone’s needs are different. Some features I do not need include the ability to sync to an online service to access on other devices (although 2do does sync with the online service, Toodledo), an integrated calendar (I use the iPad’s Calendar to sync with our Google calendars), or extensive project management (2do handles basic lists and projects).

I was looking for something fairly intuitive but with extensive options to create my own system. After a long search, I am very happy with the one app I paid for: 2do (currently, $9.99; it was $6.99 when I purchased it).

I’ve been using it for several weeks now. While I can’t compare it with other paid apps, it has all of the features I’m looking for.

Here’s my system …

  • I have three “categories” (or “tabs”): “Big Rocks” (important daily/weekly disciplines), “Home”, and “Work.” Default tabs include “All”, “Today,” and “Starred.””
  • At the beginning of each week, I star the tasks I plan to do in the coming week (Monday through Sunday). All of the starred tasks appear in the “Starred” tab, which I use as a weekly list. “All” is the master list.
  • Then I assign a due date for each task to do on the day I plan to do it. On any given day, I can use the “Today” tab to view my tasks for the current day.
  • As the week progresses, I can move things around by changing the due dates. It’s easy to “defer” tasks to another day, or to change the due date.

I probably use due dates differently than most. I don’t think of them as “deadlines,” but simply the days I plan to work on them. So, as I go through the week, I can see my tasks sorted by date/day of the week.

With 2do, I can create subtasks and repeating tasks, two must-have features. I also like the ability to backup to a free Dropbox account.

One other thing that mattered to me is the look of the app. I want the app that I’m going to be using on a daily basis to look great!

There’s a lot of potential for personal customization with 2do. I’m sure there are features I haven’t learned yet as well as some features I won’t use, but I’m glad it does what I want it to do. So far, I couldn’t be more pleased!

Let me know if you have any questions or comments. Also, I’d love to hear about how manage your time and tasks!

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