One of the original TODO and Task Managers has been rewritten and it is wonderfully stunning visually to look at. Both the Mac and IOS versions of the product have been redesigned and in their design they have accomplished a lot. Further, the product has been upgraded for Android and will run perfectly on your Blackberry 10 device as long as it is the most recent version of the OS. This inherently, allows it to be cross platform.
More than Just Skin Deep
The release is far more than just a skin deep rebirth of an original favourite. It is, without question, a powerful GTD management tool if you want it to be that. Supporting:
And you name it and it is really there. If you look carefully at David Allen’s GTD model he talks of lists. A program such as OmniFocus, along with the rest of the GTD managers, have converted lists to projects that are archeivable which is very powerful yet the concept of lists exists. In OmniFocus then, your lists would be your library’s which contain projects.
However, in Todo Pro you have lists. Yes, real living lists. Then you can have single tasks, projects and checklists which is just a subset of a list or a list of list that are checkable when done.
The Bells and the Whistles Too
The program though goes the mile and it has all the bells and whistes you could ever want. Contexts, tags and sorting make for short order when your trying to grapple with your lists and determine where to start. Reminders and priorities ensure that things that are important are front up and a reminder will let you know there is something to deal with.
Finally, if you really have to focus your attention on the most critical of items you can star it. And yes there is even a focus list to allow you to do this and you can set, in preferences, how you want things to focus.
Doesn’t Require a Mortgage to Buy
For all this power, TODO Pro is priced very reasonably program. Remember that with OmniFocus, The Hit List and Things they only run in the Mac environment. TODO runs in that plus the Android and Blackberry environments making this an extremely powerful program however, you do not need to take out a mortgage to buy it.
When you compare TODO and all its power to the major GTD programs this is an exceptionally good value . I’ve yet to figure out what can’t be done with TODO Pro that you can do with the others. Views and perspectives are really just a matter of the way you apply contexts, tags and priorities and this is highly flexible. The program can be as easy to use as you want it or a full blown GTD program.
What about Downsides
One might ask, when one looks at the program as it has been but especially as it is now is there any major downside to this program. The answer from as far as I can tell is no. It can be exactly what you want it to be. A simple task manager with the lightest of procedures to its function or as complex as a full blown GTD program.
In terms of the latter, it helps to really understand GTD to determine how to apply it as this is an incredibly versatile program. However, this can be said of the full blown pure GTD programs. If you look at OmniFocus carefully, it can be as simple as you want it to be but it can be a pure GTD program and actually has been designed primarily with this intent in mind. This actually does not, will not and cannot suit everyone.
Understanding the GTD methodology as outlined by David Allen helps you apply any of these programs stictly for the sake of GTD. However, there are programs touted to be capable of doing GTD and this is true to a degree but not fully.
In the case of TODO Pro I feel it can be a full fledged GTD program. Would it replace or do in place of OmniFocus. The answer is yes; if you want it to. This is not true of every program touted to be GTD but that doesn’t mean these programs can’t do a fine job managing tasks and projects.
When Task Management becomes All Consuming
In the article I wrote “When your Task Management System becomes Burdensome” I outlined how task management systems can get so overused and compelling they become a hindrance to productivity. TODO Pro has an interesting flexibility in that it can allow you to take it to the degree you want and really need to so that things are managed well but have not become cultish.
David Allen’s GTD methodology has become very popular because it is effective and it makes sense. However, there are aspects which allow one to get carried away. The idea of doing a brain dump is a good one but once in a while but not every moment. However, this can happen and the person ends up accomplishing nothing as they either write out tasks and projects to the nth degree or try to wade through everything they’ve written. If a program supports this kind of activity and their proclivity is to this kind of activity there will inevitably be a problem as the day of reckoning always has to arrive.
TODO Pro’s orientation dissuades from this kind of excessivity. However, if for some reason an extensive listing of projects, tasks, contexts and tags were required TODO Pro is more than capable of handling this. The orientation is such that you have a program that looks great, provides a high level of flexibility while providing a structural approach for methodology and thus really does support Getting Things Done.
Productivity is what We Strive For
In our use of task management systems our ultimate goal is to improve our productivity. Our desire really is to accomplish more in a meaningful way. Tools have become available in growing numbers to help with that. Some are better at this than others.
TODO Pro has been around for a while. In its earliest incarnations, although it could prove effective it was a bit bland. No longer. This is a stunning tool at a great price. Added to that its cross-platform capability and you have a very powerful and flexible tool.
It will be interesting to see how the program does. It has had attention but I would think it will or at least should get more. It deserves a carfeful look for a variety of reasons. I have nothing against OmniFocus but this is an expensive tool and it can be very complex. For many purposes, it is overkill yet as I say that it can be exactly the right tool. If you’re very adept with it and it is serving you well, don’t change gears.
However, if this isn’t the case or you’re just delving into the task management waters take a close look at TODO. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. I’ve had this tool for a long time along with all of them and I certainly had to take a very careful second look and I was tremendously surprised by what I found.