Although I’ve probably tried more task management applications than types of cereal, I still can’t help from test driving new systems and applications when I catch wind of their features. Such was the case with Todo Cloud, which I have spent a fair amount of time using over the past little while.
Todo Cloud is a simple and effective cross platform task management application with intuitive collaborative functions. With both desktop and mobile versions, Todo Cloud allows you to toggle your interface depending on where you are and what devices you have with you. This has become an indispensable feature of task management apps as we continue to call upon their tools in a wide range of contexts. But instead of getting bogged down in the specs, let’s take a user’s perspective on Todo Cloud to see if this app is worthy of joining your current task management loadout.
First impressions matter. And given the volume of choice we have in the task management genre alone, most of us simply aren’t willing to get tangled up in precarious UIs in attempt to learn how the software works. Of course everything new has a learning curve associated, however mild, but if you need a few hours to learn the basics of a to-do list app, then giving it the time of day gets a little counter intuitive in retrospect.
This was not the case with Todo Cloud. The design is simple and intuitive allowing you to get up and running immediately. Take a look below to see what you’re working with when you first launch the mobile and desktop versions of the app.
Once you’re finished getting things going, it’s time to start Getting Things Done. Todo Cloud is a great little addition to my GTD adaptation—as I think it could be for yours. One of the most important aspects of this methodology is the use of a “bucket” to collect all the mental clutter that clouds our thinking at every moment. We need to calm the chaos.
And although other applications like Evernote and OneNote serve as buckets too, these systems are more useful for long term storage and integration of information. So it’s nice to have a simple tool on hand, ready to direct your very next action. And with Todo Cloud you can rapidly create tasks, including as much or as little information from the outset. From there it’s just a matter of dragging and dropping items into the appropriate lists.
In my experience, there are constantly times when my responsibilities start outpacing my attentional resources. We all know that feeling. For me it means a taste of anxiety and a reliable decrease in productivity. As an active proponent of the appropriately acclaimed GTD methodology by David Allen, I know that during these times what’s most important is creating some “psychic bandwidth”. I have to clear my mind. I have to find a bucket. I need to empty said mind into said bucket to achieve mind like water.
Todo Cloud makes that easy. It’s not about drafting complex maps about what matters in the context of your life at large. Instead it’s about directing the flow of your day-to-day tasks. We all have things to do now and things to do next. This app helps you fight those battles. Todo Cloud is the foot soldier of your productivity squad.
After all, I think many would agree that breaking down the current task into smaller steps makes things more fluid and less daunting. I think this holds true for creating and managing your reminders for those tasks too. I quite like being able to flood my inbox list with upcoming duties knowing I can drag them into a task list, drop them onto a calendar day and fill all the details in when I’m a little less pressed for time.
Simple Yet Capable
Despite Todo Cloud’s simple appearance, this app is still quite capable. You have options to elaborately situate the tasks in your system if a high level of organization is needed. It’s set up like this: each task you create is stored in a relevant list. Among these lists are defaults like “All Tasks” and “Focus List” if you want more of a macro view on your items. Beyond this, you can also mark your tasks with a tag or “Context” label which helps each task become a little more actionable. So if I need to file my credit card statements, I can set up a task with that name, drop it into my “Administrative Tasks” list with a context label of “Tuesday.” Or I could use a different approach and tag it “Under Ten” to indicate the task can be completed in ten minutes or less. With this information at hand when I view my tasks, I no longer have to think. I can just do.
This structure gives you the hierarchical depth you need when operating at a high level with a seemingly innumerable amount of tasks on the go. Also, you can create location based reminders so that you’re made aware of items that may be place sensitive. If the item isn’t place sensitive, you could always set task priority and tell the app whether a task’s due date or priority level takes precedent. Pretty flexible.
And beyond the tools geared towards the individual user, a host of collaborative functions exist as well. You can share task lists by typing in contact e-mails and even assign tasks to others. Since there is a comment field on each task you create, you can attach instructions for your team members on how to execute their duty and if there are any special considerations to mind.
Of course there’s much more to GTD than finding a place to house your tasks. And Todo Cloud certainly won’t do as a holistic system. It will, however, take care of the first two principles of the GTD methodology by acting as a general bucket and offering strong organizational capacities. For me, it’s not about finding the perfect comprehensive system to help take care of everything. I’m not even convinced one exists. For that reason I really appreciate apps like Todo Cloud that manage a small portion of my workflow methodology, but manage it well. It’s fluid, intuitive, but above all else, it actually helps me get things done.
Contributed exclusively to the Daily Mac View.
By: Dylan Smart