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Choosing a Cross Platform Task Manager is Challenging

by Kerry Dawson

Choosing a Cross Platform Task Manager is Challenging

In a previous article titled “The Major Task Managers: Todoist, 2do, TickTick, OmniFocus and Things” I discussed what I considered to be the predominant task managers of the day. Although I made reference to the cross platform task managers which are increasingly becoming more important, I didn’t deal with the topic in and of itself. Due to the changing nature of the personal and most importantly the work environment, cross platform solutions are taking far more air time.

Bring your own Device to Work

Years ago, before Smartphones have become so predominant, the landscape was littered with cellphones, Palm Pilots (organizational) and Blackberries (the beginning of the Smartphone era) referred to often as CrackBerries due to their addictive nature. During this period, if it was deemed likely that someone would need a Smartphone people were generally supplied with Blackberries. This ensured that teams would be able to effectively talk to each other. In other words, there was harmony.

Once Apple introduced the iPhone which was shortly followed by Google’s Android, things were about to change. The iPhone did not take off immediately. However, by version 3 its popularity was gaining tremendous momentum catching both Blackberry and corporate I.T. off guard. Soon though corporate I.T. was under pressure to allow people to use their own devices as employees were not keen on using the Blackberry any longer.

Corporate I.T. and small businesses relented for a couple of reasons. Firstly, employee retention was becoming increasingly important. The employee of the pre-eighties who was loyal to their company and stayed from beginning to end had ceased both because the company could no longer be counted on and employees had to and did become very independent. To leave a company and go somewhere else for whatever reason was no longer deemed a great threat.

Secondly, corporate I.T. or the company saw an immediate benefit to letting their employees use their own devices. It saved money in both the acquisition and maintenance of the devices.

At this point in time the iPhone dominated the landscape and thus as teams came together the teams were still able to effectively communicate with each other. Android was not present in the early days in large enough numbers to pose a problem. In fact, we now know that Android is a North American problem as although it dominates in many other markets, such has not been the case in North America till recently.

The Problem

In the following IDC report titled “Smartphone Market Share” of Android and IOS, it is clearly the case that although the iPhone has a large percentage market share especially in North America, Android market share is significant. Worldwide, Android significantly dominates but this is not the case in North America. However, the impact of this division is significant. No longer can you assume teams at work will have the same kind of handset. Further, some might have an Apple computer, iPad but not necessarily an iPhone.

The way around this is for software to be cross platform. That is, as long as software runs identically on both platforms the viability of the operation of systems working together is feasible. The glue that binds all this is the cloud. Thus, it is fully possible for say members of a team to have a mix of handsets as long as they use cross platform software.

Task Management is Especially Critical

When looking at a team and any discrepancy of platform, probably the most essential piece of software that needs to be the same is the task management software. Further, even for the individual who uses a mix of Apple and Android say and likes to use task management software, it is important that it is cross platform.

In the latter’s case, if someone say creates a shopping list on their computer, when they get to the store, they will need that list to be the same on their phone as the computer. Such is fully the case when software is cross platform.

The Best Cross Platform Task Managers

There are really three task management applications that stand out from the crowd as both accessible and powerful and all three contain some or a lot of the capability of a GTD program depending how you use it. They are:

  • Todoist
    – Ticktick
    – 2do

There are definitely more than these three to choose from but these applications tend to have a robust mix of accessibility or ease of use and the power to view your data from variety of angles. Since I discussed the details of the programs in the other article, this article is intended to highlight how these particular programs can work in a cross platform environment.

Ease of Use through to Powerful

All three of these programs are exceptionally good. You really can’t go wrong in choosing one over the other unless you need the ability to work with another directly and in this case you would need to go with Todoist. However, Todoist and Ticktick are subscription based which is not everyone’s cup of tea whereas 2do can be purchased outright (is currently on Sale at Stacksocial at 60% off or can be had if you have a Setapp subscription.

Any of these programs can be used as just a reminders app through to a full scale GTD program with a variety of views that you can apply to your data making it easier to know what needs to be done and when. This combination of ease of use with power makes them extremely desirable as you can quickly jot down a reminder yet not run out of headroom when you need the power to handle your data more extensively.

Cross Platform is the Key to their Operation

These programs in of themselves are excellent. Some view TickTick as a more powerful “Things v3” style application whereas Todoist and 2do are often viewed as OmniFocus alternatives without the complexity. There real power though lies in their cross platform capability. All three look identical from the Apple OSX/IOS environment to Android. If you individually work in a mixed environment or you work on a team within your company, these are the programs to turn to.

If you work in a team environment, you will likely want to go with Todoist. If you work individually but Cross Platform then any of these solutions are good with TickTick and its quick entry mode throughout the Android environment being the best. 2do though is an outright sale program and can currently be had for $19.99 at Stacksocial, a tremendous bargain.

As previously mentioned, there are other cross platform task managers but these are probably the best to choose from.

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