App review: Toodledo

App review: Toodledo
Toodledo is just one of many iOS apps that allows you to not just create a task, but to detail every intricacy of it.

Long gone are the days when writing a ‘to do’ list involved a piece of paper, a pen, and not much else. Now, before you use your to do list to get organised, you have to organise your to do list.

There are a lot of to do apps on a lot of platforms that will enable you to make sure your life is highly organised and prioritised at all times. Toodledo is just one of many iOS apps that allows you to not just create a task, but to detail every intricacy of it. You don’t just know that you have a task to complete - at a glance you can tell how important it is, precisely when it’s due, and what kind of task it is.

When you create a task in Toodledo, you can change its priority - there are five different priority levels - set a due date, and add it to a particular folder. If you fiddle with the settings a bit, you can do a lot more than that. Tasks can include up to 16 sub-fields for you to fill out detailing the whens and hows of your task. You can even use the app for an all-in-one task list, calendar and alarm if you really want to, although it’s probably not an ideal solution.

Every task has an attached notes field that you can use or ignore, where you can elaborate further on exactly what your task is. But then there’s an entirely separate notes tab, where you can take notes without them being linked to any particular task. It’s a bit confusing, and I’m not sure how it’s useful. 

The app’s interface on the iPad is simple, and divided into three parts: a sidebar on the left-hand side, a column consisting of a list of your tasks, which you can order in any way you like, and a right-hand column that provides extra detail on whichever task you have selected.

The sidebar has a ‘hotlist’, which is a list of tasks that the app deems most important. I had a spot of trouble with the hotlist in that it doesn’t seem to take in the priority settings by default - so even when I set a task to high priority, it might be low on the hotlist or drop off of it altogether. Fortunately, in the settings you can change how the hotlist organises your tasks.

Using the app is easy enough to get the hang of, but it’s not stunning to look at. It’s coloured in grey, white and light blue, and looks quite a bit like an old-school Outlook inbox. In fact, the app borrows a lot from the look of email services - you can also ‘star’ a task the same way you can star an email in Gmail.

If you feel like the $4.19 you pay for the base app just isn’t enough money to pay for something that organises your life, Toodledo has a store built into the app where you can either donate extra money to the cause, or buy an add-on pack that features 30 extra chimes for use with task alarms.

There’s also a browser-based service, so if you sign up for a Toodledo account, you can attach your device to it and sync your mobile with your desktop to keep track of your tasks everywhere, on anything.

Toodledo is a much more robust app than it appears to be at first glance, but I can’t help but think that it can get too complicated. You don’t want organising your to do list to be a task on your to do list. Personally, I’d rather pick up a pen.