I’ve been using Nozbe for a while now to manage my tasks, and overall I’m quite happy with it. It’s certainly got some quirks and minor issues, but it’s not bad. However, I always feel like there must be something else out there that’s at least comparable to it. I mean, there are literally hundreds of task management systems out there; can’t any of them get it right?
Here’s what I’m looking for:
- iPhone app (or at least an iPhone compatible version).
- Project based. Call it something else (“queues” or whatever), but I need to be able to group things.
- “Next Actions” or “Starred Items” or some kind of nice overview. I don’t want to see everything at once; just the items I’ve selected.
- Have items due today (or overdue) show up on that overview page.
- Recurring events. Nothing fancy here.
- Sharing. Just have shared projects show up along side my non-shared items, not tucked away in some special “sharing” section.
Here’s a short video where I explain those items a bit more:
So what do we have? I’ve gone through a ton of different systems and they all fall short on at least one of the items above. Am I asking for too much? It doesn’t seem like it, but maybe I am…
Here are the 32 33 34 35 systems I’ve looked at, in alphabetical order. Some are very good, but I’m not covering their good points today. With each one, I’ll explain what feature(s) it is missing:
- 5pm — Solid, but sharing is odd. You share with your “team”, and they’re either an admin or they can only see what you give them. I want others to be able to create their own private lists, and share with people other than me from time to time. They over-thought it and it’s a mess.
- Action Method — No good “next actions” screen. Sharing is there, but is kind of weird.
- Checkvist — No recurring tasks.
- do.Oh — Only a single list; no “projects”.
- Doris — No good “next actions” page.
- Enleiten — Weak sharing, and their blog hasn’t been updated in 18 months – dead project, I assume.
- Get It Done — Weird sharing setup.
- gQueues — Poor recurring event setup, weak sharing, no real “next actions” page (though “smart queues” are close). This one is actually quite close, as it has all of the right features – they just need to be tweaked.
- GTD Agenda — No sharing.
- GTDify — Every task is required to have a context. No sharing.
- Gubb — No good “next actions” page.
- HiTask — Can only share “tasks” with a normal account; need a “business” account to share projects. Simplify!
- Hive Minder — Complex sharing, and no real projects.
- Listable — No good “next actions” page.
- Listigator — No good “next actions” page.
- Neptune — No sharing.
- Nirvana — No sharing or recurring tasks. Both features are “coming soon”, at which point this could be a contender.
- Online Task List — Missing all kinds of stuff.
- Producteev — No good “next actions” screen. You can sort of do it with their “smart filters”, but it needs more control.
- Remember the Milk — No good “next actions” screen.
- Somethings — No recurring tasks, no sharing.
- Ta-da Lists — No due dates, recurring items or “next actions” page.
- Task2Gather — No good “next actions” page. Sharing is kind of odd.
- Task Bin — Shared projects are shown in a different area, similar to Toodledo.
- Task Writer — No sharing, no good “next actions” screen.
- Thymer — No iPhone access, but that’s coming “soon”. That might put them at the top…
- Todoist — No sharing.
- Toodledo — Very close, but it has a very bizarre and stupid collaboration setup.
- Tweeto — No sharing, no projects.
- Verb — No real “next actions” page, no recurring items.
- Vitalist — No easy way to view all “next actions” and “due today” on a single page. Also, I didn’t understand how sharing works, and an email to them for clarification has gone unanswered for more than a week.
- Voo2do — No sharing.
- Wedoist (added 8/14/10) — Closed sharing (everyone must be in one account), no overview page of any kind.
- Wrike — Overly complex. I guess “simple” isn’t technically a requirement, but this is a mess.
- Zenbe Lists — No stars, next actions, overview page, etc.
So there you go. 32 33 34 systems later and we’ve got nothing. Nozbe is still the only one to handle those basic ideas. I think Nirvana, gQueues, Thymer and Producteev have the best chance of getting things cleaned up. They’re all very close, but they’re all still missing some essential items.
I’ve looked at Google Tasks, but it’s missing so many features that it’s not worth even adding to the list — yet.
Is the answer out there? Let me know what other systems should be added to the list.