Today, I wanted to start a new segment called “Reviews”. Aha!
This is a article, complete handy guide approach to explaining 2Do App and it’s experience. Get your notebooks out and let’s get into this review.
How I discovered 2Do?
I discovered 2Do App a few months ago, and executed a small overview of using the tool. At the time, I didn’t realise how deep 2Do actually allows you to go with your productivity, Tao Abder introduced me to the app on Twitter (follow him on Twitter) and Dennis reminded me a few weeks ago on YouTube (follow Dennis on Twitter) about taking another look at the App. 2Do also reached out on Twitter to me, and set me up with the TestFlight version of the App.
My 2Do’s mini-Story
2Do is £5.99 on the App Store (iOS), and £18.99 on the Mac App Store. They also have an Android version as well which is priced at £3.00. The 2Do App is a product of an organisation called Beehive Innovations Ltd. They’ve been around since 2009 and haven’t really been on my radar in the past year, until a few Twitter followers such as Abner Ma were mentioning the service. I did an initial review of 2Do and I realised that this App is a real contender in the top Productivity App market, especially for individuals looking for a GTD focused solution.
They also have an Apple Watch app….
What are the core features?
With the 2Do App, there are lots you can do. Here are a few practical uses:
Adding Tasks is visually complex but very deep in its abilities. It’s worth taking 20 minutes to sit-down with 2Do to really take in everything you see and experience. There is so much context that you can add and I’ll go into that detail in a bit. As you can see by this screenshot, the experience is very full-on to start with.
From the Task page you can instantly change it to a Project or a Checklist which is handy. The visuals take a few moments to get used to as they are very icon heavy however so useful once you know them at saving valuable space. Adding Tasks is very easy. There is even a way to add tasks in “quick task” mode which allows for even speedier adding but you have to have some knowledge of these codes/shortcuts to do this as it can be a pain.
Lists can be a very good way to collect non-Project items together. 2Do does this very well, but offering you two types of lists (Lists & Smart Lists). Lists have regular usage, the power to be a location to attach lots of tasks. You can create tasks within Lists as well as Projects and Checklists which is beneficial as it can be a hub for all activity under a specific category. Eg. “Marketing” holds “Project 1”, “Project 2”, “Task 7” and “Checklist 4” — you get the picture, a place to store multiple formats of control on tasks.
Smart Lists essentially allow you to go a little smarter with due date details, tagging informaton. Eg. Smart List “Next 3 Days, Personal Brand, Important” would allow me to see every task in the next 3 days that is related to my personal brand work and that has a “high” importance rating via Tags. Smart Lists are really places to make contextual experiences with all of your context…
An example of a good Smart List would be “Train Trips” — “Next 7 Days” — so it’s not too far forward, “Offline” tag so I can see the tasks that I’ve tagged that I can do with no WiFi or internet connection, “Smartphone” tag — as I only have my Smartphone on a squashed train (personal experience here), “List: Writing Blogs” — so that I can find tasks in this sector. Essentially this allows me access to writing content tasks that allow me to work offline, on my smartphone and not too far into the future.
Projects remind me of a more professional checklist experience in Trello. I explain this more in the “Best Overall feature?” section below but it’s something that has impressed me. You can create project by using the “+” button, by simply scrolling to briefcase icon. A Project can be named, a deadline set, some notes and tagging attached with a few more contextual items. Once you’ve created a project you can choose to nest it anywhere within your 2Do App.
Projects looks appealing inside lists or in the stream. From the list you can see how many tasks you have within the Projects by simply seeing the updated Briefcase icon. Within the folder, it becomes much more appealing and project like. You can find tasks using search as well as scroll through your project tasks all at once.
Context is everywhere inside this App. Let’s start by mentioning what context you can add to one individual task:
- Allow you to add Notes to each task
- Add Tags to each task
- Change the due date (important obviously)
- Change it from a task to Project or Checklist
- Change duration of task
- Create alerts around the task
- Create recurring task reminders and recurring tasks
- Add a call-to-action such as “URL”, “Visit” or “Mail” (3 of 6)
- Add a location
- Attach Photo
- Attach voice recordings
That is so much context. It’s crazy how much context you can add to tasks, very similar to Omnifocus this is really valuable for those that want to go super deep with their GTD.
5. Sort and Search
Wherever you go within this App. You will find… More functionality, every nook and cranny. Everywhere seems to be a search, edit, sort by, find button that usually is a “drop-down” menu and something you can use to find those really valuable tasks or even the ones you don’t want to see you.
Searching and sorting is so useful and deep within this App.
Here are the points where you can search for items which will give you a stronger idea of how you’d like to use the App in your context:
- Search tasks
- Search tasks on any dates
- Search tasks on specific timelines
- Search presets — filters (checklists, sub-tasks and more)
- Search images attachments
- Search voice attachments
- Search priority (different menu)
- Search start date (different menu)
- Search creation date (different menu)
- Search status
- Search location
- Search tags
The settings and sorting menus are everywhere across the app. It’s powerful and gets you some super useful data, I think you’ll need to get used to these though.
HERE ARE JUST AN OVERVIEW OF THE SOME OF THE FEATURES
This is an option that I discovered when trying to sync my tasks outside of the App, not locally. There are several options for doing this and unless you’re a nerd I would highly recommend using the top option, Dropbox.
- Reminders (CalDAV)
- Fruux (CalDAV)
- Yahoo! Calendar (CalDAV)
- Custom CalDAV server
Unless you’re 100% comfortable with the CalDAV services that they suggest, I would stick to Dropbox. Placing the “sync” data in a folder that you won’t access from the Dropbox.com portal so that it doesn’t intefer with your Dropbox experience.
Settings is something I don’t really want to go too much into! It’s a beautiful land of crazy customisable feature. Here’s a list of what is featured here. But it’s better me sharing this screen.
Best overall feature?
I actually am really impressed at the Project Management within the App. I have been using Trello as a way to map all of my activities.
Here’s a view of my Trello account, that I use to manage my Q1 2016 Targets. This is one of my fitness targets to reduce my Body Fat… (nice). As you can see on the Checklist, there is a bar that tracks the progress of the tasks within the checklist.
I prefer the way 2Do App has represented this sort of checklist within a Project folder. It presents it more “enterprise” like with the project management feature.
There is a fatal floor with both of these systems, it assumes that each task is worth the percentage against the amount of tasks inside the project folder. An example of this is below: 4KM run = 10% because there are 10 tasks in the Checklist. One task might be worth 40% or 60% and this doesn’t take it into account. The only way around this is constantly updating this checklist creating less value or more value for the project tasks. This is minor and really doesn’t affect the hustle, just something to consider when adding these tasks.
What’s bad then?
- 2Do’s Android App
- iOS 2Do on a screen lower than 5’ is hard to use as buttons and visuals are small.
- No Web client experience…
- Time taken to get used to the service.
Who do I see using this and when?
- Individuals in SME businesses, professional individuals looking to manage their day.
- GTD fans
I see individuals who are very professional focused and GTD fans using this tool. 2Do is also a perfect experience for those individuals who are crazy about Apple, the 2Do App has a very iOS focused experience with a clean iOS (iPhone and iPad) optimised App as well as the Mac software for 2Do. It’s all very Apple centric, which I can see by just analysing each of their app experiences. They have barely touched the Android App probably since the ages of Gingerbread by the looks of it, maybe this is strategical move…
I would use this to manage tasks, planning and going deeper on each tasks. Especially if your list is always growing and needs a lot of context. Although the App allows for Smart Lists, I’m not sure I would invest my time into doing this unless you are using it as a folder/list system around the project. For those looking at this knowing GTD tools, this reminds me of Omnifocus’s more less complicated and visually appealing younger brother.
Do I use it?
At the moment, my focus has to be something so cross-platform, offline consistent, strong sync and fast that I really can’t use 2Do just yet. I’m a Chromebook user and Todoist seems to meet all my needs despite some features I’d like to bring over
Pro Hacks for using 2Do App:
- Use Projects to map your Checklists — via the bar you can view progress and conquer goals faster and with ease. There is a Checklist feature, but I would use this casually versus for something with a length of over 1 month.
- Access Quick Add Task by holding down the “+” button — this is a simple and easy trick when you’re low on time.
- Hold-down on Tasks — This saves valuable time when aiming to (Access via any task on the lists)
- Add “Notes” to your Project Folder — this simply gives you a headline to what’s inside the Project folder and makes it look prettier (Create Task > Create Project > Notes).
- Hate the Side-bar — You can remove this main sidebar by simply swiping left.
- Swipe to see “Tags” — You can see tags at a glance by swiping far left on the menu. It’s perfect for accessing all the tasks under tags.