TODO Cloud from Appigo: The Beginnings of Cross Platform

The new iteration of TODO from Appigo is both incredibly nice and identical from a UI perspective on all platforms but it is really the first major Mac app to become cross platform. Over time, I’ll be talking more frequently about cross platform solutions due to their importance and an evolving trend.

Cross platform is not knew. It simply refers to the ability of a product to run on more than one platform such as the Mac and Android. Google Chrome and Firefox are majorily cross platform with all the benefits that accrue as a result.

TODO cloud is not the only task manager to work cross platform. There are others such as TODOIST, Getitdone, Nozebe etc. For this article though I want to discuss TODO as it’s a well known Mac app that is cross platform and works and syncs from Android and the Mac environment almost as if they’re the same.

Cross platform is both where it’s going likely due to the many benefits that can occur. You can be as at home therefore in other environments say you don’t want to just use Apple products. Curiously, it will be Microsoft that will prove a big proponent of cross platform. With all the work they’re doing on Windows 10 I hope they’re bearing this in mind! Microsoft has a lot to gain in this approach.

TODO is basically a GTD Program

Looking at TODO itself, it’s actually a beautifully laid out program and can be simple in use or can be a full fledged GTD system running on the Mac and/or Android/Blackberry. The best choice for sync is TODO Cloud which supports some of the features the Dropbox option doesn’t.

TODO supports all aspects of a GTD program. It supports both lists and projects, contexts (context tags), tags and the ability to prioritize. Reminders are available and you can state a start and end date individually. The system is really loaded with functions.

The one thing though that is only a touch of a limitation and looked out differently it isn’t and that is nesting is only one level deep. It’s therefore impossible to have a view that would take into consideration different levels of importance. OmniFocus, on the other hand, supports full nesting which gives you a few options for views that you wouldn’t have with TODO. However, this is only a first glance level. In TODO you can reorder your tasks at will and complete any task without it affecting the other. In OmniFocus though nested tasks, completed at certain points in the nesting arrangement will affect other tasks that you wouldn’t want affected. Thus, I would say TODO is your better in terms of flexibility.

The Program is Effective but Looks Very Nice

It’s one thing for a program to look nice but not be effective or effective but no look nice. TODO wins in spades on both fronts. It is both with colour often being used to divvy things up nicely.

Tasks, Checklists and Projects

TODO’s entry can be set as either a task, a Checklist wherein nothing dependent on anything else is required for checkoff or the checklist can be that which makes up a project. It doesn’t have the sophistication of a checklist in OmniFocus in which the project can be parallel or sequential with multilevel nesting. However, I rarely find this useful except to burn up a lot of time trying to decide what it should be and then losing control of my nesting.

Tasks can be Created Anywhere

There is a quickey that allows you to create a task from anywhere on your system. This frees you up from jumping back and forth to the program to complete the simplest of entries. Create a task and later move it onto it’s own or into a project. All tasks can easily be made part of a project.

Platform Diversity within the Apple Ecosystem

Within the Apple ecosystem, TODO runs beautifully across your IOS and Mac device. It looks as much the same from one platform to another as you’d expect. This of course reduces the learning curve substantially while maintaining a nice look everywhere.

Cross Platform

It is hard enough for a developer to develop from OSX to IOS. This doesn’t seem to be as easy a feat as one would think it should be. However, to move other platforms with your product and have the data sync across platforms is really impressive.

TODO is a cross platform yet native app to the device it’s running on. I will be discussing cross platform solutions more with time but if there’s to be a competitive environment then everything can’t be Apple. Yet, if say your other device is Windows phone or Android, then that device need run the software and more importantly capture the data in true form. The more the developer can make the cross platform act like the native platform the better.

In TODO’s case the product runs almost identically on Android as it does on the Apple system. However, since the Blackberry can run Android apps, it too runs the app. That native app say to Windows has the potential to run on all the major platforms provided the developer has developed for it in this fashion or the product is totally amenable to function in all environments.

The cost of this might be a slightly dumbed down app. In the case of TODO this is not the case. If you choose Dropbox the app is somewhat dumbed down but not significantly. By choosing the TODO cloud, all things are equal. In essence, you’ve got a good looking app with all the feature functionality of a well rounded GTD system.

The Growing Importance of Cross Platform

Initially, things started with just the device. Then we had the device of devices. From there we went to the need for our devices to talk together first by WIFI which, as long as you synced before you left the house, was fine. It wasn’t long though until the cloud took over and as such the cloud has now taken over.

Never to rest though we keep pushing the bounds of our devices and the cloud and with success. The next major foray though will be cross platform and the ability to have say your Blackberry the functional equivalent of the IOS device. What will always likely lead though will be the computer but like everything there are different elements.

The computer, for anyone that really needs functionality, flexibilty with power will have a computer. Some will be able to do without. Many won’t but it will be just as critical for data to transfer computer bounds as any other place and this opens a range of possibilities.

Get it Done

Although this article has been very much about the program TODO, I just wanted to mention another cross platform system referred to as “Get it Done.” This is a fully cross platform app that is very cool, powerful but simple to use if you know GTD. Fredericco Viticci decided to go with TODOIST which is somewhat of the same ilk as “Get it Done in that they are both cross platform etc but in the Mac World aren’t as extensively talked about. One has to wonder why that is but both these programs have specific set of merits that differentiate them.

Enough to say, before I delve into the topic specifically on cross platform, cross platform will grow in importance. One might though choose their software based on it’s Getting things Done merits but I believe the cross platform functionality will rise as if not critical something awfully nice to have.

TODO as a Reasonable Program as Capable as the Best

I hope I have shown that TODO is both a program that can be a very simple reminders program to a very complex GTD system. In addition, I have outlined it’s cross platform capability, something which I believe is played very low but which will grow in size and importance in the next while quickly. To draw the music or symphony metaphor out a bit, today, we have possibly must violins playing and are marveled just to see them playing nicely together. We’re not far though from that orchestra in which many instruments will be playing together and nicely.

It’s likely our orchestra will only consist of a handful of various devices but if they play nicely together that’s all we’ll need. People like some diversity. Not everyone will like an iPhone nor should they. If they have an Android or Nokia and it needs to share in the divvying of the tasks this is just a common function that we’re only beginning to modernize.

TODO as Part of the Solution

It has always been software that has driven the solutions. Hardware has merely been the enabler of the software’s capability. But that it has to enable capability there can be no doubt. TODO stands as a very reasonably priced piece of software that looks nice, functions well and can enable a capability we need. It has been around for a while. It is now though that it seems to be coming into its own and is somewhat standing above the crowd. Time will tell but I believe it will be one of those programs suited to what’s to come and therefore will be a force within our task management realm.