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Posts tagged ‘To-Do List’

Solo: Visually Simple Project Management

We’ve seen an awful lot of really good, comprehensive project management web apps launch over the past year. But, we can’t help from writing about them. Any time someone takes a new POV, we feel compelled to share it.

Solo is a new project management app built with freelancers in mind. The service handles both project management and invoicing, which makes it capable of tackling the more sophisticated offerings on the market.

Logging into the service brings you to your dashboard. At first glance, users realize they’re staring at a service unlike anything they’ve seen before. The creators at Solo approached their web app beginning with a blank page, and you’ll notice a few surprising design decisions. The visual hierarchy for graphical elements is a bit different from other project management apps available today. For example, the main page highlights the earnings to date with text, and charts and pushed down lower on the page. Sidebars don’t exist at all. Even the website’s terms and conditions are only viewable as a PDF, and they’re probably the most pleasing terms we’ve seen in a while.

The service is still young with a few necessary features on the way, such as QuickBooks integration, client login areas and an internal messaging system. Before jumping over entirely, try out the service and see if it’s something you’d want to integrate into your workflow. Fortunately, signing up comes with a 14-day free trial, and a paid account is available for a limited time at $10 per month.

Freedcamp: Totally Free Project Manager

Freedcamp is yet another project management Basecamp competitor. Why do we need another Basecamp competitor? Because Freedcamp is completely free.

The app is divided into a few pages. To-Dos can be added and sorted with AJAX bliss. If you have multiple users signed-up, Discussions act like a private forum. The Milestones tab lets people create to-dos with deadlines. The Time tab tracks hours for billable professions, and it comes with a web-based stopwatch to keep you focused on your work, not on the clock. There’s also a tab for files, because every Freedcamp account comes with 20MB of storage space.

So what’s missing from Freedcamp that we would see from other competitors? Things like a calendar, gigabytes of storage and API interaction that help magnify any app’s abilities were all left out of the launch. But it’s difficult for us to find fault with a free app. In fact, Freedcamp currently doesn’t even offer tiered paid plans at all. The free plan is the only plan.

Freedcamp is capable of satisfying the needs of almost all Basecamp users. Plus, the FAQ section is surprisingly well fleshed out to help you get started quickly.

WorkFlowly: Simply Brilliant Organization

WorkFlowly is a new web tool to track your tasks, errands and even random little tidbits you collect throughout the day. The app is set up like a to-do list. Type in items and hit Return to separate them. Each line automatically becomes a bullet in a list. You can add sub-bullets and drag them around, and clicking the Plus sign next to each line expands or collapses items buried within. They also threw in a few keyboard shortcuts for power users.

Any time you have structured lists like these, they have the tendency to get out of control. Some sections will be larger or more significant than others. That’s why, if you click the actual bullet of a line, WorkFlowly takes you to a new page specifically dedicated to that branch. You can isolate branches within branches, which gives the impression of flying through an infinite list with perfect precision.

The developers made it very fast to move around the app. Typing out items feels as responsive as a text editor. In fact, it’s faster to add items in WorkFlowly than in any to-do list web app we’ve ever used.

Since the service is young, the developers are still adding core functionality that probably should have been there since Day 1. For instance, there isn’t support for mobile yet, but they’re working on mobile apps for the iPhone, iPad and Android. They’re also working out some more advanced features like collaborating between users or backing up your lists.

For many people, WorkFlowly may be a perfect option for them. The creators took the overall concept of managing information and stripped out anything that didn’t fit. And through that process, the app almost seems to disappear, leaving nothing but you and your ideas. WorkFlowly lets you focus on what matters at any particular point.

Springpad: Fun & Intelligent Notes

Springpad is a free web and mobile app that serves as a destination for all thoughts, tasks and things. It’s available anywhere through the web and is as refined as a Mac desktop app. Add notes, tasks or items, such as products, places, movies, restaurants, recipes and wines. Springpad supports plenty of different items, giving depth to their service.

Type in tasks to have them appear, or look up items across external services like Amazon and IMDB. You’re not limited to a text field either; if you want to save a book while browsing in a bookstore, just snap the ISBN barcode using your phone’s camera. You can also attach notes and files to anything you save.

Items that you save are already grouped by type, so things like recipes, movies and events stay separate. But if you tag your posts, Springpad will group items into specific projects. This way, you can group albums, recipes and gifts together when planning a holiday party, or wines, locations and to-dos when planning a trip. Each notebook includes a board, which works like a light board or scrapbook and lets you arrange items on your screen.

Springpad works in web browsers, and they built sophisticated iPhone, iPad and Android apps to complement. A web browser extension drops Springpad into your toolbar, allowing you to save items on your current webpage without interrupting your browsing session.

Alerts show your tasks and also recommend deals based on your saved items. Springpad likely earns a commission off these sales, but they appear unobtrusive and targeted, so we have no concerns.

Boarrd: Everyone’s Personal Dashboard

Who doesn’t want their own personal executive dashboard? It could contain anything; your inbox, to-do list, favorite RSS feeds, Twitter status updates, data feeds piping in to charts, upcoming meeting info, basic weather, anything.

Boarrd is a free web app that allows us to demand our own dashboard. Using a very slick interface, users grab different widgets and shuffle them around the screen. At the moment, the service is limited to RSS feeds, weather, calendar events, clock, weather, and Flickr photos. Considering the potential, we wouldn’t call those options limiting at all. Each dashboard will be completely different by user. And users can alter components as their needs change.

What’s most impressive about Boarrd is that it was thrown together in 48-hours as part of Rails Rumble MMX. It’s very well polished and just about ready for primetime.

To be a serious contender in this space, we’d like to see the dashboard’s layout change when viewed in a mobile browser. We also can’t help wonder what would happen if developers were able to deploy their own widgets to the community. Either way, we love this app.

laytr: Easy Email Reminders

We’ve started seeing a new type of to-do list emerge on the web. It doesn’t look like your typical list with checkboxes and notes. In fact, it doesn’t have an interface at all. Services like FollowUpThen and LetterMeLater let users draft their to-do lists by email. It can be anything; a simple task in the subject or an entire email drafted with attachments. Just specify when to receive the message in the email’s to field and receive your email at that time.

Laytr is another service that allows you to schedule your reminders right from your inbox. Draft yourself a note, and add the delivery date or time to the To field. Want to receive your email back tomorrow? Then send your email to [email protected] Want to receive it on Monday? Then send your email to [email protected] It works with dates (march.7), time (1min or march.7.330pm) and relative terms (tomorrow, nextweek, nextyear).

What helps differentiate laytr from the seemingly similar competitors is their business model. Laytr offers their service for free just like similar sites, but they are looking to expand into a tiered pricing model with additional features. Details aren’t listed on the website, so it’s unclear how the operation will evolve at this point. What is clear is laytr offers a service with a very low learning curve that is available for anyone with an email address. They are sure to attract a large user base.