In Praise of Appigo’s iPhone Todo App

Last week after a bit of wrangling with the wife, we finally bought an iPhone. Until recently it fell under the “nice to have” category but the more I read about it and the more I played with friend’s iPhones, the more I wanted one.

The day after we purchased it I downloaded Appigo’s Todo app, a simple but powerful todo list management tool. The app was $9.99, the most expensive of the bunch which also included several free todo lists. I liked the fact that it cost money because it holds the creators accountable, at least on some level. It also indicates they think their product is valuable enough to sell and lastly, it’s always good to support fellow programmers, even if they are just getting ridiculous rich from their iPhone apps. Here’s their YouTube presentation, which sealed the deal for me:

Getting an electronic todo list has been one of the most productive decisions we’ve made (next to the Macbook — damn you Apple). Beforehand the iPhone, I would keep a yellow sticky note in my wallet and write notes on it. That didn’t work too well as I normally would lose the sticky note, forget to bring a pen, or be unable to read my own handwriting.

I was in Florida at the time, away from work, Domain Pigeon, Hacker News, this blog, and everything else that normally consumes my time. The mental unicycle was still rolling though; as I thought of things I needed to do when I got back I created a task for it. One by one they piled up.

After one day, I had 24 tasks After three, 46. After a week, 68.

At first I thought the todo list would be a backup for me, but the more I use it the more I’m relying on it as my primary source of things I need to do. It’s kind of sick, but juggling 68 things in the back of my mind is a burdensome, time consuming endeavor which inevitably has a high rate of “Oh yeah, I forgot about that.”

My current todo list is broken up into seven categories: Work, Blog, Domain Pigeon, General, Internet, Projects, and Research.

Work is things I need to take care of at work (“Write Thank You Notes”), blog contains things I want to write about (“Todo List is Great”), Domain Pigeon contains ideas and action items pertaining to the upcoming site (“Check out”, “Register .NET/.ORG Domains”), General contains miscellaneous things (“Lexmark X2580 Ink”, “Pick up Dry Cleaning”), Internet contains random todo things, Projects is for startup and website ideas (top secret), and Research is for things I want to learn more about at a later date (“Cover Calls”, “Dairy Bad?”, “Flash Development”, etc).

After I had this all set up, I learned about Contexts, which let you categorize things on, well, context. So, for example, I could have a context for “Internet” and then for every task that I have to use the internet to complete, I could add “Internet” as a context rather than having a special group for internet items. I haven’t figured out the best way to organize it, but it’ll evolve as time goes by.

One final note: I had two recommendations for the app, so I wrote the company a quick, friendly email both because I hope they implement the recommendations and because I wanted to see how and if they would respond:

Just wanted to say great app, I don’t know how I went without a todo app for so long!

Two small recommendations: I like making all the task names title case (“Write Blog Post About Blah” vs “Write blog post about blah”). I’m not sure if this is something you can control, but if it is, I’d love for it to be an optional setting so that its done automatically. Second, and this is really a small point, if a task doesn’t have a due date, rather than have it say “No due date” below a task, maybe just leave it blank. The extra white space goes a long way.

Again, great app. I’m sure your effort has paid off :)

Several hours later they responded:


Thank you for contacting Appigo.  We always appreciate suggestions and
comments.  We have taken note of your suggestion and have included it
in our list for future review.

Thanks for taking the time to write to us and thanks for using our Apps!

The Appigo Team

The fact that they responded at all was great (I’ve emailed some websites with questions and feedback and generally never hear a word back), though I suspect this was a boiler plate email (note “suggestion” when in fact I made two). Nonetheless, if I were receiving dozens of emails on the same subject (suggestions, for example), I might consider writing a template too…

To sum it up, if you like todo lists, Appigo’s app is a useful, well designed choice and its by a company that seems to value their customers. +1.

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