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Toodledo vs. UT vs. PI vs. Todo - Which one is the best?



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Jamie

Posted: Jun 12, 2009
Score: 0



I realize that a lot of this has to do with personal preferences, but I wanted to get real users feedback regarding these apps especially from those who have tested these four. I've read all of the other threads talking about each individual one, but most of the threads were comparing Toodledo's iPhone app and not against another 3rd party app.

I'm particularly interested in hearing about:

- Which of these are the most stable?
- Which of these has the most features?
- Which of these has the most practical/usable features?
- Which one has been out the longest?
- Which one has the best support?
- Which one syncs the best with Toodledo?

I also found it interesting that UT was the only app that allowed you to attach voice notes. Considering that the iPhone's keyboard is a bit touchy, I would have thought that this feature alone would win people over. But I didn't find anyone bragging about this feature. Anyone find it useful?

PI seems to be a bit more complete and feature packed. In addition, if anyone ever gets tired of their iPhone and moves to another device, they have Windows and Blackberry support.

I'm just starting out with Toodledo and know just the basics of GTD. I'm not sure if I like the GTD system yet as it is still very new to me.

Jamie
Cobrastyle

Posted: Jun 12, 2009
Score: 0



My personal opinion, YMMV:
Also, you're asking for more info than I can provide, so maybe the other posts can fill in the blanks that I can't comment on.

Note: What's UT?

Stability:
Toodledo's app & Todo are rock solid; I've never had them crash. I tried the PI app (Lite version), and found it way too cumbersome, and when adding my first task, it crashed. Delete.

Features: most practical/usable:
Todo's quick-entry is beyond good. The app is quick, is updated regularly, and interface is top-knotch.

Out the longest:
I think Todo, but I'm not sure.

Best Support:
I haven't asked for support on any of these apps, but I would guess it's a tie; Todo's google group is always answered by the developers, while so is Toodledo's forum.

For me, Todo is the best all-around app to interface with Toodledo, in my opinion. The user interface is beautiful, date selection is great, it sync's quickly and reliably (recent toodledo outage notwithstanding).

In case it matters, I "basically" follow GTD, but am not rigid about it, and have no problem postponing tasks.

Hmm: Todo doesn't sync "stars" but I don't use them so don't care. Maybe you do...

Good luck - I'm curious to hear what others have to say.
Anders

Posted: Jun 12, 2009
Score: 3



I've been meaning to write up a comparison of the various apps, but have not had the time. I should mention that you left at least two out.

In addition to Toodledo, Todo, Pocket Informant, and Ultimate Todos, there is also Action Lists which is a pretty cool new app geared specifically toward GTD use. Then there is MyTasks light which is the only one I have not tried, and seems pretty poor really. There is also an app called Task Pro that is a pretty awesome task app, but it only imports and exports to/from Toodledo, it does not truly sync with the site yet.

I should also mention up front that I have only used the Lite version of Action Lists, so I have a lot less experience with it. I have the full versions of all the others except MyTasks light(which does not have a full version, and is not free). Also, FYI, PI, Action Lists, and Todo all offer free lite versions that you can try before buying the full version.

Posted by jamie:
I'm particularly interested in hearing about:

- Which of these are the most stable?

Toodledo and Todo are both very stable. PI is not quite there yet, but I am sure it will get there eventually.

- Which of these has the most features?
- Which of these has the most practical/usable features?

This is a tough question. I would say definitely PI, but that is only because it is a calendar app as well, and the best I have used for iPhone. However, if considering its To Do component only, PI is a ways behind some of the others, although they have a lot of neat plans, and are actively updating the app.

In terms of Task features only I would probably say that Todo has the most, followed by Toodledo, and then Ultimate Todos. I find Toodledo and UT to be the most usable, but that is really a subjective thing. Action Lists has nice usability as well, but I can't give it a serious run until it gets subtasks.

- Which one has been out the longest?

Todo is the oldest. Toodledo, MyTask light, and Ultimate Todos have all been around for a while. Task Pro is a bit newer. PI and Action Lists are both very new apps.

- Which one has the best support?

PI and Toodledo both have some of the best support I have come across. Todo is not bad in this area, but not as good as the first two IMO. Ultimate Todos' support has been okay for me, but I have heard others say they don't hear back from the developers, and the only way to get support for UT is an email address on their website. One way or another UT is not as actively developed as some of the other options. The developer of Action Lists has a forum for the app, and shows up in these forums as well sometimes, which I think is pretty cool. The Task Pro folks I am not so sure about. I communicated with them a while ago, and it went alright, but they haven't answered my most recent email yet, and it has been a couple of weeks.

- Which one syncs the best with Toodledo?

Toodledo, easily, whether you mean the actual syncing implementation of the app or the way it handles Toodledo fields, Toodledo is the best here.

Toodledo syncs on startup and closing. PI syncs on opening, has a "shake to sync" feature, and a sync button. Todo syncs on opening, and has a sync button. Action Lists also syncs on opening. With Ultimate Todos, you must go to the settings page to sync. Task Pro, as I said, does not really sync, but you can export/import with Toodledo from within the app.

Toodledo supports the most fields. Todo misses a few, but does a pretty good job, especially for certain types of Pro setups (their subtask implementation is the best). PI syncs many fields, but kills the usefulness of Tags, turning them into calendars, and does not yet have subtasks. Ultimate Todos syncs a lot of fields, and Action Lists syncs all the GTD necessities, but, like PI, neither one has subtasks which is a killer for me. Edit: I wanted to add here that while Task Pro features infinite subtasking, not even one level is transferred to/from Toodledo. I am assuming they use the Toodledo import/export, which does not support task hierarchy. Everything comes through flattened, and makes a big mess. All in all, it has been a disappointment to this point, but has great potential if they could ever increase compatibility with Toodledo (Task Pro also only "syncs" a few fields).

I also found it interesting that UT was the only app that allowed you to attach voice notes.

Yes, but they don't sync to the Toodledo website. Also not too useful for me with an iPod touch :) so maybe someone else can tell you about that.

PI seems to be a bit more complete and feature packed. In addition, if anyone ever gets tired of their iPhone and moves to another device, they have Windows and Blackberry support.

It's a good app with a few kinks left to work out. Also getting your tasks from one version of PI to another (I have both the iP & WM versions) is not as easy as you might expect.

I use Toodledo as my main task app. It was a tough call after the most recent update of Todo which I really like for many reasons, but in the end it was Todo's lack of sync for some fields I really like to use that pushed me back to Toodledo.

I also have PI, but use it as a calendar primarily. I hope it might be able to become my full time task and calendar app some day, but it needs some key features added before that is even possible for me. (If you are looking for a calendar app, or are not interested in the pro Toodledo features, I would recommend giving PI a look.)

For a non-Pro Toodledo user, Ultimate Todos is a very good app as well, just don't expect frequent updates. It was the app that introduced me to Toodledo, so maybe I have a sentimental attachment, but UT has some unique features like icons and a fully customizable home screen.

If you are interested in GTD, I would definitely consider checking out Action Lists. If Franklin Covey is your thing, PI is the only one that has it (PI also has very strong GTD features). If you like to do things your own way, Toodledo, and UT give you the most flexibility IMO. Todo is a bit anomalous in this department. It is kind of GTD-ready, but has some seemingly very anti-GTD quirks. For instance, Todo doesn't sync Status, so no Next Action, Waiting, etc. At the same time it is not quite as flexible as some of the apps that don't try to be straight-up GTD.

I'm sorry if this post is less decisive than what you were hoping for, but as you noted, a lot of this depends on the individual. Like I said, the Toodledo app is the best IMO, but a lot depends on how you use the Toodledo website, and what you want to do with tasks on your phone.

~Anders

Edited for clarity and spelling


This message was edited Jun 13, 2009.
c.e.perry

Posted: Jun 15, 2009
Score: 1



Action Lists author here, so keep that in mind as I offer my opinions... In writing Action Lists I spent considerable time with most of the Toodledo syncing iPhone apps to see what was good and what wasn't. In fact, the reason I wrote Action Lists is because I couldn't find an app that did what I wanted despite buying and trying most of the apps out there.

You mentiond GTD. I obviously think that Action Lists is the best GTD solution for the iPhone. It was designed specifically to handle the typical GTD workflow, and to display GTD concepts clearly and easily. Also, for what its worth, Action Lists is still being pretty actively improved. An update is currently in review with Apple. (They've ignored it for the last two weeks, but I'm hopeful that they'll remember me soon. :-) The new version will offer subprojects and landscape mode keyboards, as well as a host of other smaller features.

If you decide that GTD is not for you, I can't recommend highly enough the Toddledo developed iPhone app. It's a really good general purpose app and, let's face it, will always feature the tightest integration with the Toodledo webapp.

I won't speak ill of the other apps you mentioned, other than to say that I found them all lacking in one way or another.

One (slight) correction to Anders' reply above: Action Lists syncs with Toodledo at both start up and closing so that Action Lists and Toodledo are always in sync.

@Anders: Let me know if you ever get around to writing that review and I'll hook you up with a promo code for Action Lists. No strings attached, just give it a fair shake. You can contact me through my website: http://software.dazeend.org


This message was edited Jun 15, 2009.
Jake

Toodledo Admin
Posted: Jun 16, 2009
Score: 1



Posted by c.e.perry:
If you decide that GTD is not for you, I can't recommend highly enough the Toddledo developed iPhone app. It's a really good general purpose app and, let's face it, will always feature the tightest integration with the Toodledo webapp.


And it will get even tighter with the next update which is in Apple's hands right now :)


This message was edited Jun 16, 2009.
Anders

Posted: Jun 16, 2009
Score: 0



Posted by c.e.perry:
One (slight) correction to Anders' reply above: Action Lists syncs with Toodledo at both start up and closing so that Action Lists and Toodledo are always in sync.

Thanks for setting me straight. I did not know Action Lists did that. It's a handy feature, and I don't know why more apps don't do that.

Posted by Toodledo:
And it will get even tighter with the next update which is in Apple's hands right now :)

I'm really excited to see what cool stuff is in store with this Toodledo app update. Apple is really backed up I believe. Many app submissions no doubt with OS 3.0 coming out, and new app approval dropped off significantly during WWDC, but hopefully it won't take them too long.

Also, just as an update to my above post, I just saw this morning that MyTasks light, after many months of stagnancy has finally released an update, but it appears that it no longer syncs with Toodledo. It seems that is now reserved for their yet to be released Professional version. Too bad for their loyal customers who bought Light, all 5 of them ;)

~Anders


This message was edited Jun 16, 2009.
TheGriff

Posted: Jun 16, 2009
Score: 0



Posted by c.e.perry:
Action Lists author here, so keep that in mind as I offer my opinions...


Just a quick comment as to why I'm not using Action Lists. I agree it's a good app to use for GTD on the iPhone but I don't like the way it forces you to use the Toodledo website where I spend most of my GTD time.

Specifically I wish AL used the task/subtask method for projects as that, to me, is the best method to manage projects on the website.

Do with that input as you will but I thought it might be helpful to know why one potential customer didn't purchase the app.
c.e.perry

Posted: Jun 16, 2009
Score: 0



@TheGriff: Thanks for the feedback. Out of curiosity, what is it you don't like about the model of GTD project as Toodledo folder?

This message was edited Jun 16, 2009.
Proximo

Posted: Jun 22, 2009
Score: 0



Posted by c.e.perry:
@TheGriff: Thanks for the feedback. Out of curiosity, what is it you don't like about the model of GTD project as Toodledo folder?


This is a topic that has been covered extensively on these forums. Toodledo is used in many different ways by it's users due to it's flexibility and that is a good thing.

I personally don't feel that Folders should be used for Project for many reasons. Folders to me and some others are good for Areas of focus. "Work", "Home", etc.

Just to point out one issue with using folders as projects for me is that I do not want to separate my task between two list. If I have a Work Folder that contains all my work related task, I don't want a folder that contains different list related to work projects.

I want to manage it all under one area of focus. In GTD, not everything is a project, but only those task which require multiple steps to complete. Using subtask has an advantage here because I can manage my projects while keeping them in the same area of focus (list).

The reason I don't like having one master list in Toodledo for all my task is simple. Context become useless at this point. @Phone would show me all my task that require a phone call for Work and Home. If I am at work, I don't care about anything related to my Home. Again, this is why having different areas of focus is nice and folders are perfect for this.

I can go on and on, but this is just a quick thought on this topic. I honestly suggest you read through the forums for some other examples on both fronts.

I am not saying that folders are wrong for managing project, but there are usually two camps of Toodledo users. Those who use folders for projects and those who use folders for areas of focus with subtask to manage projects.

From my experience, the toodledo community is made up of sharp and friendly individuals who respect each others opinions.

Toodledo is in the process of improving or implementing a better way to manage actual projects.
TheGriff

Posted: Jun 22, 2009
Score: 0



Posted by c.e.perry:
@TheGriff: Thanks for the feedback. Out of curiosity, what is it you don't like about the model of GTD project as Toodledo folder?


It's the time it takes to create a folder for one. I also like using folders for my individual clients as I'm a consultant. It's nice being able to see all projects and tasks for one client in a view. When that client is done I can archive the folder.

Sure I could use tags for part of this but tags aren't a consistent thing since they have no management.

Lastly the way folders are displayed is less than ideal compared to Project (parent) tasks.
Proximo

Posted: Jun 23, 2009
Score: 0



Posted by TheGriff:
Posted by c.e.perry:
@TheGriff: Thanks for the feedback. Out of curiosity, what is it you don't like about the model of GTD project as Toodledo folder?


It's the time it takes to create a folder for one. I also like using folders for my individual clients as I'm a consultant. It's nice being able to see all projects and tasks for one client in a view. When that client is done I can archive the folder.

Sure I could use tags for part of this but tags aren't a consistent thing since they have no management.

Lastly the way folders are displayed is less than ideal compared to Project (parent) tasks.


TheGriff,

Another great example on the flexibility of Toodledo. In your situation, I still see the folders as an Area of Focus. For you it's a client. For me it's Home, Work and my personal Business.

Thanks for sharing.
KatBoy

Posted: Jun 24, 2009
Score: 0



I bought PI when iPhone app first became available, heeding advice on this forum that it would need a few upgrades before it became really useful. Every new release, though, does something weird to my data - this week's update deleted over 100 items. :-(

So I'll stick with the official ToodleDo app - and trying to be very patient... eagerly awaiting Apple's approval of the update.
svsmailus

Posted: Jun 26, 2009
Score: 1



Hi All,

I've been a GTD user for a long time. Personally I think Toodledo is a great site, but misses some of the core GTD stuff.

I use a number of GTD iPhone Apps. By far Todo is the best for me as it's intuitive, a pleasure to use and not to many sub windows. Todo also supports sub tasks irrespective of whether you have a toodledo pro account. By-the way the sub task of the pro account is a real let down. To be really effective you need to be able to create sub tasks of sub tasks. This is especially important for big projects Todo does not have this feature either).

I also use a Mac and Omnifocus is well worth a look. However, the Omnifocus iPhone app is fairly useless without the desktop app. I find ToDo is the one I'm constantly coming back to and rapidly finding helpful.

One other caveat with Todo is the notebook app that integrates really well with Todo. there's even an app called Short Hand that allows you to create shortcut so for example if you type 'adr' it will replace it with a multi-line address. You can then export this straight to notebook or Todo. It simply means that if you're out and about you can actually enter in lots of text using your iPhone. Beware however that Short Hand has a few bugs that need fixing before I'd buy it.
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