My search for a tasks+notes app
March 29th, 2011 by ravi

I have been searching for an app that lets me quickly write notes that also double as tasks – and therefore could use a due date/time and reminder alarm. There is the built-in “todo” capability in OS X iCal, but not only does it sport a terrible UI, it is also dismal at syncing across computers (this feat can be accomplished, as far as I know, only by the hack of storing such Todos on an IMAP server). Below is a summary of my quirky search for such a tool. Quirky because the authors of these apps could justifiably object that their app is being unfairly evaluated here. For example, Day One is a journal application, not a note-taking app, much less a task manager. At the same time, there are candidates, like JustNotes, that have a reasonable claim to appear on any such list. But nevertheless, here they are:

  • MyTaskNotes: Mac notes and tasks app
  • Evernote: multi-platform note manager
  • Wunderlist: multi-platform task manager with sharing
  • Notificant: multi-system notification for Mac and web
  • Day One: daily journal app for Mac and iPhone
  • 2Do: an iPhone task manager with sync to OSX/Windows

If there is one criteria that I have clearly applied in selecting the apps, it is that they cost $15 or less. And all of them are to my eyes winsome, aesthetically. And so, here are my findings, for whatever they are worth:

MyTaskNotes EverNote Wunderlist Notificant Day One 2Do
Cost $15 Ads/Monthly Free $5 $11 $7
Reminder (date/time) Yes No Only date, no alarm Yes No Yes
Sync Yes/Dropbox Yes Yes Yes Yes/Dropbox iCal/other
Mac app Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No/iCal
iPhone app No Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Web app No Yes Yes Yes No No
Windows app No Yes Yes No No No/Outlook
Notes Yes Yes Yes No Yes No
Formatting Yes:Markdown! Yes No No No N/A
Quick entry Yes Yes No Yes Yes No
Collaboration No Yes($$) Yes/Multiple No No Yes
Trial Yes Yes N/A No No Lite

Closing Thoughts

As noted, this note might be a bit too idiosyncratic and thus of no general use. Each of these apps has particular strengths that might match your needs.

Wunderlist leaves the rest in the dust, should you yearn for a cross-platform (Mac, Windows, Web) task manager with collaboration capabilities. But it does not support due time (only date) or reminders/alarms. And perhaps because it uses Titanium Appcelerator to achieve cross-platform capability, it does not offer such standard options as an OS X menu bar icon, requiring instead that the app be minimised to the dock.

Evernote has few competitors for complex cross-platform note management but it’s support of task lists is limited to the ability to insert check-off buttons in notes.

MyTaskNotes is a splendid OS X app with such subtle delights as support for Markdown and Dropbox based syncing. But there is no iPhone app… yet. The same – lack of iPhone app – is the case for the lovely Notificant.

Me, I am waiting to see what sort of iPhone app comes from the maker of MyTaskNotes.

One Response  
  • Mojtaba Cazi writes:

    Hey Ravi,
    Where are you ?! I need your help.
    I want to add page numbers in button of my blog instead of “Older post” button, any suggestion? I use pagenavi plugin but it generate huge CPU usage on server, then I install another plugin but I can’t integrate it to your awesome theme.

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