Task Management Apps

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by rweiser, Apr 18, 2013.

  1. rweiser macrumors newbie

    Jun 22, 2010
    Hi! I'm looking for a task management app to help my wife and me manage our household a little better.
    Here's what I'm looking for:

    - Native apps for both Mac OS X and iOS, with syncing between them. I want native, and not web-based, because:
    - I want to be notified of important events/tasks using Notification Center (Mac OS X and iOS), not e-mails
    - I want to be able to leave the app open on my Mac to see what tasks await me, and not have it get lost in a sea of browser tabs
    - Ability to assign tasks to others
    - Ability to set a due date and, presumably, a reminder
    - Subtasks would be helpful, but not critical
    - Assuming the best app for me isn't free, I'd much rather pay a one-time fee for the app(s), rather than a monthly fee for a service

    We're just running a family, not a multimillion dollar corporation, We don't need the best, most expensive tools out there. I just need a good way to have a to do list of all the bills I need to pay, or for my wife to assign me the task of calling the gardener.

    Thanks in advance,
  2. jojoba macrumors 68000

    Dec 9, 2011
    I use OmniFocus, which I think is the most feature rich task management app for mac and iOS. I've written about it here. They're about to update to a new version which looks like it has an improved interface.

    Your other main alternative is Things, but I'm not sure it does notifications.

    If you google 'omnifocus vs things' you'll find a couple of good comparative reviews.
  3. James Craner macrumors 68000

    James Craner

    Sep 13, 2002
    Bristol, UK
    OmniFocus is a very powerful App, and has a great companion iOS App as well. If you and your wife can share the same database, then you can assign tasks a context which is way you could separate your separate tasks between your selves, however you would be sharing the same data file and would also see the other persons tasks as well.
  4. lankox macrumors regular

    Jul 5, 2007
  5. kgs macrumors regular

    Jul 29, 2012
    I don't suggest sharing the same data.

    I do this:

    * Contexts
    ** People
    *** Person 1
    *** Person 2
    *** Person 3
    ** Waiting (Set to waiting)
    *** Person 1 (Set to waiting)
    *** Person 2 (Set to waiting)
    *** Person 3 (Set to waiting)

    If I need to actively do something with a person, it gets put under People : Person

    If I am waiting for something from someone, it gets put under Waiting : Person.

    This, along with the waiting status/context in OmniFocus allows me to tell where a task stands.

    I still have to inform a person about their end of the bargain, but in my mind, they don't need to know that i use a task management tool, nor should they be forced to use mine. This is why "Sharing" and "delegation" aren't as important to me. I'm not going to force someone to use my system. All they need to do is their part of what I ask and to tell me they did it and then I can do my part and organize it in my system.
  6. James Craner macrumors 68000

    James Craner

    Sep 13, 2002
    Bristol, UK
    I did think of that, but from the OP original request he gave the impression that we wanted an App that both he and his wife could use to manage their own tasks as well as automatically adding tasks to the other persons task list, or at the last having shared tasks lists like shopping list.

    lankox suggested Wunderlist, I have only used it briefly, and it is a simpler task manager, but I believe it can be used to share tasks lists with other users. The company developing it, is also working on a groupware version of Wunderlist as well.
  7. ScottNWDW macrumors 65816


    Jul 10, 2008
    Orlando, Florida
    Another vote here for OmniFocus. It is a little pricey, but in the long run well worth the money paid for the app. I use it on my Mac, iPad, iPhone and iPad mini and it works flawlessly.

    Take the time to learn it and customize it to your liking and you won't regret the price. I learned a lot in the beginning by watching the videos on the developers website.
  8. rweiser thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 22, 2010
    Thanks, everyone, for the really helpful feedback.

    Omnifocus seems pricier than I was anticipating ($80 + $20 for iPhone [+ $40 for iPad, though we may not opt for that]). I also don't see mention of Mac OS X notifications on the product page, and the ability to assign tasks seems more like a hack/workaround than a feature.

    Things doesn't seem to have task assignment or notifications.

    Wunderlist is good, but doesn't have the ability to assign tasks. The Pro version will have that, but that will cost us $90/year.

    Flow seems to have everything we want, but would be even more expensive.

    Asana is great feature-wise, but has no native Mac client.

    Todoist lacks the assigning feature, while Wedoist lacks the native apps.

    Checking out Nozbe now. We'll see if that's any better.

    Thanks again to all,
  9. jojoba macrumors 68000

    Dec 9, 2011
    Not sure if this is what you mean by task assignments, but in Things you can organise your to do-s either in projects or by tags, or both.
  10. ScottNWDW, Apr 23, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2013

    ScottNWDW macrumors 65816


    Jul 10, 2008
    Orlando, Florida
    Have you looked at ToDo Pro from Appigo?

    I agree that the price of OmniFocus is a little steep, but in the end it is well worth the price. Also they are working on a major update of the Mac version which should be out sometime later this year.
  11. rweiser thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 22, 2010
    I don't see any mention of assigning tasks to others in the OmniFocus 2 features list.

    ToDo Pro looks like it might be good, but...

    I just found Producteev (http://producteev.com) which seems to meet all my requirements, and as an added bonus, is free for teams of two or less.

    Thanks again for all your help, everyone!
  12. AllergyDoc macrumors 65816


    Mar 17, 2013
    Utah, USA
    Wunderlist is a slick app, but we recently dumped it. Too many big annoyances. It has sublists, which I liked, but they were difficult to edit and could only be edited on the Mac app. You can share lists but I don't know about assigning them.

    We use Astrid now. The iPhone and iPad apps are free. It doesn't have a Mac app (I think it was originally made for Android) but you can sign on to the web app and it works fine. You can:

    • Assign tasks
    • Share lists such as shopping lists
    • It has a great voice-assisted function that works better than Siri

    The apps are pretty slick and were just updated. Free is a good price, too, for a family task management app.
  13. CharlieBrandt09 macrumors 6502


    Feb 28, 2012
    Southern NJ
    I am in the exact same position. I'm looking into this too.

    I want something for a new job I got where I can assign people to tasks/projects from my iMac, iPhone, or iPad. The people on the tasks would likely only have browser access, though.
  14. ProductivePal macrumors newbie

    Jun 2, 2013
    I use OmniFocus

    OmniFocus is my weapon of choice. It's global system access from the Mac (via a keyboard shortcut) and it's accessibility across all my devices makes it an absolute no brainer for me when i comes to implementing the GTD approach
  15. CylonGlitch macrumors 68030


    Jul 7, 2009
    I have a similar dilemma. I need a task management app, but from a contracting stand point. I have a dozen or so different projects I work on; what I want is something to track the time I'm on each project. I would hope OmniFocus could do this but I can't see to make it do it.

    I had one that ran in the toolbar that I could just drop down and change tasks on the fly and the timer would start and keep track of how much time I put on each of the tasks. It was great but really buggy and kept crashing, losing time, and reordering things. :(

    Any one have an idea for that?
  16. spacepower7 macrumors 68000

    May 6, 2004
    Ignore prices. Ignore features. Focus on what could work best for you. Whatever works best for you will will pay for itself in productivity within a week.

    It's about what engages you and helps you get things done.

    It's about interface too, which app do you enjoy opening VS avoid.
  17. rhett7660 macrumors G4


    Jan 9, 2008
    Sunny, Southern California
    Have you looked at reminders?

    You can create a tab for each person, assign them the task under each tab? You can set up reminders for each task etc.

    I created a couple of tabs:

    One for me (for me to add to)
    One for my wife (for her to add to)
    Wife Todo (for me to add things to)
    Me Todo (for her to add things to do)
    etc for each family member.
    One for each store we go to (shopping list)

    Syncs across all devices.

    Only draw back is that you will need the same iTunes account
  18. jsgreen macrumors 6502

    Nov 27, 2007
    Thought I'd chime in with another vote for Omnifocus...expensive, yes, but (at least for me) the price is well worth it.

    I also recommend not sharing data in a todo list - but OF does have a functionality called MailDrop, where a task is emailed to an address unique to you, and shows up on your task list (so your wife could email "call the gardener" and it would automatically show up in your task Inbox).

    The only todo list I have outside of Omnifocus are a grocery list app which does sync between all our family's devices...for this we use the "Buy Me a Pie" app and it works really well.

Share This Page