Astrid Task is an open source, simple todo list app on the Market, and is by far the most popular with over two million users. It focuses mainly on ‘social productivity’, making your tasks available to other people – for example, it allows you to assign tasks to colleagues for a specific project.
Let’s have a look at what this intelligent and user friendly todo list app has to offer.
First RunThe first run of Astrid mainly acquaints you with the app’s purpose and usage with easy-to-understand illustrations. Tapping the opening screen (shown above) directs you to the main screen, i.e. the default todo list, which has further instructions on how to add the Astrid Task widget to your homescreen and how to set up sync with an Astrid.com account.
User InterfaceThe UI is pretty sleek and minimalistic and has only the bare necessary things. When you open the main app, you see a list of all your active tasks (from all lists). Each task has a color-code on its left, which shows the importance of the task; it also shows you any associated deadlines or notes
To add a new task, just tap the box at the bottom, type your task, and tap the + button. It will be instantly added with the ‘New Task Defaults’ options, which can be changed in the settings.
ListsLists in let you organise your tasks, so that you can group similar tasks. This makes searching for your tasks very simple and easy.
SharingAs stated above, Astrid Task lets you create a ‘social todo list’, which means that you can share your tasks and distribute your workload with colleagues, your spouse, and so on.
In order to share a task with someone, long-press the task and choose to edit it. In the ‘Share’ tab, add people you want to share this task with and also choose who this task is assigned to. Similarly, you can share your lists as well.
The people you share your tasks with have full editing rights to the shared tasks, and have the ability to change things like due date and importance. But – just to be on the safe side – all the activity is logged.
SyncingAstrid Task has three options for syncing:
- Google Tasks
The best solution if you will only be using Astrid for managing your tasks.
Integrates really well with Gmail and Google Calendar
Great as a corporate solution and has a great UI. Plain and intuitive to use.
Syncing with any of them is pretty easy. Hit the Menu button on your phone and you will see a ‘Sync’ option; tap it and it will start syncing. If you aren’t logged in or signed up, just go the Settings and scroll to the bottom. There, you can choose which service you want to sync with. Tapping any one of them would take you to the sign up/in page.
For me Google Tasks does the trick because I would like to see my tasks in my Gmail. Astrid Task used to support Remember the Milk but does not any more.
ThemesThe number of themes is limited to just two, but it’s better than having no choice at all (as with most other apps in the same field). Astrid also has the option to use the wallpaper you have already set on your phone.
WidgetAstrid does have a widget, but I personally don’t feel that it delivers the same quality as the rest of the app.
Firstly, no matter how much room you assign to the widget, it will always show a 2×3 box which only shows the first two or three words of any task, which gets pretty annoying. Secondly, crossing out a completed task is not possible in the widget.
Other than that, it’s a great way to see your pending tasks on your homescreen without actually running the app itself every time. It’s also better in landscape mode.
Time ManagementAstrid Task puts a great deal of stress on time management. It has an built-in timer and also lets you assign how much time a task will take. It helps in saving you from procrastination by periodically notifying you about your tasks with funny motivational bits.
Power Pack and Add OnsAstrid Task also has paid a ‘Power Pack’ which provides useful features, including:
- Bigger widgets
- Adding tasks by voice
- Astrid reading out your task as reminders
There’s also a Locale Plugin, which reminds you of tasks based on your location – like reminding you to renew your membership when you are at the gym etc.
You can get both of these add ons from the Market or the Astrid Store
With a simple yet effective interface and considerate developers, I find Astrid Task to be the best todo list app I have ever used. They even have an old version which you can use if you still want Remember The Milk integration, though that version is no longer supported and obviously has less features. But even without the RTM integration, it still does a superb job at syncing with other services. Task management was never as fun as it is with Astrid.