iPhone Life magazine

From the Gray Side: Errands To-Do List

David Mandell created Errands To-Do List (free)and it’s a winner! He also developed my favorite app, Alarmed - Reminders and Timers (free)I really liked that app, so I felt I would like Errands. I do. Everything I wrote about Alarmed applies to Errands also: It's simple to use, efficient in carrying out its purpose, and filled with just the right features. It is the simplest and most user-friendly task manager I have used. It may lack some of the glitz and glitter of other task managers, but it compensates by being very inclusive and surprisingly sophisticated.

FOCUS ERRANDS CALENDAR VIEW

The app is loaded with low-key but very important features: custom-titled task folders, colourful icons that trigger memory, multilevel aural alerts, practical checklists, and easy task repetition. On the more sophisticated side: it offers multiple task views — an informative calendar, an All Tasks list, and a Focus view that displays a summary of high priority tasks currently due/recently overdue, each view a mere click away.

Extensive customization is available: colorization, task iconizing, folder titling, priority highlighting, fonts variation, and personalization of alerts to name just a few. Modify more things: star tasks, repeat selected ones, insert explanatory notes and edit posted entries.

The power and effectiveness of this app are enhanced by the variety of available customizations and the wide assortment of dynamic task views. The app manages your tasks your way and it does so simply, easily and effectively.

A user manual may be redundant because the app is so intuitive but one is included within the app.

Created in 2009, the app may be, like me, a senior citizen, but it stands out in the crowd of its peers. Mandell emphasizes, “It is a solid tool for managing tasks just as it stands. Adding more bells and whistles to the app would not improve it substantially.” He is right. It is debatable whether other task managers with more vigorous features such as photo or audio data entry are significantly better at task-management. Some users may feel these entry methods are essential. I beg to differ, as the question becomes “Am I looking for a note-making tool or a task-listing one?” Errands To-Do List is the epitome of the latter group.

How I use Errands

FOLDERSThough you may prefer to use Errands in other ways, here is an example of how I use the app, whicherrands folder richard may help to demonstrate its easy simplicity and powerful effectiveness.

Create folders for your major task groups, as many as you think you will need. Then, in each folder, create the necessary and related tasks. In my example, I have a folder named "Home" for the things I need to do at home. Note the handy way the "Home" folder displays its number of tasks. Clicking on the folder displays what those tasks are with a detail line supplementing the title and the assigned due date. It's clear, concise, and comprehensive. One could not ask for more.

Errands has a useful backup feature saving backups to the iCloud from which users can access earlier saved versions of their errands/task should they wish to restore a previously saved backup or enter one to another device. This syncing feature is clean, fast, and straightforward. Some may lament the lack of Dropbox or Evernote connectivity but Mandell is of the “Keep it simple” school, which is ideal for those of us on the “gray side.” We like our apps to be easy to learn and simple to use. Like Alarmed, Errands fits the bill perfectly with its short and shallow learning curve, especially if you already use Alarmed. In short, Errands is almost as simple to use as pressing the “+” and adding a task title. With a bit of exploration, a user can modify many aspects of assigned tasks: priority, due date, alerts, repetition, and clarifying notes, each with but a few clicks.

There is a multitude of task managers out there, some of questionable value, others quite good. Errands To-Do List ranks near the top of the good ones. In my eyes, it should be your go-to task manager.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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Richard Szpin's picture
Richard Szpin's BMW has become the WWW. His motorcycling passion has taken him from central Canada to Newfoundland, Vancouver, Martha’s Vineyard, Deal’s Gap, North Carolina, and New Orleans. He has ridden to many great north American cities and written about it. Now he rides the web and is learning to blog about his adventures at www.szpin.ca