This summer is my last summer before I head off to study maths at University. I really want to make the most of it before I have to leave everything I'm comfortable with and head into the big wide world. To help me make the most of things, I use to-do lists. It is very satisfying to each day cross off all of the things that I wanted to achieve. To make the to-do lists, I downloaded an app.
I recently got a new phone for my birthday. I've never had a smart phone before, so I'm still getting used to it. My favourite thing about smart phones is that there is an app for almost anything you can imagine, including to-do lists. The one I downloaded is called Astrid Task. I'm not going to lie, I only picked it because it was free, it was at the top of the page, and it had a red octopus thing as its logo. However, I'm glad I did, and here's why.
1. This little dude is so cute. He pops up with little motivational messages such as "I like it when you are productive!" when you tick off tasks. He sends you reminders when you have a time set on a task, and sends one at 6pm (although you can choose the time) for each task without a due time that hasn't yet been completed. For me, having a cute mascot just makes it that bit more fun, so it is less of a chore.
2. You can access the app on Android, iPhone or online (astrid.com). I have an Android phone, my sister has an iPhone, and my mum has a
brick phone that isn't a smart phone, so we can all get to the app one way or other. My sister actually downloaded the app after I showed it to her. She wanted the motivational octopus too! My mum was a bit upset that her phone can't download apps because she wants it too, so I imagine she'll be very happy when she finds out you can get it online too!
3. You can share tasks with other people. I admit I haven't yet tried this, I'm still playing round with the app to find out what it can do, but I imagine it will come in handy when organising events, such as the writing club I've recently joined with my sisters. We will be able to make sure we all know when it is on and what we need to have done before we go to the next meeting.
4. The layout is simple. I like things that aren't overly complicated. A clear layout is important for ease of use. Astrid task has a clear layout, with tasks set out in a list, different colours for different levels of priority of tasks, a check box to tick off tasks that you have completed, and different styles of check boxes depending on the type of task (e.g. a recurring task). The recurring task feature is useful for something you want to do every day, or every other day for example, because you don't have to set up the task every single time, it is done automatically.
5. There is a widget available that you can put on your phone homepage. It allows easy access to the tasks you have set up for the day as well as allowing you to create new tasks quickly.
There is a lot more to this app. For example you can organise tasks into lists, add notes or comments onto tasks, sync lists to Astrid.com, Google Tasks or Producteev, and not to mention the added features when you buy the premium version of the app. Like I said before, I'm still exploring the app, but I am very much liking what I've found so far. Who wouldn't want a motivational red octopus to congratulate them on completing things really?
Part of my to-do list for the writing club is to complete a summer blog challenge. I want to write (at least) one blog post a week. I can tick that off for this week now.