DropTask A Visual Todo List for iOS App Review

droptaskLike many software developers, I typically have a myriad of tasks and to-do’s on my list each day – and, from time to time, I find it difficult to manage all of those tasks. Couple that with having kids and a home to take care of and things can get pretty overwhelming… As a result, I’m always looking for some kind of tool to help me manage my day-to-day activities.
I’ve tried several of the “To-Do” list applications out there, but generally find myself just using either iOS Reminders or Google Docs to maintain my list instead of the app. However, I did recently try an app that caught my interest and has stood out from the rest: DropTask.

DropTask is an iOS application that is accompanied by a rich-Web application to give you easier, more time-optimized control over what day-to-day activities you need to complete. You can either build projects and tasks from within the iOS application or through the Web interface – a nice feature because it gives you the flexibility to organize conveniently from whichever device is most accessible to you. I can’t tell you how convenient it is be able to start my Monday morning off setting up projects and tasks from my desktop – but then being able to later modify those tasks or add new ones from the mobile app.

With a seamless Google integration, your options for team collaboration and assignments become convenient and fluid. You can log into the app using your primary Google account to add people from your Gmail contacts directly to the application; this feature enables you to easily manage and assign tasks to other individuals, bolstering collaboration efforts. The app also offers integrations with your Google Calendar and Google Drive, so attaching documents and sending your daily activities to your calendar become part of this rich user experience.

Integration tools aside, the thing that most made DropTask stand out from the rest is the excellently designed Graphical User Interface. Within a project, you can create Groups which are represented by circles. You can then easily drag a new task in and out of these circles with a lovely Drag and Drop interface. As you click on each task, you are provided with a task navigator that allows you to manipulate data relative to the tasks such as:

  1. Due Dates
  2. Assign Resources
  3. Set Priorities
  4. Upload files directly from your Dropbox, Google Drive, or your Desktop
  5. Create subtasks
  6. Add Comments
  7. Add Tags
  8. Set Task Priority


By using this feature to easily manipulate tasks and groups of tasks, I found that I could quickly set up my to-do list for the entire week – and it only took me a matter of minutes.

Once I had created my set of tasks for the week, I then opened the app on my phone to find that everything immediately synchronizes to the iOS application; this on-the-fly synchronization meant that I could access and use my To-Do list wherever and whenever I needed it.

As far as negatives go, the only thing I would mention is that the iPhone and iPad apps require separate purchases and the fact that I couldn’t use them universally across all my devices was a bit troublesome. Also, I really believe that the application should allow you to schedule start and end times for each of the tasks, sending push notifications when the task is about to start; having to manually manage the state of the tasks was a bit cumbersome and, because there is no reminder or prompt, I found it a bit too easy to forget to mark a task as In Progress or Completed.

All in all, I find this to be an excellent Time Management Application that really has proven to be quite helpful with managing all of the items that I have to do in any given day. I found it easy to use and the uniquely designed user interface made for efficient management of my daily tasks. I would definitely recommend DropTask for any users who find themselves relying on Reminders, Google Calendar, and Spreadsheets to manage their day-to-day activities.

Mail Pilot for Mac Review

MailPilot is a new email client that was initially released on iOS following a highly successful Kickstarter campaign. Although the app launched with high hopes and promises, the iOS version has, unfortunately, been plagued with numerous bugs and quirks that have yet to be fixed as of this writing. To MailPilot’s benefit, the app developer does seem to be actively working towards bringing the iOS app into stability, as I have seen a steady set of releases since its launch.

Looking past the iOS version, MailPilot recently released a Mac version – and, being ever on the hunt for the best email client, I jumped at the opportunity to try it out.

Spoiler alert: Mail Pilot is just a fast, and clean email client. Review done.

In all seriousness, Mail Pilot, like its iOS counterpart, is a subtle shift in how one handles email. It goes the way of other mail clients, like Mailbox and Boxer, in that you organize when you answer. The client works almost like a reminder for email and it does so quickly; besides the now defunct Sparrow Mail, I haven’t encountered any mail client for Mac that works as quickly. The initial launch of the app on your device and initial indexing does take the typical required period of time, but after that it’s smooth sailing.


Now, let’s go over some of the functionality… One of my favorite Mail Pilot features is the straightforward approach to individual emails – four keyboard shortcuts get you a long way. (spacebar: deletes, S: sets aside an email, R: schedules for a later date, L: add to a list)

This easy-to-use feature allows me to stream through my email quickly and efficiently. I can think about my email as a task or a communication that needs to be accomplished so that I can then determine when in my schedule to address the issue.

For example, when I receive a work email over a non-working weekend, I can tell Mail Pilot to prompt me on Monday to address the email or, if it’s a non-essential email, like something I want to read later that day, I can set it aside, and review my “asides” at my own convenience (excellent for those subscription emails or news website alerts).

Lists are nothing fancy at the moment, but they are essentially folders (or labels) that I can use to organize my email. The only issue with them is you can actually remove email from them when you complete (archive) an email – so lists are more of a temporary device and should be thought of more as “to-do” folders than an actual filing system.

Of note, lists do remove the emails from your account view, but not from the inbox view. I’ve used them for projects that we are working on and have found this feature helpful in organizing and prioritizing – I simply use the lists to store any emails containing information I want easily accessible and then, once the project is over, I move them all to complete and delete the list.

Biggest issues

The search is perhaps Mail Pilot’s biggest fault; rarely have I been able to find the email I need with the search function. It’s sluggish at best and often takes a significant length of time versus searching on gmail itself. Overall, it’s a bit of a quirky search that doesn’t always work as expected – but recently, I have noticed an improvement.

I tested the app all through the beta and search has improved immensely over the course of Mail Pilot’s development; however it’s definitely not as fast or responsive as I’d like. I’m hoping they will work on improving the search functionality in the coming months.

My other major issue with it is the lack of options. For example, I really want to change the default highlight color (red). I understand that red is the color of their app icon, but it’s definitely not a soothing or aesthetically pleasing color to be faced with when you are diving into tackling your daily email. Just allow us to tweak that color already! And some more preferences (default fonts, font sizes, etc.) in general would be welcome improvements.

The verdict

Overall, Mail Pilot has some promise and handy features, but the app has a ways to go until it truly takes off. Like I said, it’s a quick, clean email client – but as it currently stands, that’s about it.