Review of Wunderlist by 6wunderkinder
A beautiful free task list manager named Wunderlist has been released. While many will find this app useful, there are a few limitations that are serious enough to prevent it’s use for getting things done.
After reading David Allen's book, Getting Things Done (GTD), I used the palm pilot to manage my todo lists as described in his methodology. Times have changed, I now use an iPhone (sorry Palm), and I run a web development business with multiple clients. Essentially I have been looking for a product that will meet the following criteria:
- Have a mac desktop version (or very responsive web interface)
- Have an iOS version (or a responsive mobile web interface)
- Have just enough features that it saves time instead of taking time to manage.
I've tried using Things and OmniFocus to be my end-all software solution, not quite being happy with either. Today I stumbled across Wunderlist, and was immediately excited. Not only does this have a beautiful interface (best one yet), but also has a very simplified set of features, while still providing a perfect syncing solution, and the great price of free.
As I just mentioned, the syncing over the internet is a huge deal. I can type things into my mac, and they'll sinc to my iPhone automatically. I can also be working on my home computer, and have my tasks instantly show up when I get home from the office. The interface is also amazingly beautiful:
I can view tasks by when they are due, which projects they belong to, what I've already done, and even star some as "important". At first glance, it seemed like everything I would ever need for GTD management.
After spending about an hour loading content into this system, I noticed a pretty big flaw. My intended use for this tool is to load in items, and be able to quickly glance at the upcoming dates and see what I have scheduled. When I set some due dates for the next 7 days, and navigated to the "Next 7 Days" view, I was presented with this screen:
First of all, the dates are listed in reverse chronological order. This is the opposite of what I need to see. I need to know what is upcoming, not what is the furthest task away from now. Secondly, there is no indication of which projects each of these items belong to. If I only had 1 project going on, that would be fine, but these todo items are actually from three different projects. The only way I would know that is to click on the appropriate folder until I found which one they lived in.
As soon as I realized this, I knew that I immediately had to stop using the program. While I could probably use a work-around like inserting the name of the project in every todo, that just simply is too much repetitive work. Also, the ideal view would be to separate those tasks by day under a header, like the day of the week as the header, and the tasks listed under it.
Wunderlist is a free product, and one of the most beautiful ones at that. If you want simple list management that has integrated sync with a free iOS (Android coming soon) application, then go ahead and try it out. If you, like me, need something that can handle more complex list needs in an intuitive way, then this might not be for you.
For now, I'm going to stick with Cultured Code's Things application, which has a beautiful desktop version that does everything that I need and more, but is a little on the expensive side for what it is, and still doesn't have cloud syncing yet, so I can't reliably sync it with my iPhone on the go, nor view my list at home without using a virtual desktop to login to my work computer.
How do you handle your task list management? Any suggestions?
Take heart! With any luck, OTA syncing will be here soon for Things. They've posted a couple of blog entries about that recently. I'm in the same boat as you about Wunderlist, I just can't use it how I want without a lot of extra workarounds.