TODO - Mac & Touch/iPhone?

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Sun Dec 13, 2009 5:13 pm Post

Any thoughts on the best application/app to run on (and sync between) the Mac and Touch/iPhone platforms?


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Sun Dec 13, 2009 7:05 pm Post

Depends on what you want to do; can you provide more details?

For the PDA aspects of life (mail, addresses, calendar), the sync provided by iTunes works fine.

If you mean writing, probably WriteRoom is a good bet. Personally, I don't like tapping out text on the iPhone, even with a stylus. A new app, Dan Bricklin's Note Taker, lets you write with a finger and it translates that into mini-letters, but not as machine-readable type.

I'm waiting to see if the Apple tablet materializes and what sort of OS and apps it supports. If it's a giant iPhone/iPod Touch, it may still have a decent keyboard on which to type.

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Sun Dec 13, 2009 7:16 pm Post

I'm looking for a TODO list manager, with categories, but don't really need full-bore GTD.

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Sun Dec 13, 2009 11:36 pm Post

Try Carbonfin Outliner — I got it on special offer at GBP 0.99; it's normally 2.99 I believe. If all you're wanting is to make lists, it should work well for you ... straightforward to use with different hierarchical levels. Exports to OPML through their website, though I haven't tried that, as, for some stupid reason — i.e. leaving it to a computer with a list of words, or something — is blocked by the Great Firewall of China, whereas is not! But I guess that works. If others on this forum see this, they can advise on that.

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Mon Dec 14, 2009 6:36 am Post

I've been using Reqall. It's awesome and (with the pro version) it's got push notification, so it beeps on your sleeping iPhone with reminders, as well as emailing. I've tried quite a few others (aNote, Evernote and another one I can't remember), but I've settled on Reqall (even if they can't spell). I don't know if it works on a Touch though...

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Mon Dec 14, 2009 10:08 am Post

Anyone using Things?

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Mon Dec 14, 2009 12:15 pm Post

I use things, both on the Mac and on the iPhone.

It's great for making reminders on the move and syncing back. I also like the mac client's quick entry feature, I use regularly when I am in full screen mode in scrivener, realise I need to change something in another chapter, use the short-cut key to add a todo for it, and back to writing without breaking my flow.

The interface easy use, it uses the inbox method for organise todo's and then you can send to projects. For example you might create a project called 'Chapter 1 Rewrites' and so forth.


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Mon Dec 14, 2009 2:42 pm Post

I use things currently as well. I've got my eye on 2do for the iPhone though. Very nice and syncs with iCal.

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Mon Dec 14, 2009 3:47 pm Post

I use 2Do on my iPhone. I use Hit List on my Mac, which syncs with iCal, which then syncs with 2Do on the iPhone, so everything stays organized.

I love the layout of 2Do, especially the ability to tab through your various calendars/categories so you can focus on one set of tasks at a time or see an overview of everything.

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Mon Dec 14, 2009 6:54 pm Post

I tried Things and Hit List, but recently got hooked by the concept of Task Paper. I found it to be exactly what I was a looking for. A companion iPhone/touch app is in development.

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Sat Dec 26, 2009 5:22 am Post

Typo is right. You might want to keep your options open for TaskPaper for the iPhone when it comes out. Its developer, Jesse of Hog Baby Software, is the same guy who developed WriteRoom for Macs and for the iPhone. He and Keith have cooperated in the past to make their products work together. Both have a knack for creating very useful software with clever user interfaces. Apparently, TaskPaper for the iPhone is now his top priority.

You can find details about the current state of TaskPaper for the iPhone at the developer's blog:

and a specific description at: ... ne-preview

There's also a video demo at:

The video left me impressed with just how easy and intuitive it is to use. I don't have the limited-circulation beta, but from that video it strikes me as ideal for creating and playing around with a book outline or a novel plot. Rearranging and adding new text is quite easy.

Like WriteRoom, there should be a SimpleText website synching mechanism that allows you to edit those outlines (two way) on a Mac or an iPhone/touch. Since Scrivener imports outlines formatted in OPML, hopefully TaskPaper (or its webpage) will have OPML export. And since Scrivener already imports (via that SimpleText website) from WriteRoom, we just may see TaskPaper importing built in too. The one lack is actual synching between WriteRoom or TaskPaper on an iPhone/touch and the equivalent applications on a Mac with each working with the same synched files. If I understand the developer right, that will come when he has time, but for the present Mac editing is done on the web site.


That said, if what you want is a to do list with the ability to check off tasks, you might want to look at Carbonfin Outliner as xiamenese suggested. Using it is a bit more formal, adding a new entry for instance, requires calling up a new window, adding the entry there, and then returning to the outline, but it is handy for to-do and shopping lists. It also syncs with a website and from that website you can export a multi-level outline in OPML that Scrivener can read. (I tested that.) The multi-level means you can break the outline into scenes within chapters, for instance, and have the chapter and scene levels preserved on import into the binder. That can save a lot of time.

For those who're using or thinking about using an iPhone/touch for writing, there's a discussion at:


Feel free to contribute your ideas.

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Sat Dec 26, 2009 9:10 pm Post

michpen wrote:Anyone using Things?

I use Things both on my Mac and my Touch. It's been very fast and stable, with a clean interface.

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Sat Feb 13, 2010 2:51 am Post

TaskPaper for the iPhone was just released. You can find it at: ... 40092?mt=8

I downloaded a copy and it's smoother and more natural to use than any other outline/to-do app I've seen on an iPhone. It also synchs via a password protected website with TaskPaper on a Mac.

--Mike Perry

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Mon Feb 15, 2010 9:33 am Post

I personally prefer OmniFocus, but have previously tried Appigo todo which has a menubar app that syncs between your iCal todos and the iPhone app. It seemed to work pretty well, but OmniFocus rocks - it's my number 1 iPhone app.