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Old 05-08-2008, 10:16 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Review: E-Mobile Tasks

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I have very simple needs in a ToDo/Tasks application: I want to be able to easy add ToDo items, sort them in different ways, and easily see what I have due today and in the next few days. Recurring tasks is also a must have.

The built-in Tasks application is, well, poor. It does the basics (and even handles recurring, although not "redo," tasks). But there's no way to see the due dates for tasks, which makes it a killer.

I went to PocketDay because it displayed tasks, along with due dates. That alone was worth it to me. The fact that it does so much else was dessert.

But there's something about it (namely the inability to filter and resort in different ways) that isn't working for me.

I came from using a Palm device and found that I liked the way that Iambic's Agendus (which hasn't yet been released for the BB) and Pimlico's DateBk5 handled tasks.

So, I've been looking at other Task/ToDo tools.

I came across E-Mobile's Tasks application. Hard to miss, since the company has been spamming all over the place claiming that this is a revolutionary piece of software.

Alas, no trial. But the company promises money back, so I went ahead and paid the $15.

What I found was a remarkably poor product. I asked for a refund within minutes of making the purchase.

What is it?

It's a standalone Tasks application that allows you to view your tasks (in the standard BB Tasks database) either by category, by status, by due date, or by priority. Each of these "views" uses a tree control. So, for example, the "due date" view includes an expandable node for each date that something is due (with a final node for "other" undated tasks).

The views also include icons to indicate priority (color coded stars), status (color coded rectangles), due date (a "calendar" icon showing that there is a due date, but it doesn't say WHAT the date is), and whether or not the task is recurring.

You can add new tasks, edit tasks, and mark tasks complete/not complete.

That's it. It doesn't do anything else.

So, except for having the 4 views and the tree control, it doesn't do anything that the built-in application doesn't do. In fact, it lacks some features from the built-in application, such as the ability to hide and purge completed tasks. Yes, that's right, completed tasks ALWAYS show in E-Mobile Tasks (albeit crossed out) and you can't hide them.

The icons are attractive, but you can't pick the colors. For me, their choice of colors does NOT help me know the priority of a task. And, while I appreciate the "status" icons, the use of color only is a weak alternative to the built-in application's use of differing icons.

You can't configure anything. You're stuck with their choice of colors, their choice of fonts. They take up a good chuck of the top of the screen with their logo and the application name.

You can't see the due date of a task (my big want) unless you're in the Due Date view. And that's hard to use, since every day is different node.

There's no indicator that a task is overdue. Or, if there is, it's clearly not obvious enough for me.

It can be cumbersome to use, requiring multiple pushes of the trackball to accomplish simple things like marking something complete. There are no keyboard shortcuts.

On the plus side, recurring tasks seem to work. Which is one thing that PocketDay cannot do (this is a known PD issue, the developer says, because of a bug in RIM's API). However, I didn't put it through the paces to confirm that it really did work.

On the plus side, the company responds to e-mails quickly. I send several e-mails yesterday, pre-purchase and they were all responded to within minutes. My request for a refund was responded to within 30 minutes and they approved the refund (through Handango) quickly.

In the end, they took the build-in app, stripped out a few functions, and added a poorly implemented tree control. Reminds me more of a homework assignment for a high school computer programming class than a commercial product.

I wrote to the company with the above concerns and they said they'd pass along to the developers.

We'll see if they can improve the product. Until then, I cannot recommend than anyone waste money or time on this product. From what I've heard, some of their other products are the same: a good start, but FAR from being quality and value added products that are worth money.

The fact that they don't give free trial? With software this weak, I can see why.

Not a bad start, but they should be embarrassed to have released this claiming that it's worth money. Even more embarrassed that they've been hawking this product as being the first tree-based task product for the BB. Untrue, as ToDo Matrix has been around a long time.

P.S. I've tried ToDo Matrix and I find that it's too complicated to be effective, at least for my needs. But after E-Mobile's tool, maybe I should take another look....
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Old 05-09-2008, 11:11 AM   #2 (permalink)
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todomatrix can be a handfull. once you work with it for a while it becomes real easy. good luck
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Old 05-09-2008, 11:35 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tj13 View Post
todomatrix can be a handfull. once you work with it for a while it becomes real easy. good luck
Thanks. I'm actually trying it now. It does seem to be very good, but I can't help but feel that it makes me take several steps to do some things that I'd want to quickly do. In the next week, as I become more used to it, perhaps this concern will go down.

Of course, price is also a factor. At $60, it has to be REALLY useful, not simply a minor improvement over what I currently use (PocketDay and built-in).
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Old 05-09-2008, 04:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
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i use it for work and occasional personal stuff. for work to drop an email into a task and have an alert set up is so quick-the search is great- the drawer/folder means everything has a place. i do not use the "life planning" aspect of it, i simply keep track of many to-dos. i am in commercial real estate and i have hundreds of tasks to follow up.did you check the website and the forums? another plus is the online backup and the customer service is great too. i am slowly switching everything from outlook to this....and i do not work for them!! i just found a product the actually works...once you get over the learning curve.....
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