One of our customers, Chris Engelsma (Director of Distance Learning) has sent us his review of Swift To-Do List, sharing his personal opinion about why is Swift To-Do List better than all the web-based task managers. That’s a very interesting topic, because we’ve already explained on numerous occasions why is Swift To-Do List better than other desktop task managers, but not why is it better than web-based task organizers. Many of our customers have sent us their excited testimonials, but Chris goes into detail in his review and has a very refreshing perspective. So, read below what Chris thinks!
Update on 2/5/2012: Another of our customers, Darryl Benjamin, has sent us his detailed review of Swift To-Do List.
I’ve been using Swift To-Do List now for about a month. Here are my reactions:
First, and most important, there is no replacement for using a desktop app. I have used so many web-based solutions that I think I can say this with some expertise. Web-based apps have one major advantage and that is the ability to access from anywhere there is internet access. That is an advantage. There is no question about that, but the advantages end there. A desktop app is so much snappier to use than a web-based app. Swift To-Do List sits right in my system tray. When I need it, I hit Ctrl-S and it snaps open instantly. When I used a web-based app for task management, I had to keep a browser always open. Even then, the web-based app was never as snappy as a desktop client. There simply is no alternative to using a desktop app if speed and efficiency are important.
Second, it is becoming increasingly clear to me that I am much more efficient when I use my keyboard than when I use my mouse. The beauty of Swift To-Do List is that I can control it almost entirely with my keyboard. It may sound trifling but lifting my hands from the keyboard to the mouse and back again is a time waster. With Swift To-Do List, I can hit Ctrl-A, the software opens instantly with the “add task” window open. I add my task(s), hit the escape key (which minimizes Swift To-Do List to the system tray), and I am back to work. The longer I use this, the more efficient and quick I become.
Third, I’ve noticed that many web-based solutions have tons of different ways of adding a task. This used to impress me. I would set up the chrome extension, the Firefox extension, adding tasks by IM, by mobile phone, etc. etc. Then one day it occurred to me….I have never used those input methods. So…..if I haven’t used them, what good are they? It’s so much easier to snap open Swift To-Do List with a keystroke, enter my task, and hit escape. Done. Like lightning.
Fourth, most task managers today come with some kind of reminder tool. The problem is that web-based reminders only work when you have a browser window open to your task program. Even Google calendar only sends you reminders if it is open. I have missed important reminders because I didn’t have the browser window open. Swift To-Do List, on the contrary, starts when my computer starts up. So it is always there in my system tray. It’s out of the way but never idle. Every reminder comes through exactly the way I set it up.
Fifth, there is simply no web app that has the number of features that Swift To-Do List does. Furthermore, even if there was a web app that had all these features, it certainly doesn’t give you the ability to customize like Swift To-Do List does. Frankly, I don’t need many of these features. Fine. I just disable them, and I never see them. If you need them, fine. Activate them. They are there if you need them. Hidden if you don’t. This makes for a lean, mean to-do list that does exactly what you need it to and no more.
Finally, the most obvious thing, that I never understood until I started using Swift To-Do List, is the necessity in any effective task manager of having the ability to type memos or notes. With other apps, I got frustrated the longer I used it because my list of todo items got longer and longer. Out of a list of ten items, only one or two would be things that I actually had to do. The problem was that I was calling everything a to-do when it was really just a memo to myself. With Swift To-Do List, I am asked with every task…..is this a memo or a task? A task is an action item that has a set due date. A memo is just a piece of information that you want to keep track of or a task that you intend to do “someday”. I feel like an idiot….but I never understood this until I started using Swift To-Do List. Now when I open my to-do list in the morning, I see the things I actually need to DO and not all the things I am trying to REMEMBER. There is a big difference.
At any rate, I look forward to using Swift To-Do List in the future and seeing what new features the developers have in store for us.
- Chris Engelsma, Director