We’re human. We plan. We execute our plans. How well we plan and execute has a bearing on how well we do in life. For Mac users, Apple gives us plenty of built-in tools. iCal alone is worthy of use for events and to-do items.
But life can be a little more complex than iCal. That requires a look at other tools; the kind that handle to-do items, tasks, plans, and projects. There’s no shortage of those on the Mac.
Plans, Actions, And Clutter, Oh My!
Mac apps usually tend to fall into two groups. Those that get it; intuitive, quickly useful, capable. And those that become complex and difficult; in a hurry to do too much.
Hot Plan is a Mac planning tool that falls in between the two. Here’s the threshold. If iCal isn’t enough, take a look at Hot Plan’s Plans and Actions.
Plans organize and classify Actions (think of Actions as a to-do item; one of many within a Plan or project).
Each Plan tracks details of the Actions so you end up with appropriate stats and status. Every Action can be edited and it’s easy to attach information you need to each one.
Set a target date for an Action and Hot Plan will give you notice when it’s due. If you prefer, each Action can also be tracked in iCal, which makes it easier to keep track while on the go. The most difficult aspect of Hot Plan is the interface.
If you’re busy, it doesn’t take long for your list to look like this.
It’s not as bad as it looks (click on the image above for a larger, more detailed pop up version).
Plans are displayed in the left Sidebar. Details for each are displayed in the middle area. The slider lets you determine what percentage of an Action is complete.
Click on any Action and details you need are displayed in the right Sidebar. Notes about the Action item are displayed below. What Hot Plan can do represents an extensive list.
- Unlimited number of Plans
- Unlimited number of Actions
- Add attributes to each Action
- Lock Plans and Actions
- Filter Actions
- Attach files, links, email to Actions
- Attach bookmarks and notes to Actions
- Set notifications for target dates
- Export Plans for backup or sharing
- Export and import Action notes
- Set keyboard hotkeys
- View statistics for Plan status
- Display completion level for Plans and Actions
- Print Plans and Actions
- Pop up calendar adds dates with a click
- Send Plans via email with a click
- Quick entry window for new Actions
- Synchronize Actions with iCal
- Add Mail messages as links and actions
Without question, that’s a healthy list of features for what amounts to a to-do list manager on performance enhancing drugs.
The only real problem with Hot Plan is the visual complexity.
If you’re a seriously busy Mac user, it will show up in a long and growing list of Plans and Actions.
For less money you may find the 9 Ways This Cheap And Easy Mac Day Planner Is Best. And, there’s The Cheap Way To Manage Tasks On The Mac, iPhone, Cloud.