Far be it from me to question the business model of a free app trying to gain traction in a category that’s already overrun with free and inexpensive to-do apps, but that’s Task Coach. It’s a free, multi-platform, Open Source to-do manager that does what most do not.
Tasks Within Tasks
A simple to-do list is merely a list of whatever you want to get done. A task manager app lets you add tasks to create a project, and that brings in more complexity.
Unlike a simple list of things to do, projects have timelines, and embedded tasks, and due dates, and tracking, and budgets.
All those extra requirements mean complexity grows, and with complexity comes less usage. Task Coach is a bit different.
First, it won’t cost you anything. It’s free and Open Source, runs on Macs and Windows PCs, and there’s even an iOS version for iPhone and iPad.
Second, Task Coach is friendly enough to get you started with nothing more than a simple to-do list. Setup a task, add a brief description, then set the planned start date.
Task Coach appears more complex than it truly is.
The Toolbar gives you all the basic options you’ll need. Create a simple project with multiple tasks the same way as you create a task. The secret is in the hierarchy. Tasks are color coded so you can see which ones are active, late, overdue, or completed.
The iPhone and iPad version is equally simple and straightforward to setup and use.
While Task Coach for Mac and Windows PC is free and Open Source, the iOS version is not (though nominally priced at 99-cents). Overall, the Mac version works well, though is as ugly as any Windows-based app could be. The iOS version is buggy and only allows synchronization through a local network (iCloud or Dropbox would be a better, though slightly less secure option).