One of our never ending tasks at Mac360 is to check out new apps, try new ways to use Mac, iPhone, and iPad, knowing that whatever we use ourselves, or would recommend to others, comes with an inherent risk (customer support for the boss comes to mind).
This week I’ve been using SmartDay. Think of it as a synchronizing cross platform utility that integrates Calendar, Notes, Reminders, and a Project management app all in one. It’s a flexible tool that can expand beyond the basic apps Apple gives you, but mashes together all the functionality into a single app.
To Do, Or Do More
SmartDay is familiar because it’s calendar based, but it mashes up the functions which most of us embed into Calendar events. There are Tasks, Notes, and Projects (and note that projects are made up of a series of tasks) that can also pull information from Calendar to get you started.
The Mac version thrives on point and click and drag and drop. Take notes and drop them into the calendar. Link a note to a follow up task or calendar event. Simple items like shopping lists get refreshed with every change or addition. Easily view everything from the Mac, or use iPhone and iPad, or– and this is very handy– view your SmartDay items in any browser window connected to the internet with the online version.
SmartDay collapses on screen to take up less screen real estate, and Tasks, Notes, and Projects are all tabbed items so everything you need to view is visible in a single, flexible, easily moved window.
For Mac users, SmartDay is accessed through the Menubar with a click. In minimalist view, the calendar displays Focus, Month, and Day calendars with tasks. A keystroke will dock SmartDay to the Mac’s screen, left or right. The fold-out list view displays all Tasks, Notes, and Projects.
Checklists can be dropped into notes. Any item on the calendar can have a note with a click. Busy days have a visible heat map color change so you know trouble is brewing ahead. Otherwise, all the components are laid out, easy to view, easy to understand, but with more functionality than meets the eye.
For example, alerts have a snooze button. Time zones are automatic. Projects– which are full of tasks– are visible with percentage completed. Maybe this is a right brain left brain thing, but I find it somewhat comforting to have a single app do what as many as four apps would normally be needed to handle tasks, notes, projects, and calendar.
I just setup the iPhone version and it syncs quickly with the Mac setup.
Yes. There’s a bit of a learning curve because SmartDay pulls in multiple app functions into a single interface so it can get visually crowded. If you don’t mind that, it’s easy enough to start slowly with a task and a calendar event, then move multiple tasks into a project. Another issue of concern is the disparity between reviews on Mac App Store and iTunes App Store. They’re mixed. Some love SmartDay, others have issues. Notably, most of the negative issues are for older versions and I installed it just this past weekend so haven’t encountered the same problems from the past.