GoTasks (for iPad) review

Task-management apps are a dime a dozen, though it's hard to find one that has the special feature  you just happen to need. If integration with Google Tasks is what you're after, GoTasks is a suitable free option. If you need collaborative features or integration with other services, however, look elsewhere.
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Mobile task-management apps are a dime a dozen, though it can be tough to find the one that has a single special feature you need. If integration with Google Tasks or Google Apps is what you’re after, then GoTasks for iPad (free) is a perfectly capable solution. A clean interface, good customization options, and mostly intuitive controls keep this app simple and useful. You won’t find collaborative features or integration options with other services, like Evernote or Dropbox.

Like most task-management apps, GoTasks lets you separate your to-do items into different projects or “lists,” which you can color code. So, for example, you could have a Project A list show up as blue, a Project B list assigned to pink, and a Project C list showing in green. The coloring is subtle, showing up as a single strip to the left of each task, and as a bullet point to the left of the list name.

When you first download GoTasks, you can connect it to a Google account to integrate it with Google Tasks, which requires an Internet connection, or you can skip that aspect altogether and use GoTasks independently and offline. Or both. It’s entirely possible to keep some lists in your Gmail Tasks “account” and others in your GoTasks account. Within the app, you can view those accounts together or separately, and moving between the various viewing options is straightforward and simple.

(If you’ve never used Google Tasks, it’s  hidden within Gmail. In the upper left corner of Gmail, just above the Compose button, you’ll find a down-facing triangle. Click that to get to Tasks. It’ll pop up in the lower right, similar to a Gmail chat box.)

As you add tasks, set deadline and alert reminders on them, rearrange them, or sort them according to name or due date, the majority of the features work well and are simple to learn. A few guidelines for using appear when you first fire it up, listed as tasks that you can delete once you’ve learned the ropes. The only feature I found highly unintuitive was nesting tasks as sub-tasks. I had to go to the developer’s website to learn how it works. As it turns out, you first have to make sure your tasks are sorted “manually,” and then order the tasks so that the subtasks are below the parent task. Then you can gently swipe the task beneath the parent to the right, and it will turn into a sub-task. I wasted some time trying to drag and drop child tasks onto a parent only to feel very frustrated that it didn’t work. Drag-and-drop seemed like the way to go seeing as that’s the operation you use to manually sort tasks.

Sometimes, in the process of writing in new tasks and hitting “Next,” you’ll create a task that’s blank, and GoTasks saves it, which I wish it wouldn’t do. This isn’t the first time I’ve seen a task-management app save empty tasks (Google Keep used to exhibit a similar problem, though it seems to have been fixed), but it’s a flaw that should be corrected.

GoTasks doesn’t have any collaboration features or integration with services other than Google. Awesome Note ($3.99) for iPhone and iPad integrates with both Evernote and Google Drive. It’s an app I’ve personally used for quite some time for my personal and work to-do lists. For collaboration, Asana is the way to go. Asana is also free for up to 30 people, and while there is an Asana iPhone app (free) and Android app, there’s no dedicated iPad app. The Asana website does work in Safari on an iPad, however, so you can get around the issue of not having a dedicated iPad app that way.

For collaboration, I highly recommend Asana for task-management. For solo use, it all depends on the key features you need. I like how Awesome Note integrates with Evernote and Dropbox, but there are many great ones with other features. Any.do, for example, syncs effortlessly between its iPhone app, Android app, and Chrome plug-in. Todoist, Remember the Milk, Reminders, and Microsoft OneNote are all great options depending on what you need. But if you’re a Google Task user, give GoTasks a whirl. 


Verdict
Task-management apps are a dime a dozen, though it's hard to find one that has the special feature  you just happen to need. If integration with Google Tasks is what you're after, GoTasks is a suitable free option. If you need collaborative features or integration with other services, however, look elsewhere.
Published under license from Ziff Davis, Inc., New York, All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc