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A powerful take management application is the best way to stay on top of your to-dos and projects, and 2Do is one of the most robust cross-platform organisers for Mac ($39.99), iOS ($9.99) and Android ($6.99).

2Do includes numerous ways to input and manage tasks, sub-tasks, projects and checklists which it syncs between platforms using either Dropbox, Toodledo or CalDAV. If $40 seems a bit steep for the desktop version, you can download 14-day trial to try before you buy.

Populating & Organizing 2Do

2Do packs in lots of features that, depending on your previous experience with task management applications, will require some learning and organization in order to fit your needs and workflow. You’ll definitely want to download the PDF manual that’s available for the Mac version.

Guided Ways designed 2Do to be a clean attractive application, while also providing multiple ways to manage tasks. In a general sense, the app is useful for managing your daily to-dos, long-range projects and routine tasks. In addition to adding tasks (by clicking the plus “+” button) within the application, you can enable the Quick Entry feature for adding tasks using a hotkey from within any application, even when 2Do is the background or is closed. You can also assign new entry to a list or project, which is discussed in the next section.

This is great for adding quick reminders, and ideas and tasks for current projects. There’s also a similar AppleScript hack for clipping a selected email in Mail and adding it as a task.

2Do quick entry

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In addition to adding a start and due date for a task, alarms, notes, tags, image and text files can be added to task items. I particularly like the recurring tasks feature that includes an “after completion” setting, which is great for tasks that don’t need a specific date, such as a reminder to get tires rotated. After you mark the task as done, it automatically sets a new date based on the frequency you assign.

2Do after completion

2Do includes many ways to filter tasks and projects, but you’re most likely to be staring at all your current, scheduled and completed topics.

You can select how long completed tasks should remain visible in 2Do. I chose 1 week, because it helps me remember that a task was indeed completed, and serves as a motivator for getting things done. It would be great if specific after-completion times could be set for individual projects instead the same setting applying to all tasks.

2Do overview

The pop-up calendar in 2Do is also useful for clicking on specific dates and viewing tasks, and you can drag and drop tasks onto a date in the calendar to set the due date.

Managing List and Projects

The sidebar of 2Do consists of top level folders for selecting and viewing all your to-dos, scheduled, starred, and completed items, and it is where you can add lists, groups, and smart lists — each of which are essentially folders to manage projects, sub-tasks, and checklists.

2Do_sidebar

Color coded list folders are best used to add tasks, sub-tasks, and checklists in a hierarchy where items can be re-ordered and updated. I created lists for single subjects to-dos, e.g. things to buy, car repairs, bills that need to be paid and online and magazine subscriptions.

2Do_folders

 

You can also group all of your current projects into one group list folder. So you might create one group list for home and personal related lists, and another group for work related lists.

2Do_home_list

Project folders, which are distinguished by a brown briefcase icon can include sub-task items that can be prioritized and include due dates, notes, tags, and alarms.

2Do_Projects

Wisely, Guided Ways also built in a feature for converting one or more tasks (by right-clicking on them) into list items, checklists, individual projects, and vice-versa. However, if you convert sub-tasks into a checklist, and they exist in a group or project folder, those checklist items will also be added to the sidebar. If you don’t want checklist items to be placed in the sidebar, be sure they are added to a list folder instead of a group or project folder.

2Do convert

For managing projects and tasks, 2Do also includes smart folders based on dynamic searches. This is useful for filtering, for example, items according date range (e.g. next three days), attached notes, a priority level, or checklists.

2Do smart folders

The Mac version of 2Do also includes notifications support, quick look of tasks, password protection of individual tasks or the entire app, and the ability to print lists.

Feel free to experiment with how to organize groups and lists, for 2Do allows you to undo changes, and you can even restore from a backup file if you need be.

iOS Version

Guided Ways is still working on the iOS 7 redesign of it iOS apps, but the universal mobile app is worth the extra price if you need it. The iOS 7 redesign will be rolled out as a free update once ready.

I was particularly surprised how powerful and feature rich the item input process is in the iOS app. While you can add quick entries without details, there are settings for quickly selecting the task type, list, start and due dates, and attaching one or more actions (e.g. call, visit, search) to an item. Unfortunately these actions don’t sync with the Mac OS X version.

2Do actions

The user interface in the iOS version is fairly easy to use, but you will need to spend some time in the preferences area in order to personalise it to your tastes, such as how you want to receive notifications.

The location alarm offers a few more options than those found in Apple’s location-based alarms How to Set Up Location Alerts in iPhone Reminders How to Set Up Location Alerts in iPhone Reminders Set location-based alerts using the iOS Reminders app and never forget to buy bread or pick up a package ever again. Read More . In 2Do you can add more than one location alarm to a task, and in the settings area you can select the maximum distance for how far away from designated locations you want to be notified.

2Do location

I personally found it easier to add locations from my contacts list, instead of using the in-app map search. Unfortunately there’s no PDF manual for iOS 2Do. Instead, you’ll have to use the support page to learn more about the features in the app.

Worth the Investment

Is 2Do the best task management application for Mac and iOS? Well, it’s certainly up against stiff competition with other task management apps, like the recently released OmniFocus 2, and the popular Things app, the latter of which 2Do resembles closely.

For the price and wide variety of features and settings (more than Things provides), 2Do is well worth downloading the trial version and spending some time learning more about what it has to offer. Let us know what you think of 2Do and what features you would like to see added or changed.

Download: 2Do for Mac ($39.99) / iOS ($9.99) / Android ($6.99)

  1. Dejan
    February 10, 2015 at 2:21 am

    Whenever I open 2do it stics with calendar. How do I go back to the home screen, so i could start to follow your instructions?

    • Bakari Chavanu
      February 19, 2015 at 4:33 am

      Dean, I'm sorry, I'm not sure what you're referring to. Try writing the developers and see what they say. I look the app's preferences, but I don't see anything to change that setting.

  2. OGenius
    June 21, 2014 at 8:53 am

    And here is the proper link to the FAQ:
    http://2doapp.com/kb/

  3. OGenius
    June 21, 2014 at 8:51 am

    H @Bakari, hello @toml, we at Mac Aficionados have been using this amazing app for more than 3 years, both on iPhone, iPad and Mac.
    Actually you do have a tutorial once you start the app for the first time on all platforms.
    If you missed it maybe you should bookmark this page:
    http://www.2doapp.com/category/tips-tricks/
    ;)

    • Bakari Chavanu
      June 22, 2014 at 8:16 pm

      OGenius, thanks for the link. Unfortunately I discovered that page after writing the article. It might also be useful to produce a video tutorial for using the app. It's not that 2Do is very difficult to use, but there are features that some users might not intuitive.

  4. toml
    June 10, 2014 at 10:19 pm

    bought this app for my iphone, much regret that I can hardly use it as there is no ready instruction to help me make good use of it. just don't have the time to do trial n error game on an app supposed to help me more productive.

    • Bakari Chavanu
      June 11, 2014 at 12:39 am

      Toml, you're correct, it's unfortunate that they have not written a manual for the iOS apps. Were you at least able to create lists (notebook folders) and actions in the app?

  5. Ellen L
    June 10, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    I've used 2Do for several years now, both on my Mac and mobile devices. Although there are a few bugs and idiosyncrasies, it is powerful and simple (once you configure and master it). The absolute best feature - from an Apple user's perspective - is that it syncs with native Reminders on all my devices. That means that I don't have to set up another account; any task I add in 2Do syncs to my calendars and Fantastical; and I can use Siri to add tasks. The limitations are that "Actions" are not supported in the MacOS version and Checklist items sync as single items since Reminders does not support checklists (e.g., if I make a grocery list) . I also don't like the user interface in the iOS version, but that is cosmetic.

    • Bakari Chavanu
      June 10, 2014 at 5:15 pm

      Ellen, thanks for letting us know about the other 2Do features. I haven't used it in connection with Reminders yet, and so I'll definitely check that out. I do use the location aware feature which works well for me.

  6. Raphael
    June 10, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    Been using 2Do for about a year now on my samsung S3, and its very feature rich. I have tried many to-do list apps on android and tried to leave 2do lots of times but I always went back because it could do almost everything. 2do is a great task manager but the gui isn't my style, I wish they would fix the user interface and make it eye appealing like most IOS apps. It is possible to change themes in 2do but only the top ribbon changes color. Overall 2do is a great task manager and if you like the style then you will enjoy it a lot.

    • Bakari Chavanu
      June 10, 2014 at 4:32 pm

      Raphael, thanks for your feedback. I agree, that the user interface is a bit crowded, especially when compared to the new OmniFocus 2. But I'm sticking with 2Do because of its features, and my because of my familiarity with the program. It's too much money to switch now. I think the developers are working on an iOS update of 2Do. So we'll see.

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