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I’m not a big fan of scheduling apps, and to be honest I haven’t had much to schedule until recently. I’m hopeless at remembering birthdays, and sticking notices on my whiteboard achieves nothing. I actually email myself sometimes, treating my inbox as a to-do list. I think Due might have just solved all my problems though. Read on to see if it will solve yours.
Due is $9.99 on the Mac app store; and $4.99 on iOS. They sync using iCloud or Dropbox. Don’t just take my word for it though – the iOS app currently has an average 4.5 star rating with from 250 people. The versions are slightly different in terms of features though, so I’ll highlight where they differ.
Natural Language Interface
The most stunning part of the app for me is the natural language components – I find entering events onto iCal quite tedious. With Due, you can type in your events without choosing specific dates or days. Here’s some examples that worked flawlessly for me:
- Cancel Amazon Prime on December 15th
- Editorial meeting tuesday 4:15
- Record technophilia monday 10pm
This feature is in both the desktop and iOS versions, but works slightly different on the mobile app – instead of automatically parsing the date, you’ll need to tap the title bar to initiate the function. This was perhaps in response to user feedback, but it feels a little disjointed when using both desktop and mobile apps.
The mobile app also contains 4 configurable quick time buttons, to reduce the amount of time spent with those spinners.
If you don’t check off an item as soon as it’s due, it’ll default to reminding you every minute on your phone, or every 5 minutes on your desktop. These are configurable; however the iPhone app is limited to 1 minute, 1 hour, or 1 day due to developer restrictions on repeating notifications.
On the iOS app, there’s a number of quick ways to deal with due items. The clock (actually, it looks like a pie chart) icon will delay it for 10 minutes; the hourglass will remind you again in an hour; while the calendar will push it back a day until the same time tomorrow. It’s a superb system that will be adequate for rescheduling most of the time.
Sadly, these quick icons aren’t available on the desktop version, which is odd since it’s more expensive. Hopefully this will be rectified in future updates.
If however you need to change the reminder to a specific date, simply double tap on iOS or double click on the desktop to open up the full edit screen.
The Task View
I love lists, and I appreciate the fact that Due displays events in a list format, and not as a calendar. This won’t suit everyone though; if you prefer a full calendar view, then look elsewhere.
One unique feature is the logbook, an archive of completed reminders. With two taps, you can ‘recycle’ these back to your main task list. I haven’t found a use case for this personally yet, but I’m sure some of you will.
Swipe on any event to bring up the share options and quickly email or message a reminder to someone; the link will only work if they have Due installed. It would be nice to include .ics files for users with traditional calendar apps though, as Due won’t be to everyone’s taste.
Again, this is curiously absent from the desktop, as if desktop users didn’t need to share events. I hope this is fixed. Integrating with upcoming iMessage would be nice, too.
The app has a built-in timer function, but rather than needing to reset the timer, the app will save them for future use. You can then re-start these saved timers with a single click (or skewmorphic toggle switch on the iOS app). It’s beautifully simple, and if you find yourself timing more than a few things each week, it’s going to really save you time. You can also run multiple timers simultaneously.
Due is superb, and for people like myself it’s a perfect match – I may actually remember things now. It hides a rich amount of unique functionality behinds its simplistic exterior. That said, it is a little on the pricey side, and although it’s an incredibly polished and simplistic package overall, it could do with a few tweaks – similar feature set across devices, standardised event sharing as well as Due specific links, that kind of thing. The developer is listening to feedback though, and has made numerous and timely updates. This is certainly one to keep an eye on.