App Review: Dropkick

Like my note-taking system, I’ve grown dissatisfied with my to-dos/task management on my Mac and iOS devices.

OmniFocus & Things

I’ve had OmniFocus on my iPhone and iPad for a while now, but as I’ve said before, I don’t like it. OmniFocus is incredibly powerful, but I don’t enjoy using it. The app feels cold and utilitarian, and every time it reminds me to do something, I resent it a little more. Too bad, because I love the icon.

Contrary to the typical story of “Apple nerd switches from Things to OmniFocus and loves it”, I’ve been contemplating the opposite transition. Things seems to be much simpler and more friendly than OmniFocus, but Cultured Code has received much criticism for taking years to implement cloud sync, which has only recently reached public beta. I’m sure it won’t be in beta forever, but I’m reluctant to invest in any app that isn’t consistently updated, and right now Things’ release cycle feels too sporadic for my liking. Those who love Things love it with a passion, and I hope cloud sync comes out of beta soon. I really want to try it, but I don’t feel it’s time yet.

I Have Needs

But how many?

OmniFocus is feature-laden, and while you can use as many or as few as you’d like, I can’t help but think I don’t need such a professional grade task manager. Hence, my leaning toward Things.

While I’m a proponent of GTD, I’m not at a point in my life where I need to manage multiple projects, meetings, and deadlines.

The modesty of my task management needs has led me to Dropkick, upon Federico Viticci’s recommendation.

Enter Dropkick

Dropkick is a to-do list app that syncs across all of your devices.

And that’s pretty much it.

The app is very minimal and monochrome. (If you ask me, it could use some color and personality.) It has no preferences. The icon is decent.

Dropkick lets you add lists, tasks, and nothing else. What really stands out, though, is its cloud sync. Using a free Dropkick account, your lists and tasks are synced very quickly across all devices within seconds.

One slight annoyance is that there’s no quick input on the Mac version. You have to switch to the app, bring the window to focus, and hit CMD + N. It’s not bad, but it does create a bit of friction when you want to quickly add a to-do.

I don’t have much else to say about Dropkick. It does one thing well. The apps are free for up to ten tasks at a time, and in-app purchases grant you unlimited tasks. You can buy the entire suite for $12, which is exponentially less than Things or OmniFocus.

As I try out Dropkick, I find myself wondering if it strikes the right balance between features and simplicity. OmniFocus is too intense, but Dropkick might be too sparse. If all you’re looking for is a way to sync to-dos between devices, though, Dropkick is inexpensive, fast, and reliable.

Check it out.

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