Wednesday, 25 September 2019

Consumer Demand is Key

I’ve just updated my iPhone iOS to the latest version.  One of the developer’s claims is that it makes the built-in “Reminders” (To Do List) function more user-friendly.  Frankly, I don’t see it.

I’ve been using a third-party app to manage my To Do lists Body ever since I switched from a PC to a Mac.  Microsoft’s Outlook was, in my opinion, one of the best To Do list managers I’d ever encountered, and I miss it!  Microsoft do include it in their Office for Mac Suite, but synchronisation is almost non-existent.  The problem with using third-party To Do list apps on an Apple device is that they rely on synchronising through Apple’s Reminders app.  The reason I use third-party To Do list apps is that they allow me much more flexibility, in particular to:
  • Allocate start AND end dates to tasks;
  • Sort To Do lists by start date, due date, priority, etc;
  •  Build To Do lists either by “category” (e.g. “Business”, “Personal”) or by when they’re scheduled (e.g. Today, next 7 days, etc);
  • Set tasks as “repeating” or “recurring” (i.e. to repeat at regular intervals);
  • Build “Smart Lists” based on what I need (e.g. Today, next 7 days, etc).
Apple’s Reminders are simply a list of tasks that need to be done with the ability to:
  • Prioritise;
  • Set an alarm to say when they’re due;
  • Aggregate lists into groups (useful for project management?);
  • Sort by category (e.g. “Business”, “Personal”) 
  • Synchronise across my desktop, tablet and smartphone;
  • Functionality for sorting start date, due date, priority, etc is limited.
Depending on the user, this may be all that is required.  I would love it if Apple could develop a To Do list that worked for me (and, I’m sure countless others like me).  Many of us don’t manage our lives on a “just-in-time” basis, and with some tasks one needs to be able to set a time period lasting a number of days (particularly for lower-priority tasks that should be done, for example “sometime next week”.

There are a lot of Task Managers or To Do Apps out there, but what is key is user experience.  For me, a “good” Task Manager app will allow me to:
  • Create custom lists by group;
  • Create “Smart Lists” based on my own criteria; 
  • Set start and end dates;
  • Prioritise;
  • Set recurring tasks;
  • Set alarms for particular tasks;
  • Add notes to a task to remind me why it’s being done, or what I need to remember while doing it;
  • Synchronise across my desktop, tablet and smartphone.
We always need to be thinking about our product or service: 
  • Is it doing what users want?
  • Could we do it better?
  • Is it available at the right time, place and price?
  • Can we fix it if it goes wrong?
  • What will they want in the future? 
If the answer to any of these questions is “No”, how do we fix it?

I have spent more than half my life delivering change in different world markets from the most developed to “emerging” economies. With more than 20 years in international financial services around the world running different operations and lending businesses, I started my own Consultancy to provide solutions for improving performance, productivity and risk management.  I work with individuals, small businesses, charities, quoted companies and academic institutions across the world. An international speaker, trainer, author and fund-raiser, I can be contacted by email. My website  provides a full picture of my portfolio of services.  For strategic questions that you should be asking yourself, follow me at @wkm610.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home