Doozy, The Todo List App That Does More [Review]

Tracking

Doozy is a todo app for iOS with a difference. It’s not about lists, it’s about organizing your stuff visually. Although it’s more complicated than many of its rivals, it’s also somewhat more powerful, and offers some task tracking and monitoring features we’ve never seen anywhere else.

It’s a calendar, task manager, data tracker and much, much more. All the things you need to remember – whether they’re appointments, todos, reminders, RSS feeds you have to check, whatever – are shown in a grid of customizable icons.

An icon can be a simple reminder (it doesn’t even have to do anything, simply be a visual aide-memoire), with optional lists or notes attached. It can have an associated alarm, that goes off once or on a repeat cycle.

Or it can be something more complicated. For example, one of the event types available is called Amount. You can set this up to recur every day, so every day there will be an icon on your daily grid that you can tap and enter a figure into – say, the amount you spent that day. (It’s easy to attach an alarm to this item, so you are always reminded to fill it in.)

Types

Doozy tracks these amounts over time, and if you flip your iPhone to horizontal view, it will show you graphs. So as well as tracking your appointments and your todos, Doozy can also track the things you do frequently and show you progress. Amounts don’t have to be money, either. You could record how long you spend exercising, or how many press-ups you did, or how late your train was (one for the UK readers there) – anything.

There’s so much going on inside Doozy that one of its problems is overcrowding. The screen feels overloaded with controls, and sometimes they are so small that tapping on the correct one is tricky. Adding a new item can be fiddly and takes longer than I’d like, simply because there are many boxes to fill in. To really make use of the visual display, your item needs an icon too, so that’s more scrolling and tapping.

Doozy’s other big disadvantage is that it’s a whole new calendar and todo list. Anyone with all their calendar data already buried deep inside Google Calendar or iCloud is going to find it hard work to switch entirely to a new system. (Doozy does sync via Dropbox – but only with other copies of Doozy.)

That said, I really like what Doozy’s trying to do here. There’s a general trend towards oversimplification, towards developers picking sensible defaults and presenting them to the user, saying: “This is what we’re offering, take it or leave it.” Doozy rejects that view completely. It wants you to decide how you use it.

The data tracking stuff on its own is worth the three dollars asking price. Doozy’s all-singing and all-dancing offering might not suit everyone, but it’s a versatile app that dares to think different.

Pro: Uniquely flexible and customizable. Great data tracking features.

Con: Tiny, cluttered controls. No iCal/Google data sync.

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About the author

Giles TurnbullGiles Turnbull is a freelance writer in England. He also writes for the Press Association and The Morning News. You can find out more at his website, and follow him on Twitter @gilest.

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