Sunday, March 20, 2011

Review: Wunderlist – Popular, Gorgeous Task Manager with Little Features and Some Bugs

Wunderlist is a personal task manager that recently has gained a lot of attention and popularity. The overall visual design is very appealing, the feature set is rather limited, however the multi-platform support make it an interesting tool.
wunderlist task and todo manager tool - windows desktop app screenshot

Feature Set: Just the Basics – Tasks, Lists, Filters

In it’s core wunderlist is a simple task manager that works with lists.
Tasks can have the following properties:
  • title of the task
  • longer text for task description
  • star for importance
  • due date
In order to have a better overview of your tasks you can group them into lists.
You can filter your tasks with the following options:
  • due date: today, tomorrow, next 7 days, without date
  • freetext entry
  • lists
  • starred tasks, done tasks

Sharing Lists – Not Tasks

Those lists can be shared with other people which is not a quite straightforward process.
First you invite your colleague or friend. After they have signed up you have to share the list again – which is a bit of a pain. Also creating a new task by your colleague leads to you having a new and empty list by the same name – which seems like a bug.
Individual tasks can neither be shared or assigned.
There is a feature to share lists via cloudapp – which simply gives you a public link with the tasks in a certain list – however no interactivity.
Feature Rating: 2/5

Multiple Platforms: Windows, Mac, Iphone, Android

Wunderlist is available for multiple platforms and syncs very well accross them. I have not tested the mac and iphone app and there are some uncritical bugs, which certainly will get fixed soon. All versions are free so far.
For capturing todos or notes on my android while on the road – I would still prefer catch.com – because it is so easy and quick to use.
Adding a note in catch is a matter of two blazing fast clicks. In the wunderlist android app you have first open the app, navigate to the correct list and then within two clicks you have created a new todo. This takes too long just to do it on the fly – for my taste. Especially when you are walking or talking to someone.

Design and Usability: Gorgeous, Personalizeable but Buggy

The overall visual design is very appealing. You can certainly see, that it is inspired by the recent apple designs. It is clear and minimal with a certain character to it. The icons and descriptions are self-explanatory – you can start using wunderlist straight away. For example “overdue tasks” are displayed as a red and visually present button.
You can personalize the place your lists are shown and the background image. I definitely enjoyed the design with the monster and the balloon ;)
wunderlist-web-app-monster
The response time is very good. There are no real page reloads – all interactions are almost instantaneous. You can drag and drop tasks into lists.
Some of the bugs I have found:
When signing up for the service you type in your email and password to register, press the “register” button and come to almost the same form to enter your data again.
In both the android and the windows desktop version there is a bug with the display of the dates. Which in the case of the windows desktop version leads to wunderlist showing we overdue items even though I have none.
Design Rating: 4/5

Overall Impression: Too Simple, Personal and Free

Overall I think wunderlist is primarily aimed at personal use. Sharing is not a central and well implemented feature. Which limites the tool to one person.
Also the lack of further task properties such as tags, priority does not make it a contender for an optimal todo manager.  Also some more features such as sending tasks as emails or integration into other tools would make wunderlist more attractive.
The visual design however is well done and quite appealing.
If you are looking for a free personal task manager which syncs easily with your mobile device – wunderlist might be the tool for you.
Overall Rating: 3/5
Check out this review video by lifehacker:

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