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Review: Teux Deux for iPhone

And Now For Something Completely Different.

All of the tasks within Teux Deux ($2.99) are rendered in plain text, and you simply tap on them to complete them. There are no fancy fields, tags, or due date fields. But Teux Deux isn’t like Taskpaper (a $9.99 plain text task manager) either. All of your plain text tasks are displayed under specific dates, as if they were being shown right on iCal’s Day View, and you either write tasks up under the date or you drag them there. That’s it.

It’s certainly a very minimal task approach and it has taken some getting used to, but I think I may like Teux Deux even more than Things ($9.99) and 2Do ($3.99).

One of the things I love most about this app is its layout. All your tasks, the view of the current selected day, and a scrolling bar showing the days of the week are all shown on one screen.  The only time you’ll ever leave this screen is when you switch accounts (useful if you have a shared account with a friend) or decide to manage undated tasks on the Someday screen.

Everything is also colour coded to make the interface easy to navigate. All information that has to do with Today is displayed in red and everything due at some point in the future is in black (older completed tasks are faded and crossed off). There is a very small learning curve with regard to Teux Deux’s interface, although the philosophy behind it is a different matter altogether.

Teux Deux is all about a day-to-day approach. All of the uncompleted tasks from yesterday are automatically moved to today, and you’ll have to manually check the days of the week to find out whether or not you have any scheduled tasks. You can do this by using the scrolling date bar along the bottom of the screen, or by simply swiping left or right on the task list.

I thought that Teux Deux’s alternate layout would force me to keep a large list of tasks that were always due ‘Today so that I wouldn’t lose track of them, but that’s actually what the Someday field is for. Any task that doesn’t have a due date can simply be moved or created within the Someday field, which is located on a separate screen on the iPhone app (accessed through the button along the bottom). Someday is split up into five scrollable lists, and while you can’t actually title them, leaving a task right at the top of the list works just fine as a category title.

One of the most interesting things to come out of my time withTeux Deux has been my altered approach to task management. Teux Deux, like Taskpaper before it, has made me think about how many features I really need to help me stay organized.
I know I need a list that can be ticked off as well as a set of due dates (something Taskpaper doesn’t support), but I never thought that I could function without a dedicated set of categories and note fields for tasks.

However, there’s just something about Teux Deux that works for me and I’ve streamlined my whole task list because of it. I no longer plan tasks very far in the future, but I enter and complete more of them because it’s just so easy to do. It also helps that the iPhone app syncs with the free web app, which is equally amazing.

The Teux Deux web app looks a bit like iCal, but just for tasks. It shows more days at once (five, instead of one on the iPhone) and I’ve found it a lot of fun to use.

I do wish that the two apps would borrow more from each other, though.

The iPhone app isn’t exactly slow, but it isn’t as speedy to load as many other iOS task managers with Fast Switching enabled. Syncing can also take a second or two, even over 3G, and you can’t do anything while the app syncs. The iPhone app is currently portrait-only, and while that’s just fine, I can’t help but think that the developers could do something amazing with landscape. A scrolling two-day view for tasks, perhaps? I don’t really mind checking a few days ahead, but I wouldn’t complain if the iPhone app made it more convenient to see future tasks. Something Teux look forward to, perhaps.

The web app, in comparison, is much farther along development-wise, but I do wish that it would auto-refresh at regular intervals. I usually just put my MacBook to sleep instead of shutting it down, which means that my Teux Deux web app stays out of date unless I press Cmd-R to refresh it.

I’m a real sucker for to-do apps also because the best ones require you to think a little differently, and I like the light mental exercise involved in adapting to somebody else’s system. Teux Deux may look rather simple — and it actually is — but I love the beautiful layout and all of the extra touches the developers added. Typing tasks under the current date just works, as does dragging them to another date to reschedule them. Editing tasks can be a little tricky (you drag them back into the text field), but it’s an interesting way to keep the interface simple and have everything stay on one screen. There was obviously a lot of time spent on creating an interface appropriate to the iPhone’s screen size, and it really paid off.

I also appreciate the tiny price tag on the iPhone app ($2.99), which is really quite a deal when you consider the accompanying web app is free to use. The only warning I’d have for prospective users is that you’ll have to start fresh, as Teux Deux is currently devoid of any import (or export) functionality. Then again, that’s really not such a bad thing when you’re trying a new system out.

Teux Deux was provided by for review by Tina Roth Eisenberg (swissmiss) on Just Another iPhone Blog. For further information regarding our site’s review policies, please see the “About” page.

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