App of the Week: iProcrastinate
More and more students are going digital in their studies, and many are moving their schedules with it. But many people, myself included, find keeping track of homework assignments inside of a standard calendar app to be a pain. You could just make a list of assignments in a word processor, but it’s not as functional. An app that strike this balance between scheduling and listing is what you truly need. For this, I’ve turned to iProcrastinate (and yes, the name was certainly an incentive).
iProcrastinate is designed perfectly for students. You first create “Subjects”, which correlate to your classes and appear in the left side bar. You then create tasks under the individual subjects. In the process of creating these tasks, you not only name the task, but set the due date as well. Is it a repeating assignment? Not a problem, you can set repeats as well. Under each subject is a list of the tasks due, or there is a setting for one master list of what’s due. You can also see from the left sidebar a list of tasks due today, tomorrow, or tasks that are overdue.
But one of the things that helps separate iProcrastinate from the rest is the ability to make a list of the steps needed to complete the tasks. Then you can
mark these off as you make progress through the task. If you’re typing up a paper or working on a project, you’re probably working on a number of files on your computer. iProcrastinate allows you to attach files to the tasks, and then open them in their default apps. While I don’t often use this feature, especially for small assignments, it can be useful when working with large research papers or group projects. And if you prefer not see all of your stuff in a list, you can look at it in a calendar view, though you can’t add of remove anything from said view. Overall, the interface is really easy to use, and really slick. I also like the menubar icon, because it integrates well with the Mac’s menubar theme and because by clicking it you can create new tasks and see which tasks are due today.
iProcrastinate has a couple of different saving and syncing options for users. You can create backups within the app and then restore them through the restore button in the menu. This way you can easily move all of your details from one installation of iProcrastinate to another. It also has syncing options so you can use it not only with multiple Macs, but with the iOS app as well. You can choose to sync over Dropbox or through a local network using Apple’s Bonjour. I tend to use Dropbox, as I find it simpler to use and longer range than Bonjour, though occasionally items synced in one app don’t transfer over to the other.
The iOS app is really simple to use, and is really beautiful. It looks like a simplified version of Mac app, with only the subject list, and then they slide over to show you the tasks under that subject. It even keeps the same colors marked between apps. You can also create backups within the iOS app, just like you do in the Mac version. I have to say that though the app looks good on iOS, the settings seem a bit cluttered when compared to the simplicity of its Mac counterpart.
There are one or two features that would be nice to have. One big hole is that there isn’t a way to show reminders for tasks in the app. You have to go look at the list. Since I tend to manage things in my head, I might forget what is actually on my list of assignments to do (you’d think I would have learned by now). Perhaps the app could integrate with iCal to show reminders for assignments due, or at least pop-up a Growl notification to remind you of upcoming projects due. However it’s done, I think it’s something worth fixing. I think there could be a group project feature too. While I know people tend to use these scheduling apps for themselves, it would be cool to have a shared “Subject” where you could create tasks and somehow invite people to participate in the task. The other reason I see this as an advantage is that you could use iProcrastinate on one device to synchronize documents utilized in a project with everyone else, and likewise people could check off steps completed in a project. Perhaps this is a minor detail, but it would be a cool feature to have.
Overall though, iProcrastinate is a nice app if want to take your assignment book to the digital realm. For this type of work, it’s my app of choice. You can download it in the Mac App Store for free, where it runs on OS 10.6 and higher. You can download the iOS app for 99¢ in the iOS App Store. You can check out more about the app by going to the developer’s site at craigotis.com. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions about this or any other topic, leave a comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org You can also check me out on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube by hitting the buttons on the top of your screen. You can also check out my Google Plus page. Thanks!