Designing a better task manager is the 21st century equivalent of building a better mousetrap, as such, developers have been trying to improve the to-do list as long as they’ve been writing code. First launched in 2010, LifeTopix for iOS has created a unique approach to personal organization that integrates content from different platforms and projects, helping users make sense of a fragmented system of tasks and todos. It’s a holistic approach to task management that allows users to spend time organizing their information rather than re-entering it.
There are 12 “LifeTopix” (essentially categories) that you use to manage the different projects and tasks you might encounter throughout the day. Each LifeTopix has Projects, Projects have Tasks (ie: a to-do list), and all of them can be cross-referenced — which is one of the real powers in this app.
LifeTopix doesn’t try to force you into a linear way of thinking. A Project filed in Education might have include a Shopping list (a to-do list), Media file (an asset) and Bookmarks spanning four different LifeTopix. This system mirrors the way real life works. Projects blend and tasks overlap. Where other to-do apps feel like tunnel vision, LifeTopix is a road map.
Launch the app and you jump right in. LifeTopix opens to an easy-to-read calendar that is already synced with your built-in calendar. For additional syncing tools, the app offers third-party integration with Toodledo, Google Tasks, Evernote, Dropbox and Google Drive. Or Mac users can download AirAccess, a free desktop client that will connect via WiFi with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.
The 12 sections in LifeTopix are: Task and Projects; Shopping; Events; Travel + Places; People + Services; Health + Activity; Finances; Home + Assets; Education; Notes + Files; Media; Bookmarks. Essentially, every major area of life is covered from hobbies and home life to career or school and anywhere you might go in between. In fact, you can even set up location-aware reminders, so not only will LifeTopix track what you need to do, but it will remind you to do it when you get there.
The latest addition to LifeTopix is My Apps, a quick-launch screen for accessing apps. Facebook and Twitter are available by default, however you can add any app; all you need is the name and 9-digit ID. LifeArrow provides a list of popular App IDs here. It’s a nice feature, though I’m not sure how often I would use it — my iPhone’s home screen is the one area where I am fastidiously organized.
The number of categories and customization options are immense with Lifetopix. Although the app is simple enough to use “out of the box,” it is also sophisticated enough to handle complex projects. At first glance, it’s easy to feel intimidated by the sheer number of options. To get the most from this app, I suggest users spend some time watching the videos on the LightArrow website. The comments section can also be quite helpful as can their company blog. (This post on using Dropbox, Google Docs and Evernote with LifeTopix is definitely worth the read.)
LifeTopix is a rare find. It promises everything — to manage your life integrating projects and platforms with simplicity — and actually delivers. If you’re looking for a useful productivity tool that understands how you think, this app can help you get focused and get the job done.