Begin


There are two kinds of to-do apps. There are the behemoth information powerhouses, to which you consign every aspect of your life, such as Omnifocus. These apps manage every aspect of every task you could conceivably imagine, zeroing in on contexts and locations, making you MAXIMUM PRODUCTIVE.

Then there are the other kind, for normal people without nerdbrains who just want to get some stuff accomplished.

Begin is a new app that is definitely in the latter camp.

There are three states for an action in Begin: today, tomorrow, and uncompleted. Uncompleted actions are those that you didn’t manage to get done the previous day. It’s very easy to move actions between today and tomorrow, you just swipe them from right to left. You can move actions around within those lists, too, if you like. New actions automatically go to the bottom of the Today list.

To mark something as complete you swipe from left to right. Mmmm that’s satisfying.

Some other cool features:

  • You can click the share button on top right to send tasks via email, sms, or other enabled apps in the system share sheet. There’s also an option to copy them.

  • If you have sensitive eyes, you can enable night/day mode which, based on the time of day, displays a different theme. It’s easier on the eyes.

  • It accepts input from Drafts: single actions and multiple actions.

And that’s about it.

What?! That’s it?

Yup. Not every app has to be a swiss army knife, bristling with excess functionality that someone asked for in a 1-star review once. Begin solves the problem it tackles extremely solidly, in a charming little package with a touch of whimsy. I’ve been looking for years for a to-do app to recommend to the 90% of people who don’t have the time or patience to get into Omnifocus, and I’ve finally found it. This is my new answer to the question, “hey, Sid, what’s a cool app to install?”

A lot of apps that have been designed or redesigned for iOS 7 look like novice cult members, squirming and uncomfortable in their slightly ill-fitting new robes. Begin looks and feels like it belongs.