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Reinventing the wheel on iPhone in the name of productivity
The day humanity truly became an innovative race was the day the wheel was invented. To say it has served us well over time is an understatement, but its necessity today is as strong as ever – even in the digital age. This is emphasised by the interface and functionality of Sooner, which formats all your to-dos and scheduling into two wheels that you can personalise as you wish. The app is impressively gesture-friendly, with the process of adding new notes, to-dos and tasks undertaken by dragging the central plus icon outwards into one of the relevant segments of the wheel. You can add and edit these sections to suit your life and way of working – the only thing that’s ever-present is the wheel.
There’s a short tutorial that runs when you first open the app, and this details the main functions of Sooner, and how gestures are key to all your actions.
The basic layout of the app is pretty straightforward; a segmented wheel that fills the majority of the screen, broken down into different sections including Profession, Ideas and Tasks.
The plus icon at the centre of the wheel can be dragged outwards into any of the sections in order to add a new item to any of the list. There are some nice little touches to make this simple adding process more streamlined and concise, in that depending on how far into a segment you drag, you can set an item as high priority. There is a darker – coloured section that if dragged into automatically makes an item high priority, changing the text colour to red.
When it comes to data input you can also have a say in how urgent an item is by adding reminders or deadlines to them in a single tap from the text input screen.
The app will switch to a calendar view so you can set a deadline and how long before that you would like to be reminded about it. It’s seamless to set up, and instantly makes you feel productive and organised – even if the layout is not very traditional.
As well as this general area of idea and reminder uploading, Sooner has a second layer to aid with organisation in the form of a day planner. This works in much the same way as the first section, except that instead of themed segments the edge of the wheel is filled with the hours of the day, and you can drag and drop your tasks and schedule into it in the same way as the organiser wheel.
The app also allows you to adjust the timing of your various appointments using a precise clock tool, and for your weekly meetings at work you can apply the repeat setting so that it will repeat as often as you set it to. There’s a real logic to the app that makes your day look crystal clear and easy to digest, and it’s down to the simple and clean, yet unique, way that Sooner presents your schedule and organiser in two separate areas of the app.
Impressively though, it is possible to fuse and link the two should you wish to do so. On your organiser wheel, when you tap a segment to open it fullscreen and view all the items on that list, you can tap, hold and then drag any item to the top of the screen and it will then drop into your schedule, still colour-coded and ready for you to set a time for it. This means that even when you’re day is jam-packed and you only have time to check your schedule, the key parts of your organiser are still visible.
Sooner also supports iCal syncing so you can have all your key day planners on one screen, further emphasising just how good a task manager Sooner is. This is an app that is built around a unique interface presentation, but has smart and simple functionality to match, meaning that although the layout will be new to all users, you will be instantly familiar and confident using it. And in the productivity app market, where everything is about speed and accuracy, Sooner has given itself a terrific head start with the way it has been designed, and how it functions.
Just like the original wheel, the simplest design is the most triumphant and useful; Sooner follows that mantra.
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