The task manager that puts you in complete control

Built from the ground up specifically for the iPad, Next! was always going to look and feel good on the iOS tablet. It’s a bonus, then, that the app’s functionality doesn’t let it down, and although it can take a bit of time to get used to, Next! definitely has the potential to change the way you organise your life, as well as look good to those glancing over your shoulder on the train.

The layout of the app is actually  very straightforward. With only a single page present on screen at any one time, you use the compass-like navigation  key in the corner of the screen or a swipe of the screen to move around the different menus.  There are three main areas for you  to work with and focus on, with each  one linked to the other so you can  always find everything related to a certain task.

There are Projects, Goals and Actions for you to enter in your various to-dos, but the beauty of the app is that technically you don’t have to do this in a specific order. It’s less regimented, and the app’s functionality more closely resembles the somewhat slapdash human thought process. For example, you can add a new goal before – or without – creating a project for it. It will still be listed on your Goals menu, even if you don’t link it to a project.

In Next! things don’t have to be added in the correct order for you to be able to make sense of them and stay organised later. While this may be disorientating at first – if only because other apps don’t behave this way – it’s actually a very organic and intuitive way of working.  Once you’ve done this, you can adjust certain factors according to each new to-do that you add, including its due date and level of importance, which in itself is broken down into a three star system.  In this region of the app, there is another sign of solid thinking on the developer’s part, as the app contains quick titles for you to add to different to-dos, which saves you the time of having to type them out.

This is also the case for planning ahead in the Actions column, where you can select one of the pre-determined options – Someday or Schedule – in which you can subsequently input a date. These are great ideas for time-savers, but it can all get a little bit confusing at times.  In truth, while the app generally works very well, there are times when your own to-do list can have the effect of leaving you a little puzzled. This is partly due the layout of the app, where the idea of linking all your tasks seems to be perenially walking a fine tightrope between being incredibly helpful and confusing, especially when it comes  to the process of inputting data.

Hopefully, it will become more comfortable to use over time with the addition of future updates.  What the app doesn’t lack, however, is a decent amount of functions. There is a native notepad for you to use, as well as links to the Goals and Actions options, and the ability to sync with apps such as Dropbox, which enable you to use PDF files, as well as various other document types within Next!

The chances are that Next! will  be quite a bit different to most of  the other apps you may have used before, and as such it could take a while to get used to, and may even put some off. If you persevere and give it some time, however, then this new way of working and organising might just turn out to be exactly what you were looking for within the menagerie of task management apps.

Rated 4 out of 5

Looks good and thinks differently, so does take some getting used to, but Next! is definitely worth a look.


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