Thursday, 6 September 2012

Astrid app review

I've been using Astrid for my action lists on my phone and on their website for a little while now, and it's mostly good, but there are a couple of annoyances. Some are to do with the associated website.

For starters, the "forums" link on the website is broken. Either there are no forums any more, or they no longer live at "". Whatever the case, I can't leave feedback there for the developers to see, so I'll have to do it here and hope for the best.

Next comes inconsistent handling of the Enter key. When you're adding a task on the website, if you hit Enter, it adds the task. Simple. If you're adding a comment to a task and hit Enter, it adds a new line. And you can't just compromise and get used to hitting Tab then Enter to go to the submit button, because Tab goes to different places from those two boxes. Not big, but I notice it every couple of days and it starts to grate.

A feature I wish Astrid had is projects or sequences of actions. You can have lists, and I do, and actions can belong to lots of lists, but a list is not a project where one action follows another in a logical sequence, only appearing one at a time. I would appreciate that.

Lastly and perhaps most seriously, the synchronisation to and from the phone frequently un-deletes and un-completes actions. If I mark a task as complete on the website, then open Astrid on my phone, the synchronisation (when it eventually finishes) is quite likely to pick up that task and un-complete it, adding it back to the list. I don't know why that is, but it's quite annoying. I frequently have to check my lists one by one just to make sure tasks have not started re-appearing after I completed them. The saving grace with this one is that Astrid displays a log of recent activity that I can visually scan for the prefix "un-" to see what has gone wrong.

In all, though, I do quite like Astrid. It's better than the text files I was trying to use before, it stays in sync automatically (which is something I demand of every program since I started using it) and the visual style is easy to use and kind of fun. I'm going to keep using it for now, but I'm hoping that some of these bugs, problems and desired features can be fixed or added in the near future.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - It's always a pain to change to a new app.
PPS - Data migration in any form is a pain.

UPDATE: I emailed Astrid support about my un-completion/un-deleting issue, and they provided this response:
This is usually the case in a bad sync. Sometimes the logged in data doesn't get sent to the phone properly.

When this happes, usually logging out and logging in will fix the issue.

Settings -> Sync & Backup -> -> Log Out
Then, "Synchronize Now"

If it's still having trouble, this page will usually provide an error report
as to why sync failed.
For me, that seems to have solved the problem.

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