os x timeful replacement option!

Oh, this post needs some serious editing, but this is EXCITING! (for me! and maybe for you. 🙂

I have been searching for a timeful replacement ever since they were purchased (aka swallowed) by google, since that’s never good news. The hunt got more intense last month since they finally admitted that there was no plan to support the servers and are shutting down… (ugh!)

I tried them all – sunrise + wunderlist, handle, an old version of omnifocus, using trello only and pretty much settling on using iCloud reminders only. For habits, I had balanced, way of life, you name it… but there were just too many apps and none of them were close to what timeful provided – most importantly, an integrated view of what I needed / wanted to do in my day.

enter…the just released Fantastical 2.1 for os X! here’s a screenshot!

fantastical-inline-reminders

See how useful it is to see tasks and calendar events in the same view? (and yes, it’s totally a joke that I need to “write blog post”!)

One key thing about Timeful was the ability to estimate the duration of a task and then schedule/reschedule tasks while looking at a visual calendar. It’s easy to see if you’re over scheduled, or move things around as needed. Fantastical for iOS does ok, but the new OS X version is what won me over (it’s so new that there aren’t any screenshots on the web, and i didn’t even know they had the ability to complete reminders inline until i downloaded it on a whim!). There’s nothing like dragging and dropping to reschedule a task, and feeling like the day is organized and accomplish-able 🙂

The second thing Timeful did was to have use flexible end dates for tasks and to slot tasks with defined lengths around fixed events. For example, as a user, I need to complete “x”, which is a 1 hour task, by Friday in the hours after work. With lots of intelligence/backend server processing, they had algorithms set up to identify the “best” time for me to complete the tasks.

This was awesome in that I didn’t feel like I was micromanaging myself and that if I skipped out on doing the task, Timeful would re-schedule the task appropriately and then gently remind me to do it again. They were able to do this by using a calendar for tasks to maintain start/end times. But there’s definitely benefits to using iCloud reminders (like the ability to use Siri)…

Fantastical doesn’t have task durations though. While I miss defining the length of the task, most tasks should have a short enough length so that I don’t get distracted and I can live with manually re-scheduling for now. It’s probably better to have the guilt of overdue tasks that I need to reschedule as well as use that time to decide to cull if they’re not actually important. Better that then have a backend server constantly process items that I’ll never complete!

But here’s hoping that my purchase of Fantastical keeps them going in that direction 🙂

So…I have a timeful alternative for my mac now! And apparently the developers are releasing Fantastical 2.5 for iOS 9 soon – can’t wait to see the features it brings in from the OS X version 🙂