I have been recently contacted by FruitfulTime to introduce me to their latest software title FruitfulTime Task Manager V1.0. I was offered a full product key so I can check out and write my views about this new software.
Disclaimer : Please note that this review consists only of my personal views on the software. I am in no way affiliated with the software creators and my views on the software are 100% honest. I was not given monetary incentives to review the software. I was however offered a full corporate key so I can test out the software.
At first glance, I was intrigued with the software description, followed by a very modern, glossy and clean website. The company’s website is very fast loading and contains all the info you need, however the “Learn More” page is a bit too long. Finding your way through the site was easy too, and finding how to download the software was equally easy, and download was really fast (only approx 200k!!)
Software installation was very smooth; with only 4 clicks the software gets installed. One thing that I should point out at this stage is that I would have liked to have the option of having the software icons placed for me on the desktop and quick launch, maybe also the option of having the software run at start-up.
When you open the software for the first time you will be prompted to enter a password to protect your data. You have to enter this password twice for confirmation. After the password is set, you will be brought to a small info screen where you can start using the software. If you need to open the help info screens at a later stage, you can simply go to the “How To” in the help section.
At first glance the software looks quite intuitive. There are 3 main panels; one panel that I will call the Tasks panel, the subtasks, and the tags. The program has some tasks saved as a sample to show how you can setup the software. I went ahead to delete those tasks to start over from scratch.
Adding a new task is very simple. In the Tasks panel there is a small green + that obviously makes you add new tasks to your list. When adding a new task, you can write in the task description, priority (high, medium and low), status (pending, in progress, waiting, completed), start date, due date, progress and finally the tags.
The first fields are quite common in most of the to do list software that you can find around the net, however this software has some additional features like the progress indicator and the tags. The progress indicator (as you can guess yourself) lets you select the progress of the particular task in 5 different percentages (0, 25, 50, 75 and 100). There is also a tagging feature that you can use to tag a particular task to its appropriate category, like; work, leisure, family etc… You have also the facility to add new tags In addition to the default tags. The tagging feature might take some time to get used to, however after some playing around, I managed to understand how the tags work. Follow the instructions provided in the “How To” section of the help menu for more information on tagging if you get lost. For the tags feature I would have preferred either a drag and drop approach where a user can grab a tag and drop it on a task, or maybe a drop down that enlists all the available tags and a user can click the tags required.
Another very interesting feature that I have never seen is the subtasks. Many tasks (especially in corporate environments) might consist in a set of sub tasks. This software lets you add multiple sub tasks to any main task, with the same fields like description, priority, date etc… Quite nifty!
Some other valuable additions to the software are notes, references, contacts, and reminders.
In the notes tab you can add notes in a small word processor like window with basic formatting options. This can come in quite handy for storing information snippets related to a particular task. You can even add pictures to the notes.
The References tab is quite straight forward; you can list down file or website references associated with that particular task. Like for example, to create a particular report, you would need to open up an excel file with the name ABC.XLS. In this tab you can link it to the task to make your life easier. Websites can also be listed in this tab.
The Contacts tab, allows you to add contact information of a person that you might need to get in touch with for a particular task. You can add Names, numbers and e-mail addresses. I would have appreciated a field where you can add also a postal address since the task might also involve getting in touch with a person through snail mail, or maybe sending out a cheque payment or application form through a post or writing down an address of a place you had to visit. This can be overcome by writing the additional information in the Notes tab.
Finally, there is the Reminders tab. In this section you can add a reminder to a task so the programme alerts you before the task has to be started or the due date. These reminders can be only set to 1 day, 3 days, one week, two weeks or one month intervals. Some future additions that I would have liked a lot was 1 hr, 30 mins, 15 min, and 5 min. This is a nice feature to add for anyone planning his entire days with this software.
This software allows also for some filtering options. Those filters allow you to view only a set of tasks related to a particular tag, and also date filtering.
This programme also enables printing of most of the stuff in your panels, you can print a task list, subtasks and also any notes associated with the tasks. Quite handy if you will not be able to check up on your computer, but still need to have a list of tasks with you. This software is also fully portable, meaning that you can install it on a USB Drive and take it wherever you want, on any windows pc. All data in files related to your tasks is encrypted so only people with the correct password can access it. Therefore if you loose your USB Stick, others will not be able to view your task list.
I think I have covered most of the features of the software. Quite an impressive tool, very lightweight and doesn’t hog down your system at all. Memory use was just between 7 and 12mb. I give this software a score of 4 out of 5, mainly due to the fact that the tagging system could be slightly easier to use and that reminders can’t be setup for shorter time intervals. Software is quite affordable since its only $49.99 and the company offers a 30 day, money back guarantee that is always nice to have!
My conclusion is, that if you are looking for Task Management software or as many like to refer to it as to do list software, I would recommend giving FruitfulTime Task Manager a very good look. I’ll be using this one from today onwards since it’s really easy to use and seems to be quite a robust, flexible. I might also start to have a more organised life too !! Good job guys, looking forward for version v2.0!