Tag Archives: The Hit List

The Hit List sync

It’s no secret that I love The Hit List. The app serves as my carefully organized digital brain. Sometimes it’s the really little things that make an app fantastic.

This morning I opened it up for the first time since Friday. I had already left my apartment so I was out of WiFi range. To pull data, many other apps, including Mail and Tweetbot, prompt if you’d like to connect to WiFi.

This is a pain because it makes syncing my data a two-step process. The Hit List does it right. It recognizes that I’m on 3G with data and just syncs. No prompting. Let me figure out WiFi later.

I love this because it shows that the developer considered the fastest way to let people get their data synced and get working. When I open an app it’s because I want to do something. The sooner you let me do that the happier I’ll be with your software.

The Hit List Review

A few weeks ago I wrote about how I’m using The Hit List as my task app. Before, I used OmniFocus which was good but was just too much for my needs. I don’t need the flexibility perspectives offer, the sync was pretty slow, and the user interface was just not my style. The Hit List is a wonderful change and a really well done app.

UI Gold

A nice interface doesn’t make up for a sub par app. But, when you start with a well designed app like The Hit List a gorgeous interface really makes the app shine. Those small touches I mentioned in the earlier post are just part of the story though.

For example, task entry in the iPhone app is a thing of brilliance.

Task entry in The Hit List for iPhone

Not only is the adding interface simple but once you start typing one task you get that slick plus button in the bottom right. Want to add another task right away? It’s just a tap away.

This thoughtfulness carries over into the desktop app in more ways than I have time to mention. One of my favorite features though is the ability to view any task as a card.

Any task can be viewed like this and you’ll see the title, tags, date information, and a totally free form note field. I use this view way more than I first thought I would. In some ways it’s replaced how I use Notational Velocity. If I have a quick idea for a blog post I can just create a new task and start writing. It’s a great way to just capture information for later.

These two features allow me to really get the most out of The Hit List. I can get right into the app on my iPhone or on my laptop and start right into inputting information.

The whole point of a task app is to not spend gobs of time with it. You’re supposed to spend all that time on the actual tasks. :) So, it’s crucial for an app to make it easy for me to get in, enter my information, cross things off, and get out. That’s exactly what The Hit List does.

A smart app

Another area where it’s clear Andy Kim spent a lot of time working on is the little things surrounding tasks. The repeating task interface is a great example of this.

Like other task apps The Hit List uses natural language processing to parse what you mean when repeating a task. For example, if I type “1st” it automatically sets the task to repeat every month of the first.

Similarly typing “Mondays” or “Monday, Tuesday” will, respectively, repeat it on every Monday or every Monday and Tuesday. Just another way The Hit List lets me add tasks without thinking about how to use the app.

The task filing I mentioned in the earlier post is another example of this. It’s seriously incredible. With one or two keystrokes I can select a task and file it where it needs to go. Or, with a couple of keystrokes I can go to any list I have created.1

There’s more too

That barely scratches the surface of my love for this app. Almost every day I find myself amazed by how wonderful it is. It takes just a few minutes to learn the basics of the app and not much more time to really master it.

The Hit List certainly isn’t one of the cheapest task apps out there. It’s $49.95 for the desktop app, $9.99 for the iPhone app, and $19.99 a year for cloud syncing.2

Sure, it’s a sizable outlay for software but I can’t think of an app that you’d want to spend more on than a task app. It’s your digital brain, invest in it and you’ll get way, way more than $80 of value out of it.

Andy Kim has done a terrific job with this app. As an early beta tester I can say that the 1.0 desktop app and the long-awaited iPhone app have blown away my expectations from when I started using it a few years ago.

  1. All it takes is pressing “g” and then typing the list you want to go to.
  2. Syncing which is blazing fast by the way.

The Hit List interface

I’ve had a license for The Hit List from back when it was in beta. It’s been a long time coming but it’s now at 1.0 with a companion iPhone app so I thought I’d give it another shot. There’s some small interface touches that make it a real joy to use.

The filing system for tasks in your inbox is outstanding. With a task selected pressing just “f” brings up the above. Start typing the name of a list and sidebar highlights those with matching letters. Pressing up and down moves between lists to file the task under.

If you sort a list by date you get these great little dividers throughout the list. Slick way to indicate time as well as break up a longer list.

The best part of the user interface is how blazing fast and unobtrusive the sync is. It doesn’t block task input, finishes in a few seconds, and in my testing is absolutely reliable. Pretty great app that’s well worth the wait.