TaskMaster is described as a next generation of to-do / task management BlackBerry application. Since an update for this application was released quite recently, it was only fitting to give it a run through. I hate to sound like a broken record, (hunh? What’s that?) but my Tasks option is both much needed and much neglected. Sure, I jot down important thoughts, projects and such in notes, but I tend to forget to add the entry to Tasks. The next thing I know, the important piece of information has slipped into the darkest recesses of my brain.
The TaskMaster application takes a great leap over the native Tasks application with regards to functionality. It grants the wishes of those who want to see a native BlackBerry application do more. Besides being able to play nice by increasing BlackBerry integration, TaskMaster is also able to help implement David Allen’s GTD (Getting Things Done) workflow system. Hopefully, with these tweaks and enhancements that the application offers, it will help those who have shied away from creating tasks in the past.
TaskMaster is one of the many productivity applications from S4BB Limited; in the past, we have seen NextAction!, well, in action. As I mentioned earlier, the application has been recently updated to version 2.0.11 and has a file size of 175.1 KB. In order to use TaskMaster, make sure your BlackBerry is running OS 4.6 or higher. You also need to make sure you do not delete the native Tasks application, as TaskMaster needs it in order to function.
The idea behind the application is to eliminate steps with regards to managing your tasks. The main menu is comprised of a list of available categories, with the option to change the sorting mode, as well as a “new” button to quickly create a new task.
Your tasks can be sorted by summary, status, due date (including due date and time reminders), due today and priority. This allows you to keep a close eye on what’s coming up- sooner than later- and what tasks require your immediate attention. When you open or create a task, the bottom of the screen contains a button which allows you to duplicate the current task. I was impressed with the multi-category feature. If a task spills into more than one category, I can now assign multiple categories, rather than no assignment. To make using the application even quicker, hotkeys are available for a variety of commands (jump to top, switch status, open task, etc). Each task is also accompanied by icons of different colours. The colours are meant to quickly tell you the status of the task, whether it’s been deferred, of high importance, or in progress.
The newest update enables ICAL or VCAL format task files to be imported, making it easy to share tasks between coworkers. Besides being integrated into the native Tasks app, new tasks can be created from the Calendar, Browser, Messages and Address Book, with the “send to TaskMaster” option. What’s a task application without desktop synchronization? Microsoft Outlook, X Mail, PocketMac SecureNotes, Entourage and others are supported.
My only gripe is that there are options listed that cannot be used, unless you purchase an additional app - In the menu you see two options; Upcoming Tasks and Backup Tasks. These options are only available when you install TaskReports (currently on sale for $4.99) and DataBackup (which is free), respectively.
TaskMaster is a decent step above the native Task application. I was happy to see the BlackBerry integration, in addition to Desktop and BES synchronization. In my opinion, the fact that the application forces you to buy additional apps, in order for you to use it to its full potential, deflects from the impressive application. TaskMaster is available for $9.99 at the CrackBerry App Store.