Let me start off by saying that I’ve never used Pocket Informant. I knew of its existence, but I hadn’t given it much thought because the built-in iOS calendar app worked well enough for me … how wrong I was. But when Alex Kac, CEO and Founder of developer WebIS, invited us to check out a sneak preview of the 3.0 version of their productivity app, I couldn’t resist. As soon as the app was installed, I was instantly impressed with how detailed this tool can get with my time and task management.
As soon as you install the app, you’ll be greeted with a setup assistant which, you might have guessed, guides you through the many settings available to you in Pocket Informant. You’ve got choices of everything from the basic “which calendars would you like synced”, to “would you like to display ISO Week Numbers”, to whether you’d like to show your tasks (think Reminders) in your calendar.
Through the setup assistant, you’re able to select the different accounts with which to sync your calendar. You’ve got Google Calendar, Google Tasks, Toodledo, Evernote, and the normal iOS Reminders. What’s nice is you are actually able to add tasks from other iCloud accounts than the one your device is currently set up with. Of course, you’ll need to know all the login credentials to access that information.
After choosing which accounts to sync, you’re able to browse through a plethora of appearance settings which allow you to truly customize the user experience. In addition to the many colors, fonts, text sizes, etc., you’re able to choose from many different preset themes. Finally, you’re able to add further features that go beyond the core feature-set from the Informant Store. These include Weather information added to your today view, a 10 day forecast to your calendar views for 99 cents, as well as Pocket Informant Online, which is a sync service designed specifically for Pocket Informant.
After the initial setup, you’re transported directly to the calendar’s Month View, and this is where I was really impressed. As you can see in the screenshot above, I’ve got a bunch of different calendars, birthdays, tasks, etc. I was blown away at how easily I could glance at the Month View and seriously evaluate everything that I’ve got going on this month. This is something that you’re not able to do with iOS’s built-in calendar app, as you can tell with the side-by-side comparison. You’re easily able to differentiate between different calendars since they’re color coordinated; birthday’s are signified by a little birthday cake, and tasks are signified by being slightly smaller than the other calendar entries. Completed tasks are shown as crossed-out, which is a nice touch.
Within the calendar, there are multiple views available to you to fully assess your time management. My favorite is the Month View, but there is also a list view which gives you a list of all upcoming calendar entries, tasks, etc. , a time-block view that shows your appointments as blocks of time in the day, and a week view which shows a more detailed view of the upcoming 7 days. In addition to the calendar section, there is a Today section which gives a very nicely detailed view of what you have going on that particular day. As you might have guessed by now, this app is a very well thought-out, very detail oriented app, which will be greatly appreciated by the ever-busy, always over-scheduled masses.
As I’ve mentioned, Pocket Informant Pro also syncs with the built-in iOS Reminders app. Although the iOS Reminders app has some detail, like task priority, due date, repeat, notes, etc. Pocket Informant goes above and beyond this functionality. When adding a new task, you’re able to add details such as which project the task is related to, the context, what action needs to be taken, how complete the task is to this point, whether to sync the task with iOS Reminders, and you even get to choose an icon which will then show up in the calendar view making it easily seen.
Another great feature within the tasks section is the ability to add a checklist. Within the checklist, you can add smaller tasks that you can check off as you go.
Adding to the list of Pocket Informant Pro’s features is its robust notes section. Here, you’re able to add Rich Notes using different font colors, font styles, text size, etc. Within the notes section you can add lists as well; this could be used for shopping lists. All notes created in Pocket Informant Pro can be synced to Evernote, which is a nice touch.
Here are some new features in Pocket Informant Pro 3.0 that WebIS is excited about:
A brand new interface. Its simpler, easier to use, and just clear. In fact that’s what we call it: Clear.
Natural Language Entry support. Just create a new task or event and type in (or use Dictation to speak) phrases like “Coffee with Mom every Tuesday at 6am”. Pocket Informant will understand and set your event accordingly. Currently, only available for English.
Today View – redesigned with Today/Tomorrow pages and full customizability of what to show
Weather – (available as an in-app purchase) to show weather in all calendar views
Checklists – create checklists for your tasks that involve lists of stuff (like grocery shopping, packing, etc)
Project Improvements – set a project template, auto-close projects, set a due date – so many new things here give power users a lot more flexibility
Rich Notes – we now have a full featured Rich Text editor for notes. We’ve got a lot more coming here, but today you can set styles, fonts, typefaces, lists, and more.
Evernote support – sync your notebooks, tags, notes, and attachments (to-dos and tables not supported yet)
All-in-all, Pocket Informant Pro is an extremely robust calendar/tasks/note app that will surely satisfy even the pickiest, most detail oriented, over-scheduled person out there. I would highly recommend this app to anyone looking to enhance the functionality of their built-in Calendar and Reminders apps.
Pocket Informant is available on the App Store as well as the Google Play store. Pocket Informant 3.0 has just been released for Android, however if you’re looking for Version 3.0 on iOS, you’ll have to wait a little while longer. Pocket Informant 3.0 has been submitted to the Apple App Store, but since Apple is notorious for their unpredictable app review times, there is currently no solid release date. That being said, WebIS is hopeful that Pocket Informant 3.o will be released around May 17th.
If you’re looking for more screenshots, look no further than this gallery:
MSRP: $9.99 on Android, $14.99 on iOS
What I like: Extremely robust calendar, tasks, and notes app. Easy to differentiate between calendars and tasks. Icons help give greater visibility
What Needs Improvement: Some may be overwhelmed at the depth of detail here, but that’s the only negative I can come up with at the moment other than the relatively high price
Source: Manufacturer Supplied Beta Invitation