TaskCard delayed update and overhaul

For the first time since releasing TaskCard over a year ago I haven’t released a monthly update. This is because I have decided to take a little break for other project development and spend the remaining time to overhaul some of TaskCards long running problems thus making it more solid (like you’d expect from a 1 year old app).

I was prompted to do this after getting lots of bad feedback on the new Mac App Store basically stating TaskCard is hard to use and confusing. Who knew? But the users have spoken and many of whom may even be new to the Mac and/or computers so I need to review all the non-standard behavior in TaskCard.

The issues being tackled by the next major update (I’m not sure if this should be 1.6 or even jump to 2.0)

  • Hidden Commands.  TaskCard features numerous hidden commands (i.e. without menu item) for adding tasks, setting dates, editing etc… which can be confusing. They are stated clearly in the manual but who ever reads those? 😉 In the next version all commands will have a menu equivalent with command in addition to the usual short key.
  • Synching. Admittedly not having a native sync solution inside TaskCard has even made me hesitate to use the program at times because I don’t want to worry about changes getting lost between my 2 Macs or data being overwritten. DropBox is now an option which is great, but not ideal. In the next version there is a native sync solution which will merge the contents of sheet files and transfer them bi-directionally on the 2 remote sheet folders you select (your Macs must be connected via network and mountable in the Finder). This means tasks will never get overwritten when transferring sheet files and TaskCard will transfer the files automatically as you work.
  • iCal. Yes, this feature will finally be featured in the next version without doubt. This feature also somewhat satisfies the need for an iPhone version since you can now add events in the iPhone calendar app which will sync into TaskCard. It’s not ideal since the 2 programs deal with tasks differently but it’s at least an option if you need to make your tasks mobile.
  • Notes Cards. Often times when using TaskCard I have found myself going back to Stickies.app because I just wanted to take some notes. TaskCard is still a sticky note program so in the next version there are real note cards which work just like Stickies.
  • Stacking Cards. You can nest tasks together to make hierarchies so why not cards? As a way to help manage clutter of cards you now “stack” cards together like tasks so a single card can contain any number of other sub-cards. The stacked cards are also collapsable like tasks (in fact they behave exactly like tasks) so you can keep cards you seldom use tucked away until you need them.
  • Better Task Info. There is a new task info window which is easier to use and has more options including task status which is common in other task managers and notes for each task.
  • Better Date Picker. That date picker I put together in the first version was pretty useless. The new one is more complete and easier to use.
  • Efficiency. I made some important optimizations to the drawing engine which means TaskCard is faster, more responsive and uses less CPU than before. Also TaskCard will now use 0% CPU when the application is not active where in the past it could use 1-2% just idling.
  • Timers. TaskCard now has an option to count the amount of time spent on a task, like a stop watch. This was a popular feature in other task managers so I felt like TaskCard should implement it since it fits the design of the program anyways.
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