When it comes to getting stuff done, I’m a bit lazy. I procrastinate a lot. I put off my homework, stuff around the house, and just about anything I need to do.
Clearly, I have a problem with procrastination. It’s not just that I want to put things off until the last second. It’s that I’m incredibly bad at scheduling and forget a lot of things.
Sometimes I create a to-do list in Reminders or put items on my iCloud calendar. Then, the night before those items are due, Reminders or Calendar finally shows an alert informing me that I have a very short period of time to actually do it. Of course, that means I end up moving the due date back, or just failing to accomplish whatever task is on the list. Essentially these strategies are useless to me.
Luckily, a new app called Finish seeks to solve this exact issue. The app was designed by two high school students frustrated with the way existing to-do list managers handled things.
So, did they pull it off? Did they finally design a to-do app that helps end procrastination? Keep reading to find out.
How it works
The main idea behind Finish is that procrastinators can’t be trusted to look at a list and decide what needs to be done. This, for me at least, is entirely accurate. I never remember to open my to-do list and look at what needs doing. If the app doesn’t notify me, I don’t open it. I’ve tried putting various to-do apps front-and-center on my home screen, but to no avail.
The beauty of Finish is that it doesn’t just notify you once right before something is due. Instead, it notifies you at three predetermined intervals of your choosing. When you initially setup the app, you get to select the lengths of three different groupings: short-term, mid-term, and long-term events.
When you create a new to-do item, it is automatically assigned to one of these groups based on the due date. Say for example that, like me, you have your short-term group set at 1-7 days, your mid-term to 8-14 days, and your long-term group is set at 15 or more days. When you add a new item to your to-do list, you get to set the due date. If you set the due date at Feb. 25, that falls into the long-term group since it’s more than 15 days from the current date. On the main screen, Finish shows your tasks sorted by their groups with the items closest to their due date at the top.
As an item gets closer to its due date, it “slides” up to the next group. An item that’s 15 days away will “slide” to the mid-term group in my example above. If your mid-term group is set to 2-3 days, items will move from the long-term to the mid-term group when they are 3 days away from their due date. Each time an item “slides,” you can optionally be informed by a push notification, which serves as a great reminder in my experience that something still needs to be done.
Finish has a setting that enables something called “Focus Mode.” What you see in the screenshot at the top of this review is Focus Mode in action. It shows only the top item in each group, hiding the others and allowing you to focus on the tasks that you need to be done now. Rather than just showing “events due next week” or something similar, Focus Mode shows the top item from each group. That way, you can remember to work on that project that’s due in a month before it slides to the short-term group.
When in Focus Mode, you can still get to your other items by swiping down on the divider that separates each section. These items can be hidden again in the same way.
The little things
Other options for beating procrastination include the setting to show a badge on the app icon for the number of items on your list. You can swipe items from right to left to get to a set of options, much like Twitter for iPhone. You can also share your to-do items to Facebook and Twitter. One last little option that I liked was the ability to create repeating tasks.
Finish is a great app for anyone looking to stop procrastinating, get organized, trying to finally complete some New Year’s resolutions, or tired of not getting things done. Because it was designed for procrastinators, it presents a fantastic method for overcoming laziness, forgetfulness, or whatever else is keeping you from doing stuff on time.
Finish is available in the App Store for only $.99. While it is optimized for the iPhone 5, there currently isn’t an iPad version.
Check out the gallery below for more screenshots of Finish