ActionGear Review

by John Chandler from The Creativityist
For 15 years, I have managed my task list on my computer. Behind me lies a pile of discarded task management apps, including Starfish Sidekick, Lotus Notes, Outlook, and iGTD, not to mention a few others I’ve flirted with along the way. I switched over to OmniFocus when the beta went public, and the launch of the iPhone version earlier this year has landed me squarely in GTD utopia.

One of my greatest joys in life is checking little boxes next to completed tasks. (Sad, isn’t it?) As a result, my infatuation with task management apps rivals Imelda Marcos’ love for shoes. Even in my current task utopian bliss, curiosity draws me to explore every task app I run across. So when David asked me if I’d be willing to do a review of ActionGear, I knew I was the man for the job.

ActionGear is billed as Lightweight task management for Mac. That simple tagline captures some of what I like best about this app:

  • Quick and easy access – ActionGear feels more like a handy background utility than a resource eating app. It resides in the menubar for convenient access, though you can also assign a quick keystroke like command-space, option-space, or anything you choose, to open the ActionGear window.
  • Straight forward task management – ActionGear doesn’t require a PhD to manage your tasks. As tasks are added, you can drag and drop them into the folders you create. Whether you want to sort them by projects or contexts, it’s up to you.
  • Quickly capture reference and ideas – ActionGear is not confined only to tasks. It can also capture a screenshot, an iSight image, or a note if you want to grab an idea or other reference material in a flash. The item becomes a line item just like a task, and can be sorted quickly into a folder. QuickLook is built in, so you can take a quick gander at your saved information.
  • Tags and smart folders – Though ActionGear is simple and lightweight, it can scale for more demanding users. The ability to create tags and smart folders means that you can customize your tasks into multiple folders sorted by projects, contexts, due dates, or any combination of them.

ActionGear is a new release — I’m reviewing 1.0.3. (Actually, I started reviewing 1.0.2, but found a bug. The developer was prompt with his response, and a new version was released within a few days.) As you’d expect in a 1.0 product, ActionGear still has lots of room to grow, but it is already a capable task manager. Priced at $24, it’s reasonable too. If the complexities of Things or OmniFocus feel like too much for you, ActionGear might be just what you are looking for.

John writes Creativityist, a blog about shaping good habits for your soul, and your Mac, to practice creativity.

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