The most productive people and groups always keep track of their due tasks in order to complete them efficiently and in time. In this digital age, we are fortunate enough to have many options for desktop, web and mobile platforms that can assist us with our task lists. Using task management apps, you can easily organize your tasks, access your to-do lists, and keep track of your daily productivity. Shifu: To Do & Task Manager for Android might sound like just another app in this genre, but it adds some creativity to the mix. It acts as your sidekick and tries its best to remind you of your most important tasks that you’ve set it to monitor. Unlike many other task managers where you simply put a reminder and get notified later on, Shifu is context-based and automated, making it much more intelligent.
Where traditional apps let you put reminders that are static in nature, such as wishing your friend a happy birthday at a certain time, or picking groceries from your local store during the weekend, tasks created via Shifu take into account several other factors as well. That is, if you’ve actually got time to do something, only then would Shifu ask you to do it, making your task more dynamic in nature. So instead of getting reminded of buying groceries at a random time of the weekend, Shifu can remind you to buy them when you are on your way back home after being out. In other words, Shifu brings on focusing tasks to your attention when you are most likely to be able to do them.
The usage of the app is pretty straightforward, thanks to its intuitive UI. You can only use Shifu after linking your Facebook account with the service, which can be an issue for those who don’t use the social network, or prefer not to link other apps and services with it. That said, linking your Facebook profile lets Shifu sync all your tasks to the cloud. Upon signing in, Shifu presents you with a plain-looking interface carrying a large circle at the center. This ring-like controller lets you go through your current reminders by moving it in circular motion. For instance, if you set it to five minutes, your tasks that can be completed in five minutes will be shown.
Tapping the small (+) button on the home screen lets you set your desired reminders. Now here’s where the fun part really begins, and you will be surprised to see how dynamic Shifu can be. You can set different types of reminders; all you have to do is enter what the reminder is all about in ‘Remind me to’, followed by choosing the context. For instance, if you want to change the engine oil of your vehicle when you reach a certain location, you can set Shifu to keep track of that; just make sure to enter the desired location on the map for the reminder. Similarly, you can set a reminder for checking email at a particular time only when you’re connected to a certain Wi-Fi access point.
In case you’ve set a reminder involving a contact (such as calling them), the app’s home screen also displays that contact’s picture from their contact information stored on your device or the connected Facebook account. You can also view all your reminders by tapping the pertaining button at the top left corner on the app’s home screen. You can also remove any of the existing reminders from here.
The Settings screen of the app lets you specify the type of notification alerts you want. By default, Shifu uses a sound alert, though you can also enable the Active Wallpaper feature, which will then displays notifications right on your home screen and lock screen as backgrounds.
To sum it up, Shifu: To Do & Task Manager is a pretty decent and promising take on task and to-do management. The app is currently in public beta and can be grabbed for free.