The Hit List: Another way to skin the cat

Posted on by Mike Evans

Author: Michael Evans

Todo and task lists represent one of the biggest categories of app for the iPhone. The Mac is less well endowed, but there's no doubting that keeping lists must be a popular activity. Most of the iPhone apps are very simple lists of things to do and have no claim to being project managers. OmniFocus and Things are probably the two most successful iPhone apps that lay claim to more advanced features. OmniFocus, in particular, is a must for those who like to have their Macs and portable devices in constant sync; but it needs learning and a degree of discipline in categorising, contexting and scheduling tasks and projects. Here, though, I'm looking at Mac programs rather than iPhone apps

Yesterday's post by Robert Kitson and a subsequent glance at his Twitter page (@RobertKitson) provided an introduction to yet another Mac project management application, The Hit List. I've downloaded a trial version and have to say I impressed. From the start, I'd say that if you fancy OF but can't face the learning curve, The Hit List (THL) might be your cup of tea.

THL has a very simple and uncluttered user interface. It relies heavily on keyboard input and in this respect reminds me of Quicksilver. You can do almost everything from the keyboard. For instance, to move tasks up, down, right and left you simply press the w,s,a and d keys. To allocate a task to a project folder you press F for file. To add a context you press @. Of course, if you don't want to complicate things, you can simply use it as a to-do list and forget about projects and contexts. 

For scheduling purposes there are three views. The Inbox, which is self-explanatory, contains all new items that haven't been allocated or scheduled. Then comes the Today view which contains two sections: Due today and Due in the next 3 days. All other dated items appear in the Upcoming list which groups items into sections: Act on tomorrow, Act on in the next 7 days, Act on in the next 30, 90 days etc.

As with most similar applications, you can type in "next Friday" or "next month" and have THL resolve that into the actual date.

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