We’re busy working on our next version of SmartPad. It will feature some major improvements that we’d like to share with you, so you can see where we’re headed.
We’ve updated the interface to unify SmartPad with the look and feel of its two new siblings under development, SmartDay Mac and SmartDay Web. To do this, we consulted with our “UI Guru’s” at Apple, who gave invaluable input. Here’s a quick summary of what’s new in the design:
We’ve added a small ‘month navigator’ module, similar to what we designed for SmartCal. Tap on it to go to any day. Tap on the “expand” button to see a full-screen month or week view. Oh – and see which days are busy, just by their background shading. (We pioneered this in both SmartTime and SmartCal).
We’ve replaced the tabs with zippy accordion-style modules. That way, you can have multiple views open at the same time – for example, Notes and Lists, or Lists and Categories. Don’t worry – everything is in the same place. It’s just easier to get to. And you can do more with it.
Drag and Drop
Drag and drop pretty much anything onto anything (made easy with the Accordions feature). Drag a task into the new ‘month navigator’ to create a new deadline. Drag a note onto a task, to create a link. Drag a note into the ‘month navigator’ to create a reminder for that note. Zip zip.
Lists are flat, Calendars are 3D
Just to help you see the difference, all of our list items have a new look: they are flat ‘blocks’ that you can drag around, up and down between modules or over into the calendar side of things. Calendar items have that wonderful 3D feel that we pioneered with SmartTime way back in 2008. If you drag a task from the List into the Calendar, it transforms into beautiful 3D. Nice. Clear. Transformative.
Day stuff on left, List stuff on right
The Day Calendar has always been on the left side but we added two new views: the Month Navigator plus a unique new Focus pane that shows you everything you need to know about the highlighted day. Tap any day in the Month Navigator and both the Focus pane and the Day Calendar will spring to attention with information. Quick. Concise. Complete. Informed.
Okay, so SmartPad3 will be a lot easier to use. That’s perfect timing because it will be storing a lot more information, and doing a lot more with it. Oh and not to steal the thunder on our great new features, but in the next version (3.1) we’re going to throw in a fully integrated Contact manager, complete with full drag-and drop. That’s right, Total Recall. Arnold would be proud.
Notes are Everywhere
We’ve freed up the Notes page so that it’s no longer connected to a specific day. That means, you can connect a note to anything. You can start with the Day that you are writing it (this is the default). You can then drag it onto an Appointment, or Task, or (coming soon) Contact to create an instant link. And by link, we mean our trademark HyperNote link: tap to jump directly to the linked item. And yes, you can create new follow-up appointments and events from any highlighted text in your note.
Everything is Illuminated
Actually, we haven’t just freed up Notes. We’ve freed everything. Drag and drop any Task, Event or Note – to automatically create a date, link or reminder. The iPad’s touch interface has just become your productivity tool. SmartPad is the canvas and you are Picasso. SmartPad is your Minority Report; catch crimes before they happen. Or, at least, get organized and have fun while you’re at it.
We’ve added a new item type: Reminders. What’s the difference between a Reminder and a Task? A Reminder can be placed anywhere, on any date. A Reminder can refer to any other object such as a Task, Event, or Note. Or it can just be there on it’s own, like that little string tied around your finger (what was that for, again?). Reminders will show in the Focus pane (see below) on the day that they are set to remind you, and Reminders can also have pop-up alerts that occur at any time.
We’ve long understood that your day is not just a series of meetings. That’s why we created the first integrated calendar for iPhone and iPad. But there’s even more information you need, to really focus on each day. The Focus pane shows it all: Occasions, Dues and Overdue’s, Reminders, Alerts, and even your Done’s. And right below the Focus pane is our familiar integrated calendar with Tasks and Events right inside. Drag a task to the left side of the calendar, and it becomes an event. Drag an event to the right side of the calendar, and it becomes a task. Come, see, do. Then celebrate.
Global Contexts – GTD and more
Our new, one-tap Global Contexts will allow you to view items contextually – for example, all the stuff you need to do at home, or at the office, or when you’re out shopping. This is one of the key features of the “Getting Things Done” philosophy of productivity. (By the way, check out our GTDo’s filter that places only the top task from each of your Projects, into the task list. Mark a GTDo as ‘done’ and the next one flows right in. Talk about focus!) But we’ve taken it a step further. We’ve included the six basic Life Balance contexts: Work, Family, Spouse, Self, Social and Community. Now you can keep track of how you spend your time and see if you really are achieving the balance that you want. Because life is actually more than just getting things done.
Ingenious. That’s all there is to it. First in SmartCal, now in SmartPad: tasks and events are integrated for an entire week. Set individual working times for each day. Our SmartTime logic then places tasks from the list directly into your calendar. And now in the Week Planner, you can drag and drop tasks and appointments back and forth from any day to any day. Drag a task up or down, or to another day, to change its priority order in the task list. Tasks are still flexible and split around your appointments. Drag an appointment to another time, to change its date and time. Watch as the tasks re-organize to fit into the new time slots. Want to fix a task to a specific time slot? Just drag it to the left side of any day in the Planner, and it becomes an event. Want to convert an event into a task? Just drag it to the right side of any day and it “jumps” into the task list at that point. Suddenly, your entire week makes sense to you. You can also re-size any task or event by dragging the ‘size’ buttons – a nifty little feature that we pioneered in SmartCal earlier this year.
iOS5, iOS Calendar, and iCloud
Not just compatible. Taking full advantage of the great new features of iOS5. SmartPad will now have direct access to the iPad calendar, which means you can create calendars on your iPad calendar from within SmartPad3. Backup your data directly to the iCloud for safe keeping. And share your data, via the iCloud, with our other Smart apps. Safely and quickly.
Connect to the Web
SmartPad will sync directly with mySmartDay.com, our all-in-one web app. Create and manage tasks, events, reminders and notes right from your desktop. Then sync with SmartPad on your iPad, SmartCal on your iPhone, and SmartDay on your Mac.
Mac Mother Ship
SmartDay Mac will have the same features and familiar design components as the new SmartPad. SmartDay Mac is designed to live unobtrusively on your desktop, showing you the information you need while you go about your day creating, interacting, communicating, designing, planning, and everything else you do on your Mac. SmartDay Mac is there when you need it, hidden when you don’t.
As always, there’s more. This is just the first. As we get closer to beta, we’ll release some screen shots of the actual app to show you how it’s looking. SmartPad. The Zen of Productivity.
Oh, wait. For those of you who read this far, here’s a sneak peek:
Also in the Oven
SmartPlans 3.0 with milestones, critical path, and alerts. SmartTime 5.0 places tasks directly into your iPhone calendar. The SmartBook changes how you organize and share ideas.Small print: features may change and may or may not appear in SmartPad3.