Get More Done With Sandglaz

It seems like every week we review a new task management/to-do list app here at AppStorm, and it’s easy to see why – everybody has trouble getting things done. And it’s no secret that things get even messier when you’ve to collaborate with people on tasks, whether it’s a software development project or planning a party. Does 2012 hold the answer to our productivity problems? You’ll have to try Sandglaz to find out.

In the sea of task management apps, Sandglaz prides itself on being the one you’ll use the least – and that’s a good thing. Foregoing a heavy interface, focusing on reduced time creating lists and yet not scrimping on features, this is an app that you can use for personal tasks, work projects or group activities.

There’s a free version as well as paid versions for individuals and teams. Most of you are probably already using a similar app – should you make the switch? Let’s take Sandglaz for a spin first.

My Tasks in Sandglaz

My Tasks in Sandglaz

Overview

Sandglaz is a very flexible task management app suitable for all types of users and groups. You can set up your list(s) of tasks the way you want so you can actually prioritize everything you’ve to do at a glance and go about them methodically. You can also access the app on the move via its mobile-friendly HTML5 site. You can sign up for free and then upgrade your plan at any time, and do so for teams as well.

Getting started

Registering to use Sandglaz is quick and doesn’t require you to go through their pricing plans – you’re automatically signed up for their 30-day free trial (after which you’ll be downgraded to their free plan unless you upgrade). You can use their free plan, sign up for their individual Infinity plan for US$3/month or upgrade your entire team (sharing a single grid) for US$12.5/month. Once you’ve entered your details, you’ll be greeted by a tutorial presented in a pre-filled usable grid of tasks (which is a great way to learn how the app works). The first thing you’ll notice here is how neat and clean the interface is.

You can edit tasks on the Tutorial grid to quickly learn to use Sandglaz

You can edit tasks on the Tutorial grid to quickly learn to use Sandglaz

The interface

Sandglaz is as simple to use as it looks. The idea is that you can have as many task lists – called grids – as you want, depending on how you want to work through them. Most of the screen is taken up by the active grid, while a list of grids is shown in a sidebar on the left. Above the active grid is an action bar which shows a few options for editing the grid settings, sharing the grid and deleting completed tasks.

To add a task, simply click anywhere in the grid and begin typing – when you stop, you’re done adding it. Hitting Enter allows you to add a task below it. There’s a grab bar to the left of each task, which you click and drag to re-order tasks up and down or between boxes in the grid. You can even move a task from one grid to another by dragging it on to the name of the desired grid in the sidebar.

Hovering over a task shows an arrow to its right, which you can click to add a note, set a due date and time (with a nicely designed picker) and set it to recur as often as you need it to. In the action bar on top, clicking Settings allows you to edit your grid – change the grid name, choose the number of boxes or turn it into an Infinity grid, or delete the grid. This is where things get really interesting.

Grid settings in Sandglaz

Grid settings in Sandglaz

Working with grids

In a standard grid, you can create a matrix of boxes for your tasks, ranging from 1×1 to 3×3 boxes. So you could create a simple 2×1 grid for your shopping list – one box for groceries and another for tools from the hardware store. Or you could replicate Eisenhower’s matrix, which is a 2×2 matrix to help you visualize and prioritize your tasks so you can get to the most urgent and important ones first. The beauty of Sandglaz is that you can set up your grid however you like. In the example below, I’ve set up a grid with movies I’ve got in my queue that I want to get through – but not all of them are equally important.

A shared list of movies to watch

A shared list of movies to watch

You can also create an Infinity grid, which is essentially a 3×1, 3×2 or 3×3 grid on a continuum. With this grid, you can create boxes to indicate milestones (say, for building a website) and add tasks accordingly. I created a simple Infinity grid showing all the tasks involved in shooting dishes for a restaurant’s menu and website. Here, I first decided that all my preparation needs to be finished by Feb 2 and so I set that date as the first milestone. I then added the preliminary tasks into this box. Similarly, I set a date for when the shoot would be finished and added more tasks there. This is great for when you have a large project with lots of tasks that need to broken down and completed in sequence.

Tasks for my food photography project

Tasks for my food photography project

Collaborating on Sandglaz

Sandglaz offers some interesting features for working with teams. For starters, you can invite people from within the app via email and they can register for free to use Sandglaz. You can assign roles to your team members depending on how much control you want them to have over the grid you’re sharing – owners can edit everything on the grid, editors can manage tasks but not grid settings and readers get read-only access to the grid.

You can assign tasks and categorize them by mentioning a user and hashtagging like you would in a Twitter update. For example: Buy cookies @Joel #groceries assigns the task of buying cookies to Joel and places it in the groceries category. When you’ve added these tags in your task, they become hyperlinks that you can click to filter and view only those tasks.

Tasks assigned to Ron (who likes intense movies)

Tasks assigned to Ron (who likes intense movies)

Sandglaz on mobile (Android)

Sandglaz on mobile (Android)

Conclusion

All in all, Sandglaz is easy to use and works great for teams and extended projects. It’s also reasonably priced and lives up to its claim of reducing clicks and keystrokes with its polished user experience. I only wish that it had native mobile apps as I’m frequently offline while on the go. Other than that, Sandglaz definitely has what it takes to contend with the top players in its category. If you’re looking to get organized, this is a great option to try – and it’s free to do so as well. Put Sandglaz on your to-do list and check it out today!


Summary

Sandglaz lets you create, track and manage all of your life's todo's from a single page.

  • Sandglaz  | 
  • Free - US$3/month (personal) or US$12.5/month (team)  | 
  • Sandglaz
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