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Swift To-Do List

CNET Editors' review

Call them what you will -- task managers, organizers, or personal assistants -- but software designed to help busy people stay a step ahead of the competition (or disaster) is practically as old as computing, itself. It sometimes seems like we've tried them all, yet few have been "keepers." So we were intrigued by Dextronet's Swift To-Do List since other picky users seemed to like it. It's shareware, so it needs to offer a lot of features and performance to stand out from the freeware crowd -- and it does. But you can try it free for 30 days to see if it suits your needs. Swift To-Do List 8 is ready for Windows 8.

Swift To-Do List's welcome screen offered two options: Empty Database, to start a new database, or Sample Database, to view example data. While the program's neatly partitioned Explorer-style layout and attractive icon suite seemed easy enough to grasp, we nevertheless started with the sample data, which is one of the best and fastest ways to learn to use programs such as Swift To-Do List. The first page of a Quick Start Guide appeared next. For good measure, we also opened the extensive Help file and toured the other resources on the Help menu. The documentation recommends starting with the Basics overview, which describes how to set up the program's tree view-based to-do list, database, and encryption; configure pop-up reminders and alarms; import and sync e-mail, browser, and mobile data and devices; configure filters; and much more. The Import Wizard made it easy to import not only contacts but also tasks from Outlook. We like the ability to completely customize the tree view, icons, and so on; in fact, it seems like there's very little about Swift To-Do List that can't be customized or configured.

We're impressed by Swift To-Do List and don't doubt its claim to help reduce stress and bring "peace of mind" to busy people who take advantage of its many capabilities. The full version costs $44.95 -- not expensive, though more than similar tools. But Swift To-Do List's 30-day trial makes for a stress-free decision.

Editors' note: This is a review of the trial version of Swift To-Do List 8.052.

Publisher's Description

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All User Reviews
  • All versions:

    4.0 stars

    out of 10 votes

    • 5 star: 5
    • 4 star: 2
    • 3 star: 1
    • 2 star: 2
    • 1 star: 0
  • Current version:

    2.0 stars

    out of 2 votes

    • 5 star: 0
    • 4 star: 0
    • 3 star: 0
    • 2 star: 2
    • 1 star: 0
  • My rating:

    0 stars

    Write review

Results 1-2 of 2

  • 2.0 stars

    "Can't afford over-priced software"

    January 14, 2014  |   By Holmes1245

    Version: Swift To-Do List 8.064

    Pros

    The Good:
    The software itself does a lot. It's a good program to keep lists like tasks, notes and is a good program for this. It's good if you sit at a PC for the time you use it. There are a lot of features that will help a person accomplish what they want. One of the features I love is the ability to filter your tasks and to edit columns to your liking. I was able to use the program to great effectiveness when I was looking for a job. I could drag and drop RSS job feeds from Thunderbird or Outlook into STDL which made it great. Copy and paste as well as rich text notes makes STDL ideal. There are a lot of nice surprised.

    Cons

    The Bad:
    If you need your tasks to be portable then you're out of luck. The sync feature on version 8 is in beta and has been for over a year. They are now developing mobile apps for version 9 but have as yet, with version 8, nothing. One thing I found myself not liking is that the more I added tasks, the more I would have to search for them. I wish there had been a way to lock the task order and filter as needed but alas, this could not be done like another program that I now use.

    Summary

    The Ugly:
    Now, the ugly. I dropped my stars down to two. Why? Not because of the performance of version 8 but what Dextronet did to users of version 8.

    What I did not realize until just recently is how often Dextronet moves on to the next version. As another reviewer has noted, this program is over-priced and in my opinion, upgraded too often. To offer a Home, Professional and Ultimate version (reaching $150!) is overpriced as often as they release versions. If they released a new version every three to four years then sure, that would be fine but just about every year? No, not for me. This comes off to me as "milking the cow" as someone else here in the reviews worded it. I want all features (Ultimate) but I don't want to pay $150 every 1.5 years for an upgrade. That's too much.

    What really got me though is what they did to purchasers of version 8. Dextronet's business strategy is to sell their software before they implement all features in it. They're doing it again now with advertising the pre-release of version 9 in hopes that people will buy. Sorry, fooled me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. I thought the list of features they had promised for version 8 was impressive so I purchased the Ultimate, upgrading from version 7 to 8. I noted the list of promised features because it did seem like too good a thing.

    In the end, it was. Low and behold, version 9 is being released this month (Jan 2014) and only two or three items on the list of eight or nine promised features had been released in version 8. I had wondered what happened to the others! When I contacted them about this, I was essentially told, "Yeah, we're sorry, we made the mistake of over-promising. We learned our lesson", but yet no mention on their social sites about this. Am I the only one who noticed or are there not that many users? Their social sites do lack many comments from users so it makes me wonder. Regardless, I can't afford to pay $150 every 1.5 years and really, software shouldn't be upgraded that often. I use another productivity program that I've been using that helps make my life organized. They've been out developing this app about just as long as Dextronet has with Swift To Do List, yet their on version 4 for Windows while Dextronet is on version 9. It's the poor business strategy though that really killed it for me, which is why I'm not upgrading. If you can't follow through with the promised features, let your user base know. I noticed it. It makes me wonder if anyone else will.

    Updated on Jan 15, 2014

    dryndryr, as I've been a user of Swift To Do List for the past three years, I can agree with you on being 'milked like a cow'. They also move on to the next version too soon which, in my opinion, proves that fact.

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  • 2.0 stars

    "If you enjoy being milked like a cow, this is for you"

    January 3, 2014  |   By dryndryr

    Version: Swift To-Do List 8.064

    Pros

    Good interface

    Cons

    Program has a habit of going comatose while sitting in the system tray.
    Program is structured with basic feature deficiencies to encourage users to buy very expensive upgrades.

    Summary

    I'm a registered (paid) user of Swift To Do, and the software drives me crazy. I have two primary complaints about the program: It has a habit of going comatose while it sits in the system tray, and the program is structured so if you want basic features that should be present, upgrades are very expensive. Upon startup, the program works fine. But after a few hours of sitting in the system tray--even while the remainder of my XP system is still going and going, when I finally click the tray icon for Swift To-Do, it is non-responsive, and getting it to wake up requires a lot of clicking and waiting which is distracting and then, suddenly, you can't remember what you intended to do! Great. Those upgrades? The programmer has built into his program minor deficiencies that will cause most people to want to upgrade just to have basic features that you can find in other programs, and his upgrades are ridiculously expensive. You can get all the features of Swift To Do with none of the hassle or expense by using ReminderFox, a $5 Firefox addon; I'm using it, and I don't miss the ridiculous cow milking software.

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