Bento vs. Toodledo iPad Productivity

By Alan Hammond

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Ever in search of the perfect productivity app, I’ve been comparing Toodledo to Bento for iPad. Both are exceptional, but there’s a clear winner, in my estimation.

In the interest of full disclosure, I’ve been a devotee of Toodledo for some time. Bento is a relative newcomer to my iPad.

Productivity Killers

I’ve found that with any productivity application, method or mode of thinking, boundaries must be set. In my case, I have to know what I want to achieve with an app, or at least review it and see what it can do. Otherwise, I become engulfed by it’s capabilities, get lost in endless short-, medium- and long-term planning and scheduling. In short, the urge to plan the most minute detail is strong and a good method can be an enabler.

Even shorter version, I can easily get lost in the details with a good productivity app.

Both Bento and Toodledo have been blessed with such capabilities.

The Long-Term Solution

Strange padfellows, Toodledo and Bento

I’ve had a while to become familiar with Toodledo. I used it on my iPhone before iPad came along, then brought it to the iPad. Seamless linking between both devices, and a web interface, is so nice. If you have a Mac, Bento can do the same thing, but for those with a PC, a key component is missing. Also, there’s no website to turn to when needed.

Something that Toodledo offers that, to me, is priceless, is long-term planning and goal setting. You can set your goals, lifelong if you want to look that far ahead. Look at those goals as sitting atop the hierarchy and just below are folders. At the foundation are your tasks. By pointing your tasks to their proper folders, and your folders to their respective goals, you can actually see how you’re progressing toward goals. To me, that capability, along with a well organized system, convinced me to spring for the pro version, $24 (approximately) yearly subscription. The app, itself, is free.

Toodledo is certainly task oriented. The calendar function is very basic, instead, you get lots of flexibility with task scheduling, subtasks, goals, etc.

Bento, on the other hand, offers a great deal more.

Bento’s World

I can see why Bento (See Current Price In the App Store) has such a following and how it can become a world of it’s own. Not only can you organize and plan effectively, when intelligently customized and well-familiarized, the app can streamline your life.

Bento allows the user to manage contacts, track projects, and plan meetings and events. It gives you invoicing capabilities, stores your passwords, handles your sales leads, lets you make voice memos and save images and videos, and that’s not all. You can set bill payment reminders, browse web links without leaving the app, and adapt a host of templates to your specifications for work, school and home. It’s a beautiful thing.

At this point, the ability to show me how I’m doing in relation to my major goals is important and why I’m sticking with Toodledo. That’s why I call it my clear winner.  I can’t help thinking, though, that I’m missing out by not switching to Bento as my main productivity squeeze.

I’m sure with either I’ll always fight the need to plan each breath I take. I suppose that’s a good thing.

About Alan Hammond
Alan is a freelancer writer and small business consultant. His writing has magically appeared in many places, but principally within the golfing realm. He's also a believer in the potential and future of the iPad. You can find him easily, but give twitter a try first, @AlanLHammond.

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