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First Look: CheckOff 4.0 for Mac OS X


I'm one of those people who "Gets Things Done" the old-fashioned way. I've tried just about every To-Do list manager for the Mac and iPhone, and I still end up resorting to writing lists in my Moleskine notebook and then crossing off the completed items. Still, when I saw that an upgrade to CheckOff had been shipped by Second Gear Software, I decided to give it a try.

CheckOff 4.0 is not the latest navigator and weapons officer for the USS Enterprise. It is a compact and easily accessible to-do list for Mac OS X, and it runs both on Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard and 10.6 Snow Leopard. CheckOff 4.0 is shareware, and requires that you purchase a US$12.95 license to use it for more than ten to-do items.

After installing and launching the 4.4 MB application on your Mac, a check mark icon appears in the menu bar. To add or delete items from your to-do list, you click on the check mark to make the CheckOff menu appear (below):

What you see is the complete user interface for CheckOff 4.0. Those five icons are used to add a new item, add a new folder, delete an item, change the color or category for an item or folder, and to delete checked (completed) items. There's a place for notes down at the bottom of the the window.

There's a lot to like about CheckOff 4.0. It's unobtrusive, it's a great little list manager, and you can set it to start up when you power up or restart your Mac. However, it's missing one key feature -- an iPhone counterpart. SecondGear is a Mac and iPhone development house, so perhaps they have an iPhone app in the works so that your to-do list can travel wherever you go. At this point your portability choices are either printing the to-do list or exporting it to a text file and moving the file to your iPhone.

I also found the app to be somewhat buggy. After launching the app for the first time on my iMac, I found that I was unable to get into the Preferences to change the name of a category. I quit CheckOff, then tried to start it again. No such luck. Activity Monitor showed that it was beginning to launch, and the application would then quit.This happened not only on my iMac, but also on my MacBook Air. An email to Second Gear Software remained unanswered after two days, so I'm running this First Look with the caveat that you may run into issues with CheckOff 4.0.

Author's Note: The newly-released CheckOff 4.0.1 appears to fix the issue.

What's your favorite Mac application or iPhone app for list management? Leave a comment below.

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