capsule review

To-do app Due delights on the Mac

At a Glance
  • Phocus Due 1.0

I was a big supporter of reminder-and-timer app Due for iOS when it launched back in 2010. The app was—and remains—simple and well-designed, and it kept me actually updating my tasks rather than starting a list and ignoring it for months. Since that debut, Due has added integration with calendar app Agenda, the capability to share reminders, and syncing between iOS devices using Dropbox or iCloud.

Now, Phocus, the developer of Due, has released Due for the Mac (Mac App Store link), offering the same reminder, timer, and log support as the iOS version in an OS X-optimized interface. The program retains the simplicity of the original app while effectively transitioning to the Mac’s point-and-click environment.

Adding a new reminder is simple.


Creating a new task is simple: Simply give it a name, set a date and time for the reminder (which you can do using natural language processing, not unlike Flexbits’s Fantastical), and choose whether or not you’d like the reminder to repeat.

Once you’ve created a task, you can quickly edit, postpone, duplicate, or delete its reminder by hovering the pointer over the task and clicking the gear button. There are a few automatic key-assigned commands, such as Postpone By 1 Hour, though you can also set your reminder to automatically snooze for a set period of time, and you can alter its alert sound.

To set a task as done, just click its checkbox button (or press Command+D). Due sends all completed reminders to its logbook, where you can browse past tasks—and resurrect them, if necessary.

Timers have fewer settings than reminders and start as soon as you hit return.


Timers, which let you choose a duration and be alerted when the timer is up, look almost identical to their iOS counterparts, though there’s no skeuomorphic switch to flip on the Mac. New timers start as soon as you press Enter, though you can turn off any timer by clicking its square Stop button. Timers are also automatically saved for future use (in case you want to use a timer for a task you frequently repeat, such as steep tea in the morning), though you can easily delete any timer using its gear button.

Due’s talents are many for such a simple app, but iCloud sync—which syncs between all your copies of Due, OS X or iOS—may be my favorite. The sync process is automatic and quick, and it even syncs in-progress timers—if you start your tea-steeping timer on your iPhone in the kitchen, then walk back to your Mac, that same timer will be counting down on your computer’s screen. Due doesn’t currently sync to the precise second, but it’s close enough—within a few seconds—to feel somewhat magical.

Some might balk, given the proliferation of $0.99 timer apps, at Due’s $10 price, but it’s well worth the price to me, especially when paired with its iOS sibling. Due provides just enough task-tracking functionality without the hassle of a full-featured GTD app, allowing me to actually get things done—instead of spending the day making lists.

At a Glance
  • Phocus Due 1.0

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