Pocket Informant Android: My New Recommendation for a Tasks App that Works with ToodleDo and MYN

Apr 17, 2011

I am very pleased to announce that that the new Android app Pocket Informant now supports MYN tasks. It’s a great app and it fills an important place in the MYN-compatible mobile app list. If you are using MYN with ToodleDo and you use an Android device, you should get Pocket Informant and configure it for MYN as I show below. It’s available on Android Market. Here’s the full story:

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As you may know, at the end of March, Got To Do was canceled by its maker (see my previous blog entry), that created a gap in the MYN tool suite; it left us with no recommended Android tasks app that worked with ToodleDo and MYN.

So I am very pleased that Pocket Informant (PI) Android is now available. Just this weekend the PI team made the final changes needed to support MYN—they added the ability to hide all future-dated tasks—and that made the app feature-compatible with MYN; I now endorse it completely. Its task manager is full of features and its calendar module is second to none (using that is optional).

So if you need a ToodleDo-compatible Android app, buy Pocket Informant off the Android Market (it’s about 5 bucks) and then configure it for MYN per the instructions below (I make no money off those purchases; I just like the software). You can watch an overview movie and read more about Pocket Informant Android here. And when you are ready to configure it for MYN, read on.

Pocket Informant: Award-Winning Software that has Been on Windows Mobile for Years

I have been using and recommending Pocket Informant on the Windows mobile platform for nearly a decade; I still recommend PI if you are using Windows Mobile 6 and Outlook Exchange. It won tons of awards for its great functionality and it does just about everything you can imagine with tasks and calendars. The Win Mobile 6 version synchronizes tasks well with your Outlook Exchange Server, and it configures perfectly for MYN (see instructions here). When I personally stopped using Window Mobile phones a while back, PI is what I missed the most. So I am really excited that they ported it to the Android platform for use with ToodleDo server.

Note: PI Android does not work with Exchange. PI for ToodledDo is also available for the iPhone, iPad, and BlackBerry; but those versions are not yet MYN-ready so I cannot recommend them. I have feature-change requests in to eventually get those there but no promises are made. So see my other ToodleDo-MYN app recommendations for those platforms. There is no PI for Windows Phone 7.

How to Configure Pocket Informant Android for MYN 1.02 to 1.4

[Update 10/30/2011: For configuration instructions for the newer version 1.5 and later, see video #6 that is part of my new One Minute To-Do List book Extras page here: www.1MTD.com/extras ]

For older versions,to use instructions below, be sure you have v 1.02, build 4015 or later, (but again, not version 1.5 or later). You can check your version as follows:  go the Android menu button, select Settings, then scroll to bottom and choose About.

Connect PI to Your ToodleDo Account:

If you have not done so already, connect your copy of PI to your ToodleDo tasks account. Here is how:

  1. Press the Android menu button
  2. Select Settings
  3. Select Synchronization (4th item down)
  4. Select Toodledo
  5. Select Enable Toodledo Sync
  6. Select E-mail and then input your ToodleDo Email
  7. Select Password and then enter you ToodleDo Password
  8. Decide if you want to Sync Alarms and Completed tasks (the former maybe, the latter probably not) and set accordingly.

I recommend you also enable Auto-Sync and set it to a reasonable setting that matches your usage patterns (you can save battery life by not setting it to sync too frequently). If you set it to an infrequent value, then at the bottom of the Synchronize menu list activate the Sync from Menu command—that adds the Sync command to the main PI menu so you can do it manually whenever you use PI.

Press the Sync Now button in the middle of this screen to do your first sync (the first one may take a bit of time if you have a lot of tasks on the ToodleDo server). Return back to the tasks list and confirm your tasks have synced into PI.

Now Make the MYN Settings:

PI-Android requires a number of setting changes to work correctly with the MYN task system, and I list them below. Note; I am only listing the ones you need to change from PI’s default settings. In addition to these, there are a number of already existing settings in a new PI install that you need leave as-is for MYN to work. These are too numerous to list (PI has over 100 optional settings), so if you have been playing around with PI and have already made a bunch of setting changes, I recommend you uninstall and reinstall PI to get back to default settings before you start the steps below.

Assuming you are starting at a new install with default PI settings, here are the MYN changes to make; this looks like a lot, but you only need to make these changes once:

Navigate to the Tasks window (at the bottom of the main PI window press the 5th icon from the left edge; it looks like clipboard with a check mark on it.)

  1. Press the Android menu button, press the Filter button, and choose All Tasks.
  2. Press the Android menu button again and choose Hide Completed.
  3. Press the Android menu button again. Select Settings (you may need to click the More button at bottom right to find it); a long list of general PI settings opens.
  4. Click Tasks (third item down); a long list of Tasks settings opens.
  5. Click Sort Order (4th item down).
  6. Add Importance by selecting it from list at bottom; once you do, leave the thin blue arrow pointed down (ignore the wide blue carrot-arrow); this forces High importance tasks to the top of the task list.
  7. Then add Date; once you do, click on the thin blue arrow to point the arrow up (again, ignore the wide blue carrot-arrow). This forces tasks with newer start dates to the top of the task list.
  8. Remove the Subject sort from the list of sorts (click the red X).
  9. You should now have two sorts in the Sort Order list (Importance and Date); Importance should be at the top of this Sort Order config list when done. If not, use the blue wide carrot arrow to move it to the top.
  10. Click OK.
  11. Click Hide Future Tasks and choose All Future Tasks (this is the key new feature the PI team just added that made MYN usage possible)

Optional Settings while in the Tasks Settings list:

  1. Scroll down to section labeled “Show overdue tasks in calendar” and set all to Due Date
  2. Scroll down to section labeled “Show undated tasks in calendar” and set all to Never
  3. Scroll up to “Complete on push” and decide if you want to activate that. What this does is allows you to mark a task complete in the list view by pushing the check mark next to it. (pros: fast way to mark tasks complete—otherwise you have to open a task to mark it. Cons: easy to accidentally click and you might mark a task complete by mistake—recall it will disappear immediately if you do)

Check your Settings

After you exit all the way out of the setting screens to the tasks list, you should see the following: High priority at top (then Medium, then Low). Tasks should be date sorted within each priority section with newest start dates at top. No completed tasks. No future start date tasks.

If you see all this correctly, you are done!

Enjoy having all your ToodleDo-based tasks usable on Android, and let me (and others) know in the comments section how it goes.

Michael

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16 Responses to Pocket Informant Android: My New Recommendation for a Tasks App that Works with ToodleDo and MYN

  1. vikram says:

    it will help a lot if the instructions were with relevant images

    • admin says:

      Vikram,
      Sorry, images are a real pain to get off the Android. We’ll try to follow up later with some. But thought it was more important to get the info right out in mean time.
      Michael

  2. James says:

    Do you think they have any plans to support Microsoft Exchange Michael??

    • admin says:

      James,
      About supporting Exchange—it’s doubtful—they seem to be focused elsewhere. And it’s a lot harder do that since Microsoft is not supporting tasks in Android ActiveSync. But put a query on the PI forum to confirm. In meantime look at TouchDown, it is really good and supports Exchange, and even can convert emails to tasks. Great Android MYN app.
      Michael

  3. James says:

    Any does anyone know how to change the format from the US format to the UK format? 🙂

  4. Carol says:

    Michael – Will PI on the Android synch with desktop Outlook? After years of being a happy BlackBerry user I changed to Android. Some things I’m happy about…some things I’m not. I need to whip this smartphone into business shape but want to make sure I can synch with Outlook as I used to with the BB. Just found your website and am reading up on the MYN

    • admin says:

      Carol,
      PI does not sync with desktop Outlook yet, but I encourage anyone thinking about (or still doing) a desktop sync to read my Tasks Server article. As stated there, in my humble opinion, it is time to put your tasks in the cloud—lots of options for doing that described there. But if you must sync through the desktop, check out this blog entry I made a while back. And glad you are trying out MYN, I think you will like it!
      Michael

  5. Gio says:

    Michael, I followed your instructions but still have a problem. I don’t use Task start times in ToodleDo (only start dates, not times of the day). Strangely enough though when I sync with my Android device all the start times are set to 12:00. As a result, I don’t see my tasks until noon! Is that normal? Do you know how to fix that?

  6. admin says:

    Gio
    Thanks for your note. Yes, we discovered that recently too. We are in discussions with PI folks to figure out what’s going on and how to fix it. It may need a new build of one or the other (PI or ToodleDo) to fix it. Thanks for the catch.
    Michael

    • admin says:

      Gio, I just got word from the PI folks that a fix for this will be included in release 1.05 of the software. Don’t know when that will be.
      Michael

  7. virtualee says:

    My workaround until the next version of PIA is released is to temporarily enter start times in Toodledo. Here’s what I did. Note that my regional settings use a 24-hour clock.

    In Toodledo, Click Account Settings on the left.
    Click edit in the Fields/Functions Used section.
    Check Start Time.
    Click Save Changes.
    Click edit in the New Task Defaults section.
    Enter 0:01 (or 12:01 am, if you use 12-hour time) in the Start Time box.
    Click Save Changes.

    Now, any new tasks will automatically have one minute past midnight set as the start time, allowing them to display as expected in Pocket Informant.

    To change the events already on the task list, use the following instructions:
    Go to the To-do list.
    Next to the Search box, click Advanced Search…
    If necessary, click the New Search tab.

    Use the following search criteria:
    Match All of the following criteria
    Checked off: No
    AND Start Date exists
    AND Start Time doesn’t exit

    Click Search.

    Once the results are displayed, Click Multi-Edit on the right side of the screen.
    Check Start Time.
    Enter 0:01 (or 12:01 am) in the Start Time Box.
    Click Save Changes.

    Once PI is fixed, you can search for start time of 0:01 and change it to nothing.

    Hope that helps someone!

    (By the way, I’m just now trying MYN — just discovered yesterday)

  8. Bob says:

    I have both PI and the Toodledo app on my iPhone/iPad, and I prefer the PI app. Do you have any info on setting up PI on iOS for MYN before I try do convert your Android instructions?

    Thanks

  9. admin says:

    Hi Bob,

    No, the PI app on iPhone does not have all the needed features to run MYN (each PI app has a diff feature set on each platform) so we do not recommend it and have no instructions for configuring it.

    Michael

  10. petra says:

    That is soooo so great. Thanks a lot. I have been using PI for almost 2 years on WM and I was searchign for any online/web application. And this is basically perfect. I can’t believe there’s something like this and it’s free. You make my day special

  11. John says:

    Since PI can now be synced to Outlook Exchange directly via WebIS Synchronization (a desktop application from PI) and ToodleDo is no longer necessary, have you been able to work out with PI a configuration for MYN syncing to an iPhone and iPad since Bob’s July 11, 2011 inquiry above?

    I suggested to PI that configuring for MYN users would be very helpful but have not had a response.

    Thanks

    • Michael Linenberger says:

      John, the last I looked PI for iOS did not have the features needed for MYN. The good news is TaskTask does have those features, and integrates with Exchange Outlook (that’s my recommendation if you have Exchange). If you do not have Exchange, the recommendation is still ToodleDo… but if PI iOS comes out with support for the MYN features, I could certainly support that.
      Best, Michael

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