If you’re looking for an all-inclusive productivity iPad app designed to track your upcoming goals, actions, to-dos, and references, look no further than Next! by LeftTurn Labs. This high-end note-taking iPad offers a lot of similarly top-notch features, even if the interface is more confusing than a turtleneck in July.
Next! attempts to fill any professional note-shaped voids in your life by offering up a multitude of useful categories in which to put reminders and lists. These categories include Action Lists, for referencing things that need to be done yesterday, and Project & Goal pages for tracking the completion of various projects and needs. Within each subsection you’re allowed to edit a reminder’s progress, title, due date and level of importance. You’re also free to attach references, like a resume or memo, to the References pane.
Using the apps in-house linking feature, you’re then free to associate notes with other notes as you please: You can even attach a referenced document straight to the goal it concerns. This is a great way to store notes, and the various subsections make it extremely easy to organize in a hurry. The ability to search notes via tag and text is also a great boon for the app. To round it off, Next! also lets you export most notes via email.
Sadly, although Next! offers a lot of professional-grade features, the app’s design is absolutely indecipherable. Next! makes use of a sliding-wall interface, in which notes must be accessed by sliding to the appropriate place, and then selecting the content in question from a main-list. Managing links within notes is murderously difficult, and you’ll not likely figure it out without using the extensively documented in-app instructions. All complaints aside, the app does look fantastic on the iPad. The retro wallpaper background is simply superb, and the app’s Web 2.0 feel looks stupendous. However, though the time spent creating a unique interface is appreciated, Next! would greatly benefit from a revamped—and more traditional—user front.
Another minus against Next! is its high price: The iPad app will run you a $9.99 in the AppStore, which is pricy. Considering the availability of so many other note-taking and productivity apps in the market, spending $9.99 on Next! may be a hard sell for some users. However, if you’re in love with the app’s interface—which once deciphered actually is rather smooth—and cannot live without Next!’s quality organizational tools, then perhaps the price of entry is not so high after all.
Next! requires iOS 4.2 or later and is compatible with iPad. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.
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