Anyone who’s ever had to plan and manage sick leave or vacation days will tell you it’s difficult. Keeping track of time off in-between countless meetings and obligations will have any employee tearing their hair out. Annual Leave, by developer Tobias Knieper, is here to help, offering solid productivity and time management tools.
Concept and Functionality
Annual Leave is somewhere between a time tracker and a productivity tool: The app allows you to first track how many days off you’re given during any given year, and secondly how you spend them. By putting in expected (and surprise) days off, the app will tally and subtract your total by year, helping you keep track of time you’ve already spent and plan to spend. For each entry you make, you can also specify a location. Not only that, but with full iPhone calendar integration, you can even take Annual Leave’s data on the go using your other dates and meetings.
Annual Leave’s is a solid concept, and one that’s been orchestrated quite well. The app was bug-free during my review, and I found its performance rock-solid. The ability to plan days off by year was particularly helpful, as well. However, I would have liked to see more filtering options: Having the option to search through planned events via location would have been useful. That being said, the in-app calendar is a great way to manage upcoming time off. The app provides public holiday information for several countries (including the United Kingdom, Ireland, and the United States) but integration with even more European countries would have been a nice touch. On the whole, though, Annual Leave offers a tight package that will easily track your given days and the way you spend them.
Perhaps Annual Leave’s biggest weakness is its rather stock design. Tabbed feature browsing dominates the app’s home screen, and though it provides quick access to information, it’s far from inspiring. Changing years on the Overview page was made a bit complicated as well by the lack of animations: I would sometimes change years accidentally and not realize it for several minutes, leaving me to wonder where my time off went. Integration with the stock calendar is a tremendous boon, and I would have liked to see email integration as well. Sending a planned event to loved ones or coworkers from within the app would be invaluable for group gatherings.
At the end of the day, Annual Leave is a bargain app at its £ .59 pricing. If you need a utility to manage your time off, the app will deliver in spades. It’s not the prettiest app you’ve ever laid eyes on, but it gets the job done, and that’s really all one can ask of it.
Annual Leave requires iOS 4.0 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.
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