Gneo is Just Shy of Neato [App Review]

Gneo by KeaneAndAble
Version 1.0.4
Price: $9.99

Why do we always “pile it on?” Some of us just can’t say no to taking something else on. How are some people so much better at organization? For them, everything is in its proper place. If you can relate to either one of those questions, or even both, you should find something to help you manage and organize your busy life. Gneo may be just what your looking for since it introduces task saturation to organization where they can live happily ever after.

Gneo introduced me to a different way of task thinking. See, usually I compile one long list in my head that I would check off visually. When there was something I absolutely could not forget to complete, I would jot it down since it was urgent. When you add something to Gneo, there are selections you can assign regarding the items importance. Have something urgent but not important? You can assign these options so you can properly arrange your day. For example, I needed to get my haircut the other day. I felt it was urgent since it’s starting to look all wild, but not important in relation to what else I needed to complete that day. Eventually it could work its way up to being urgent and important, so when it does, I will edit the task accordingly.

Once you get the hang of Gneo, it’s extremely easy to navigate around and edit tasks. One thing I like to do is add notes to a task I have created. With Christmas shopping being high on the priority of things I need to complete, I need to be able to quickly access information about those on my shopping list. Most of those I’m buying for have or will email me their list. I can quickly copy and past their items right into the notes section of the shopping task I’ve created about them. I have easy access to their information and ideas right at my finger tips. Once I have reached the dollar amount my budget allows me to spend on them, I will check them off my Gneo list.

There is one aspect of Gneo that takes a bit of getting used to. You create Notebooks, which hold all the tasks you need to complete. The first lists I created were: To-Do List, Christmas Shopping, and Household Items. Each list was created because of their uniqueness of tasks. Items didn’t necessarily relate to one another. When I was working within one notebook, I would have to switch to the other if I needed to edit a task not saved within the current Notebook. When I needed to edit a task from another Notebook I would find myself confused where the task went. During my first day or so of using Gneo, I thought I accidentally deleted the task and went to add it again. Finally I realized it was in another Notebook. I would quickly switch Notebooks and there it was. Just took some getting used to, but I found myself making this mistake if I was in a rush to add or mark off something. Gneo has a way around this, however.

You can create different Notebooks, but still see each and every task you’ve created together under All Tasks. This is a great way to see everything you’ve piled on yourself. The Work Canvas organizes all your tasks in accordance of urgency and importance assigned to them. Each Notebook has a Work Canvas associated with it, but you get a really good visual of what tasks lie ahead of you. Working within All Tasks allows you the ability to edit all tasks without having to switch between Notebooks, which may help you avoid any confusion. Once you are used to Gneo’s setup, it’s really easy jumping in and out of each Notebook.

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Gneo has the ability to sync up with your Evernote account. I am not a heavy user of Evernote, but everything seemed to sync easily, so I thought, once I entered in all my account information. If you delete one of your tasks from Gneo in Evernote, it will delete the task in Gneo when it syncs, and vice versa. Evernote is extremely popular, so having Gneo sync with it is great. People may be reluctant to try something like Gneo all by itself, but when you sync up with something as functional and popular as Evernote, you know they mean business. I have run into a few problems with Gneo and Evernote. I’m not sure if it was my fault or a glitch in “the Matrix.” I kept having issues with some tasks not showing up across my devices. This can be extremely frustrating when you input them on one device, like my iPad mini, and then when I went to check some of them off or edit reminder times, they weren’t there or incorrect calendar dates were being displayed. I interacted with support numerous times on this and they were extremely helpful and fairly quick to respond. Gneo is based in both San Francisco and Dublin, but the support specialist I was interacting with was from Ireland.  Even with the drastic time differences between me and support, I got useful answers at different times of the day. After numerous interactions with support, I think I got everything all squared away though. Eventually I had to delete Gneo from all my devices, restart them, and then download Gneo and sign-in again. I was hesitant to delete Gneo off all my devices since I had so much stored in there, but support reassured me all my tasks were saved in a Gneo Cloud account. This was a minor setback, but I’m happy to say I didn’t lose anything and everything is operating as designed now.

The design of Gneo lets you know you should mean business too. Overall layout and design of Gneo feels like they want you focused. Gneo wants their users focused on “doing the right things at the right time.” This couldn’t be more evident from their simple design. When I look at Gneo, I am reminded of the phrase, “Not everything is black and white.” Well, it is for Gneo! Nearly every screen you interact with has black text and a white background. The only time I saw color was green on the Calendar page and when I added a map location to a task. Adding this distracted me a bit. I found myself roaming around the map screen checking things out. That’s when it dawned on me, nearly everything is in black and white because Gneo doesn’t want their users distracted. The only other color you really see, other than those in the map, is green. It’s mostly black and white. You’re either completing your tasks or you’re not. Flashy colors and menus will only keep you looking down at your iOS device. That’s not going to help you realize your full potential. Simplicity is key for your success with Gneo.

One feature on Gneo I really enjoyed was the ability to add the reminders to the iOS calendar. When you go to edit a task and add a reminder, a calendar icon is up in the right hand corner. When you tap that icon Gneoautomatically adds it to your calendar so you can see it when you’re viewing your calendar outside of Gneo. I use my calendar a lot, so this is great to see some of the things you have setup in another application. Great integration into the iOS calendar Gneo, I greatly appreciate it!!

Lastly, Gneo allows the ability to add many different items to each task. Tags can be added to quickly find tasks. Quickly add notes to each task, which will be displayed to the right of the task. Easily setup reminders or attach files. Gneo even gives you the ability to add a location on a map that you’ll be able to quickly recall if or when you need it. The final feature you can add to a task is follow up. This can be done by selecting a date on the calendar when you’re adding or editing the task. Follow up can also be added holding your finger on the task and slowly swiping to the right. This will add 1, 3, or 5 days to the follow up option. I believe Gneomissed out on adding a reoccurring task setting here. There are a few things I do daily during my work week and it would be nice to have those put in once and show up unchecked or highlighted on the correct days.

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Pros:

  • Extremely easy to use and gestures used in the app are meaningful and not just for show.
  • The ability to add tasks to your iOS calendar.
  • Allows users the ability to organize and prioritize their day/tasks.
  • Simple design so you’re not busy looking around wasting productivity time.
  • Syncs with all your iOS devices and Evernote (make sure you login to Evernote in the settings and sync with each device you’re going to use Gneo on).
  • You can view your iOS Calendar information while in Gneo.
  • Has great support and their website has helpful videos.
  • Support emailed me back quickly when I had questions.

Cons:

  • I had trouble with syncing and calendar dates that required a lot of extra time to identify and correct.
  • Consistency issues resulted in double and triple checking across synced devices.
  • Daily item or reoccurring item function needs to be added.

I’m a little torn. I really, really like Gneo, but I am not sure if any of the syncing or calendar issues are going to rear their ugly head again. I find myself wanting to go and check and double check to make sure things are how, when, and where they’re supposed to be. This seems to create double the work, which is counterproductive to what Gneo wants you to experience. Aside from the syncing and calendar issues I experienced, it’s got a lot going for it. I’ve been in using Gneo for 8 days now and it has really helped me stay on track. By the end of the week I was adding numerous items to the Household Notebook to keep a catalogue of what everyday items we were running out of; deodorant, toothpaste, paper towels, etc. Part of me wants to recommend it because I used it pretty consistently aside from the issues I had. The other part of me feels that when you’re spending $9.99 on an application it should work consistently. I couldn’t get Gneo to do that for me until yesterday. I’m not suggesting a lower dollar amount you spend on something should get a pass with similar issues, but you really don’t go into the App Store to drop $10 on a regular basis. I know all the information and screenshots I provided to Gneo about my issues are being forwarded, so hopefully they will be able to see what went wrong for me. I do see myself utilizing Gneo now that it’s back to 100%.

 

About Author

Jeremy McGinty

Jeremy McGinty is an iOS expert and has written over 350 articles relating to Apple and their products over the past two years. Writing about iPhones, iPads, and anything relating to Apple is what Jeremy does in his free time and you’re going to love reading how he’s a normal guy just like you. Jeremy is the most approachable person you’ll ever meet and you should try it out for yourself, send him a message here!

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