The practice of law is certainly a profession that requires one to juggle lots of different tasks, which means that you need a way to keep track of those tasks. Those are countless ways to do this with an iPhone or an iPad. You can use the built-in Reminders app. You can use a complicated and sophisticated app such as OmniFocus, which California attorney David Sparks shows off in these videos. My wife is a long-timer user of Things, a very powerful app for the iPhone, iPad and Mac. But for me, I've always preferred simple solutions for managing tasks. I've been practicing law for 20 years this month, and for a good number of those years, my task management tools were simply a small legal pad and a pen; I would jot down a to-do item, and then scratch it out when it was done. But for about a year now, I've been using the Ita app to manage my tasks and keep track of other lists, and the system has worked well for me. (The developers say "Ita is pronounced like 'Item'" so I presume that the name "Ita" is a play on the idea that your lists have multiple items. [UPDATE 8/8/14: one of the two developers of Ita tweeted that ita is a Latin word that means "thus" and is a possible origin of the word item; UPDATE 8/11/14: the other developer of Ita then tweeted: "I know Ben said otherwise, but yeah I think of Ita as being the plural of items. —Bob".]) A few days ago, Ita was updated to version 2.0, which has a new, clean interface that matches the look of iOS 7, so I figured that it is now a good time to talk about this app.
The main screen of Ita shows you all of your lists. You can quickly create a new list by tapping the plus sign.
As you can see, in addition to creating a list of "Work To Do" items, I also have a list of file numbers for my most common matters. That way, if I need a file number and can't remember it, I can easily look it up in Ita.
If you want to change the order of your lists, simply hold your finger down on a list for about a second and then you can drag it up or down. Tap a list to see the items on the list. In one of my lists, I jot down the tasks that I need to do in my cases. Obviously I can't show you my real list of the tasks I need to do for my clients, so here is a fake one to give you a sense of the types of items that I typically put on a list:
To add a new item, just tap the plus sign at the bottom right. Then type your items and hit DONE when you are finished.
New items appear at the top of the list, but you can easily reorder items just by holding your finger down on an item for a second and then dragging it up or down. An item turns red while you are dragging it.
To edit an item, just slide it to the left to expose two icons: edit and delete. Or, you can tap the edit icon at the bottom, middle of the screen and then tap any item to start editing it.
When an item no longer needs to appear in the list, such as a task that you are finished, you have two choices. As shown above, you can swipe to the left and then tap the trash can icon, which will delete it completely from the list. Or, you can tap an item and that moves it the bottom and makes it gray, useful if you want to continue to see items even after you have marked them as done.
If you are using Ita to manage your work tasks, you probably won't see a need to keep items on a list after you are done with them. I simply delete a task item after I do it. But for other kinds of lists, it is useful for the item to still remain visible even after you are done with it. For example, you can make a list of the 15 items you need to remember to pack whenever you go out of town. As you pack your suitcase you can tap each item to mark it as done. Once you are finished, if you tap the icon at the bottom left (the box with an arrow) one of options is "Restore Completed Items" which will reset all of the items so that you are ready to mark them as completed again when you have your next trip. (Note that to use this particular feature, you need to go into Ita's settings. accessible by tapping the atom icon at the top left of the main screen, and then turn on "Show Restore Action".)
I virtually always use this app on my iPhone, but it is a universal app, so it works on your iPad too. You can use iCloud to sync items between your devices.
The developers of Ita mentioned on the Debug podcast in May of 2013 that they were working on a version of Ita for the Mac, but I don't believe that has been released yet.
You can use Ita with Launch Center Pro to do some sophisticated automated tasks, such as appending the contents of the clipboard to a list. You can also email a list, and if you send the list to someone else who uses Ita, they can import the list into their Ita app. But I suspect that most Ita users don't do anything fancy like that. I certainly don't. The beauty of Ita is that it is such a simple app. It lacks the bells and whistles of others task manager apps, such as assigning due dates, providing push notifications, etc., but that's because Ita isn't really a task manager app, even though I use it that way. It's just a list making app.
If keeping simple lists is the way that you like to organize your life, then I think you will like Ita as much as I do. It is simple to use, it has a clean interface, and I can use Ita very quickly to see the items on my lists and easily add or delete items. If a simple list manager seems like the right fit for your lifestyle, Ita is a great app.