(Sorry I've been wrapped up in holidays and haven't had time for a full post...this is something I started working on for the Useful Apps part, but it got long and rant-y so I'm putting it up separately. )
Remember the Milk
The world's best to-do list app (perfect for New Year's Resolutions). While the app is free, the account online is free, and you get to use both together for two weeks (actually right now it's 30 days) for free, after the two weeks you have to upgrade to a pro account to keep using it.
A little history on this app – first, RTM is the world's best online todo list system, hands down. For free, you can have as many lists as you want, tag them, set locations (with map links), have repeating tasks, set due dates, set priorities, add urls, setup “smart” lists based on search terms (such as a list with all items tagged “next action” that are due in the next two weeks, unless it's located at “work”) and lots more. You have no limits on the size of your lists, quantity of your lists or frankly anything else. You can “send” tasks back and forth between people you know, share a list with a few contacts or make a list totally public. You can then sync your list with basically everything, including any computer with any operating system (yes, windows mac and Linux), Gmail, Google Calendar, Outlook and just about anything else – and if there's something that you can't sync with yet, they have an open API so if you can program you can write an application to sync with it. You can update it and get updates through email, the web site, various widgets, Twitter, sms texting and more. It's the most amazing, useful, free thing ever, and I'm totally serious about this. Don't make me geek out more.
We love this program. We love this program so much that we want the people responsible to work on the site full time. Did I mention the site has no ads? The site has no ads.
So the people who run the site also want to work on it pretty much full time, but they don't want to put ads up. But there's a whole group of fans who want to help, so they set up a pro account, which is 25 dollars a year so people who want to can support the site, and the programmers can buy food, as long as it's ramen. The RTM people wanted to make the pro account worth it, so they spent more time and money – that's extra time and money from what they already did – to create apps for the Blackberry and now, the iPhone. Their reasoning was that if you have money to spend on a free online list, you probably have a job and could use a Blackberry/iPhone app to help with said job. And us pro accounters were amazingly happy.
But there are some people who believe that everything they want should always be free, and no one should have to get paid for awesome work they did. Now, I'm not saying that all the people who gave the RTM app on the app store one star are communists, but they are fricken' freeloaders who probably also pirate music and movies and the RIAA should subpoena Apple for their identities. Also they kick puppies. And their mom is fat.
All that aside (did I say a little history? Ok I lied), the app is free for 2 weeks and great to try even without a pro account, as it includes such neat features as using the gps to pull up your nearby tasks, very easy iPhone navigation/task entry/task completion, and a nice quick search feature. It also doesn't require an internet connection to use, just syncs when you have one. It costs you nothing to try, and if you don't like it you can always use the regular web interface (not the optimized iPhone version) for free still after your trial runs out. Obviously, I think this app is worth money – it's my favorite app on my iPhone, no contest. But then, I'm a little odd and “I do so love checklists!” so give it a try for yourself. :) (bonus points if you recognize the quote)
Remember The Milk