There are countless to-do apps on both Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store, but there’s never been apps in this category that have focused on the basics – the jobs that are most important for the day ahead.
This is where Bento (opens in new tab) comes in, an app available for iOS for $5.99 / £4.99 / AU$ 6.99 (opens in new tab), and its creators want you to have this either as a companion to popular apps Things 3 and OmniFocus, or as a quick go-to app for the tasks you have for the next few hours.
The app focuses on the Bento methodology – three steps of Pack, Flow, and Focus to help you complete what you need to do. These are then compartmentalized into Bento Boxes, which can help lay out the time needed to achieve the tasks.
Created by the team at Keep Productive (opens in new tab), a well-informative YouTube channel for advising you in improving your workflow, the group clearly wants to make sure that it makes an impact in its looks and how it follows the Bento methodology.
With this in mind, we tried it out this week to see how it acted as a companion app for the day.
Doing less in style
Once you launch the app, you’re greeted with a helpful introduction to what the Bento method is, followed by a helpful article by the team on using the app further.
The app has a colorful layout that makes it a prime candidate to be both an iPad app, and a screensaver for an Apple TV. Some of the backgrounds you can choose from are animated, adding some extra personality to help make those three tasks more appealing to achieve.
Using Bento over the course of a day, we used it to do a job that we would have otherwise used Things 3, Reminders, or Notes for. It can be confusing to set a timer on some tasks, as when we tried to, we more often than not arrived at the screen where we would change our Bento, when trying to activate it. If a toggle was here, it could help make the timer more obvious that you can tap something to count down.
But otherwise, it does what it says on the tin, or the Bento box. While there’s an Android version on its way, it would be great to see widgets in a future iOS or iPadOS update to better see your Bento boxes.
The design and its color scheme would look great on an iPad Pro, and with its simplicity, a Bento box contained in a widget feels like the natural next step for the team.