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Review: Proud is an innovative to-do app that will help you control your time

Beyond checklists, it turns out there’s a lot you can do when it comes to to-dos

Price: $4.99/£3.99
Size: 20.8 MB
Version: 1.0.2
Developer: Peter Szwach


The mistake you might make with Proud is thinking it yet another minimal list-taking app. But a few minutes with Proud confirms this is no Clear. Proud has a fairly significant learning curve, but its quirks and depth afford it more scope than the majority of its rivals, potentially enabling the app to make good on its claim to help you “take back control over your time, productivity and success”.

Human timings are a part of Proud's approach.

Human timings are a part of Proud’s approach.

Such a lofty goal is, apparently, primarily still achieved using a bunch of to-do lists, though. You get three tabs for organizational purposes: ‘Lists’, ‘Reminders’ and ‘History’. Broadly speaking, these are, respectively, for breaking down tasks into manageable chunks, viewing items to which you’ve assigned a time, and smugly checking out everything you’ve completed. The interface is mostly simple: drag down to add a new item; swipe left or right on an item to access controls to delete it or move it to another tab. But getting your head around the way in which Proud works requires some time, and more than you’d usually give to a to-do manager.

Proud's lists are familiar, but there are many hidden features.

Proud’s lists are familiar, but there are many hidden features.

Many of these exist outside of the main lists, but they’re also what’s most likely to nudge Proud towards must-download territory for busy iPhone owners desperate to get order into their lives. When defining reminders, the app doesn’t ask for a set time, but more human points of reference, such as ‘an hour from now’, ‘tomorrow’, ‘afternoon’, ‘next week’ or ‘weekend’. Recurring items default to daily occurrences, but can be fine-tuned to happen only on set days; Proud pleasingly refers to them as ‘habits’.

It might seem odd, but the de-stress mini-app does the trick.

It might seem odd, but the de-stress mini-app does the trick.

Each tab also has a dashboard that houses so-called ‘superpowers’, which are essentially mini-apps that have the potential to better your working life. Behind ‘Lists’ is a de-stress breathing exercise that can run for anywhere from 30 seconds to ten minutes. It’s basic but does the trick. Lurking in ‘Reminders’ is a Pomodoro-style timer that cycles between ‘work’ and ‘relax’ states, potentially boosting productivity; the section also includes a single button to postpone all tasks when something unexpected crops up — or if you just fancy a two-hour telly break. And in ‘History’, you get a wiggly line that shows how you fared completing tasks during the previous week, and a ‘time travel’ option that enables you to peer into the more distant past.

Being able to bump all events by a fixed amount is hugely useful.

Being able to bump all events by a fixed amount is hugely useful.

With support for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch, Touch ID security, and a smattering of customization options if you hate the default theme, Proud comes across like it’s thought of everything. As already hinted at, its one major failing is lacking the kind of immediacy many have come to expect with modern iPhone to-do managers — and, perhaps, having a price tag in a sea of free. But in thinking differently about the manner in which you set and perform tasks, and adding in neat features for making you feel better about yourself, Proud’s an app that easily justifies you spending time with and money on.