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A Brief First Look at Amazing Marvin

What is Marvin?

Marvin, or also referred as Amazing Marvin, is a personal todo application, often known as task management software. Compared to some of other solutions, this is relatively less known, but flexibility it provides is amazing.

There are clients for Windows, Mac, and Linux available however you will be able to navigate to web app and get identical functionalities.

There are native application for Android and iOS as well.

What is a task management software?

Simply put, a task management software is a software that allows you to manage your tasks and activities. These are essentially a specialized form of a todo list, providing additonal feature like reminders.

Why do you need a task management software?

Everyone has a different way of handling their tasks. Some prefers just jotting them down on a piece of paper. A task management software shines when requirements exceeds those practical with a simple todo list on a piece of paper.

  • You want manage mixture of tasks that have different scope and deadlines. (e.g. short term goals, long term goals, etc.)
  • Your tasks have complex chronological context. These are things like start day, end day, and due date.
  • You are managing multiple project with one or more steakholders, dependencies, and categories.
  • You want to define and collect metrics, such as estimated time, spent time, and progress of the tasks. (Particularly useful if you are a freelancer.)

What’s else are out there?

There are number of services, such as JIRA (which is often used in a corporate environment), Trello, which are more of project management solutions. There are more specialized task management software such as TodoistAsana, and Wunderlist.

How Marvin’s different?

Marvin is a personal task management software. It has network backend so you can sync between devices and access to it through browser, but in fact, it is actually an optional part of the system. You can turn off the synchronization and you can use without uploading your data to Marvin’s backend.

By personal I meant is that it currently lacks multi user context such as task assignment, so if you are after those feature, you may have to look elsewhere. Of course, as a personal level, you can still benefit using Marvin to supplement areas where your existing solution falls short.

Essentially, Marvin excels in the area where what it is meant to be.

Workflow flexibility

A lot of task management software is fairly opinionated. That is, if often forces you to adopt to certain workflow that it thinks the best. In contrast, Marvin decided to make itself adoptable to your workflow.

There are many of workflow presets available for you to select, or you can define your own if you have specific method you want to use.

Workflow Library screen

As a default state, Marvin’s fairly simple at its default form. You can use it as is, but there are more than 50 features you can activate depending on your taste.

These are called strategies, and this let you enables features you like to use, while not cluttering your screen with features you don’t use.

Strategies screen

How do I use it?

I use Marvin to manage most of my personal projects, anything small small errands to bigger projects for planning tasks for Sakura-Con.

I define the task as they arises on the master list. Some of the frequently used items are defined as the recurring task, so they get populated periodically.

Master List

I define most of my tasks with estimates. You will be able to clock in and out to those tasks. At the end you will be able to get a summary of how you have spent your time in different categories.

Tasks screen

Statistics can be visualized.

Statistics visualization

Conclusion

Marvin is a very powerful tool, with wealth of features. While there are still rough edges, I find it very functional system. According their roadmap, new features and improvements are actively developed.

As of the writing, their pricing is $12/month at monthly, $8/monthly if paid annually or $300 lifetime. But they offer 30-day free trial, and AppSumo offers one year free account.

If you are looking for task management solution, I strongly recommend giving Marvin a try.

By Hideki Saito

In the video game industry for for more than 15 years. Currently working for Nintendo of America Inc. as a Localization Engineer, developing the translation solutions.