A cross-platform native collaborative task manager for small + mid-size teams.
Our Unfiltered Thoughts
Superlist is very much still in private beta, but we recently got access and have some initial thoughts. I do want to preface this with the following: I have been extremely excited to check this tool out. I've been on the waitlist for 2–3 years, checking in with them monthly about getting access.
The largest appeal is that it was created by the team behind Wunderlist (which is a task manager that was sold to Microsoft in 2015 for between $100–200m). So if there's a team that understands task management deeply, it's this team.
They've even teased Superlist at Google I/O 2022 on stage, as an example of a tool built in Flutter (an open source framework by Google for building beautiful, natively compiled, multi-platform applications from a single codebase). This is important because this means everyone gets a native app—imagine having native MacOS + iOS + Android + Windows apps all generated from the same codebase.
This was the largest appeal, alongside the sheer beauty of their marketing site and in-app teaser screenshots:
They have this concept behind endless sub-tasks and collaboration, even tying in external tools like Gmail and Slack (as seen in the screenshot above).
In playing with it though, the allure of "how would some of the team that created one of the most successful task managers of our time re-think task/project management from scratch", is kind of a letdown so far to be honest.
They've been hyping up what they've been building for nearly 4 years now, to only just begin letting people in to use it, and it feels incredibly pretty—amazing UI/UX interactions. Heck, even marking a task as "complete" and "incomplete" plays the most relaxing noise (and it changes each time).
I think we're seeing what happens when you get tens of millions of dollars in venture backing and some of the best designers in the world to focus in the UI/UX. I mean heck, just go visit their website, it's incredibly beautiful.
I just fear that they spent too much time building in private, trying to get every UX interaction to be amazing, and not enough on actually being a useful and differentiated project. Genuinely trying to not be too hard on them since it is still in beta, but I also can't give them too much lax because they've been building in private alpha for so many years now. I think they should have launched way sooner and gotten product feedback from more teams using it. It's almost like they are afraid to launch and not be perfect because of all the eyes they have on them.
I even feel like the fact they have so many native integrations out of the gate (like Gmail/Slack/Google Calendar) is somewhat of a red flag... No products should wait until they've integrated with everything before releasing, because I'm willing to bet you a lot (as someone that literally builds integrations for teams of all sizes) that your end-users had a different idea of what "integration with XYZ software" means to them as compared to what you've put together.
I'm really struggling here with this one. Beautiful UI/UX is incredibly important (especially for a product person like myself), and yet here it is, and I'm just left wondering what it's trying to be.
They are sorta going for this task manager-focus meets Slite, Notion, and Coda but once you enter the documentation category, you're against big competition that has essentially outgrown that category and has evolved more into no-code tools.
I feel like modern day task/project managers have evolved over the past couple years more into this daily planner/calendar-focused time management platform space (e.g. Motion), they understand that getting meaningful work done is more complex than just building out beautiful task lists.
I just feel like the project management landscape has changed, and Superlist is still building for the older days of Todoist/Wunderlist/Trello/etc. and if this released back then, it'd have taken the world by storm! We just aren't in that world anymore though. To not have your team's calendar at the core of getting work done, I can't help but feel like you're missing a huge boat here.
With the task list approach, I do have concerns about how this will scale across large teams. I also have a bit of concern with how much focus they are putting on personal/work coinciding, because what makes a great personal task manager does not make a great team-focused task manager.
Personally, I prefer to use my project management tool like Motion/Asana for work only—and yes, with Motion being more tied to my calendar, and my calendar being my day (which is a mixture of personal/work), it does feel more natural to throw a personal task or two on there, but using it as my main note taking/task management app for personal would be a mistake. Also, what happens if you leave the company and all of your personal tasks/notes are in there?
I just have some concerns around the scalability of the UI/UX when you're trying to focus on personal (prosumer?) and work, but what I've seen is it's better to focus on one main persona first and foremost. Questions start coming up around how I can ensure that my work doesn't get access to my personal tasks/notes if I leave, and now Superlist has to invest all of this time into personal/work account security management, further pulling them away from the ideal customer profile (being teams at companies).
The truth of the matter is that I just had higher expectations with how long they've been working internally on this. They probably spent a lot of time on the last 20% polish and integrations side of things, and I just don't feel like that's enough to encourage a team to switch over from say Asana or ClickUp.
I genuinely feel like they need to think more about calendar at the center. Project management is just so much more than just tasks, notes, comments, and deadlines. People have meetings and so much more time complexity that actually affects getting work done. We're going to continue using and recommending Motion for that reason.
Although I genuinely hope to be proven wrong! I love this task management space and I'm always on the lookout for teams that are reinventing the space and thinking differently about what makes task management what it is currently today.
There is currently no promo code for this app but we are close partners, so if you use the link above to visit the site and then let their team know that Efficient App sent you, you may just get a little something... extra 😉
There is currently no promo code for this app—we'll update it here if that changes in the future!
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