You have lots to do each day, and that's what lists and To Do apps are for. But when you get that brilliant bolt from the blue, or two, it needs a special place to hibernate while you fill in the details. Vesper does that with grace, focus, and simplicity.
Vesper, named after the character from Casino Royale, starts with the idea that you'll be writing a short series of notes to yourself. It could well be a To Do list, but it could also be, say, an idea for a story or a project. Items are tagged into playlist-like collections.
You can archive an item by just dragging it. An item can contain text, a photo or a URL. The idea here is that you may see something that inspires you, a person, a landmark or some artwork. Assembled into a photo, text, and perhaps a URL reference, you may have the seed of a Great Inspiration. Or just an idea you want to think about. Or maybe even just an annotated travelogue.
Sidebar of tags
What Vesper promotes here is simplicity and focus. You're not paying for capability and complexity. Instead, you're paying for elegant design that stays out of the way and helps you record you idea. Q Branch says, "...your focus should be on capturing your ideas, not on the software you're using."
In Vesper, you create a note. Each note can be tagged. You can archive a note when no longer needed, out of sight but still handy -- and relevant to Vesper. Notes can be tapped, held, then dragged to prioritize. Tags ar organized into playlist-like groups and listed on the main page in a sidebar in alphabetical order.
It's easy to restore a note (swipe to left again) or delete it with the trash icon in the Note detail/share button.
If you swipe down a list of notes, a search bar is revealed, and the drill down is smart. You only need to type a few characters. Swipe up to hide the search bar.
There is a built in web browser for a quick view of URLs. If needed, you can throw the page over into Safari, email it or send an iMessage.
Swipe a note left to archive. Out of sight but not forgotten by Vesper. (iPad 3)
Vesper doesn't have a sync option, but then I don't think it's really necessary. The mission is to be always available on a highly mobile iPhone, and syncing back to an iPad might be nice, but not terribly useful in my opinion. Plus, few of us have multiple iPhones to sync to.
Along those lines, the app is optimized for iPhone only, and so it's best used in 2x mode on an iPad. But this is really a highly mobile iPhone-oriented app for personal, spontaneous use, so I can understand why it's optimized for iPhone.
The app is simple enough that it doesn't really need any added documentation. And by simple, I don't mean simplistic. I mean that it's intuitive and easy to use. Even so, I was supplied with a Reviewer's Guide, and that document is so good, I'd like to see made available for all customers on the Q Branch website.
Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation) and iPad. Requires iOS 6.0 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5. English only.
Shaken and Stirred
There are times when one wants simplicity and quick access. That's something worth paying a little extra for. Plenty of other apps are complicated enough, then they fall into disuse. What's the litmus test? I think Vesper has earned a place on the valuable real estate of my 2nd home page. The only reason the rating is less than 5/5 is because it locked up on me -- but just once.
Finally, how can one resist having an app from the brilliantly named Q Branch?