Mentat is a lightweight task management system based on the growingly-popular Getting Things Done philosophy. BlackBerry software is paired up with a web client to help organize tasks into categories, assign them to particular people, update status, leave comments, and plenty more. It’s a solid step up from the built-in Tasks application primarily by virtue of sharing a daily agenda with others and being able to communicate about those projects. There are some basic things that Tasks has that would be really great to see in Mentat, but it’s still in beta and features are being added on an ongoing basis.
Mentat’s layout is probably one of the more striking things about it. The creator’s Mac influence shows in both web and BlackBerry clients. On the browser side of things, pretty much any text is clickable, which let you execute common tasks. For example, when you click the New Task button, it’s replaced by an empty text box where you can type in the name of the task, along with a couple of drop-down menus to further define it. As another example, clicking on a task title lets you rename it. Although intuitive, it takes a bit of time to figure out what does what, since very little is made explicit. Luckily, Brain Murmurs are doing a great job on documentation, providing cleanly-written instructions and quick how-to videos to get you going. The BlackBerry app follows the same simplicity-first design scheme, listing task categories with your daily agenda topping the list.
Mentat is largely meant to be a stand-alone replace of the BlackBerry’s built-in tasks application, so there isn’t too much talking on that front. It would be nice to see some integration with the calendar (which we’re told is in the works), since that deals with a wider scope. Mentat’s definitely more of a daily task management app. One thing that I’ve been enjoying since using the BBSmart e-mail viewer was the ability to add e-mails as a task right from the menu, which Mentat would do well to add in.