Put those sticky notes back in your desk drawer. Our picks for the best to-do apps can help you manage tasks, stay on top of to-do lists, remind you of upcoming events, and even collaborate on projects with colleagues. All of our picks do a good job of covering the basics, but each approaches managing tasks a bit differently. Some are focused on handling your individual lists, others excel at reminding you of upcoming activities, at least one shines as a note-taking app, and a few do a great job of managing group tasks.
In the end, the best task manager is the one that helps you get stuff done.
The good news is, all of our picks come in free versions, so download one, try it out for a while to see if it matches how you work, and then don't be afraid to dump it and move on to the next task list if it doesn't meet your needs.
The free version of the Any.do app (Android and iOS) does a solid job of tracking your to-do items across iOS, Android, and the Web version of the task manager. A $26.99 premium version of the well-designed app unlocks more interesting and useful features, such as the ability to assign tags, set colors, share unlimited lists, create detailed recurring tasks, and set location-based reminders.
Much more than just a to-do list, Evernote (Android and iOS) helps you make checklists, set reminders, take notes, track tasks, and save websites. Everything in the digital notebook is synced across your mobile and desktop devices. And you can set reminders to keep track of events. The free version has a monthly upload limit of 60MB and syncs to only two devices. Moving to 10GB a month costs $69.99 a year and lets you sync across all your devices.
3. Google Calendar
With the free Google Calendar app (Android and iOS), you can, of course, view your upcoming events at a glance. But if that is all you're using it for, you're missing out on some of its most interesting and useful features -- from setting reminders and creating to-do lists to helping you manage long-term goals. And it works with Gmail and Google Keep, so you can create and manage events across other Google apps on your iOS or Android device or desktop computer.
4. Google Keep
The free Google Keep app (Android and iOS) -- part of Google's suite of productivity apps -- is a quick and easy way to take notes, keep lists, make drawings, and store voice recordings and images and then access them anywhere on your Android device and iPhone and iPad, through Gmail, via Keep's webpage, and with the Keep Chrome extension. From Keep, you can copy a note or list to Google Docs. You can also share a note with a collaborator. You can set location-based reminders for your notes, if you want to be notified of something when you reach a destination.
5. Google Tasks
A free and simple to-do list manager, Google's Tasks (Android and iOS) helps you keep track of your to-do items on an iPhone or Android phone, through Gmail, and with Google Calendar. As a basic to-do list, Google Tasks is solid. But its features overlap a bit with Google Keep and Reminders and lacks some of the more useful task-management tools Keep and Reminders offer. If you are looking for a simple task management app, Tasks is up to the job. If you need something more powerful, you'll want to look elsewhere.
6. Microsoft To-Do
In 2015, Microsoft acquired the Wunderlist task-manager app and started building its own to-do list based on the ideas found in the popular app. Microsoft's To-Do app (Android and iOS), the free successor to Wunderlist, gives you an easy way to track tasks and stay organized. It even has an importer tool if you want to move your Wunderlist data over to To-Do. Unfortunately, it lacks some of the features that made Wunderlist popular, but you can share your to-do lists with anyone who has a OneDrive account.
7. Remember The Milk
Don't be fooled by its name: Remember The Milk (Android and iOS) is an unexpectedly powerful and usable to-do and management app that is capable of much more than just helping you remember your grocery list. Create lists, share tasks with colleagues, sync across platforms, even create smart lists that automatically update based on criteria you set. You can sync your tasks with Microsoft Outlook, view your tasks in Apple and Google's Calendar, and create reminders in Evernote that will be added automatically to your Remember The Milk lists. For $39.99 a year, you can go pro and create subtasks for complicated items by breaking tasks into individual items. Like Microsoft To-Do, Remember The Milk has an import tool for moving your Wunderlist tasks over if you are looking for a new task manager with Wunderlist's retirement.
TickTick (Android and iOS) offers a powerful set of task-management tools to help you keep track of personal and group lists and projects across platforms. You can also create reminders based on location to receive alerts when you arrive at a place you designate. While the free version offers basic tools for managing personal tasks and lists, if you want to manage tasks across a group, you'll want to look at paying the $27.99 annual subscription to unlock useful team scheduling and project-management tools.
Todoist (Android and iOS) can easily manage your projects and keep you on schedule. It's available on Mac, Windows, and mobile phones and via the Web and browser extensions, so you can check off tasks wherever you are. Todoist understand some natural-language terms, so you can schedule a task by typing "next month" and have the app schedule the task for the first day of next month. And you can collaborate with others. If you work on a team, you can use Todoist's group tools to manage projects, share files, assign tasks, and track progress. Everyone on the team needs a Todoist Premium $28.99 account, though.
Wunderlist (Android and iOS) from Microsoft is an easy, free, and popular way to keep track of your to-do lists and projects. If you are a user of Wunderlist, you know this. Unfortunately, you probably also know that Microsoft plans to retire Wunderlist and has moved its efforts over to its own to-do list software. While Microsoft intends to keep Wunderlist going for a while, if you use Wunderlist you have the task of moving to another to-do app someday. To help you move, Microsoft offers an importer tool to transfer your Wunderlist data over to To-Do. Remember The Milk also has an import tool for bringing in your data from Wunderlist.
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