Who doesn’t want to conquer their day and complete all of the tasks they’ve envisioned to finish? To-do list apps are a handy accomplice in achieving this.
There’s no one-size-fits-all to-do app. Some apps are more suited for personal use, while others can be used for work.
We tried over 20 to-do list apps to find the best ones, for both work and personal use. For each app, we looked at a few specific criteria such as unique features, ease of use, reminders, collaboration features, and integration with other platforms. Take a look at the 13 Best To-Do Apps of 2021 to find out which one works best for you:
Table of Contents
- Best To-Do List Apps for Personal Use
- Best To-do List Apps for iOS and macOS users
- Other To-Do List apps that you can explore:
- Final Thoughts on Choosing the Best To-Do List App
Best To-Do List Apps for Personal Use
Microsoft To-Do: Best To-Do List App for Windows Users
A popular task management application, Microsoft To-Do allows users to manage their tasks from a tablet, computer, and smartphone.
- Plan your week and day: Microsoft To-do has recently added a new smart list called, ‘Planned’. This is divided into three sections: Earlier, Today, and Later. The first section, Earlier, shows you tasks that are yet to be completed, while Today shows you tasks lined up for the day. You can also add tasks for a specific day under “My Day”. Finally, Later has upcoming tasks with due dates.
- Attach files to your tasks: The app allows you to add files (up to 25 MP per task) such as images and documents to your task list. This keeps all of your task’s details right in the app when you need it.
Ease Of Use: Creating a to-do list in To-do is relatively easy. You can add tasks to different lists such as Home, Work, Shopping, Travel, and so on. You can also create new lists.
Apart from task lists specific to a particular task type, To-do also allows you to add tasks on the basis of when they are to be completed – such as My Day, Important and Planned.
Collaboration Features: To-do allows you to share task lists with family, friends, and colleagues. They can view your task list, add more items to the list, and even add steps to tasks. This makes it easier for you to collaborate on shared work such as making dinner for the family or completing an office project. With the latest update, you can simply press Tab to autocomplete tagging your team members or family or anyone you want to collaborate with.
Reminders: In order to keep your life on track, Microsoft To-do lets you add due dates and reminders to tasks. If you wish to receive reminders on specific tasks, simply click on the “Remind Me” option under each task, and pick a date and time to add a reminder.
Note: Microsoft To-do bought Wunderlist, a popular to-do app, in 2015. Wunderlist shuts down in May 2020. To-do offers an easy way for Wunderlist users to add their data to the app. The new app update in 2020 has improved Wunderlist to Microsoft To-do task importing speed.
Most Suitable For: Anyone wanting to organize or manage their work life. It offers various ways to collaborate, organize to-dos, and also attach files to them.
Platform: To-do is available on Mac, iOS, Windows, and Android. The app does not offer a Google extension.
Todoist: Popular To-Do List App for Personal & Work Life
One of the most popular to-do list apps in the market, Todoist is packed with features to help users boost productivity and organize tasks.
Todoist Mobile App:
And if you wish to sync your tasks across other project management apps like Trello, Automate.io lets you do that. Connect Todoist to Trello and automate the task-sync.
Reminders: While you get notified about changes to your tasks in Todoist, setting email and push notification reminders is a premium feature. Users are required to upgrade to avail of this feature.
Also, Todoist is also one of our favorite tools under the Productivity Stack. Here’s the list of our best productivity tools.
Most Suitable For: It is most suitable for users who want to organize personal tasks into categories and access them easily.
Platform: Todoist is available on Android, iOS, Windows, Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. It also has a Chrome extension that lets you add websites as tasks, mark completed tasks, and add new ones.
Pricing: Free for starters, $3(per user per month) for Premium, $5(per user per month) for Business.
Update: Todoist has released a Gmail add-on that lets users convert emails directly into tasks from the web or mobile.
3. Google Tasks
Google Tasks: Free & Simple To-Do List App for All
A free to-do list service, Google Tasks manages to-do lists that can be accessed through a Google account.
- Syncs with Gmail & Google Calendar: If you’re a Gmail and Google Calendar user, you’ll find Google Tasks right inside both apps. When you open Gmail on your desktop, you’ll find Tasks on the right sidebar alongside your mail. This blue Google Tasks icon is below the Keep icon.
- Create a task directly from an email in Gmail: Google Tasks allows its users to create tasks directly from their Gmail messages.
- Syncs with Google Photos: Google Tasks is available in the Google Photos share menu option. This integration creates a specific URL for the selected photo and directly places the description field inside Google Tasks with the default title ‘shared album’. This feature works with any photo with a link in it. However, photo uploading is still not possible.
Interesting Tip: Automate.io lets you automate the task creation for every new email with a specific filter/label. Integrate Google Tasks & Gmail and save yourself from manual work!
Ease Of Use: While you use Google Tasks on desktop or mobile, you can add new tasks by clicking on the ‘+’ sign. Add the name, details, and sub-tasks for your task. You can also add a due date and time for each task. When a task is due, Google automatically sends you a push notification.
If you’re using Google Tasks on a desktop, you’ll find it on the right-hand side of Gmail as well as Google Calendar, as mentioned earlier.
Apart from the default lists present in Tasks, users also have the option to create new lists, with a few clicks.
Collaboration Features: While Tasks integrates with a user’s Gmail and Calendar, there is no option to share tasks or lists with other users.
Reminders: Google Tasks automatically sends push notifications when a task is due.
Most Suitable For: Users of Gmail and Google Calendar will find Tasks especially helpful, as it syncs with both these apps. In general, the app is best used for organizing a personal work or home-related to-do list.
Platform: It is available on Android, iOS, & Windows. Google Tasks is also available as a “Full Screen for Google Tasks” extension from the Chrome Web Store. Simply install the extension and a yellow icon will appear on the top left of your screen, making tasks easily accessible.
4. Remember The Milk
Remember The Milk: Best To-Do List App for Personal Tasks (as the name says)
Remember The Milk allows users to manage tasks from a computer or smartphone, both online and offline.
Most Suitable For: Best for individuals and teams who prioritize timely reminders for their tasks.
Platform: It is available on Android, iOS, Windows, Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant.
Pricing: Free for starters, $5.99 (Per month) for Premium users
TickTick: To-Do List App for Productivity Freaks
>TickTick is a powerful task management app offered on various platforms and devices.
Most Suitable For Great for managing small work projects, as it has alerts and reminders built-in.
Platform: TickTick is available on Android, iOS, & Windows, and it also has a Chrome extension. The Chrome extension lets you rearrange tasks, create subtasks, and sync to-dos across all devices.
Pricing: Free for starters, $28(per user per year) for Premium
- Annoying Alert: Enable ‘Annoying Alert’ to avoid missing a task. This will help users to get the important tasks done. If the “Annoying Alert” is enabled for a particular task, users will be notified of the task until it has been completed. To enable this feature, open TickTick on your Android device. Then, go to the Settings tab. Tap “Sound and notification”, then choose “Annoying Alert”.
Ease Of Use: Adding new tasks in Tick Tick is quick and simple. On a mobile device, users can add a task by clicking the ‘+’ sign, while on a desktop they can simply type a task in the taskbar provided.
For each task, users can add tags and set priorities. To-dos can be organized by adding them to different Folders and Lists. To add a new list, click on the “Add list” option, type in the name of the list, choose a color, select the folder you want the list to be in, and press “Done”.
Collaboration Features: Sharing lists in TickTick is a great way to collaborate with family, colleagues, and friends and achieve goals together.
To share a list, tap the “…” button at the top right corner of the list and select “Collaborate”. Next, select “Invite Member”.
Tasks in a shared list can also be assigned to different members. The person you want to assign the task to must have joined the list. To assign a task, tap the “Assign” button at the top right corner of a task, and then choose a member.
Reminders: TickTick notifies you about tasks to complete in the form of alarms and notifications. You can enable multiple reminders or Annoying Alert to never miss a task.
To set a reminder, users can click on the “Set reminder” option, in the date section, and select the time or date you want a reminder at. Reminder times include ‘on the day’, ‘1 day earlier’, ‘2 days earlier’, and so on.
Any.do: Powerful To-Do List App for Small Teams
>Any.do is an award-winning productivity app that helps teams and individuals organize their lives.
Most Suitable For Best for individuals and teams who prioritize timely reminders for their tasks.
Platform: It is available on Android, iOS, Windows, Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant.
Pricing: Free for starters, $5.99 (Per month) for Premium users
- Daily Planner: The app has a special feature called ‘Any.do Moment’ that gets activated at a selected time each day. It presents the user with the tasks for the day and lets them decide whether they can finish all tasks fotan style=”font-weight: 400;”>Location reminders in Any.Do help users always stay on top of their to-do list. Let’s say they set a reminder, “Pick up food”, and select the restaurant as the location. As soon as they get close to the restaurant, Any.do will notify them of the task to be completed. It must be noted that this is a premium feature.
Priority assignment and sorting: The app has a Priority yellow tag for both premium and free users for marking their most important tasks. They can choose if they wish to apply it only to items from a specific list or mark independent items from several or all of their active lists. To prioritize a task, tap the tag icon, and then select the priority.
Ease Of Use: To add a task to Any.do, simply type it in the taskbar at the bottom of the page. You can select the date and time of the task, and also add tags if you have a Premium account.
You can add your tasks to lists such as Personal, Work, or Grocery lists. The drag-and-drop interface lets you quickly move tasks from one list to another.
You can also add notes to your tasks. Any.do also allows you to add new tasks using personal assistants such as Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant.
Collaboration Features: Any.do allows users to share both tasks and lists with anyone they choose. Premium users can share unlimited tasks with anyone, including free users.
Free users can also share lists, however, they will be shared in “read-only” mode. They are also allowed to share one task at a time with other users.
Don’t worry about your collaborators being Any.do users. Simply enter their email to share a task, and they will be prompted to see your task and sign up for the app.
Reminders: Any.Do makes sure that you don’t miss crucial tasks with timely reminders. You can add one-time reminders for regular items, recurring reminders for daily, weekly or monthly commitments, and set location-based reminders to remember completing tasks at a specific location.
Now, Any.do reminders are available on WhatsApp. It is a premium integration that allows users to quickly create tasks and reminders from an>ongoing WhatsApp conversation.
Nozbe: Best To-Do App for Work Professionals & SMBs
Nozbe helps teams complete tasks and projects effectively.
A collaboration app for small businesses, specifically designed to >help teams work remotely. Users can send tasks by email, mention the entire team or individual members using the @mention function, and add replies to tasks.
Reminders: Nozbe lets you set reminders at a date and time of your choice. Reminders appear in the form of push notifications, email notifications, and alarms.
Most Suitable For: Best for small and medium-sized teams.
Platform: It is available on Android, Mac, Windows, iOS, and Linux
Pricing: No Free Plan. Pricing starts from $8/month
Best To-do List Apps for iOS and macOS users
8. Things 3
Things3: Best To-Do List App for iOS Users
Things 3 is a task management app for all things run on iOS, that is, Macbooks, iPhones, iPads, and iWatches. It has been made by Cultured Code.
- Organize tasks into Today, Anytime, Upcoming, and Someday: Things 3 helps you plan all kinds of tasks – not just those that you wish to complete today or tomorrow, but even those that you wish to accomplish sometime in the future. All things planned for the day go under Today, while the Calendar outlines your big picture schedule.
The Anytime tab shows you activities you’d like to do at leisure, while the Someday tab includes large projects envisioned for the near future. The Upcoming list gives users a complete overview of their timeline, with each activity’s start and end time, and when it will repeat next.
- Easily add Checklists and Headings: Large projects are easier to complete when users can break them up into smaller parts by just adding a few Headings. Sometimes, a project can get quite complicated, with a lot of to-dos in one long list. With Headings, users can break that up into smaller parts, categories, and milestones.
- Similarly, you may have projects that can be completed in a few steps, and this is where you’ll use Checklists. These can be handy when you’re packing for a trip or want to buy ingredients for dinner.
- Easily find your tasks: The Quick Find feature lets you quickly find your tasks, all properly sorted and organized. For instance, if you type ‘deadline’ you will see all the tasks that are upcoming or have passed due dates neatly organized. Other options are repeating, tomorrow, all projects, and logged projects. You can search by words, project titles, or task names as well.
Ease Of Use: Things 3 makes it easy to organize complex projects such as planning a vacation or taking up a large work assignment.
By default, it divides your to-dos into Today, Upcoming, Anytime, and Someday. You can also create specific lists, such as Work, Life, Books, and so on.
To create a new to-do, click on the ‘+’ sign at the bottom. For each to-do, you can add a deadline, checklist, and headings. You can also choose to add them to a list of your choice.
Within a single to-do, you can add as many headings and checklists as you like, helping you break up a project into various parts.
The Calendar view helps you see all your due dates at once.
Collaboration Features: At present, Things 3 does not offer a way to collaborate on tasks or lists with other users. If users do wish to share their to-dos with someone, they can send them as plain text, using the Share option.
Reminders: There are three ways to add reminders in Things 3. While scheduling a to-do, click “Add Reminder”, and set the time. Or you can simply type, “Wed 8 pm”, Things 3 will add a reminder to your task.
Finally, you can also tell good old Siri to set a reminder for you. You might say for instance, “In Things 3, remind me to call John at 5 AM.”
Most Suitable For: Things 3 is perfect for those who use Apple products. It helps individuals organize personal and work projects into bite-sized steps, and have a deadline for each.
Platform: It is available only on iOS and Apple Watch.
Pricing: $9.99 for iPhone, $19.99 for IPad, $49.99 for Mac
Smart to-do List app for working professionals and small teams
>2Do is a smart to-do task manager app with comprehensive task organization features. From simple checklists to complex project management, 2Do has everything you need.
Unique Features: Consecutively named as the best to-do list app for Mac users, it is a fully-featured GTD (Get Things Done) workflow app.
- Universal quick task entry: 2Do lets you add tasks that suddenly pop up in your head with its quick entry feature. You can simply type in a few words and save it to your ‘inbox’ or add all the details and then save it. Since it appears like a floating window, Quick Entry is a great way to quickly capture your thoughts and tasks without having to look at your other listed tasks inside 2Do.
- Inbox: Inbox is an optional but useful feature inside 2Do. If you are looking to make simple checklists, you can do without the inbox. Inbox, in honest opinion, is more like the dumping ground for anything you have in mind. It can be a task, a reference, or an idea that you want to explore later but you just noted down in case you forget it.
- Batch Scheduling: This is one of the most time-saving features of 2Do. You can virtually capture every single task and rely on 2Do to remember each as accurately as possible. You can select multiple tasks and schedule them to start date or a new due date.
- Smart Lists: Smart lists is the highlight of 2Do. This feature follows trails from iTunes’ smart playlist concept. By default, you can see tasks for the next three days. You can change it to the next five days, a week, a month or a year by editing the dynamic range! Simply perform a search, click on the gear icon on the left sidebar, and save it as your smart search list.
Ease of use: 2Do is a powerful task management app and has a smooth user interface making it easy to grasp and use. It is touted as one of the best to-do apps for iPhone, iPad and Mac users. Features include:
- Sorting tasks by dates
- Using an integrated calendar to drag and schedule tasks
- Sending out push notifications based on location details added to tasks.
- Integrating with iCloud Reminders to automatically sync all your tasks
Needless to say, tasks on 2Do are automatically synced to your iOS and Android apps.
2Do also has a chrome extension that lets you add a task in the current tab. You can check out the Send to 2Do Chrome extension to get a toolbar that lets you send current pages to 2Do.
Collaboration features: 2Do does not have a native collaboration feature. To collaborate, you can sync it with iCloud and then share your lists with other iCloud users using the iCloud Share List feature. You can also use Dropbox to share your task lists and collaborate.
Reminders: 2Do lets you set reminders for your todo list which appear as push notifications on your phone or Mac.
Most Suitable for: Ideal for team leaders or IT managers or freelancers or anyone who handles multiple projects with n-number of subtasks inside each project.
Platform: 2Do is available for Mac, iOS and very recently, for Android users. But 2Do is essentially designed for Apple users.
Pricing: 2Do offers two pricing tiers or user license for MAC users (no ongoing subscription model or subscription expiry):
- Single user license – US$58.99; valid for one user on 5 of their personal macs.
- Multi-user license – US$176.99 for 5 users with up to 4 Macs each i.e. 5X4=20 Macs.
iOS and Android apps have separate pricing plans. Both are free to download but have in-app purchases.
Simple To-do list app for personal and work use.
>TaskPaper is a simple online to-do list app for Mac users.
- Simple Syntax: TaskPaper gives you a simple interface to quickly jot down your tasks and get started with them. The plain text interface serves for a distraction-free task listing. No hassle, no jargons, no complications.
- Autoformatting: To create a project, simply end a line with a colon. The new line forms a new project. To create a task list, hit dash and space to add tasks in the form of a bullet list. Once you are done, use the @done tag to mark it as done or cross it off.
- Easy to structure: TaskPaper has four options – projects, notes, tags and tasks to organize your tasks. You can create multiple categories and add tasks by using @categoryname to quickly add a task to a particular category. Using the Tab key you can create sub-levels or sub-tasks. It’s that easy.
- Custom Styles: You can customize TaskPaper to look as you like. It doesn’t hurt to have a task app that looks good, isn’t it? There are fan themes, fonts, colours, and app appearance options that you can choose from. And if you have the skills, go ahead and create a theme for your app.
Ease of use: TaskPaper has a minimalistic approach when it comes to task management. It serves the simplest (and core) function – list tasks and gets them done hassle-free. Using the tag (@) feature, you can organize your tasks easily.
Collaborative features: TaskPaper does not have in-built collaboration features. TaskPaper is more of an individual to-do list manager and does not quite fit into the shared to-do list app category. You can sync your Dropbox with TaskPaper and share your to-do lists with other Dropbox users.
Reminders: TaskPaper is completely integrated with Apple Reminders which means you never lose out on your schedule. Add a date to your task and export it to your Reminder app (and vice-versa). This way you have all your to-do lists wherever you go.
Most suitable for: Individual owners or freelancers
Platform: Mac users only
Pricing: Free to download and use.
Other To-Do List apps that you can explore:
While the above-mentioned apps are definitely worth your time, there are a few more to-do list apps that come with task management features –
>Notion is your all-in-one collaborative workspace. From taking personal meeting notes to knowing which team member is working on what, to setting up individual task lists – Notion has it all. Create individual notes for personal use, collaborate with teams on multiple projects, know your team’s roadmap at a glance, and bring clarity to your team management.
Most suitable for: Small and medium businesses with a dynamic team
Compatible with: iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, Web clippers
Pricing: Free plan available for personal use. Paid plan starts at $4/month.
>Trello is one of the simplest task management tools. You can use it for individual projects or invite other team members to collaborate together. The Kanban view makes it easy to understand the work status and collaborate better. Create as many boards as you want and start organizing tasks with due dates, labels, and checklists. Use Trello power-ups to take task collaboration one notch higher.
Most suitable for: Individuals and SMBs
Compatible with: iOS, Android, Mac, Windows users
Pricing: Free to use. Invite new Trello users and get Trello Gold membership for one month when they sign up. Trello Gold membership starts at $5/month.
>Asana is an effective project management tool that lets you collaborate with your team on multiple projects. You can create the main project under which tasks and subtasks can be added. From assigning to sending out emails directly from your Asana dashboard, this tool is perfect for task prioritization.
Most suitable for: Team collaborating on several projects
Compatible with: iOS, Android, Mac, Windows
Pricing: Starts at $10.99/user/month.
Final Thoughts on Choosing the Best To-Do List App
So, now that we’ve looked into details of each of the To-Do List App, here’s a table giving you an overview of the best features, platforms the app is available on, pricing, etc.