to do list

The 5 Most Effective To Do List Apps of 2020

Emily Dumas
Emily Dumas

We’ve all got a million and one things to do on any given day. Making a to-do list is a tactic as old as time that helps us all get our tasks done by crossing off one success at a time. With the rise of technology and automation, we’re now able to digitize our to-do lists. We can have them on our work computers, our personal computers, and even access them when we’re on the go from our cell phones and smartwatches. 

One way to use these apps is for lite project management with our teams. One great aspect of all of these apps is that you’re able to connect them to other apps in your existing workflow. Whether you use a larger project management tool such as Trello or Asana, or you delegate tasks to your team in Slack, you’re able to leverage tools such as Zapier to connect all of these apps together for success. If you don’t need to integrate these apps with larger tools, you’ll still reap the benefits from digitizing your to-do lists. 

While there are many apps you can use to automate your to-do list, we’ve rounded up our top five favorite apps, including Microsoft To Do, Todoist, TickTick, Things, and Google Tasks. Now, let’s walk through what makes these apps so great. 

Microsoft To Do 

Our number one spot for to-do list apps goes to Microsoft To Do. If you remember Wunderlist, and you loved it as much as we did, you’re going to love Microsoft To Do. A few years back, Microsoft acquired Wunderlist, so you’ll see a lot of similarities between the UX of Wunderlist and Microsoft.

If you or your company are already using the Microsoft suite, this app will be a great addition to your day-to-day. You’ll be able to integrate your Outlook tasks with To Do, and you can also use the app across all your devices since it syncs in real-time. Three great features of Microsoft To Do are the subtasks, reminders, and due dates. These allow you to better break down deliverables within major projects, set reminders for when they need to be done, and keep track of their ultimate due dates. 

Todoist 

While it can be used on an individual basis, Todoist is a great to-do list app for team collaboration. Beyond task management, this is a great project management tool. While you do get all of the aspects you’re looking for from a traditional to-do app, you also can plan out entire projects on the platform. Prioritization is an important aspect of Todoist’s platform. You can add labels, favorite certain tasks, and flag your super important tasks. In addition, you can delegate tasks to your team members right in Todoist, so everyone can manage their tasks in one place. 

On top of the great prioritization features, Todoist allows you to monitor your progress by setting goals, on both a daily and weekly basis, and you can see how productive you and your team are over a period of time. 

Todoist has a complete template library for project planning, with templates for everything from Bug Tracking to Employee Onboarding to Content Calendars, and everything in between. Todoist does have a cost associated with it if you have a large team, but it’s a free tool up to 80 projects and five people per project.  

TickTick 

If you’re an ex-Wunderlist user, TickTick is ready to help you import your tasks from Wunderlist to their platform to get started. No matter where you keep track of your tasks – phone, computer, smartwatch, or web browser, TickTick is an option for you. 

The most unique features on TickTick that other apps on this list don’t highlight are voice input and email. With voice input, you can speak your task into your app, just like talk-to-text, and it will create a new bullet on your list. For email, you get a unique email address from TickTick that you can email and add tasks to your list, even including specifics such as the due date and time. 

The organization level available within TickTick will allow you to organize, prioritize, and conquer your tasks with ease. If you need extra reminders, you can even set up an “Annoying Alert,” which will ensure you never miss a deadline again. 

TickTick is free, but if you need more from the app, you can upgrade for less than $3/month. 

Things 

Things is a very sleek, easy to use to-do app. It has everything you need in one place, with a clean and easy to navigate UX. Although it looks simple, the capabilities are robust, and your to-do list will have all the information you need to complete your task. Whether you’re managing a project or organizing your next business trip, you can add all the extra details — tags, subtasks, deadline dates, reminders, and more. You can even sort your tasks based on daytime and nighttime, so that you can separate what needs to be done at the office, and what you can tackle at home. 

Things has a free trial option and has varying price levels depending on the device which you want to use the tool on. 

Google Tasks 

Much like Microsoft To Do, Google Tasks is a great addition to a suite of products you may already be using. If you’re a Google user, Google Tasks is built into your account and is easily accessible from your calendar view. 

When you create a task through Google Tasks, you have the option to add subtasks and create deadlines. It will appear directly on your calendar, so you’ll have access to your to-do list on every device that is linked to your Google account. This app has the traditional checklist option, but since it does integrate into your calendar, you have the ability to add as long of a description that you need. It’s helpful for adding resources, links, or any additional descriptors you need for your tasks. 

Assigning tasks, creating subtasks, integrating your calendar, and viewing your tasks across all of your devices are just some of the great benefits of having an automated checklist. No matter which to-do app you choose, you’ll be able to get tasks done much more efficiently. Plus, nothing is as satisfying as crossing (or clicking) a task off your to-do list! 

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