Apps that help you get on top of your to-do lists

Apps that help you get on top of your to-do lists

Status UPDATE: Tick off your tasks and get more organised using this selection of apps, from Wunderlist, Google Keep to and Habitica

Apps that help you get on top of your to-do lists

Juggling tasks is an important skill in the modern world. From that presentation you promised to send your boss by today to picking up some ingredients for dinner, from holiday planning to present-buying, remembering everything can sometimes be overwhelming.

Fear not — your smartphone can help you avoid drowning in a sea of tasks. There are a range of apps aiming to help you get on top of your to-do lists, many that synchronise with partner apps on your computer, tablet or even your smartwatch.

Here are seven of the best ones to try:

Android / iOS / Windows Phone (Free + IAP)

Microsoft liked this task-management app so much, it bought the company behind it in June 2015. Happily, it hasn’t been shut down since, as is often the way with such deals. Wunderlist is one of the easiest to-do list apps to use for beginners.

Creating and sharing lists is easy, as is setting up deadlines for getting them done — and reminders to ensure you’re not caught out. Using Wunderlist to collaborate on lists with colleagues and family members is easy, and its smartwatch app is a useful way to quickly check on your lists — while shopping, for example.

Like most of these apps, Wunderlist is freemium: pay £3.99 a month and you’ll get full access to features like file-sharing and subtasks — something mainly for power users.

Google Keep
Android / iOS (Free)

Google Keep isn’t just for to-do lists — it’s an Evernote-style service for keeping (hence the name) notes, photos and even audio recordings that you don’t want to lose in your device. As part of that, though, it’s an effective tool for keeping track of your tasks and ticking them off when finished.

As with Gmail, there’s a good system of labels and colours to separate off different parts of your life: work and family, for example.

Android / iOS / Windows Phone (Free + IAP)

For simple and clear design, it’s hard to beat Todoist, which blends a neat look and feel with a host of useful features for keeping on top of your tasks. It’s easy to set up and manage lists, share them with other people, and set reminders and deadlines to help you get them done.

The collaboration features are one of its key selling points, and it plays nicely with other online services: one of the most useful being IFTTT. Its smartwatch app is handy, and if you need more motivation, there’s a fun ‘Karma’ feature that awards you points for ticking off your tasks. The key features are free, but Todoist also has a premium option costing £21.99 a year.
Android / iOS (Free + IAP) shares many of its features with the rivals reviewed here, from syncing your lists across all your devices, to sharing features and the ability to set certain tasks as ‘recurring’ if they aren’t one-off duties.

If speaking rather than tapping out words is your thing, you’ll appreciate its voice-entry feature, which lets you create a list by talking into your smartphone. If you (like me) struggle with your time management, there’s also a very useful feature called Moment, which focuses just on the tasks you’ve set as needing to be done today.

As with the others, is free to use with all the features most people will need. However, a £2.29 monthly subscription upgrades you to its premium tier, with more themes, location-based alerts, and access to its full collaboration and file-attaching features.

Remember the Milk
Android / iOS (Free + IAP)

One of the longest-established to-do list apps, but one that’s doing a decent job of keeping up with its newer rivals. Remember The Milk does the basics of task and list creation, syncing across devices and setting deadlines and priorities well.

It works well with services like Google Calendar and Evernote, and sharing lists and tasks with friends and colleagues is easy too. However, power-users will need to upgrade to its £29.99-a-year Pro subscription, which adds the ability to break jobs into subtasks, use colour tags to separate different kinds of lists, and set reminders.

iOS (£3.99 + IAP)

While many to-do list apps look the same, Clear has taken a bold, colourful and different approach to helping you keep on top of your tasks. Simple gestures create, rearrange and tick off your to-dos, and you can create separate lists to ensure your shopping and working duties aren’t jumbled together.

Its desktop Mac and Apple Watch versions synchronise neatly, and while it doesn’t have the full range of power-features seen in some of its rivals, options like reminders are built in. The key appeal here is the ability to quickly swipe your way through lists as you complete tasks.
Clear costs £3.99 for the full app. The in-app purchases, such as the 8-Bit or Sci-Fi ‘sound packs’ for personalisation, are entirely optional.

Android / iOS (Free + IAP)

Finally, something completely different. Well, quite different. Habitica is an app for tracking and ticking off daily tasks like the others, but wrapped around that is an RPG-style game to motivate you to complete them.

You create a character, unlock armour, pets and quests, and battle ‘monsters’ all within the framework of completing your to-do lists. Meanwhile, a reward system encourages you to spend the ‘gold’ you loot on time for treats in the real world as you get organised.

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