Welcome to TNW Basics, a collection of tips, guides, and advice on how to easily get the most out of your gadgets, apps, and other stuff.
In this day and age, we’ve been blessed with several tools that allow us to create simple to-do lists to help us keep our lives on track.
I appreciate that keeping track of tasks and duties is an intensely personal thing, and most people (myself included) will immediately reject any app or service that doesn’t quite feel right – basically, finding a good to-do app is as difficult as finding a good hairdresser, but fear not!
I’ve done all the hard work for you and have come up with a list of the best to-do apps which I think you’ll actually love.
What makes a good ‘to do’ app good?
But, before I blow you away with all my wisdom, I thought it’d be useful for me to explain my criteria. You know, so that you can get a sense of where I’m coming from.
For a to-do app to be good it must meet the following:
- Good user experience: The app must make it easy for users to add and organize tasks in just a few taps or keystrokes.
- Reminders: What’s the point of going through the trouble of downloading, and using a to-do app if it doesn’t keep in you in check with reminders?
- Choice: We don’t all work in the same way, so it’s also important for the app to allow you to organize your tasks in different ways (lists, projects, etc).
- Syncing: I think I can bravely say this is probably the most important attribute for me. Whatever tool you use, it needs to be able to sync between desktop and mobile so that you can easily access your tasks while at home or on the go. Otherwise, what’s the point?
Now…on to the good stuff
1. Google Tasks
If, like me, you’re the kind of person that always has Gmail open on their computer, this free tool is for you.
Available on web, Android, and iOS: Google Tasks lets you add tasks, sub-tasks, due dates, and lists.
It’s not the most sophisticated tool, but if you’re looking for something that’s easy to use and does what it says on the tin, this might just be it.
TickTick is essentially a step up from Google Tasks.
The app, which is available on Android, Windows, macOS, iOS, and web allows you to organize tasks using tags, lists, and deadlines. Heck, you can even add sub-tasks and doing all of this is made especially easy thanks to natural language processing.
I’ve only tried the iOS version, but the developers are known for creating apps that feel native on every operating system.
If you’re willing to spend your cents, you can pay around $2.40 for the premium version, which will unlock full calendar functionality, and let you customize smart lists among other things.
To be honest, though, the free version is good enough for basic organization.
Android users look away now!
Things is exclusively for Apple users, but it’s still worth a mention due to its elegant design, as well as its countless easy-to-use features.
The app will allow you to add tasks with relative ease and speed.
You can then organize these in an uncluttered way, meaning you’ll be able to focus on actually getting stuff done as opposed to spending too much trying to figure out the app and how it works.
All of this comes at a price, though. The macOS version will set you back a hefty $49.99, but there’s a 15-day free trial to try before you buy. iPad and iPhone versions cost $19.99 and $9.99 respectively.
4. Remember The Milk?
Ah, an oldie but a goodie.
It’s certainly been a while since this nifty app made headlines a few years ago, but it’s still a good way of staying on top of to-do lists.
The desktop version is good and makes it super easy to add several tasks in quick succession. The mobile version is also worth downloading.
And, good news: Remember The Milk? is free, although some additional features may require you to pay a $39.99 annual subscription.
So, there you have: four useful to-do apps that should help you win at life!