There's nothing wrong with a paper to-do list, but going digital has its benefits. Paper is fine if you enjoy writing by hand, crossing off tasks in ink or pencil, and drawing arrows to show when priorities and deadlines change. The best to-do list apps, however, let you write, organize, and reprioritize your tasks more efficiently. They also let you attach notes, links, and files to a task, and the very best ones also let you see when someone else has completed a task. In many ways, a good to-do program is the ultimate productivity app.
To find the best to-do list apps, we look for ones that are easy to use, offered on all major platforms, and have the tools you need to work productively. After considering dozens of apps in this category, these are the best we've tested, followed by what to look for when choosing the right app for your needs.
More About Our Picks
With a superb UI, apps for every mainstream platform, and collaboration support, Todoist is the number one to-do list app and a clear Editors' Choice winner.
- Cross-platform support with effortless, reliable syncing
- Excellent features, such as natural language input and productivity reports
- Efficient interface
- Collaboration features
- Works offline
- A few important features not available to free users
- Prices have increased sharply since 2021
Why We Picked It
Todoist is a rare five-star Editors' Choice winner because it is simply the best to-do list app on the market. It's designed superbly with all the features anyone could need, such as custom views, natural language input, collaboration options, and more.
Who It's For
We love Todoist Pro for individuals who need to manage all the varied aspects of their lives, from work tasks to grocery shopping lists. The Business grade version of Todoist is also excellent for small teams that need to coordinate ongoing work or lightweight projects collaboratively.
Read Our Todoist Review
Best for Workflow Management
Asana is an excellent collaboration tool that helps teams manage all kinds of tasks. Although it may be confusing at first, its flexibility and vast capabilities are well worth the effort it takes to get started.
- Flexible, fast, and modern design
- Capable free version
- Timeline view makes it easier to manage dependencies
- Not ideal for graphics-intensive work
- Prices slightly higher than competitors'
Why We Picked It
Whenever PCMag readers ask for advice about managing work, our reply always includes the following: "Have you tried Asana yet?" It is hands-down one of the best apps for managing the to-do list of any team or business. It borders on being a full project management app but works equally well if not better for groups of people who need to get work done together. If your team passes along work tasks from one person to another, you should 100% look at using Asana to manage it.
Who It's For
Asana is for teams. Individuals absolutely can use it to manage their own tasks, projects, and lists, but it really excels as a collaborative team app for managing work.
Read Our Asana Review
Best for GTD on Apple Devices
OmniFocus is a powerful to-do app for Apple devices, and if you're a subscriber, a web app as well. It's suited to people who follow the Getting Things Done methodology, but it doesn't support collaboration and it's pricey.
- Designed for GTD
- Plentiful features
- Can add a lot of detail to tasks
- Options for perpetual license or subscription
- No collaboration
- Confusing pricing and no free version
- Not available for Windows or Android
- Too much clicking and jumping between fields required
Why We Picked It
OmniFocus is an excellent to-do list app with a long features list. It's powerful and it works well. You can add a tremendous amount of detail to tasks. We also like that you buy OmniFocus either as a standalone product for a one-time fee or as a subscription, depending on what works best for your wallet.
Who It's For
OmniFocus is only available on Apple devices, with some support for a web app, so it's really best for people who use a Mac, iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch, but not Windows or Android devices. Beyond that, it's for people who follow the Getting Things Done method of productivity and organization. Getting Things Done is a trademarked method by David Allen who wrote a book by the same name. It prescribes a way to stay organized, and OmniFocus was built and designed for people who follow that method. OmniFocus doesn't offer collaboration, so it's also only suited for people who plan to manage their tasks solo.
Read Our OmniFocus Review
Best for the Pomodoro Technique
The to-do list app TickTick is rich with features, many of which will appeal to people who use the Getting Things Done methodology or Pomodoro Technique. We wish the free version and entry-level paid versions had fewer restrictions, however.
- Rich with features
- Cross-platform support
- Includes features useful for GTD
- Restrictions on both free and paid accounts
- No free trial
- Some features don't work as expected
Why We Picked It
TickTick is a powerful to-do list app with a reasonable price tag, and you can use it just about anywhere. It's available as a desktop app for macOS and Windows, as well as a mobile apps for iOS and Android that are compatible with Apple Watch and Android Wear. TickTick also has a web app, Chrome app, and browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox.
Who It's For
TickTick is designed to support people who follow both the Getting Things Done method and those who use the Pomodoro Technique. Getting Things Done is a method of staying organized, coined by David Allen and explained in a book by the same name. The Pomodoro Technique is a strategy for focusing on important tasks without wasting time or procrastinating. It involves using a timer, and Tick Tick has one such specialty timer built right into the app.
Read Our TickTick Review
Best for Apple Users
Can a superbly designed interface for task management make up for the lack of key features? For to-do list app Things 3, it's a legitimate possibility.
- Designed well and uncluttered
- One-time purchase rather than subscription
- Calendar view with calendar integration
- No collaboration features, location-based reminders, or web app
- Only compatible with Apple products
- No free version
- Weak natural language input
Why We Picked It
Things 3 is a top to-do list app for Apple devices with a superbly designed interface. It's a little light on features, but for some people, its uncluttered nature is what makes it so appealing.
Who It's For
This app has been a niche hit among Mac, iPhone, and iPad enthusiasts for years. It's ideal for people who work solo, as it doesn't support collaboration, and for those who want a minimal interface without sacrificing too much power.
Read Our Things 3 Review
Best for GTD
There's no denying Toodledo's power or its long list of features. But it takes a lot of customization and learning to get the app to work the way you want.
- Plentiful features
- Includes features for GTD followers
- Supports notes, lists, outlines, and habits separately from tasks
- Paid plans don't offer great value
- Dated and sometimes counterintuitive interface
- No apps for Windows or macOS
Why We Picked It
Toodledo is a fantastic to-do list app that goes the extra mile. This app wants to help you not only cross all your to-dos off your list, but also adopt new habits and organize your thoughts. It has an exhaustive features list, though it also throws at you an excess of information at every turn.
Who It's For
Toodledo is for people who follow the Getting Things Done method of staying organized and productive. It's also for people who feel strongly about customizing every detail of their to-do list app.
Read Our Toodledo Review
How We Choose the Best To-Do List Apps
To-do list apps are a dime a dozen, and few of them stand out as being much better than others. For example, there are plenty of excellent apps for Android or iPhone, but they do you no good when you're working on a laptop and need to jot down a thought quickly without picking up your phone and losing your place.
That's why for this list, we only include apps that you can access on both desktop and mobile devices. After evaluating around 25 possible contenders, we tested and evaluated them and selected the highest-scoring apps to list here.
One of the major points of consideration when testing and scoring is how well these apps help you organize and stay on top of your tasks. We also consider collaboration, meaning the ability to share a to-do list with other people, though we see it as a bonus feature and not a requirement to be included.
We also looked for apps that fit different user profiles, such as people who follow the Getting Things Done (GTD) method of organization (OmniFocus 3 and Toodledo are good choices).
One of the most popular to-do list apps, Wunderlist, was acquired by Microsoft in 2015 and taken out of commission five years later. Microsoft's stated ambition was to build a replacement app for Wunderlist from the ground up, cloning all its best features in the process. The new app, Microsoft To Do, frankly took too long to come to market and arrived half baked, which is why it isn't included here. It scored too low.
What to Look for in a To-Do List App
There are a few qualities to look for in a to-do app. The top three are:
tools for managing and organizing your tasks, and
Design is extra important in this category of apps because you end up looking at your to-do list app often. How will you get anything done if you can't stand looking at your ugly app? A good design also allows the app to feel intuitive, so you can write down things that come to mind quickly.
Every to-do list app comes with tools and features for organizing your tasks and lists, and in an ideal world, these features match up with the way you think. For example, if you are a highly visual person, you might find that color-coding your lists or tasks to show priority is important. If you are a deadline-oriented person, you'll want an app that sorts your tasks by due date and or shows them in a calendar view. If you're forgetful, you might want an app that sends you reminders on different devices.
As for collaboration, it's always handy to have the option to share a to-do list. For home use, a collaborative to-do list means you can assign chores to other people or track when someone has purchased items off a shared shopping list. In business settings, collaborative task management makes working together easier and more transparent.
What Is the Best App for To-Do Lists?
Our overall top winner is Todoist. Todoist is the best to-do list app you'll find. It works on every platform. You can use it for free or pay a reasonably fee to get all the features. It's designed in a way that makes it productive to use. You get plenty of customization options. It does everything you could want.
What's the Best Free To-Do List App?
Several of the best to-do list apps have a robust free service tier. Of them, our favorites are Asana and Todoist. Asana may be too free-form for some people's tastes. Todoist has a more inherent structure.
Another good free app is Remember the Milk, which scored a little too low to make it onto this list of the best to-do list apps. Remember the Milk looks old-school compared with the best to-do list apps, but it's capable and reliable. It's also highly intuitive. You can figure out all the ins and outs in minutes.
Many of the other to-do apps on this list are excellent, but their free versions are quite limited compared with the power of their paid versions.
The Best To-Do List App for Teams
It should come as no surprise that our top picks for teams are also the Editors' Choice winners: Todoist (go for the Business subscription in this case at $8 per person per month or $72 per year) and Asana's Premium, Business, or Enterprise plan (starting at $13.49 per person per month).
Todoist works best among small groups of people organizing relatively uncomplicated tasks, whereas Asana is better for managing more in-depth teamwork, the kind of work that changes between many hands and passes through a lot of phases before it's complete.
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To-Do Lists vs. Project Management Apps
An ongoing challenge in the world of software is deciding what gets classified as a project management app and what fits into other categories, such as to-do list apps and work-management apps.
We take the view that project management apps must be designed to specifically manage project-based work and offer Gantt charts. Project-based work means a series of tasks that has a start date, end date, and deliverable. Building a house is a project. Sending a rocket to the moon is a project. Answering support emails, however, is a series of ongoing tasks and not a project.
Occasionally, we encounter an app that straddles more than one category. Here, Asana is that app. It now includes tools for traditional project management, but it also works perfectly well as a to-do list app.
Overall, project management apps and collaborative to-do apps serve the same general purpose but at a much different scale. They both keep track of what needs to get done, when, and by whom. They help people manage time more efficiently and regulate how many tasks are assigned to each person on a team. Project management apps help large groups of people juggle schedules, resources, and budgets in a way that to-do list apps can't. To-do apps are simpler and cost less than project management software. For many types of work to-do apps are a better fit.
Use Your To-Do List to Get Organized
Having a great to-do list app can help you get organized and get more done, whether you want to manage personal tasks or those of a family or small team.
A to-do app is only as useful as the information you put into it, so in addition to picking the right app, you might also want to peruse these tips for creating better to-do lists. If you're looking to share to-dos, you might also want to look at our story on how to make a family to-do list and calendar.
- Trello. ...
- GTasks. ...
- Wunderlist. ...
- Any.Do. ...
- Todoist. ...
- Tick Tick. ...
- Evernote. ...
- Awesome Note.
- Wunderlist. (Free + IAP) ...
- Any.do. (Free + IAP) ...
- Todoist. (Free + IAP) ...
- TickTick. (Free + IAP) ...
- Tasks.org. (Free + IAP) ...
- One List. (Free) ...
- Suru. (Free) ...
- Google Keep. (Free)
nTask comes first on our list of best to-do list apps. nTask is one of the best task management tools created for individuals and teams. With its simplified, user-friendly GUI letting you navigate a powerful set of features, nTask stands out of the crowd when it comes to helping with task completion.What is better than a To Do list? ›
“The best way to stop spending time on unnecessary distractions is to make a “to-stop-doing list.” This is better than a to-do list, because it helps you see what's bringing you down. Your to-stop-doing list is exactly what it sounds like: a list of things you simply don't want to do anymore.”Is any list a free app? ›
AnyList is a free download for iOS & Android. Core functionality, like creating and sharing lists, is free to use. We also offer an optional paid upgrade called AnyList Complete, which unlocks premium features and supports continued development of the app.How do I organize my personal to-do list? ›
- Capture everything. ...
- Lists, lists, and more lists. ...
- Organize your to-do list by workflow, priority, or due date. ...
- Make it actionable. ...
- Verbs first, details later. ...
- Prioritize your to-dos. ...
- Always include a deadline. ...
- Break big work into smaller tasks.
Google Tasks is free to download for both iPhone and Android devices.Is there a Google to-do list app? ›
On your Android phone, download the Google Tasks app. Tip: In Gmail spaces, you can create, assign, edit, complete, and delete group tasks.What is the best to-do list website? ›
- Microsoft To Do.
- Google Tasks.
The Cons of Creating a To-do List: ➔ To-do lists can cause more stress than proficiency. Incomplete tasks on your list can cause stress as well as disturb your sleep when you feel guilty about not finishing them. A large number of to-do items can also make you feel overwhelmed and incapable.
Overall, the Todoist interface does feel slicker to use. Things are more spaced out, information hierarchy tends to make more sense. TickTick has more of a “V1” feel. They do always release a lot of cool new features, but the design is not as user-friendly as in Todoist, it's still a little too juvenile.What is the ABC to-do list? ›
The ABC Method was originally developed by Alan Lakein and consists of assigning a priority status of “A,” “B,” or “C” to each of the items of your to-do list or task list. High priority, very important, critical items, with close deadlines or high level importance to them.Do successful people use a to-do list? ›
However, if you study those articles, you'll actually find that these successful people use a to-do list in some form or at some point in their process. Today's many successful, high-performing leaders use to-do lists to take care of tasks and to achieve their goals.Is there something better than Todoist? ›
Trello is one of the leading Todoist alternatives as a task management app. Collaborate anytime/anywhere and organize any task with anyone using this platform. Based on the kanban board, Trello can easily be used for personal productivity or in teams.Which app is better than Todoist? ›
One of the best free Todoist alternatives is Trello, a web-based Kanban-style list-making tool. Trello lets users keep track of projects by creating project boards containing task cards. You can invite new members, give cards due dates, add attachments for context and create checklists to track your progress.Is AnyList app safe? ›
All AnyList accounts are safely backed up to our servers. For AnyList Complete subscribers, this includes your item and recipe photos and meal planning calendar. If you ever lose your phone or simply get a new device, just install AnyList, sign in to your account, and all of your data will be restored.Can I make lists on my phone? ›
Let your Google Assistant create and edit lists in a service, like Google Keep. On your Android phone or tablet, say "Hey Google, open Assistant settings." Or, go to Assistant settings. Under "All settings," tap Notes & Lists.What app does Google home use for lists? ›
Go back to the home screen, then select Settings. Scroll down to Services, then select Notes and lists. Tap on Shopping Lists. If asked, choose an app (Google Keep, EverNote, etc.) to open your list, or open it with your browser.How can I organize myself everyday? ›
- Set goals. Achievable goals can help you stay focused and productive. ...
- Track progress. ...
- Use an agenda. ...
- Create to-do lists. ...
- Practice accountability. ...
- Limit distractions. ...
- Incorporate a timer. ...
- Keep a clean environment.
Limit Yourself to 3–5 Tasks per Day
For most people, I recommend starting out by limiting yourself to three to five tasks per day. It might not sound like a lot, but if you focus on writing down the three most important things you need to do today, you might find that's already a lot to get through.
Keep track of your daily tasks, organize multiple lists, and track important deadlines with Google Tasks. Tasks synchronizes across all your devices, so your lists and tasks go with you, wherever you are.Is Google Keep better than Google Tasks? ›
As mentioned, Google Keep is for taking notes, so if you need an app to do that, go with Google Keep. The app offers simple reminding options, which can help from time to time. If you need an app to add tasks and get notifications about those tasks, then Google Tasks is the app you need in your digital world.Is there a widget for to-do list? ›
Add a Tasks widget
On your Android, touch and hold any empty section of the Home screen. At the bottom, tap Widgets. Touch and hold a Tasks widget: The 1x1 widget: Adds a new task and directs you to the Tasks app.
Take control of your task management and install Google Tasks. Start managing your to-do list on the go with the Tasks planner app from Google.Is Google Tasks app going away? ›
However, classic Google Tasks is at the end of its lifespan and will be disappearing soon. Users will still be able to access Google Tasks through the Gmail sidebar, Google Calendar or by downloading the dedicated Tasks app for Android and iOS.Does Apple have a To-Do list app? ›
Apple includes the Reminders app as part of iOS—but don't write it off just because it's free. The fact that it's pre-installed on all iOS devices means that you only need to log in to your iCloud account under the Settings app in order to manage your lists and tasks.
There's a free version, which is very good, though the Pro level is absolutely the way to go. If you need an app that will keep you productive with tools for organizing your tasks, either by yourself or in collaboration with others, Todoist is it. It's a five-out-of-five stars Editors' Choice winner.What should be avoided while making list? ›
- Here Are 7 To-Do List Mistakes to Avoid. Sticking to pen and paper. Choosing quantity over quality. Scattering your tasks in an unordered manner. Being ambiguous. Not including downtime. Confusing projects with tasks. Writing your list on the day.
- Final Thoughts.
To-do lists take the focus away from making the hard choices we need to make to create an impact and let us hoard as many tasks as we want. They encourage procrastination as there are always a bunch of things to do in your list but without any time-constraints attached to it.
Second, unlike a to-do list, which tends to lead us to work on urgent or easy tasks rather than important work, deciding how you will spend your time in advance has been shown to lead to fewer distractions. A schedule makes it more likely you will stay on track by adding the constraint of a fixed period of time.Which Todolist is the best? ›
- Todoist for balancing power and simplicity.
- TickTick for embedded calendars and timers.
- Microsoft To Do for Microsoft power users (and Wunderlist refugees)
- Things for elegant design.
- OmniFocus for specific organizational systems.
- Habitica for making doing things fun.
TickTick is a solid tool for freelancers or very small businesses that want to keep on top of tasks without too much of a learning curve. It also has some advanced features, like a solid calendar and a kanban board, but it's not as powerful as a full project management program.Is TickTick worth it? ›
Overall, TickTick is a good app, but the free version has too many restrictions to be worth using for the long term.What are the 4 D's of time management? ›
The 4 Ds are: Do, Defer (Delay), Delegate, and Delete (Drop). Placing a task or project into one of these categories helps you manage your limited time more effectively and stay focused on what matters most to you.What is the ABC 123 method? ›
ABC 123 is a method to choose which task to do first and which later. Use ABC 123 to consider each task for its impact on your overall goal and the amount of time it takes to complete. Take your list of tasks, and assign a value to each item on the list (A1, B2, C3, and so on).Do to-do lists actually work? ›
To-do lists are essential if you're going to beat work overload. When you don't use them effectively, you'll appear unfocused and unreliable to the people around you. When you do use them effectively, you'll be much better organized, and you'll be much more reliable.What is the 135 rule? ›
What Is The 1 3 5 Rule? The 1-3-5 rule is a productivity strategy that forces you to be productive by taking periodic breaks from your work. It's based on a simple three-step formula: pick one major task to accomplish, divide it into three medium tasks, and then divide those three medium tasks into five small tasks.Should I make a to-do list everyday? ›
Writing your daily tasks on a list can help you increase productivity and decrease stress. To-do lists enable you to segment your goals into achievable activities and complete large projects by breaking them into smaller assignments.Is Todoist better than Evernote? ›
Evernote is ideal if you're looking for a smooth and integrated transition from handwritten to digital notes and to-dos. With a capable free package, there's no downside to taking a look. Todoist won't cure you of procrastination, but if you're a doer, it might be for you.
Absolutely! Todoist is completely free to use. When you need higher project limits or additional features like reminders, you can always upgrade to the Pro or Business plan.Which is better Todoist or trello? ›
If you want to manage complex collaborative projects or integrate your project management tool with other business tools, Trello is the best option for you. If you're looking for a personal task management solution or you're planning simple collaborative projects, Todoist is the better option.Which is the best app to stay focused? ›
- Any.do (IOS & Android) ...
- Be Focused Pro (IOS) ...
- Due (IOS) ...
- Forest: (IOS & Android) ...
- Freedom (IOS & Android) ...
- Minimalist (IOS) ...
- Things 3 (IOS) ...
- Todoist: (IOS & Android)
- Adobe apps.
- Google Assistant / Google Search.
- Google Drive suite.
- Google Translate.
- LastPass Password Manager.
- Appy Pie (AppMakr) Appy Pie assists users in creating iOS and Android apps without using any code. ...
- Buildfire. ...
- On your Android phone or tablet, open the Google Keep app .
- Next to "Take a note," tap New list .
- Add a title and items to your list.
- When you're done, tap Back .
Create a new list: Tap Add List, choose an account (if you have more than one), enter a name, then choose a color and symbol for the list. Create a group of lists: Drag a list onto another list; or tap. , tap Edit Lists, tap Add Group, enter a name, then tap Create.Does Google have a list maker? ›
Create a new list. On your computer, go to Google Keep. Add a title and items to your list. Click Done.Is there a Google app for lists? ›
Google Keep - Notes and lists on the App Store.Where do I find my to do list? ›
On your Android phone or tablet, say "Hey Google, open Assistant settings." Or, go to Assistant settings. Under "All settings," tap Notes & Lists.
It's free and built into your iPhone, and lets you take notes or create a list of items to complete and check off as you go.
Microsoft To Do is free when you use your personal Microsoft Account, which means Microsoft To Do is available to all Microsoft 365 Family or Personal customers as well.What is a smart list on Iphone? ›
Smart Lists include reminders from all of your custom lists. In the Scheduled, All, and Flagged Smart Lists, you can tap the More button and select Show Completed to include your completed reminders. You might also see Assigned to Me and Siri Suggestions smart lists.Does Google have a checklist template? ›
Google Sheets also allow you to make custom checklists and save them as templates. You can do it by adding checkboxes to the desired cells and keep the sheet for future use. To add the checkboxes, you need to click on the Insert tab at the top, select Checkbox, and you're all done.Is Google listing free? ›
All merchants are eligible to use free listings, whether or not you run paid ads with Google. Here's what you need to get started. If you're an advertiser running Shopping ads, you can use your existing product feed to power your free listings. Follow the setup flow to opt into free listings.Does Google have something like Microsoft lists? ›
Of all the alternatives, Google Tables is the most similar to Lists.What will replace Google Tasks? ›
The significant difference comes down to the features and ecosystem. If you want a simple tasks app or use Google products like Gmail, Sheets, and Calendar, you should go with Google Tasks. If you want to have most tasks features, such as collaboration, planned, my day, etc., you should go with To Do.