The best to-do list apps for keeping your life organized in 2021
We are all busy (except, maybe, when there’s a global pandemic). We have jobs, social lives, errands to run, kids to take here and there and about a million other obligations to get around to. So how do we keep all the things we’re doing every single day organized? In case you’re too busy to get organized about a way to organize, we’ve rounded up some of the best to-do list apps that can help you stay on top of your game.
Best to-do list apps: Todoist
There are 25 million people currently using Todoist. The app allows you to organize, plan and collaborate on your everyday tasks. So what makes this one of the best to-do list apps out there?
Todoist runs on Windows, macOS, Androids, iPhones, iPads and on the web. There are also many integrations with this app, including Slack, Dropbox and Alexa.
The “quick add task” feature let’s you add your tasks in seconds. You can then organize those tasks into sections and then further organize them into subtasks. You can also give your tasks due dates. This includes recurring due dates for anything that happens weekly, daily, or whatever rhythm you choose. Based on your pre-set due dates, Todoist will display tasks with the closest due dates front and center. That way, nothing slips through the cracks. The app also allows you to assign priority levels to your tasks so that you know what’s most important.
There is also a whole collaboration feature within Todoist. That means you can make the grocery list and then delegate the actual grocery shopping to someone else. The notifications go beyond reminders – you can also see when someone has commented on a task, completed a task and assigned you to a task.
There are various labels that you can assign to tasks, e.g., “in progress” or “shopping.” Filters allow you to view your lists by due dates, assignee, etc.
Todoist helps you centralize your workflow. You can add tasks via email by forwarding emails directly into the app. You can also sync the calendar of your choice with the app and have all your Todoist items show up in that specific calendar.
With the free version of Todoist, you’ll be able to have, three filters and five active projects at once with five collaborators per project. For $3/month you can upgrade to the pro version, which offers 300 active projects, 25 collaborators per project and 150 filters.
Best to-do list apps: OmniFocus
Are you a fan of David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” (GTD) method of productivity? If so, OmniFocus may be the right app for you. GTD is part of its design.
In OmniFocus, you add a to-do list item (which you can even do through Siri), such as “buy Kate a Christmas present.” Then you can group that item under a specific project (in this case the project would be Christmas 2021). You can also add tags such as “emails” or “presents” to each task. You can then filter your tasks by tag so if you want to pull up a list of everyone who you have to email, OmniFocus let’s you do so.
Of course there are notifications that remind you when something is coming up. And the app makes it super easy to review your projects so you can see the status. Like Todoist, you are able to give your tasks in OmniFocus a priority level so that you know what’s most important.
There is a web version of OmniFocus, but phone and tablet versions are currently only available for Mac and iOS users. But you are able to sync all your Apple devices with OmniFocus.
OmniFocus is a pricier option than Todoist. The cross-platform subscription is $9.99/month. (You can also make one yearly payment of $99.99.) There are also stand-alone versions (versions for just your Mac or just your iOS system) that start at $49.99.
Best to-do-list apps: TeuxDeux
Pronounced “to-do,” TeuxDeux takes the idea of the good old pen and paper to-do list and makes it accessible wherever you go. You can add tasks using a timeline so that the tasks end up appearing on specific days. Anything that you don’t get around to on a specific day will automatically roll over to the next day. It’s also very easy to reorganize and prioritize your tasks – all you have to do is drag and drop them.
You can also create “someday” lists that get broken down by category. Here’s an example. Do you have a growing list of home improvement projects that you want to do “someday,” but you also don’t want to forget about? Those would go on this list.
This app’s shareable between six people. And you can download your lists in case you ever need a non-app copy. Additionally, it syncs with your calendar, syncs on multiple devices and is only $3/month after a 30-day free trial.
Best to-do list apps: TickTick
One of the many great things about TickTick is that you can use it across basically all platforms. It also functions as an almost virtual assistant since you can add tasks with voice input. (You can also add tasks via typing or email.) If you include the date and time when creating a new task in TickTick, the app will automatically make a reminder for that task. You can also set multiple reminders for a single task.
TickTick offers folders and smart lists such as “today” and “tomorrow.” You can also customize your own smart lists. Like other apps there are tags, different priority levels and different ways to sort your lists (TickTick offers six). What’s unique about TickTick is that there are numerous calendar views (month vs. day). So you get to pick how you like to view what’s on your lists.
You can share lists, assign tasks and see when a task was both created and completed. TickTick is free is you want the basic version. The premium version, which offers more calendar views, the custom smart list feature mentioned earlier and over 10 themes, is $27.99 a year.