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16 Best To-Do List Apps & Task Management Software to Stay Productive

In her book “168 Hours,” author Laura Vanderkam suggests our frenzied lives are less the result of lack of time and instead the result of terrible time management — and lack of awareness.

Through her research, Vanderkam found that people who say they work more than 50 hours per week tend to overreport their work hours significantly. When forced to track their time — write down exactly what they do each hour of each day — they discover dozens of hours each week that are unaccounted for.

That’s free time.

A simple task-management app can help you focus on what you have to get done at work and at home. Prioritizing and scheduling these obligations can make you aware of what’s causing you to feel busier and less productive than you need to.

With better awareness and organization, you can get more done and find more enjoyment in work and life. In either area, increased productivity saves you a ton of time — which, as the saying goes, is money.

Use task-management apps based on your needs or those of your family or team. When possible, choose those that specialize in solving your particular organizational problems. For example, if your family needs support around meal planning and grocery shopping, choose a grocery list app for that purpose. Find a more robust project-management app to communicate with your team for work projects.

These task-management apps can help you take your life back wherever you feel like it’s frenzied.

Task-Management Apps to Save You Time & Money

Whether you need to get your grocery list in order at home or coordinate a year-long project launch in your company, there’s a task-management app for that. Mix and match these apps to get your to-dos and schedule under control no matter where you are.

1. Trello

  • Pros: Basic features are free and intuitive; Power-Ups make the app customizable, so it can grow with you
  • Cons: The out-of-the-box version of the app isn’t robust enough for large teams or complex project management; building what you need through Power-Ups may be more expensive or complicated than using a product built for enterprise
  • Integrations: Connect with dozens of third-party apps, including the G Suite, Slack, GitHub, Dropbox, social media, and other task-management apps
  • Platforms: Web, iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows
  • Perfect for: Individuals with professional or creative projects and small teams executing design, marketing, or editorial projects
  • Cost: Sign up for free with unlimited users, cards, lists, 10 boards, and one Power-Up; Business Class, for $9.99 per month per user, gives you unlimited boards and Power-Ups, more customization, and admin controls; Enterprise pricing is available at up to $17.40 per month per user

Trello is one of the most versatile project-management platforms for individuals with creative projects or teams of any size. The platform is intuitive and customizable to fit your needs, so it can be as simple or complex as your project requires.

The platform centers on a kanban board, with columns that can represent anything you want — categories, status, or projects, for example. Most teams use these in the traditional kanban fashion to represent a task’s status.

Cards represent individual tasks. You can assign them to team members, add a due date and tags, create checklists of assignable subtasks, communicate with team members through comments, and add attachments like documents and images.

Power-Ups let you supercharge Trello’s features with integrations and premium features, so you can use the tool with any project-management style and on virtually any kind of project you encounter.


2. Asana

  • Pros: The platform is robust enough to handle complex projects and large teams, and project templates streamline setup
  • Cons: There’s a learning curve getting comfortable in the app because you can manage any single task in multiple ways, and every team uses the platform differently; it’s not intuitive, so teams should set up templates and create clear guidelines to onboard new members smoothly
  • Integrations: Connect to dozens of apps you already use, including Slack, Microsoft Teams, G Suite, Adobe Creative Cloud, Salesforce, Tableau, and Zapier
  • Platforms: Web, iOS, and Android
  • Perfect for: Small and large teams in IT, design, product management, editorial, marketing, and customer experience
  • Cost: The basic plan is free for teams up to 15 people and gives you unlimited tasks and projects; premium ($10.99) and business ($24.99) plans give you access to pro features like milestones, dashboards, and forms; enterprise accounts are available

Built for agile project management, Asana helps teams organize tasks using preset or custom project templates. View tasks as lists, in a calendar, as a Gantt chart, or in kanban view to track timelines, workloads, and progress.

Team members, customers, or clients can submit forms to create requests within projects, fitting for customer service or IT management. Set milestones to create checkpoints in projects and avoid rescheduling errors.

Field names within tasks are customizable, so you can track any information you need to see in addition to assignees, due dates, descriptions, and comments. Team members can view tasks in multiple ways to best manage work for them — including task lists, timelines, an inbox, goals, a calendar, and dashboards.


3. AnyList

  • Pros: The app makes grocery shopping and meal planning simple, with recipes, a master list of frequently purchased products, synced lists, and a meal-planning calendar
  • Cons: AnyList lets you create lists for anything, but its best features are geared toward meal planning and groceries; planning other complex projects in the app can be awkward and requires you to create your own categories; for more complex task management outside meal planning, you may need to work in additional apps
  • Integrations: None
  • Platforms: iOS, Android, Mac, and the Web
  • Perfect for: Individuals, couples, and families who need to manage grocery lists and meal plans in addition to other activities
  • Cost: Lists and personal recipes are free; upgrade to AnyList Complete for $9.99 per year for an individual or $14.99 per year for a family to unlock meal planning, save recipes from the Web, and use grocery budget features

AnyList is a simple smartphone app with one primary purpose: create and share shopping lists. It also lets you create and organize other types of personal lists thanks to custom categories. But its heavy focus on groceries and meal planning can make using it for other purposes more cumbersome.

Create as many lists as you want. You can organize planned purchases by store or for particular events. The app automatically categorizes products you enter into groups like dairy, meat, and produce so you can move smoothly through the store. You can even customize category names and rearrange groups in the list to match the aisles in your supermarket.

Share and sync lists with family or friends, and opt into notifications to see when someone adds or crosses off list items.

You can also save and organize your personal recipes and, with a premium version, save recipes from the Web or emails. Add recipe ingredients to your shopping list with a tap. A calendar view lets you plan meals for the week or month by adding recipes or notes to the calendar.


4. Toodledo

  • Pros: The app is better than some competitors at keeping your personal and work tasks organized in one place and includes goals and habit tracking
  • Cons: The user experience (UX) is crude, and users complain updates and fixes don’t come as often as they should; pricing is hard to find without signing up, so you may not know what you’re signing up for
  • Integrations: Dozens of apps and bookmarklets enhance Toodledo features, including other task managers and notes apps; there are no integrations with common workplace apps, such as Google Drive, Dropbox, or Slack
  • Platforms: iOS, Android, and the Web
  • Perfect for: Individuals or micro-businesses; best for PC and Android users
  • Cost: The basic version for personal task management is free, with limits on some features; the standard ($36 per year) and plus ($60 per year) paid plans give access to more features and one or five collaborators, respectively; custom business plans are available for larger teams

Toodledo is a calendar, to-do list, time-management, and project-management tool in one. It helps you track your own progress and habits and collaborate with family, friends, or teams.

Use the mobile and desktop app to organize your life with shared lists, notes, and goals in a system compatible with the GTD (getting things done) method. You can create workspaces, projects, and tasks to collaborate with a work team in the same app.

Goals, statistics, and time tracking in the app help you notice inefficiencies and make the most of your personal and professional time. The unique Scheduler feature lets you tell Toodledo when you have free time so it can suggest tasks for you to complete in the time frame.


5. Remember the Milk

  • Pros: Integrations let you use the app’s features in your chosen context — add tasks by email, Google Assistant, Siri, Alexa, and Twitter; get reminders via email, text, instant message, and Twitter
  • Cons: The app design is best for personal task management; even with the paid upgrade to a pro account, complex team project management wouldn’t be possible
  • Integrations: Connect with hundreds of apps, including Google Drive, Dropbox, IFTTT (If This, Then That), Skype, Twitter, Zapier, and Microsoft Outlook
  • Platforms: The Web, Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android, BlackBerry, and Kindle Fire
  • Perfect for: Individuals, busy families, and friends organizing a project or event
  • Cost: Get basic lists and sharing for free; upgrade for $39.99 per year to access more features, such as subtasks, unlimited sharing, reminders, themes, and unlimited storage

In Remember the Milk, you can set and share reminders and to-dos on your tablet, smartphone, or desktop. You can create lists of personal tasks and work tasks, and you can share lists to assign tasks to other people at home or work.

With a premium upgrade, tags and subtasks let you organize your to-dos in a way that makes sense to you, share with unlimited people, and add more app integrations for enhanced capabilities.


6. TickTick

  • Pros: The app’s UX is clean and straightforward, letting you focus on just getting things done; the bulk of features are available for free
  • Cons: Although task sharing and assigning is available, the app is best for personal task management; complex team project management would be challenging
  • Integrations: Connect to Zapier, IFTTT, Gmail, Spark, Alexa, Google Assistant, iOS Shortcuts, Outlook, and Slack
  • Platforms: The Web, Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS; there are also Firefox and Chrome extensions
  • Perfect for: Individuals, busy families, and friends organizing a project or event
  • Cost: Individuals can access the bulk of features for up to nine lists for free; upgrade for $27.99 per year to unlock third-party calendar integrations and custom smart lists and share lists with up to 29 people

TickTick helps you manage your schedule, to-dos, and reminders, plus manage your time and stay on top of deadlines with stats and achievements.

Add tasks and set reminders to alert you at the time of the task, in advance, or when you’re in a specified location. View your tasks as a list or in a calendar to keep track of your days. Simple sharing and assigning is available, so you can collaborate with a small team, family, or friends.

The app helps you stay focused with the Pomodoro Technique, using a built-in Pomo Timer and white noise to help you work.


7. Todoist

  • Pros: The app is a versatile and affordable competitor to both personal and team task-management apps; use it as a simple to-do list, or flip on the board view and integrations to facilitate team collaboration
  • Cons: Some key organizational features, like labels and comments, aren’t available on the free plan; even though that plan allows up to five collaborators, it’s probably better as a personal to-do list
  • Integrations: Connect with dozens of products, including G Suite, Microsoft Teams, Alexa, IFTTT, Zapier, Slack, and several email clients and productivity apps
  • Platforms: Mac, Linux, Windows, iOS, and Android. There are browser extensions for Chrome, Safari, and Firefox
  • Perfect for: Individuals with professional or creative projects and small teams executing design, marketing, or editorial projects
  • Cost: Use the app for free with up to 80 projects and five people per project and get access to integrations; premium plans cost $36 per year and give you up to 300 projects with 25 people per project, plus access to more organization and collaboration features; business plans are $60 per year per user with up to 500 projects per user and 50 people per project and add admin capabilities and priority customer support

One of the earliest personal task-management apps to hit the market, Todoist helps you organize and schedule personal and team tasks on your smartphone.

Originally a simple to-do list, the app now includes features to organize and collaborate on projects — including sections, subtasks, and labels — and share and assign tasks with collaborators.

Todoist boards let you view tasks as cards in a kanban board, and you can drag and drop to move tasks among categories or steps in a process.


8. Any.do

  • Pros: The app is versatile and can be useful as a personal task manager and list app for individuals and families or as a project-management tool for large teams
  • Cons: The UX isn’t as smooth as Todoist, and the benefits of the mid-level premium account are minimal for individuals; the app is best in its free form for personal task management or with a Teams account for business use
  • Integrations: Connect with Gmail, Google Assistant, Zapier, WhatsApp, Alexa, Siri, and Chrome
  • Platforms: The Web, iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, Linux, Chrome, Apple Watch, and Android Wear
  • Perfect for: Individuals with professional projects and small teams executing design, marketing, or IT projects
  • Cost: Access most task-management and grocery list features with a free account; an individual premium account for $72 per year gives you access to organizational features including colored tags and custom themes, and businesses can add unlimited premium users with a Teams account

Any.do offers tasks, lists, reminders, a daily planner, and a calendar to help you organize your personal life and to-dos.

Categorize and label lists to keep your work tasks, personal to-dos, and special projects organized, and share and assign tasks and lists.

Any.do’s grocery list feature lets you create multiple lists for your favorite stores. It automatically categorizes products into groups like dairy, produce, and toiletries as you enter them to make your trip through the store simpler. Share and sync lists with family or friends to stay on top of everyone’s needs.

Through Any.do Teams, you can give anyone in your company access to premium features for project management and collaboration — including unlimited collaborators and attachments — and views organized by projects, kanban, calendar, tasks, and agenda.


9. OmniFocus

  • Pros: This is one of the most robust apps for personal task management, including complex task organization and productivity tracking with weekly reviews and forecasts
  • Cons: OmniFocus doesn’t include the option to collaborate with a team; for that purpose, you can use the company’s other product, OmniPlan, but the two don’t integrate to allow for personal productivity tracking alongside team project planning; there’s no free version of the app
  • Integrations: Connect with dozens of common productivity apps, including Zapier, Airmail, Evernote, and IFTTT
  • Platforms: Mac, iOS, and the Web
  • Perfect for: Busy professionals within companies that don’t use project-management tools to collaborate
  • Cost: The best value is to purchase a subscription, which gives you access to all platforms with pro features for $99.99 per year; or you can buy one-time app downloads (you must pay for updates to use the latest version of the apps): Mac only is $49.99 for standard and $99.99 for pro; iOS only is $49.99 for standard and $74.99 for pro; Access to the Web app is $49.99 per year

Part of a family of organizational apps, OmniFocus is a powerful individual task-management app for complex professional projects.

You can organize and prioritize work using projects, tagging, and due dates to view just what you need to get done right now. A forecast feature shows you what’s coming up, so you can plan for the week or month ahead.

Customizable smart lists called Perspectives let you group tasks across criteria like tags, projects, and due dates so you can see work exactly when you need to — for example, “at the office.”


10. Things

  • Pros: Though the design is simple and clean, this app packs a punch in UX; you only see what you need to on the screen, but a quick tap or swipe gives you access to robust capabilities, even on mobile
  • Cons: No PC or Android apps; no collaboration features, though you can share a Things Cloud account with a partner or family member to share the entire account
  • Integrations: Look for integrations through your third-party apps, including Zapier, Google Calendar, Outlook, Alexa, and Siri
  • Platforms: Mac and iOS
  • Perfect for: Busy individuals or couples
  • Cost: You must purchase apps for Mac ($49.99), iPhone ($9.99), and iPad ($19.99) separately, though you can install the app on multiple devices of the same kind with just one purchase; the Mac app includes a 14-day free trial

Categorize personal tasks, lists, and schedules in Things for iOS and Mac.

Organize lists into projects or occasions, and expand your to-dos with notes, checklists, tags, due dates, and reminders.

Integrate your calendar with the app to see events and to-dos in one place. The daily view shows you your schedule, to-do list, and a section for evening to-dos, which lets you designate tasks you plan to get to later in the day, such as after work. There’s also a view that lets you see your agenda for the days ahead.

Further divide to-do lists with headings, categories that let you group tasks in any way that’s useful to you.

Things is only available for Mac and iOS. That’s a drawback for PC and Android users, but it comes with the benefit of a design that gives the app a native feel for Apple users and features like Handoff, split view, home screen quick actions, a daily widget, and haptic feedback.


11. WorkFlowy

  • Pros: The app’s power is in its simplicity; use it to dump your thoughts and to-dos as simply as you would in a notebook, then organize with a few taps
  • Cons: Though the app includes collaboration features, you can’t assign tasks to particular users or set deadlines; the app is best for organizing information rather than planning or scheduling your day
  • Integrations: Look for integrations through a few third-party apps, including Zendesk and IFTTT
  • Platforms: Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android
  • Perfect for: Individuals with personal and professional projects
  • Cost: Free

Create tagged notes, lists, and outlines in this simple and free personal task manager for desktop and mobile.

WorkFlowy is a stripped-down app for list-building and note-taking that feels like a notepad. Create nested outlines and to-do lists with tags and filters, and expand list items to include notes and checklists. Nesting is infinite, so you can organize complex to-dos, ideas, and projects with a straightforward, intuitive system.

You can collaborate with others by sharing lists, though the app doesn’t accommodate complicated team-based project management.


12. Apple Reminders

  • Pros: The app is free and native to Mac and iOS devices, so no need to download or pay; integration with Siri and location-based reminders incorporates the app seamlessly into your life
  • Cons: Not available for Windows or Android users; while sharing is available, Reminders doesn’t facilitate complex team project planning
  • Integrations: Enhance Reminders with IFTTT
  • Platforms: Native app for Mac and iOS
  • Perfect for: Individuals and families who use Apple devices
  • Cost: Free

Create categorized to-do lists with notifications from your Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch with the built-in Reminders app.

Reminders’ core feature is to notify you on your Apple Watch, Mac, or iOS devices of your to-dos. Create reminders to inform you at a set time or location. You can also add list items without notifications to create a simple to-do list.

Create as many lists as you want to organize your to-dos — for example, daily reminders, special occasions or projects, or grocery lists. You can also nest a checklist within a list item for further organization. Collaborate with other Apple users by sharing lists and assigning tasks.

Integration with Siri makes it easy to create reminders from your iPhone or Apple Watch by speaking. It recognizes natural language to create reminders. For example, if you say, “Remind me to call Grandma tomorrow,” it adds the reminder to your app and sends you a push notification to call your grandmother the next day.


13. Microsoft To Do

  • Pros: Integrations with Microsoft 365 and Outlook let Microsoft users compile to-dos from across Microsoft 365 products
  • Cons: No ability to assign tasks to collaborators; To Do doesn’t facilitate complex team project planning
  • Integrations: Connect with Microsoft 365 and Outlook
  • Platforms: Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android
  • Perfect for: Individuals and families who use Windows and Android devices
  • Cost: Free

Microsoft’s To Do app is an intelligent task manager that lets you create categorized tasks, reminders, and checklists on Windows, Android, and Apple devices. The app feeds into your tasks in Outlook.

Plan your day in the app with smart suggestions about prioritizing based on your past activity and upcoming tasks. You can share individual lists to collaborate with friends, family members, or colleagues.

The team behind Wunderlist created the app, so previous Wunderlist users can import data into To Do to make the switch.

You can organize your projects, event planning, and work tasks by creating dedicated lists, adding tasks, and creating checklists within tasks. Set reminders and due dates for tasks to stay on top of your to-dos.


14. Google Tasks

  • Pros: Tasks is included with any free G Suite or Google for Business account, so you don’t have to create a new account; integration with G Suite makes it easy to create tasks as you work throughout the day and see your tasks and events at a glance in Google Calendar
  • Cons: No sharing or collaboration features; the bare-bones app doesn’t facilitate teamwork or complex project planning
  • Integrations: G Suite
  • Platforms: The Web, iOS, and Android
  • Perfect for: Individuals with personal and professional projects
  • Cost: Free

Create a task list in the Tasks mobile app or within Google Calendar to get notifications and see your to-dos integrated with your daily schedule.

This basic task-management app is available with any G Suite account and within Google Calendar. You can access Tasks on your sidebar from within the Gmail Web app or in a file within Drive, such as a Google Doc, so you can quickly create a task as you work. In Google Calendar, place tasks on your agenda to plan your day or week.

Organize tasks with lists, subtasks, notes, due dates, and notifications. You can’t share your Task account or individual lists with others, even those who have access to your calendar.


15. Google Keep

  • Pros: Keep is included with any free G Suite or Google for Business account, so you don’t have to create a new account; integration with G Suite makes it easy to create notes as you work in other Google products
  • Cons: No features to facilitate complex project planning; though you can set reminders on notes, you can’t view notes within your schedule in your Google Calendar
  • Integrations: G Suite
  • Platforms: The Web, iOS, and Android
  • Perfect for:  Individuals and couples with personal projects or grocery lists
  • Cost: Free

Together, Google Keep and Tasks provide the functionality of many stand-alone productivity apps. Keep is Google’s note-taking app, which also facilitates simple checklists and includes the ability to share notes and lists with collaborators.

Integration with G Suite means you can create notes from your sidebar while using Google products like Gmail and Google Docs. You can also copy any note to Google Docs to take your ideas to the next level.

As in Tasks, you can set reminders on notes to receive notifications. But you can share Keep notes with collaborators, so you can use the app for task management or list sharing with friends, family, or co-workers.


16. Flow

  • Pros: The app is robust enough to facilitate complex project management among and across teams within small or large companies; it’s less complicated than many project-management apps, so onboarding is easy
  • Cons: Flow doesn’t include a way to submit requests, as many project-management tools do, so it may not provide the capabilities your team needs for IT or customer service management
  • Integrations: Connect with more than 1,000 apps through Zapier, and integrate directly with Slack, Harvest, and cloud drive apps
  • Platforms: The Web, Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android
  • Perfect for: Small and large teams in design, product management, and marketing
  • Cost: Use Flow free for 30 days; you can access the bulk of its features with the basic plan for $72 per year per user with up to 25 users; upgrade for more robust project planning and unlimited users; the plus plan costs $96 per year per user, and the pro plan costs $120 per year per user and includes enhanced security a nd priority customer support

Flow is a project-management app for teams that lets you create projects and tasks and keep track of progress through a kanban, list, or calendar view.

The app lets individual team members keep track of their tasks through personal list views, and managers keep track of progress and workloads through project-level list, kanban, timeline, and calendar views.

Tasks can include due dates, notes, tags, attachments, and assignees as well as subtasks with individual due dates and assignees.

You can add your teammates or direct reports to your sidebar in the app to quickly see what they’re working on too. Flow also lets you create workgroups so you can quickly filter tasks by team or department and tag everyone in a workgroup with one @-mention in a comment.


Final Word

Our complicated and busy lives require more than a paper to-do list. From a dynamic family grocery list to task lists organized across devices to complex team-wide management, project-management apps have you covered.

Some apps try to cover all your personal, professional, and team organizational needs in one. But you’ll likely stay more organized if you divide your to-dos across apps. Different areas of your life require different types of task management, so you’ll get the most benefit from an app designed for a specific need than one that tries to do it all.

Dana Sitar
Dana Sitar has been writing and editing since 2011, covering personal finance, careers and digital media. Say hi and follow her on Twitter @danasitar.

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