Top 10 Best To-Do List Apps & Software Tools Compared (2021)
From Overwhelmed to Super-Organized
Keeping your life organized can sometimes seem like a Herculean task. As hard as you try to juggle between work, having a social life, and keeping your finances in order, some balls will eventually hit the ground.
The days you failed to prioritize sleep turned into sleep-deprivation, and the weeks you switched a meal prep with a greasy fast-food dish resulted in diminished self-love.
But there's a way to turn lazy days into productive weeks, and productive weeks into fruitful months: using a to-do list app!
These 10 best to-do list apps can do a fine job at helping you organize your work, home, health, fitness, and finances tasks. Hopefully, by the end of the article, you'll have a clearer idea of which task management software suits you best and finally start putting your life in order.
To Do List Apps Comparison Chart (Top 10 Highest Rated)
Personal task-management and lightweight teamwork
Tight integration with other Microsoft Office apps
(with a Microsoft account)
Elaborate tasks management
Unique features and support for many platforms
GTD followers and
Pomodoro timer fans
Mac and iPhone users
Small business team collaboration
People who use a lot of Google products
Remember the Milk
Best for a household use
Completing tasks in a fun way
*Prices listed do not include free versions.
What Are To Do List Apps?
To-do list apps are the ultimate productivity tool.
Whether you want to manage household tasks or get more done at work, a task management tool can help you organize your life and become super productive.
Today, experts believe that a person can hold around seven items in their short-term memory for about 20 to 30 seconds on average. However, that number is probably closer to the number four.
On top of that, studies show that people get interrupted every 11 minutes and it takes 25 minutes for our brains to refocus on the original task.
Throw in personal errands and family interests in the mix, and your brain becomes a globular ball of a chaotic mess.
In today's fast-paced and overwhelming world, writing down your tasks for the day can help you visualize them without any distractions before your eyes. The task becomes tangible and clear.
Although you can't go wrong with a simple pen and paper, writing down your task list digitally using a to-do list app has a myriad of benefits.
Instead of crossing off tasks and rewriting things when priorities change, a to-do list tool lets you do all that, but more efficiently. Even better, you can:
drag and drop tasks to reorder them
change due dates with a click of a button
assign tasks to other people
achieve tasks in a gamified way
What Are the Different Types of To Do List Apps?
Microsoft To-Do (iOS; Android; web app)
Todoist (iOS; Android; macOS; Windows; Apple Watch; Android Wear; web app)
Toodledo (iOS; Android; desktop)
Any.do (Android; iOS, macOS; Web; iPad; Siri; Amazon Alexa; Apple Watch; desktop)
Ticktick (iOS; Android; web app; Android Wear; Apple Watch)
OmniFocus 3 (iOS, macOS, iPad)
ClickUp (iOS; Android; macOS; Windows; Linux)
Google Tasks (iOS; Android; desktop)
Remember the Milk (iOS; Android; Apple Watch; web app)
Habitica (iPhone; Android, web app)
What Are the Best To Do List Apps? Here’s Our Top 10 List:
With these 10 best to-do list apps, you'll never forget to pick up the milk or call Jane ever again. On the list, you'll find apps like Todoist, TickTick, and Microsoft To-Do that may surprise you with their unique features and functionalities. Some of these task list apps are available as Android apps, while some are geared towards iPhone users. The majority of the apps offer a freemium version, in addition to monthly or yearly paid plans.
Let's explore each task management app in more detail!
Todoist (Best To Do List App Overall)
Todoist, or Not Todoist? That's the question.
With 4.7 stars and 187K+ reviews on Google Play, and 4.8 stars and 30K+ reviews on the App Store, millions of people worldwide have decided Todoist.
For many users, the tool is one of the best task management apps that helps them manage all the tasks of being a fully functioning employee, partner, and parent.
The app features an outstanding intuitive design. It lets you create new tasks, sub-tasks, projects, sub-projects, and dependencies. You can even add deadlines to a specific project and label your lists with different colors.
Plus, if you're a calendar fan, there are quick buttons for Outlook Calendar and Google Calendar integration.
Other outstanding features that may convince you to download the app this instant include natural language input and productivity reports.
There are three pricing plans to choose from, including a free plan, Premium version ($36 per person per year), and Business version ($60 per person per year).
The free version is very good, although it lacks some amazing features that you would otherwise find in the paid versions, such as reminders, labels, filters, and the ability to make comments on tasks and upload files.
Todoist is cloud-based, syncing up all your tasks and notes with any device on which you use the app. It's a cross-platform tool available on iOS, Android, macOS, Windows, Apple Watch, and Android Wear. You can get it as a web app, too.
Todoist is best for:
Personal task-management and lightweight teamwork.
Microsoft To-Do (A Free Go-to Option for Wunderlist Users)
In 2015, Microsoft purchased what was once the much-loved to-do list app on the market, Wunderlist. The multinational technology company announced that it had plans to shut down the app, but not without taking its best bits and features to create a newer, even better alternative.
And in May 2020, Wunderlist was discontinued for good. Done! Finito!
The app's final words were: Goodbye from Wunderlist. It's time to make the move to To-Do.
The Microsoft To-Do app did what it promised. It took Wunderlist's best features such as folders, subtasks and file attachments, while adding some of the features customers asked for in their feedback.
You have several basic abilities inside the app but won't find some more advanced features you would otherwise find in Todoist. You can:
create recurring tasks
add a star to a task to mark it as important
make advanced search queries
invite people to join any list
sync Outlook Tasks to Microsoft To-Do
and much more
The app is free; however, you need a Microsoft account of some kind to access it. You can get it on iOS and Android, or as a web app on macOS and Windows.
Once you sign in to your account and choose to set up Microsoft To-Do, you'll be able to start creating and organizing your tasks.
If you're coming from Wunderlist, you'll get a pop-up on the left-hand side where you can easily import your data from Wunderlist to Microsoft To-Do.
Microsoft To-Do is best for:
Full and tight integration with other Microsoft Office apps.
Basic productivity needs.
Fine integration with Outlook.
Toodledo (Top Choice for Elaborate Task Management)
Does this app support geolocation reminders? Yes. Can you quickly mark a particular task with a highly visible star? Absolutely! Can you track the actual time spent on a project? Certainly!
If you're looking for a powerful to-do list app with plenty of functionalities, this the one. Although Toodledo may confuse you with its complexity, it can be an excellent option for those of you who appreciate having a wealth of functionality.
Apart from the Tasks part of the app, there's also a feature called Notes, a form text box that you can use however you like. The last prominent feature is called Habits, where you write down new habits that you want to adopt and check them off each day.
It even has some functionality for people who follow the Getting Things Done (GTD) methodology.
The app has a free version, although it does have a lot of limitations. If you want to gain access to the app's plethora of functionalities, you'll need to upgrade to one of the paid plans.
The cheapest paid plan will cost you $2.99 per month, and $4.99 per month for the most expensive paid plan.
Toodledo is best for:
Users who want customizable apps.
Elaborate tasks management, along with habits tracking.
Any.do (Practical Pick With Interesting Special Features)
Any.do is a to-do list app available to nearly every platform that has been around since 2011.
It has over 10 million installs on Android alone and 300,000+ user ratings, probably because it may be one of the easiest apps for creating and managing your to-dos.
The app focuses on two core parts: tasks and calendar. Every task that you add to your list will appear on your calendar. In other words, your calendar events and tasks will be nicely presented in a single view.
What's probably one of the best features of the app is the Any.do Moment feature. The feature presents all tasks assigned to you for the day, so you can either complete them or postpone them to a later date.
Focusing on the tasks, you can easily:
add a task
set up a time and date
make changes to a task
set up one-time and recurring reminders
You can organize all your to-dos in lists and projects, and color tag them to set priorities and categories.
Another powerful feature is setting up location-based reminders. For example, you can remind yourself to silent your phone right before entering the theater or call your friend when you arrive at his place.
You can set reminders using Alexa or Siri, too!
The app has recently added a new function, which is called the Grocery List function, which is quite impressive. What you can do is click to create a grocery list and start adding items to your list. The app will give you suggested items that you may want to add, for example, eggs, bread, milk, and other grocery essentials. Even better, you can share the list with anyone.
It syncs perfectly across all your devices, and it has a free plan, along with two paid plans. The Premium paid plan, which is aimed at individuals, has a price tag of $59.99 per year, while the Teams paid plan is set at $4.99 per person per month.
Any.do is best for:
Individuals looking for unique features.
People who want an app that combines tasks and a calendar.
Users who need an app that works across all major platforms.
TickTick (Best for Pomodoro Technique Fans)
TickTick is a task management app that lets you organize work-related tasks or personal goals. Before you say, "but it's just another to-do list app," you should know it can do a lot more than just manage your daily tasks. The app will help you stop being a last-minute person with some great features like a built-in calendar, a Pomodoro timer, and a habit tracker.
The user interface is divided into three panels. Your main library is on the left, your tasks are in the center, and on the right is the section for more information.
You can create lists, and then group your lists into folders. For example, you can create a folder called Remote Work, and add lists inside called Emails, Urgent, Meetings, Weekend Projects, etc.
Every task can contain a due date, assignees, tags, and priority rating. Tasks can even be duplicated or set to be recurring. With the Smart List feature you can check your tasks in smart lists such as Today and Tomorrow or create your own custom Smart lists.
There are five different calendar views, so you can check and handle your schedules more conveniently.
If you're someone who uses the Pomodoro Timer, you'll be happy to hear that TickTick has one built-in. If you allow TickTick to send you desktop notifications, you'll get an alarm when the timer is finished.
TickTick offers a free plan, which is adequate if you need to perform simple tasks. If you want access to the app's more advanced features like full calendar functionality and an increase in the number of lists you can create, then you'll need to upgrade to a paid plan.
The Premium Plan will cost you $2.79 per month, or $27.99 per year.
The app is available on multiple platforms, including mobile apps for iOS and Android, a web app accessible from any browser, and compatibility with Android Wear and Apple Watch.
TickTick is best for:
Pomodoro timer fans.
Tracking personal goals and work-related tasks.
OmniFocus 3 (Best App for Mac and iOS)
OmniFocus 3 is an expertly crafted app with a rich feature set that you can use to manage all areas of your life with ease and efficiency.
If you're a Mac and iOS user and fan of the Getting Things Done (GTD) method, then OmniFocus might appeal to you.
The app is designed to be compatible with the Getting Things Done (GTD) method, which involves writing down tasks as soon as they cross your mind and worry about sorting them out later.
For this purpose, OmniFocus 3 has created an inbox where you can add all of the tasks that come to mind.
There's the option to add tags so that you can easily filter and sort your tasks. For example, if you want to send out all the emails for the day, you'll be able to find all email-related tasks quickly, even if they're in different projects.
Other details that you add to your important tasks include:
You can group tasks into projects, and then organize related projects into folders.
Focus Tabs is another powerful feature that lets you view only the tasks you want to see. For example, let's say you want to focus on Project A and Project B. You can easily create a tab that shows you only the tasks you have in those two projects.
In a nutshell, the app is a great choice to remain productive, whether you need to run your business, manage meetings, or organize grocery shopping.
Sadly, OmniFocus 3 doesn't offer a free plan, although you do get a two-week free trial of the app where you can test all of its features.
When it comes to its paid plans, things can get slightly confusing. You can pay a recurring subscription fee or make a one-time purchase.
The cross-collaboration subscription fee is $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year and includes:
OmniFocus Pro version for Mac
OmniFocus Pro version for iOS
OmniFocus for the Web
There are several options if you opt for a one-time purchase, including:
a standard OmniFocus Mac app ($49.99)
OmniFocus for Mac Pro ($99.99)
a standard iOS app that's good for iPhone, iPad, and watchOS ($49.99)
OmniFocus for iOS Pro ($74.99)
OmniFocus 3 is best for:
Mac and iOS users.
Getting Things Done (GTD) method followers.
People who work solo and don't need collaboration features.
ClickUp (Great for Small Business Team Collaboration)
If you opt for a tool like ClickUp, you'll get the power of a full-on productivity platform and a personal task management tool. Not to mention that it integrates seamlessly with 1000+ tools such as Slack and Google Calendar.
Whether you need a to-do list app for planning trips and birthdays, or for managing work tasks, ClickUp offers plenty of powerful features to boost your productivity and help you stay organized.
For those of you who will be using the app for several purposes, the good news is that you can keep your tasks neatly organized by using lists. For example, you can create one folder called Home where you'll add all of your home-related tasks, and a folder called Well-Being for your health-related tasks.
You can add start times and due dates to your tasks and get notified when tasks are past the deadline.
Other advanced features include:
flagging your tasks as "urgent" or "low priority"
dragging and dropping tasks anywhere on your board
adding detailed descriptions to your tasks
And if you need to communicate with your team, you'll be happy to hear that you can do it directly on a task.
If you’re tracking time on your tasks for a manager or a client, ClickUp has a native time tracking system, in addition to integrating with other time-tracking tools like Toggl, Everhour, and Harvest.
In a nutshell, ClickUp has all the features you'll need for effective task management, with the power to do even more.
Oh, and the pricing plan?
As luck would have it, ClickUp comes with a free plan with 100MB storage and an unlimited number of tasks and users. If you want to upgrade and get more storage, unlimited lists, and an unlimited number of integrations, you can do so for $5 per month per user.
ClickUp is best for:
Small business team collaboration.
People who need time-tracking options.
Users who want to keep their work in one place.
Google Tasks (The Best Basic App for Google Products Fans)
In 2018, Google performed a huge update to Gmail and added a new standalone app to its lineup: Google Tasks.
Google Tasks is a basic task management tool for those who want to organize their life in a simple and fast way. It's super-simple to use, especially if you frequently use Gmail, Calendar, or Google Drive.
While its cousin, Google Keep, is a tool for creating notes with an added functionality of lists, Google Tasks is a task-management app with the added functionality of text notes.
Depending on your number of tasks, you can either add items to a general list or create separate lists for specific topics. You can have a grocery shopping list, a home remodeling list, and another list for your upcoming trip to Barcelona.
When you click on a task, you'll be able to add additional details, along with a due date. In addition, you can organize your lists chronologically and move a task from one list to another.
Another neat feature is that you can drag and drop an email from your Gmail account to the Tasks app, and a task will be automatically created for you using the email information.
Google Tasks is free to download on the App Store and Google Play, and it works on desktop, too.
And that's pretty much it! Overall, if your needs are basic, then this can be a great tool for you. But if you need more advanced features, you may want to opt for a more complex tool like Todoist or OmniFocus 3.
Tasks is best for:
People who use a lot of Google products.
Users who are after a clean, minimalist layout.
Fans of a simplified and easy-to-use task manager.
Remember the Milk (Best for Household Use)
Remember the Milk is the task management app that promises you'll never forget the milk or anything else ever again.
Probably the app with the most playful name on the list, this tool is best used to help you organize your private life. Remember to buy the milk, pick up the kids from school, call Bob… you get the gist!
You can also use the app to perform some basic work tasks, if your needs are simpler. For more complex tasks, you may want to look elsewhere.
Within the app, you can find all the basic features like adding tasks and subtasks, tags, due dates, priority, and more.
In addition, you can also:
set a task to be recurring
add a location to a task
attach files to your tasks
Hey, you can even get reminded by email, text, IM, Twitter, or through the mobile app.
The lists are sharable, and everyone you invite can see the lists and make edits. When sharing a list, you can assign tasks to individuals, including yourself. Need Jake to pick up the milk on his way home? Just assign him a task!
There's a freemium plan with a range of basic features that can be a great choice for those of you who only need a simple to-do list app. The app reserves a few more advanced features for its Premium plan that will cost you $39.99 per year.
It works on multiple devices, including iOS and Android, Apple Watch, in addition to a web app.
Remember the Milk is best for:
Users looking for a simple to-do list management.
Individuals who are after a to-do list app with a capable free version.
Habitica (Top Pick for Completing Tasks in a Fun Way)
Writing down your tasks for the week is the easiest part of staying productive. The harder times begin once you need to move those tasks from the To-do to the Completed section of your board.
Habitica is a unique to-do list app that's designed for those of you who never seem to be motivated to complete their tasks. Whether that's to finally go to the gym or write that mid-term paper, this one-of-a-kind app can inspire you to get healthy and organized through gamification.
The app has a community of over four million Habiticans (yes, this is how they call themselves), who are having fun while accomplishing their goals.
There are three main columns inside the app. The first column is called Habits, which are the things you want to do more or less of. The To-Do column is self-explanatory, while the Dailies are the things you want to get done every single day.
The app's basic mechanics is that it gamifies your life by turning your tasks into quests to advance your in-game hero. The more tasks you complete, the more progress you'll make in the game. If there's a drop in your productivity levels, your character weakens, regardless if you're a Warrior or a Healer.
Habitica lets you interact with other users in multiple ways. There are Guilds, which are groups of people with similar interests, and The Tavern, which is the app's message board. Lastly, you can join a few friends and start a Party. Parties can go on quests and fight bosses together. Fail to finish some tasks, and your friends will go down with you.
If you think this is the app that will finally get you on that productivity streak, you can download it for free on your iPhone or Android, and alternatively, there's also a web app that works on all platforms.
Habitica is best for:
People who want to have fun while accomplishing their goals.
Managing short-term projects.
Nothing can replace a good-old pen and paper.
That's what people say before they start crossing off tasks and rewriting things when priorities change.
Today, features-packed to-do list apps like the ones we reviewed above replace the need for a pen and paper and help you stay super-productive and organized in a simple way.
(With the additional benefit of saving hundreds of trees by going digital).
If you're looking for an app for personal task-management and lightweight teamwork, then you can never go wrong with Todoist.
Or, if you're looking for an app that integrates well with Microsoft Office apps, you should look no further than Microsoft-To-Do.
OmniFocus 3 and Toodledo are great productivity apps for GTD followers who write down tasks as soon as they cross their mind.
There are many other tools that we didn't get to mention in the article, like the project management tools Asana and Trello, or Evernote, all amazing productivity tools with capable features.
In a nutshell, the best app for you is the one:
that feels intuitive to use
has all the features that match up with the way you think
has collaboration options, whether it's for household tasks or work chores
Finally, remember that a to-do app is as useful as the information you put into it. Add concise and specific tasks, set up reasonable due dates, share the tasks with the right people, and ultimately, achieve more in work and life.