How-To Geek

What You Said: Do You Use a Dedicated Todo List App?

Earlier this week we asked you to share your favorite todo list apps and now we’re back to highlight your favorites.

By far and away the tasks function in Outlook got the most nods. It’s not technically a stand alone application as most people also use it for email and calendar management, but it’s worth noting due to its popularity. The most common arrangement with Outlook was to use the desktop application for easy entry and management and then synchronize the resulting list to a smartphone todo list app. Babalooie writes:

I just use Outlook’s to-do features (email flags, task list, calendar) and keep it synchronized with my DroidX using ActiveSync.

Keeps everything centralized and easily accessible.

Toodledo trailed a bit behind Outlook in popularity but still had a solid fanbase–it was by far the most popular dedicated todo list manager. Emily does a great job pitching Toodledo:

Toodledo. I have 3 jobs and a household, so I have a lot to keep track of. Toodledo has a nice mobile web interface for my Android, no “app” needed. From any of my computers I can access the program on the internet. It syncs with Google Calendar, which I sync with Outlook on all of my computers so that ALL of my things are on one calendar. Crucial, for sure.

Toodledo employs the GTD and Franklin Covey methods of organization/prioritization, AND has tags.
There is a free version that is great for most people, I am using the pay version which is only $14 a YEAR. I <3 Toodledo

Free, mobile, and fluid with which organization system you use? Sounds good to us.

Astrid was another popular choice with the majority of readers syncing to Google Calendar. Charlie writes:

On my Android I use Astrid which syncs nicely with my Google Calendar.

Finally we have an interesting pair of apps to share. Although they only received a single mention they’re too interesting to leave unmentioned. Grungetastic writes:

Check out EpicWin and Level Me Up!

RPG style task managers as you get XP when you finish tasks and you level up! In EpicWin you even get loot!

We did check them out and they’re awesome. If you’ve ever wanted to turn your To Do list into an RPG game now is your chance!

Have a todo list app you wan to give a shout out? It’s not too late; tell us all about it in the comments.

Jason Fitzpatrick is a warranty-voiding DIYer who spends his days cracking opening cases and wrestling with code so you don't have to. If it can be modded, optimized, repurposed, or torn apart for fun he's interested (and probably already at the workbench taking it apart). You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 07/22/11

Comments (22)

  1. Paco

    I Mentioned Remember the milk, but It’s not in the list :-(

  2. Eytan

    I use IQTELL. It’s an all-in-one cloud app for email, tasks, notes, documents, etc. It’s still in beta, so email me if you want an invite, I have a few left to give out (

  3. Chris Engelsma

    I use Swift todo list. Since it is not a webapp, it is super fast and always in my system tray. If speed is your priority, Swift has proven to be the answer.

  4. Harry

    I use Sunbird – not exactly dedicated as it does a lot of other things, like reminders and alarms.

  5. guest

    Google Docs with TODO template.

  6. Diane Cunningham simple, elegant; web and iPhone app

  7. willem

    I tried/used a lot fancy new online memo/todo etc. services like Pegby, Ta-Da and much much more and, to be honest, however beautiful most of them are designed, I disposed of them after a short time: it took TOO much time to get to them and use them. None of them beats the simplicity and quickness of a piece of paper but, if I need something to be reminded of I use the really quick and userfriendly Reminderfox add on in Firefox. Great tool and it prevents me from forgetting to pay my bills in time or missing an important event. And I HAVE to mention a VERY useful tool when it does come to todo’s and memo’s: Quick Cliq. Free, not using to much resources so you can start up it automatically without slowing down your computer. It actually is mainly a app launcher -and I use it for that- with some extra functions among others the memo-function. Just use a shotcut or a mouse gesture and the memo pops up immediately. VERY underestimated little gem in software world.

    And no, I’m a very satisfied user, not the developer of the app!

  8. Old Gnome

    I have used a lot of tools over the years to manage my to-do lists. Act!, Lotus’ product from the 80’s/90’s (which was my favorite, but I cannot recall the name) GroupWise, Lotus Notes and, of course, Outlook for the past 10 years or so. My primary to-do list is kept in a series of search folders in Outlook organized by priority and whether the task is mine or another’s. I also use Outlook’s calendar to schedule tasks – I have not found a use for Outlook’s Task function.

  9. Lee

    I just started using Wunderlist after trying a few different tools, including Remember the Milk and Goofle tasks, and think it’s great. I wanted something my wife and I could use on our android and iPhones, and also on the web. It’s free and has unlimited syncs ( unlike remember the milk) and is simple and easy to use.

  10. Scott

    For work I use Outlook tasks.
    For personal I use Google tasks since its available from anywhere and on my phone. I have also been trying to use Astrid for Android since it syncs with Google.

  11. Michael Shaw

    Maybe I’m old fashioned but I’ve been using Excel for years. I’ve tried many others and kept coming back to a single sheet on Excel. As an added bonus, I can do a little math like gas mileage etc.
    I also use it for many home budgets.
    What I like about it is the convenient and speedy movement of cells.
    I never manage to do what I put down to do today and it’s easy to move to tomorrow etc. Also the dates and cells of text or almost anything are so easy to drag copy etc. No pop ups to tell me I’m late for an appointment. Just the list that I need.
    I usually print a sheet out just before I go out and about to keep me focused away from a computer. Sometimes I put the excel file in Dropbox and have it on my ipad.
    I don’t know about some of the many other new to-do programs, but I’ve been happy with an excel file for years. What’s there to improve?

  12. Ellen

    I am like Scott — I have to keep my work/school separate from home so I use outlook tasks at work and they have an exchange folder for the server, since I float classrooms. For home I use Google calendar To do and have Different Calendars for appointments where I put to do, and Bills.

  13. Saeed Iranzad

    I am sorry if I am mistaken. But I think windows have enough to do!; Sticky Notes, Task Scheduler, and even Notepad. I don’t use anything else, but a piece of paper and a pen.

  14. Larry Singleton

    need a grocery list app. one that i can create and also mark off at store.

  15. slagman

    Clock x
    rainlendar calendar
    Used for years both still work in win 7
    Google them up. Hopefully you can get them from c-net
    Small apps. load fast put them in your start up.

  16. Ken

    @Old Gnome That was LOTUS Agenda. Damn, I think I still have that around here somewhere, but I haven’t had a PC with a 3.5″ diskette drive for years and years (sigh). Cool app, wasn’t it? Indexed every word. Awesome capability, but a bit of a curve to learn how to use it. Thanks for the memory.
    Oh. I use Outlook.

  17. J Glenn

    I use Google Calendar for appointments which syncs with everything, StickyNotes on Windows 7, and ToDo Task Manager on my Droid.

  18. Radie

    While not at all a stand alone app.. I have to gush about my new favorite ToDo setup..

    TaskForce. It is a browser extension for Gmail that is really proving useful. Google Tasks is without question the ugly stepchild of the Google Family (though didnt they do some moderate Task market research earlier this year.. hinting at improvements?).

    TaskForce adds 2 buttons tot he top of every email: Add To Existing Task & Convert Into New Task.

    It also adds a little (moveable) box int he top roght corner that docks the task list. Here you can add new tasks and edit others.. The editing options include a nice COLLABORATION feature that will allows different people to share (and COMMENT) on tasks.

    The other editing options include adding due dates, storing to multiple task lists.

    It even has a Google Task sync, so if you are using Google Tasks, you can slide right in (and it might prove more handy if those Google Task improvements ever come to fruition.

    Along with ActiveInbox, Boomerang & Rapporitve (all browser extensions)… my Gmail Account gets stuff done.

  19. Edward Allen Weissbard

    Google Calendar, here…… has worked well, so far.

  20. Paul

    GoTasks. It’s free and runs off Google Tasks, but my wife and I have a few lists (my todo’s, her todo’s, shopping lists, etc) that we have synced on our iPhones. You’re able to add multiple accounts – I think we’re up to 3 different Google accounts at this point. It’s a great interface for adding, re-arranging, and completing tasks. The sync feature works great, especially for the shopping list. We can be at the store in different sections and see what the other person gets as they check it off. Plus, we longer have the “I forget what was on the list” problem. There may be better solutions, but my wife’s an ultra-organizer, and she loves this app. I’m ultra-forgetful and also love it.

  21. udinho and google notebook

    they’re very simple.

    but google notebook is not updated anymore..

  22. Csaba Szücs

    My colleagues created the U-Done Todo Manager (Lite).

    Currently – I suppose – 5000 people are using it as it is available only for the Nokia N900 owners. Soon Symbian and Android versions are coming so I bet more and more people will use it as it has many great features.

    Just google it: u-done todo

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