There are too many to-do list apps. Trying them all would be a massive task, and I know because I did it.
Why are there so many apps for something easily done with sticky notes or any other scrap of paper? Because managing tasks is an intensely—even irrationally—personal thing. People will reject anything that doesn’t feel right. That’s a good instinct, but it makes it hard to find the right app.
To that end, we’ve been hard at work researching the best to-do apps, trying to find the right ones for various use cases. Research for these pieces was exhaustive. We started by finding the best apps for every platform: Android, Windows, geraibunga.id macOS, and iPhone/iPad. We then tried the top-rated apps in every respective app store, and spent way too much time making to-do lists on one app after another.
And now I’m offering you what I feel is the cream of the crop. Whatever you’re looking for, one of these task management apps is going to be right for you. Click on any app to learn more about why I chose it, or keep reading for more context on to-do list apps.
The best to-do list apps
What makes the best to-do list app?
How we evaluate and test apps
All of our best apps roundups are written by humans who’ve spent much of their careers using, testing, and writing about software. We spend dozens of hours researching and testing apps, using each app as it’s intended to be used and evaluating it against the criteria we set for the category. We’re never paid for placement in our articles from any app or for links to any site—we value the trust readers put in us to offer authentic evaluations of the categories and apps we review. For more details on our process, read the full rundown of how we select apps to feature on the Zapier blog.
I’ve written about technology in general, and productivity specifically, since 2013. In that time, I’ve personally tried basically every major to-do list app that has come out, and I’ve always relied upon at least one of them to function.
Of course, when it comes to managing a to-do list online, everyone has different criteria. I kept this in mind as I tested, and I tried not to just pick the apps that suited me best, but the ones that suit different people who approach task management in other ways. Regardless, there were a few features that made certain apps stand out.
What is a to-do list app for?
To-do lists help you organize your work and keep track of tasks. A good digital to-do list makes it easier to get work done—and makes it harder to miss deadlines.
What makes a good to-do list app?
The best to-do list apps:
- Make it fast to add and organize tasks. Ideally, a task is added and categorized in a couple taps or keystrokes. If adding your to-dos is a hassle, you just won’t do it.
- Offer multiple ways to organize your tasks. Tags, lists, projects, and due dates are all helpful, and the best to-do apps offer at least a few categories like this.
- Remind you about self-imposed deadlines. Notifications, widgets, emails—if you’re using an online to-do list, it should help you track what needs to happen when. This is one of the big reasons to use an app over a notebook.
- Offer clean user interfaces. The best to-do app fits into your workflow, so you can get back to what you’re supposed to be doing. As a professional reviewer who spends a lot of time testing, I generally have a phobia of ugly apps.
- Sync between every platform you use. Which platforms will depend on what you personally use, but I didn’t consider anything that doesn’t sync between desktop and mobile. You really should be able to check your to-do list when you’re at the store or otherwise out and about.
While AI is starting to creep into to-do apps, it’s not broadly useful yet. No app made this list just because it had some AI scheduling or could automatically suggest sub-tasks, but no apps were excluded over it either. While some people might find these features useful, I suspect most people looking for a to-do app want to be able to keep track of all the things they have to do—not get more tasks added to a list by a robot.
I tried to find the task list apps that balance these things in various ways. None of these options will be right for everyone, but hopefully one of them is right for you.
The best to-do list apps at a glance
Best to-do list app for balancing power and simplicity
Todoist isn’t the most powerful to-do list website out there. It’s also not the simplest. That’s kind of the point: this app balances power with simplicity, and it does so while running on basically every platform that exists. That’s a strong selling point—which is probably why Todoist is one of the most popular to-do lists right now.
Adding tasks was quick on every platform in my tests, thanks in part to natural language processing (type «buy milk Monday» and the task «buy milk» will be added with the next Monday set as your due date). You can put new tasks in your Inbox and then move them to relevant projects; you can also set due dates. Paid users can create custom filters and labels, and there are also some basic collaboration features.
Todoist is flexible enough to adapt to most workflows but not so complicated as to overwhelm. And it adds new features regularly: you can view projects as a Kanban board, for example, and navigating the app by keyboard is much smoother after recent updates. There’s even an AI assistant on paid plans that can help make tasks more actionable. Overall, this is a great first to-do list app to try out, especially if you don’t know where to start.
Todoist also integrates with Zapier, which means you can automatically create tasks in Todoist whenever something happens in one of your favorite apps. Check out some ideas for automating Todoist with Zapier, or try one of these examples.
TickTick is a fast-growing task list app that offers a wide array of features on just about every platform you can imagine. Adding tasks is quick thanks to natural language processing. There’s also a universal keyboard shortcut offered on the desktop versions and pinned notifications and widgets on mobile, which makes it quick to add a task before getting back to what you’re doing. Tasks can be organized using lists, tags, due dates, and priorities, and there’s also the ability to add subtasks to any task.