If you’re a to-do list beginner or just like keeping it simple, Astrid is a great way to get on the to-do train. The free web app comes with pre-set lists that are easy to click on and fill out.
Developing a task system is also easy. Just click the desired list and add items. Users can tweak each list to prioritize and repeat tasks. For the social to-do taskmasters, Astrid also provides a system for users to invite their friends and assign jobs. In turn, Astrid sends weekly completion updates, and the service even tosses a nice complement your way once you’ve finished your checklist.
The free version of Astrid offers the mobile and desktop apps synced through the cloud. For just $5 a month, users can upgrade to premium, which features voice backup, completion charts, and up to 1 GB worth of attachments. Whether free or paid, Astrid is a good entry point in the digital to-do world.
2. The Minimalist: Todoist
If your work style is more focused on getting things done without all the bells and whistles, then Todoist is the low-key tool for you. On the surface, Todoist doesn’t really look like much. Its minimal white platform can look a bit bare, if not daunting. But filling in Todoist is really easy, and offers some big features.
For example, Todoist has enough power to take on a nearly infinite task list, meaning that there’s no data ceiling to hit. Once a project is developed, it can be broken down into sub-projects and those can also be broken into sub-tasks. Each task can have a deadline, and projects can be color-coded for even more organization. Mired in tons of to-dos? Todoist also has a smart “overview” mode, which isolates pressing tasks across all projects and can show how a week will shake out.
Though it’s minimalist, Todoist has plenty of integration with other platforms. The free version of the program adds access from mobile devices as well as plugins on Chrome, Firefox, Gmail, Outlook and Thunderbird. But if you want calendar integration, be prepared to pony up $29 per year.
3. The Multitasker: Remember the Milk
One of the challenges of a to-do list is actually stopping whatever you’re doing and adding a task to the list when it comes up. Switching over to a browser tab or a separate application can discourage on-the-fly additions. If you’re that kind of person then it’s time to adopt Remember the Milk.
Remember the Milk’s free program operates like a standard to-do app. Through the service, users can set tasks, organize them into lists, and get reminders when something is due. But where Remember the Milk really separates itself is the many ways you can connect to it. With widgets and add-ons, you can add tasks to Remember the Milk through Gmail, a bookmarklet, and apps for iPhone, Android and the iPad. In fact, you can even send a task to Remember the Milk through Twitter or Siri. You can also receive reminders for your tasks through nearly any service, including RSS, text, and Skype.
If you’re keen on keeping a to-do list but you need to have multiple access points, then Remember the Milk is the simple and easy way to keep everything in order.
4. The Collaborator: Toodledo
Having a personal to-do list can be easy to keep, but what about managing a project list for a group of people or a family? A seamless platform for group tasks can be a challenge, but not with Toodledo.
Toodledo creates a “workspace” to organize projects and tasks, rather than just a simple list. Users are able to categorize tasks by importance level, edit already existing tasks, and create a customized “hot list” to keep track of pressing concerns. But collaboration is really where Toodledo stands out, enabling users to “invite” others to their workspace instead of sharing tasks or projects. The result is one collaborative space where a group can list all to-dos, rather than delegating among different spaces.
5. The Cloud Champion: Wunderlist
Love the cloud? Then you’ll love Wunderlist, a free to-do list service available on Mac, Windows, Linux, and all smartphones.
Users can develop their own lists through Wunderlist’s web application or a desktop app. Then, with a click of the sync button, Wunderlist automatically updates all lists across all devices that the app is also on. So, all tasks updated through your phone will be sent to your tablet and your computer with no hassle. Users can also share lists through the cloud, allowing friends to access tasks with an easy and secure URL.
If you’re constantly switching between different devices or spend a lot of time on the road, then Wunderlist will help you keep all of your tasks in order no matter where you are.
6. The Kitchen Sink: Workflowy
Perhaps a simple to-do list just doesn’t do it for you. If you’re the kind of person who fills notebooks and notebooks with ideas, projects, objectives and brainstorms, then you should get your hands on Workflowy.
Think of it as a long, continual outline. Users simply drop different sections in and then fill them with tasks, sub-tasks, and so on. Unlike other outline services, Workflowy enables users to collapse each list and focus on the task at hand. Every completed task can also be transferred into a permanent archive of action items and nothing will ever be lost.
Part task list, part brainstorm playground, Workflowy is perfect for those who love to write absolutely everything down.