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Advice / Succeeding at Work / Productivity

10 To-Do Apps for 10 Kinds of People: Your Life Just Got a Whole Lot More Productive

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Odds are high that you’re probably not as obsessed with your task list as I am. No, really: I’ve been known to spend more time organizing my to-dos than actually doing them.

Why am I telling you this? Because I’ve pretty much tried every task app out there—and I’m like a kid at Christmas whenever I discover one that I love.

So, that means that I not only know almost every single one that exists, but I know what their individual benefits are—plus, what kind of person should use each one.

What’s that? You already have a system that works? Well, that’s what my husband says, too. And all I know about his system is that it’s keeping the sticky note manufacturers in business. While jotting down his tasks definitely gets the job done, it’s not nearly as efficient as it could be.

There are so many to-do apps out there nowadays that there’s surely one that’s right for you—and better than what you’re currently using.

Here are my 10 top picks for best to-do list apps that you should consider:

1. If You’re Beyond Busy: Things

When you’ve got a million things on your plate, the last thing you have time for is fussing with an app. You need it to be easy and fast to use while still offering you enough features to keep you organized.

Things touts itself as being the app that you don’t need a manual to start using, and it promises to speed up capturing your tasks by providing a keyboard shortcut as well as copying text from other apps.

Available on iOS and OS X

Similar multi-platform option: TickTick

2. If You’re a Visual Thinker: Trello

Did my sticky note comment hit home with you? Then take a look at Trello.

Unlike most list-based task managers, Trello is based on a system of cards and boards–think of it like a virtual bulletin board. You can add photos, notes, files, lists, labels, color codes, and more to the cards to make sure all your information is included. And, you can easily drag and drop to re-organize everything just about whatever way you see things in your mind’s eye.

Available on iOS and Android

3. If You Live in Your Calendar: Fantastical 2

OK–Fantastical is actually a calendar. But, by including a task manager, it becomes a to-do app worthy of its name.

Instead of just seeing a list of items to complete each day, you’ll see your to-dos at the exact time you want to get them done. That way, you’ll be sure you have time for everything, no matter how hectic your day is.

Available on iOS and OS X

Similar multi-platform option: Swipes

4. If You’re Feeling Frazzled:

From the second your alarm rings until your head hits the pillow at night, it’s go-go-go for you. Some days you feel lucky to remember your own name, much less your task list.

In steps and its “Moment” feature. This is a gentle, but firm, daily reminder for you to review your day’s tasks so that you’re sure you’re set with a plan for a productive day.

Available on iOS and Android

5. If You’ve Got All the Tasks: OmniFocus

If your to-do lists have to-do lists, OmniFocus is the one for you.

As the most feature-rich and complex app, it lets you filter and sort your work in a number of different ways, so you see only what you need at that moment. So, no more worrying about your home reno project when you should be figuring out what else you have to prep for next week’s presentation at work.

Available on iOS and OS X

Similar multi-platform option: Toodledo

6. If You Switch it Up: Todoist

So many devices, you say? Not a problem with Todoist. It has versions for iOS, Android, and the web, and browser extensions of every sort–not to mention integrations with email clients like Gmail and Outlook, plus services including Dropbox, IFTTT, Google Maps, and so on.

That means you’ll stay on top of your to-do list with Todoist any time, anywhere.

Available on iOS and Android

7. If You’re a Purist: Reminders

Reminders is the stock iOS app for tasks and, of course, reminders. It offers all the standard fare of to-do apps, but the reason to use it is the reason some people climb mountains: It’s there. That might sound like a silly reason to choose (or not choose) it—but it also means that it automatically works with other iOS apps and services.

And, of course, it means it features Apple’s trademark design and ease-of-use.

Available on iOS

8. If You’re Not Alone: Wunderlist

Are you constantly collaborating at work? Or, do you need to wrangle the chores your partner needs to do around the house?

Wunderlist makes sharing tasks simple. With just a few taps, your colleagues or family can access lists. And, with the pro version, you can put them to work by assigning them tasks right from the app.

Available on iOS and Android

9. If You Think Looks Matter: Clear

Could a wonderful-to-look-at task manager tempt you to pay more attention to your to-dos?

It could be worth a try. And the Clear app has you covered there. I mean, the makers themselves say it’s “a mighty fine-looking app.” Check it out if colorful, simple, and themes are words that turn you on (scheduling-wise, of course).

Available on iOS and OS X

Similar option for Android and the web: Google Keep

10. If You’re a True Procrastinator: Carrot

Sometimes, tough love is the only solution to a real problem.

Carrot won’t have a problem being hard on you if you don’t stay on top of your to-dos. But, it also plays fair by rewarding you in unique ways when you do live up to its expectations. It’s not an app for the faint of heart, but it could be the one to finally help you conquer your tasks.

Available on iOS

Similar option for Android: HabitBull

All of these 10 options offer similar functions, but each has special features that are as unique as you. Choose the app that fits your personal style, and you’ll soon be checking off tasks with the best of us.