Friday, February 20, 2015

Best To Do List Apps


I've been on the hunt for the best to do list apps lately. I have always kept lists, usually jotted down on whatever piece of paper was handy. I've also used my Inbox as a to do list, a habit that made it especially hard to keep my goal of always keeping less than 50 emails in my Inbox.

My iPhone comes with a Notes app and a Reminder app, but they both lacked certain functions that I wanted, like the ability to schedule tasks for recurring days and the ability to break tasks into different steps. 

I gave Wunderlist a try first. It had decent reviews but I have to say I didn't dive in very deep and uncover every single feature. I think the main reason is that right off the bat, it didn't feel like a perfect fit for me. There was just some intuitive aspect it lacked. It has an Inbox and the ability to view things due Today by the Week. But I think I wanted a daily to-do list sort of like a calendar. I didn't find it easy to create that daily to do list.

But I wanted to create lists of things due every day, like taking my fish oil and reading a chapter of a book. Either Wunderlist didn't offer that feature or it was too hard for me to find. I created lists named by date, but then I found I couldn't reorganize the lists. I did like knowing how much I had completed in a day, but that's more of a time-tracking goal than a to do list goal. I noticed that on some days, usually weekdays, I was getting 12-14 tasks completed daily, including cooking meals and other unexpected tasks like delivering forgotten lunch boxes.

I used Wunderlist for maybe ten days before I realized it just wasn't offering what I wanted.

I created an account on Habit RPG. I learned about Habit after putting a request out on Twitter for some to do list apps that offered rewards and positive feedback for TCB  (Taking Care of Business). But Habit either didn't offer an app or I couldn't find it, and I really wanted something I could access from my phone while I was on the go. I wasn't that eager to update my character with little trinkets and I wasn't looking to cash in gold that I earned for completing tasks. Then my Habit character died. So this didn't work out so well. 

I downloaded Checklist but never got around to opening it. 

I also downloaded Errands and so far I'm really enjoying it. 


As I tried to pinpoint why I like Errands so much more than Wunderlist, I think it's the fact that tasks are easily scheduled for days, and moved from one day to the next.  I didn't want topic-based lists, I wanted day-based lists.

And Errands is easy to use. Creating tasks is simple. Scheduling tasks is simple. Moving tasks to a new day is simple. Creating checklists, or mini-steps as a part of a larger task is simple. And I like that the app displays a number badge indicating how many more tasks I need to complete that day. I love checking them off and seeing that number count down.

Unlike Wunderllist, Errands doesn't display completed tasks from previous days very easily. But the Logbook does store my completed tasks if I want to go back and view them. I can see the tasks that are due today and scan what's due tomorrow.

Errands works well for me right now. But I'd love to hear if you have a to do list app you love. Unless you're still keeping your lists on paper… then here are some tips from Hightail about using Post-It notes