Photo via Habitica

These 5 to-do apps will make sure you get your sh*t done

The problem with the idea of a "best" to-do app is everyone has different needs.

Feb 29, 2020, 12:15 am*



John-Michael Bond

There are too many to-do apps. It’s an understandable problem: Organizing one’s day in the modern world is complicated, and there’s profit to be made in a solution. That doesn’t make it any easier for you as a consumer to pick the right one. 

If you’re looking for the right to-do app to fit your life, we have you covered. Below you’ll find five apps that serve different purposes in different kinds of lives. Which one fits best is up to you.

You don’t want to download another app

Reminders iOS

Reminders comes preinstalled on the iPhone and you can’t delete it, so you might have just written it off as bloatware. That would be a mistake, as Reminders is one of the best minimalist to-do apps available today. Quickly set reminders for yourself or create a named task like “Chores” and put your list of things to get done in there. You can set alarms for time-intensive projects and sync your reminders with your OS X desktop. If your hands are busy, say with driving, Siri will even set the reminder for you via voice.

You want something simple, quick, and a little fun

Doo iOS $2.99

Rather than provide you with a list of the tasks you need to accomplish, Doo puts each item on its own little card. You either say you’re done with the task or snooze it. Customizable snooze options allow Doo to set your own alarms, and reminders and cards can be set up as repeating tasks if you’ve always got something to do at 4pm on Thursdays. Give yourself early alerts for big projects or turn off reminders entirely, it’s up to you. Each card comes with a beautiful illustration that keeps the whole experience aesthetically pleasing while you go about your day.

You want the most powerful app and use machines across different operating systems iOS Android is a powerful task management solution, capable of reminding you of tasks by time, date, and even location. Attach files to tasks, share your to-do list with family and colleagues, create break-out subtasks, and set recurring tasks. can do almost everything if you take the time to learn the software, but if you use multiple operating systems, its best feature is cross-compatibility. Android, iOS, OS X, a web app, and even a Chrome app let you keep track of all your tasks and appointments from any device. also offers a premium service that allows users to collaborate on tasks and projects.

You need your list quickly sorted

Remember the Milk iOS Android

If you’ve been using task management apps for any amount of time, you’ve probably tried out Remember the Milk, but if you’ve never tried out its Smart Add feature you need to try it again. Smart Add is great for people who are on the go and need to make lists that quickly sort themselves. When you enter a new task into the app you simply include all of the tasks properties on one line. Add a due date, priority, repeat, tags, and time, and Remember the Milk will sort your task and put it in your list where it best fits. Couple Smart Add with powerful reminder features, including notifications via email, text, Twitter, or your mobile app and Remember the Milk is a powerful contender for solo users on the go.

You want to turn your To Do list into a game so you’ll actually get stuff done

Habitica: Gamified Task Management iOS Android

All the tools in the world can’t help you if you can’t bring yourself to check your to-do list. Habitica is a way to trick you into getting your life together by tying your to-do list into an RPG game where success requires finishing your tasks. You lose health when you forget a task and collect gold when you complete them. Gold can be used to buy outfits, mounts, and weapons, which come in handy when fighting monsters. Need a little extra accountability? Play with friends. If you fail to complete a task it becomes harder for your whole party to defeat monsters.

Habitica allows you make tasks from a wide range of groups, ranging from work to health to chores. Drink some water? That’s a quest. File your paperwork at the end of the day? Congrats on the gold. Go on a walk? Now you’re adventuring. 

Don’t let your party down. Finish your to-do list today. 

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*First Published: Sep 10, 2016, 7:00 am