The key to success for any business is to ignite the productivity and get more done within a fixed amount of time. You may have heard about those wonderful task management software or advanced project management platforms that every CEO or successful startup owners swear by, but do you really need a complicated software to get things done?
One of the fundamental features for any productivity tool is a to do list. It is a list of things that you need to accomplish in order to achieve a big goal. The list will consolidate all of your tasks in one place. An efficient to do list can help you set priorities, track your progress, refresh your memory, easy to carry out the tasks in a timely manner.
You don’t have to spend extra on a high-end to do list app with complicated features. The best to do list apps should be simple enough to make your life easier but powerful enough to let you get things done.
Top 15 best to do list apps 2023 (free and paid)
In this post, we’re going to introduce and review several best free and paid to do list apps. Let’s take a look at the top-notch software for to do lists and find the most suitable one for you and your team to boost productivity at work.
If you’re doing some research online for the best to do list apps on Capterra or G2Crowd, you must have come across Quire as one of the top rated planners and to do apps for personal use and business teams.
The intuitive and simple user interface is always a dealbreaker for anyone who comes across a new to-do list app. Quire developer team has spent years of effort to strive for a delicate balance between simplicity and the powerful features. The elegant and intuitive interface is one of the aspects that Quire users appreciate the most.
A good to do list app must have the simplest and most straightforward flow to let users streamline their work. With Quire, you can set up different lists as different projects. For example, a list of daily chores such as "Grocery List" and another list for more complicated tasks, such as "Writing a book".
A lot of the productivity tools adopt to-do list as one of the key features. However, Quire brought the flat to-do list to another level and introduced an infinite nested task list - unlimited tasks and subtasks that help you break down big ideas into smaller and doable tasks.
Unlike other to do list apps, Quire gives users a hierarchical order to monitor a task. With the tree structure, the parent tasks and the children tasks can be presented within context and relations. Quire nested to do list mirrors exactly how your thoughts are mapped out and creates a better backbone for your whole productivity workflow.
A to do list can be nothing more than a plain text without the tasks’ schedule and priorities. You can set up the start dates, due date, recurring dates, priorities, tags, etc. to a task so that they can provide more detailed information for your task list.
A visual report in the overview page shows how well your project and the executing process is performing. You can adjust the resources based on the progress of your to do list. If you’re working with a team, Quire also keeps everyone on the same page with the real-time collaboration features. Quire comes with both Android and iOS apps to keep you in sync.
To put in a nutshell, Quire is not only an cloud-based to do list, Quire can help you achieve your dreams!
Some more amazing features that make Quire your best investment.
- Nested Task list: Breakdown big tasks and organize with structured list.
- Kanban Board: Focus on selected crucial tasks in a short period of time.
- Sublist: For one to-do list, create as many sub-lists as you wish to focus on which matters the most to you.
- Timeline: A beautiful Gantt chart that helps to map out team schedules in the most intuitive way.
- Multiple Assignees: Assign a task to the people who are responsible for it.
- Schedule: Set start date, start time, due date, recurring date for a task to track the process.
- Project Template: Save time - duplicate a project or task to use as a template.
- Reports: A visual overview of how well each of your projects and members is performing.
- Smart Folders: View and organize tasks from different projects in one place.
- External Team: Outsource your tasks and assign to third parties without them seeing everything on your projects.
- Share Links: Send an invitation link to your clients so they can access your project without signing up.
- Smart Keyboard Shortcuts: Tons of nifty shortcuts that allow you to work on your project without reaching the mouse.
- File Sharing: Easily upload a file or attach a file from Google Drive to your tasks.
- Integrations: Github, Slack, Google Drive, etc.
- Export and Import data: Pain-free migrating your data or export your projects to save as a local backup.
- Interchangeable infinite nested task list and Kanban Board
- Comprehensive collaboration features including multiple assignees and scheduling.
- User-friendly and minimalist interface.
- Cross-platform operations: iOS, Android mobile apps
- Smart search feature to locate every piece of information.
- Integrations with Slack, Google Drive, iCal, Google Calendar, etc.
- Lack of various theme options
- No built-in chat (can use task-based comments are updated in real-time instead)
You don’t have to take our word for it, see for yourself about all of the features here. Enjoy, work smart and have fun with Quire!
Wunderlist is one of the best to do list apps for personal use. The app has a clean and simple interface that mirrors exactly a tangible list. You can work with other users in the same interface and share the task list with each other.
You can schedule a task, add reminders and create different folders for different tasks to keep information centralized. If you want to export your data, it’s very easy to create a local backup file from Wunderlist.
- Create folders for related lists
- Add comments to give more contexts
- Share lists with other members
- Easy to set up
- Cross platform operation: iOS, Mac, Android, Windows, Web, Kindle Fire
- Lack of collaboration tools - not suitable for a team to do list apps
- No calendar view
3. Microsoft To-Do
If you are an Outlook diehard fan, you probably come across Microsoft To-Do app at least once. After Microsoft acquired Wunderlist, To-Do was rolled out in order to replace Wunderlist. So basically, Microsoft To-Do is a personal to do list app with all of the basic features. You can easily integrate with Outlook Tasks.
However, there are some drawbacks with this app since it doesn’t have subtasks or collaboration tools. Also, the maximum attached file size is very limited. If you’re working with a dynamic team, chances are you may need to find better alternatives.
- Personalized daily planner with suggested tasks
- Cross device operation
- Recurring dates and due dates
- Sync between Outlook and To-Do
- User-friendly interface
- Integration with Office 365
- Completely free
- Lack of advanced task management capabilities
- Lack of collaboration tools
- Too simple for a powerful to-do list app
If you’re a GTD method hardcore fan, you may have heard of TickTick. It is a well-known collaborative to-do app that can be implemented with the Getting Things Done method. The inbox in TickTick enables you to jot down any ideas. The interface in TickTick is very similar to any other productivity apps, which have three navigation panels. You can add a due date, assignees, tags and priorities to better manage a task.
The free version of TickTick has quite tight restrictions and they do not offer free trial so you need to be sure about this platform before you commit to it.
- Rich features of managing tasks
- Natural language dates
- Priority level and tags for tasks
- Drag and drop functionality
- Collaboration tools
- Native time tracking, Pomodoro timer
- User-friendly interface with drag and drop features
- GTD Method implementation
- Advanced functionalities and features are available only with paid version
- Lack of integration with other apps
- Starting from $28.99/year
5. Google Keep
The next candidate in this list for best to-do list apps is Google Keep. Without the robust functionalities, Google Keep is meant for personal use only. If you’re familiar with a simple to-do list can be used anywhere to net your thoughts, Google Keep works like a charm.
One of the best functionalities of Google Keep is that it can dictate notes with your smartphone and the software can transcribe them. Also, Google Keep can be imported directly into Google Docs, which has more formatting options.
- Excellent mobile reminders including voice reminder
- Flexible drawing and typing functionalities
- Cross device operations
- User-friendly interface
- OCR and Voice Commands
- Note taking
- Lack of rich-text formatting options
- Lack of collaboration tools
- No due dates or recurring dates
- Cannot share a group of notes
The second option for any GTD adherent in this best to do list apps listicle is OmniFocus. This note taking app is designed for GTD Method. If you’re managing your to-do using Getting Things Done Method, OmniFocus might appeal to you. It has a lot of rich features that are customized for GTD practitioners only.
The interface of OmniFocus is very colorful, just like any other popular cloud-based task management app. You have the three-paneled window to operate OmniFocus. You can create a lot of projects and group them together within folders.
- Inbox to write down tasks immediately
- Sorting and Organizing tasks
- Due dates and recurring dates
- Custom perspectives
- Batch editing to edit multiple items
- Great implementation with GTD Method
- Colorful user interface
- Can add a lot of detail to tasks
- No collaboration - only personal use
- Only work with MacOS and iOs
- Relatively high price
Things has always been one of the top Wunderlist alternatives or best to-do apps up to date. However, Things is only available for iOS users. If you own a Macbook and iPhone, Things might be worth a try.
Things has most of the features that are required for a complicated, heavy features to-do list application. The core value of Things is its task management ability and how it can help you shape your to-do list in a very effective way.
- Search across platform
- Progress charts and reports
- Natural language processing
- Custom fields to keep information centralized
- Ability to handle complicated task management
- Clean interface
- Advanced search filters to quickly locate your information
- Free trial
- Only available for Mac and iOS platforms
- No time tracking feature
- Might be complicated for starters
8. Remember the Milk
If you’re looking for a to-do list app that can be collaborated with other team members, Remember the Milk may be the one for you. With a free account, you can jot down tasks, schedule the tasks and share the whole to-do list with other members.
Remember the Milk also has an extensive reminder feature which can be very handy for those who work on a long task list. If you pay extra, you can work offline with the app. Their smart list feature is also another dealbreaker. It supports the natural language so that you can write all the details in one line without switching the mouse and keyboard.
- Smart reminders across various devices
- Share your lists
- Schedule a task
- Location-based tasks
- File attachments (Pro version)
- Smart lists to keep track of the project
- Multiple third-party integrations
- Quickly manage to do list
- Beautiful user interface
- Work offline (Pro version)
- No advanced team collaboration features
- No location-based reminders
Notion is a direct competitor to Evernote when it comes to a handy and simple to do list app. It is an all-in-one platform that you can use to manage your daily chores or use as a file cabinet. This best to-do list app lets you take notes, create a to-do list, manage and track your data.
You can get your whole team onboard and replace all of the existing apps with Notion. You can write, plan, collaborate and get organized with this simple to-do list app. One of the core features of Notion is its clean space for you to jot down your ideas and build your own task list.
- Customizable dashboard
- Flexible to do list and Kanban board
- Offline access
- Calendar view
- File cabinet
- Easy checklists and to-do list management
- Cross platform operation
- Multiple integrations
- Limited features with the free version
- No time tracking feature
- No chat feature
Workflowy is a cloud-based tool that enables users to manage their to-do lists. The minimalist interface perfectly mimics a notepad which users can jot down ideas and break them into different nodes. Workflowy works best to organize scattered ideas into a to do list format.
Though Workflowy aims to target personal use as a simple to-do list, they still allow users to share the list for team collaboration. Users can also hide and archive items that are not important or already completed. The one drawback of Workflowy is its lack of color formatting for the list.
- Unlimited lists
- Backup to Dropbox
- Password protected Collaboration
- Theme and fonts
- Searchable, expandable and collapsible functionalities
- Minimalist design: just as a notepad
- Ease of use: good for personal to-do list
- Zoom in and zoom out a node on the list
- No recent updates
- Weak mobile apps
When it comes to the best cloud-based note-taking tool, Evernote is an obvious choice for many users. You can take notes everywhere you want, on your phone or on your computer then get synchronized once you’re connected to the internet. You can get access to your notes and your to do lists anytime.
Going beyond a simple to-do list and note-taking app, Evernote allows users enjoy the hi-tech features such as optical character recognition (OCR) to search your text across the written notes. You can also add tags, cross-linking, checklists, tables to your notes.
- Cross device operation
- Share links
- Take notes with your handwriting
- Project and tasks management
- Built-in note templates
- Synchronization with emails
- Advanced search filters
- Easy to use
- Comprehensive task management features
- Cross-platform synchronization
- Lacks complex to-do list management features
- Poor storage space
Todoist is already in the market for quite some time and they keep adding new features to the list. The interface is straightforward wrapped in a minimalist design. However, Todoist is more suitable for smaller team or personal use, rather than for a big creative team with complex projects.
The task list in Todoist replicates the yellow notepad that everyone is familiar with since college. You can set due dates, recurring dates and priorities for each task.
Todoist also has different to do lists for different platforms, from iOS to Android to Windows Mobile. The ability to integrate with a lot of productivity tools such as Gmail, Slack, Thunderbird, etc. is a major selling point of Todoist as well.
- Create tasks directly from email
- Tasks feedback and comments
- Set priority levels
- Built-in library of project templates
- Customizable filters
- Open API
- Real-time synchronization
- Location-based notifications (premium)
- Diverse project templates
- Third-party apps integrations
- Good free version
- Poor calendar view for tasks
- Lack advanced task tracking features
ProofHub is a task management and team collaboration software that allows you to keep track of all of your thoughts and ideas in one location. You can create tasks, to-do lists, and notes to help you recall crucial information.
It also allows you to copy task lists and reuse them instead of starting over. It simplifies and accelerates numerous areas of project/task/team management and goal achievement.
- Subtasks can be added easily
- Keep track of your progress by leaving comments
- Customizable layout
- Makes it simple to organize tasks
- Project progress is visible from start to finish
- There is no per-user fee
- Learning curve is minimal to non-existent
- Teams from all industries and sizes can use it
- Individuals may find this bothersome
- Notifications can be overwhelming
nTask is an incredible task management and project management tool that you and your team can use as a to-do list tool in your professional and personal lives. The application has a clean and minimalistic interface, causing it to be quite intuitive whenever new users want to experience this incredible tool.
Using the application, you can easily track and manage all of your tasks, and also make sure that any and every scope creeps and risks that are capable of affecting your project are identified and eradicated seamlessly.
- Extensive task management and project management features
- Meeting management to keep track of all of the meetings
- Gantt chart and Kanban board to keep you a different view of the tasks
- iOS and Android mobile apps
- Notifications and reminders to keep teams on track
- Easy to use
- Minimalistic interface
- Lack of customization and reporting features
In case you’re not sure how to pronounce TeuxDeaux, it’s pronounced as "To Do". This to do list app allows you to create a list of things to do and organize them altogether. You can drag and drop the tasks around to create different lists. Also, you can schedule each task or set a task to be repeated in the calendar.
TeuxDeaux provides you the styling option with Markdown. You can do most of the text formatting with their built-in Markdown. You can also share the app with your small team (up to 6 people) and you can download your list anytime.
- Custom to-do lists
- Easy drag-and-drop feature
- Sync with calendar
- Support Markdown
- Cross device operation
- User-friendly interface
- Text formatting toolset
- Too simple for a comprehensive to-do list app
- Lack of built-in time tracking module
- No free version
The Verdict: Which is the best to do list app that I should use?
The key to keeping your work organized is having your to-dos listed out neatly. You have to commit to your list to actually get things done. A good to-do list app can help you manage what to do and schedule when to do your tasks. You can use your to-do list app for personal use or small teams that do not require comprehensive management features.
There are a few qualities that you should be aware of a good to-do list software, such as the interface of the task list, the range of tools for organizing and tracking your progress and the collaborative options of your list.
In the above list, we’ve provided you with a lot of valuable options that you can try for yourself before committing to a tool. A good to-do list can bring your productivity to the next level. We always believe with the right to do list app, you can achieve all of your dreams! G’luck!