They're with us all the time, connected to the internet, and synced with all the important online services in our lives: what better devices to help us remember things than our iPhones and iPads?
GOLD MEDAL: 2Do
This isn't just a to-do list app. It's an app that can keep track of virtually every action you take in your life, should you want it to. Simple list functionality is simple and fast, the interface is attractive, the syncing options are manifold, and the depth of features is astounding. There are local and push notifications, plugins for all kinds of different web services, and calendar syncing. Opening this app feels like taking a glance at everything that's going on in your life, all at once. Nearly perfect. $7, iPhone and iPad
SILVER MEDAL: Pageonce Personal Finance
Forgetting to pick up some toilet paper is one thing. Forgetting to pay a bill, no matter how small, can end up having long-lasting consequences. I'm terrible at managing money, which is why Pageonce has lived on my iPhone for as long as I've had one. It yanks in info from your accounts with tons of major banks and services, including usages stats from AT&T, and keeps you apprised of your balances, bills and extra fees. Travel itinerary tracking and online retailer account sync are icing on the cake. (The free version almost always gets the job done, btw) Free, iPhone and iPad.
BRONZE MEDAL: Remember the Milk
A free, clean and simple task manager that does 80% of what the paid apps do for 0% of the price. The free version doesn't sync more than once a day—that's the main difference—but it does offer a plethora of options for task tracking, including tags, prioritization and goelocation. If you've always got your phone with you, or want to use it as your primary scheduling device, then you won't miss the pro syncing and notification features very much at all. Free, iOS.
• Omnifocus: An expensive ($20+) app with too many options to count. This one's less for forgetful people than it is for scheduling obsessives.
• Things : An old favorite for the iPhone has fallen out of the running, with slow updates and cripple sync functionality.
• Reqall: Used to be a great app, but now it's just a good one. Still appealing for people who love keeping track of things with dictaphone-style voice messages rather than basic text.
• ToodleDo : A solid competitor to 2do in almost every way. 2do syncs to Toodledo's online calendar service too, though, which gives its superior interface the opportunity to shine against the ToodleDo app's more spartan approach.
• Put things off: A fairly barebones task manager with one smart feature: a drawer where you can, you guessed it, put things off. Makes me feel a bit less guilty about procrastinating, and motivates me to get lingering tasks done at the same time.
• Google Calendar: Sync your Google Calendar with your iPhone's calendar, keep the former up to date, and marvel at how helpful and/or annoying the pop-up notifications are. Seriously, this will actually get the job done for most people, and it's free.