The Six Best Apps for Getting Shit Done

John Herrman and Casey Chan

To-do lists of the past were scribbled in notebooks, on sticky notes, or on whiteboards. Today, they live in our smatphones. Or at least they should.




This app almost crosses into full-bore life organizer territory, inhabited by apps like Evernote and Springpad. But by staying true to its core mission—task management— the app doesn't lose focus. It fares well in any feature comparison, with local and push notifications, calendar syncing, syncing with online services like Toodledo, and voice task recording, but the real reason 2Do deserves a spot is its spectacular interface. It's one of the rare apps that feels like it has a design vision, not just a nice aesthetic. Plus, it's universal. $8, iOS



A client app to the hugely popular online calendar service, Toodledo. Other paid iPhone apps can sync with Toodledo, but the official app appeals to the utilitarians in us—it's cut-down, clean, and very simple to use. There are plenty of features hidden behind the simplistic interface, including a full note-taking system, but the overall experience is very direct. Fulfills the "Get efficient iPhone task manager app" list item quite nicely. $3, iOS

Remember the Milk


This straightforward app syncs with online calendar service Remember the Milk, but just once a day. This is OK, however, because unlike other apps on this list Remember the Milk is completely, gloriously, fantastically free. Free, iPhone


iProcrastinate Mobile: Free, basic, and intended to manage homework-style tasks.
Reqall: A catch-all task manager/notes app, Reqall offers a handful of nice ways to record and organize tasks
Nubi Do: Silly name aside, this polished little app gives the more expensive 2Do a run for its money



Astrid Task/To Do List


No other app gives as much detail to to do lists as Astrid. Its "advanced" options lets you set priority levels, integrate with Google Calendar, sync with Google tasks, and set up tags, alerts and periodic reminders. Astrid keeps it easy, for the most part, but also offers deeper settings if you're the obsessive, customize-everything exactly-how-you-want-it type. If you use Remember The Milke or Producteev, Astrid can sync with them too (though it's not necessary). The app isn't the prettiest but it doesn't over complicate things. Spring for the Power Pack ($3.99) to unlock voice features and some better widgets. Free, Android. $4 for Power Pack.

Got To Do


One of the more thoughtfully designed Android apps, Got To Do has a great "homescreen" interface (that's customizable) and syncs with the Toodledo webapp (for more features). On top of that, Got To Do has a nice widget, gives options for task templates, and uses subtasks (if you want to break down bigger tasks). It doesn't throw as many setting tweaks to to do lists as Astrid but by keeping things simple, it's just as nice to use. Free, Android. $3.11 for Pro.



If you're a big user of Google Tasks, gTasks is the perfect app. It maintains the simplicity of Google Tasks by automatically syncing tasks on gTasks with your Gmail account. There's a widget, reminders, sharing options and a nice-because-it's-simple layout. In fact, gTasks is organized just like your Google Tasks. Free, Android. $7 to remove ads.

Remember The Milk: If you're a big RTM user, you'll have to have the Android app. Too bad RTM services (location based alerts, smart lists) cost $25/year
Checkmark ToDo list: Really gorgeous interface that sometimes buries what you need to do
TooDo: Ridiculously full featured but needlessly complicated. If you're insane about having perfect settings though, TooDo offers smart folders, geo-notification settings and tons more.
Taskos: Use your voice to save to do lists
Google Task Organizer: Another dead simple Google Tasks app
OI Shopping List: Good for the supermarket.


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