Organization & To Do Lists
December 3, 2014 12:11 PM   Subscribe

Does anyone know of a good program to keep their to do lists in order? I use an iPhone and mac at home, but I would like to find an application that runs on both that does a good job with adding to do's and generally keeps me organized if I use it religiously. Any suggestions would greatly be appreciated. Thank you
posted by nidora to Computers & Internet (19 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
I just started using Evernote and I am very pleased with it. I run it on my android, my ipad, and my Dell desktop. It will run on your iPhone and Mac. I started using it because it is recommended so much by mefites.
posted by harrietthespy at 12:17 PM on December 3, 2014

I've tried a bunch, but always come back to Wunderlist.
posted by rensar at 12:23 PM on December 3, 2014 [2 favorites]

I use Evernote, as well. It's great because it now does task reminders and allows you to save notes and other important stuff. I also love that it syncs across computers and devices.
posted by anotheraccount at 12:23 PM on December 3, 2014

Best answer: If you don't need anything fancy then the built-in Reminders might work for you. One benefit to using this is that any reminders you set using Siri go straight into here.

Alternatively, Wunderlist is good and free if you don't need the pro features (you probably won't). This would give you clients for the web and other platforms if you need such things.

The current darling of the to-do/Getting Things Done world for Apple devices is OmniFocus, but unless you have a particular need for it it's not worth paying the the (non-insubstantial) cost.
posted by Richard Holden at 12:23 PM on December 3, 2014

I've used Workflowy for a couple of years. It has an iPhone app and a browser-based desktop interface (and probably apps for other platforms). It's simple, works seamlessly (e.g., I never have weird syncing problems), and supports nesting (so you can break large tasks down into smaller ones, if you like).
posted by escape from the potato planet at 12:25 PM on December 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

Nthing Wunderlist, especially with the latest update for Yosemite.
posted by Celsius1414 at 12:31 PM on December 3, 2014

I use Evernote for a lot of stuff, but for just to-dos, I've really taken to Clear.
posted by General Malaise at 12:32 PM on December 3, 2014

I use Google tasks. There are is an iPhone apps for it but I don't have an iPhone so don't know how they work. But it is very simple but very useful as it links email,calender and a task list, it has reminders the works. I set it up in a tab in chrome, on my tablet & on my phone, syncing just happens without me having to think about it
posted by wwax at 12:43 PM on December 3, 2014

Another Workflowy user here. I like it because you can organize it however you want and use #tags to set priorities or schedule stuff. What works for me looks something like this:

- Medium-sized task needed to achieve that goal
- - Sub-task #today
- - Sub-task #thisweek
- Another medium-sized task for the goal
- - Sub-task #thisweek
- - Sub-task #thismonth
- - Sub-task


To stay on track, I search for #today and I see everything I need to do "today" (aka high priority). The tasks are shown in their contexts, so I see immediately which goal each task is supporting and remember why I'm doing it.

I also have a #busywork tag, which helps me quickly find useful tasks to fill a spare 20 minutes or to do when my brain is fried.
posted by ceiba at 12:52 PM on December 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

Seconding "Clear" above if you need something simple. I love it. For more complicated workflow/to do type things, I use KanbanFlow which is excellent on a computer and works okay on an iPhone.
posted by rainbowbrite at 12:55 PM on December 3, 2014

The built-in Reminders app is great for simple lists. If you want a nice balance of simplicity and GTD stuff Things is the best I've found. If you want to go all out with GTD check out OmniFocus.
posted by blackiron at 2:43 PM on December 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

I really like Carbon Fin Outliner for keeping track of all kinds of lists, including "to do". Has both an app and a web interface.
posted by doctord at 4:29 PM on December 3, 2014

I have been using Todoist lately, and it's quite powerful but I'm not sure I like it. I haven't found a To Do system that works for me yet.
posted by Memo at 5:15 PM on December 3, 2014

I use Trello on my desktop; it appears to have a corresponding iPhone app.
posted by orangejenny at 6:29 PM on December 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

2nding Trello. My spouse and I have a couple of shared boards and individual boards as well (I figure he doesn't need to see my work to-dos, and I don't care about his Warhammer army planning). It's flexible, pretty powerful, and cross-platform.
posted by Lexica at 7:42 PM on December 3, 2014

Another vote for OmniFocus...but it has a learning curve.
posted by Brainy at 10:58 PM on December 3, 2014

I'll second Things. It's got a Mac and iOS app. It's GTD framework but strattles a fine line between complex and simplistic. That line happens to be right where I want it, but YMMV. You sort of have to acclimate to how it expects you to use it (that GTD framework) but I've had little to no trouble with getting the hang of it and I'm far from a GTD disciple.

Lists are broken down into inbox, today, next, someday, scheduled, and projects.

Today is where everything goes that's scheduled for that particular day. Next is where ordered tasks go, someday is for unscheduled things, scheduled is self-explanatory, and projects is for nested tasks so that there's some kind of project management available. If you take the time to set it up, you'll see exactly what you need to do on a given day. But the setup isn't insubstantial. The scheduling feature is good for repeated tasks and tasks that you want to be reminded of later. All in all a good app. But it's $10 so you may want to look at a free or cheaper option. I only got it because Apple offered it free during the week of Thanksgiving.
posted by Ephelump Jockey at 10:09 AM on December 4, 2014

Another OmniFocus user here. I've used it for years (still using the older version, not the recent v.2) and—this is not hyperbole—I do not know how I could function without it anymore. IMHO it has one of the best Mac user interfaces of any program. As a project and to-do manager, it is tremendously adaptable, offering you many ways to view and organize what you are doing. But, as Brainy mentioned, it has a learning curve: unlocking the power means learning about many features that may not be obvious at first and may require tweaking how you think about how you do things. It is definitely a power-user's tool.

As for the cost, I personally don't mind spending the price ($80 for the current pro version + more for the iOS versions—academic discounts available) for a tool that I use this heavily.
posted by StrawberryPie at 10:11 AM on December 4, 2014

I'm a serial organization-procrastinator and I've probably tried near every to do list option available at one point or another, and I keep coming back to Todoist. It's super powerful but not so complex that I can spend forever rearranging things. It works on all platforms and has been extremely reliable for me. Some features are only available with the premium version, but it's been worth it in my experience.
posted by dialetheia at 2:12 PM on December 4, 2014

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