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Five Best To-Do List Managers

Everyone has some kind of to-do list, but which tool do you use to get it out of your head and keep track of the things you have to do? From simple, all-text applications to fancy, cloud-based web apps with mobile components, here are our top five to-do list managers for getting things done.

Photo by Juhan Sonin.

Astrid

Long gone are the days when Astrid was essentially only an Android fan’s to-do manager. Astrid is available for Android and iOS, it has a great web app for managing your to-dos, and it has a Chrome extension to help keep you organised. We love it, and since its redesign and jump to iOS, it’s only been gaining steam. You can sync and share to-dos across devices with other users, manage your to-dos from the web, see changes on your phone, enter to-dos by voice, manage your to-dos by email, get push notifications on the go, sync with Google Tasks and more. Best of all, it’s completely free (although Android users can juice up the app’s features by dropping a little cash for the Power Pack or Locale add-on).

Remember The Milk

Remember The Milk has been around for a very long time, and it’s still helping us get things done. You can still manage your to-dos through the web app, the Android app, iOS app or Blackberry app. You can also integrate Remember The Milk with Gmail, use Siri to add to-dos, sync with Google Tasks and more. Best of all, the service has largely dropped many of its premium barriers and offers the bulk of its tools to free accounts. You’ll still have to upgrade to a $US25/year pro account to get access to “Pro” versions of the mobile apps and Outlook task syncing. Adding and managing to-dos in Remember The Milk is simple and easy, and the service recently overhauled its iOS and Android UIs to make the app even easier to use.

Any.Do

Any.Do is probably the newest of the top five, but it’s been getting a lot of traction thanks to its sharp-looking iOS app, its gesture-based Android app, and most recently, its upcoming web app, new Chrome extension and updates. Any.Do looks great, it’s easy to use, syncs your to-dos across devices flawlessly and does it all for free. Any.Do syncs with Google tasks, autocompletes to-dos as you type them, organises tasks based on priority without your help, and colour codes them so you can always see at a glance what’s at the top of your list. We’re still waiting for an Any.Do web app, but we’ll make do with the Chrome extension and mobile apps for the time being — the tool is just that smart.

Toodledo

ToodleDo is one of the most robust tools in the roundup, partially because of its huge feature set, but also because it’s part to-do manager and part project-tracking tool. It’s available as a web app or as a mobile app for iOS, Android and BlackBerry. Toodledo imports tasks from other to-do managers, syncs with Google Tasks, lets you share and organise to-dos with groups if you need to, and even lets you add/complete/manage to-dos via email if you have to. Toodledo’s “hotlist” gives you a one-glance view of all of your most important to-dos, and you have as many sorting and filtering options as you could possibly need to keep those to-dos organised. The tool will even notify you when it’s time to get started on something, and it will keep track of how long you’ve been working on a task so you know how long it’ll take in the future. Oh, did we mention it’s free?

Wunderlist

We liked Wunderlist so much that it swept our picks for best to-do app for Windows, OS X, Linux and Android. It may not be as feature-rich as some of its competitors (most notably, it doesn’t support recurring to-dos, although they say this is coming in the next update), but it’s that strict focus on adding to-dos, organising them into simple lists and then actually completing them that makes Wunderlist so appealing. If you’re really looking for a to-do list manager that forces you to spend more time actually doing the things you do instead of organising them into groups and lists and colours and things, this is it. It’s free on all platforms, fast, lightweight, easy to use, available on the web and syncs across all of your devices.

Honourable mentions for this week go out to Google Tasks, which syncs with many of the top five services above. Also worth mentioning is pen and paper — there are plenty of people who effectively keep to-dos written down in notebooks or on sticky notes.

Did we miss your favourite? Have something to say about these five to-do list managers? Make your case in the comments below.