Up until now, I have been using my iPhone’s standard calendar as a personal to-do list, since I hadn’t really found a to-do list application that I fell in love with. For tasks like picking up groceries and getting a hair-cut, this might be okay, but when it comes to planning projects for work, and other complex scenarios, the integrated calendar just won’t cut it.
For this reason, I’ve spent some time investigating the different to-do list apps available in the App Store. Twenty five are rounded up here, including some generic applications, and others suited for a specific purpose (such as planning a wedding). Hopefully you’ll find a selection of very useful pieces of software!
Looking for a free task manager or to-do app and on a budget? Check out our roundup of 100 free iPhone apps for some great productivity enhancers. You might also consider a cloud-based project management or productivity app for business, if you want to take control of your work projects and schedules.
LiquidPlanner is all about collaboration, and it’s an ideal tool to work on task lists in a team, when trying to get a project finished. You’ll need to be an existing LiquidPlanner subscriber to use the app, and it gives you access to some of the core features of the popular SaaS software. Not only can you review and update projects and tasks, but you can exchange messages within your team; and also check on estimates, schedules, and deadlines to keep you organized.
The Wrike iOS app allows you to “organize your to-do list while you have your morning coffee,” as the developer puts it. Wrike is a powerful project management and collaboration software and the app means you and your team can get visibility about what needs to be done while you’re on the move. The app lets you create tasks, assign owners to these tasks, and set due dates for these tasks all from a handy iPhone interface.
If you’re looking for a way to take command of your various work projects, Zoho Projects is worth looking into. The free companion app to the subscription-based cloud project management software gives you on-the-go access to your todo, activities, and time sheet information. You can create, edit, and close tasks through the Zoho Projects app, and even attach voice notes to tasks for quickly adding context to projects you’re working on.
Agile methodologies are all the rage these days, and some would say they are the new ‘todo’. If you’re serious about getting jobs done quickly, take a look at the ToDo app by Projectplace. It provides a very visual overview of your entire workflow through Kanban boards. The app allows you to create cards, manage and share files, access team members contact information, and more.
This is one of the premiere to-do list themed apps in the App Store, being nominated for the Best App Ever Awards in 6… count them – 6 – categories! The design itself is colorful, yet it flows very well along with the icons they have too. Not only can you build your to-do lists, but you can also make checklists and projects, set a priority level, set Push and email alarms, and even attach images to tasks in your lists. There is also a wide range of customization that you perform from 34 different colors, sounds, pictures, and a bunch of different themes as well!
This is a nicely designed app… simplistic, yet quite effective if you need a simple checklist to work from. You are able to organize tasks and reminders into priority, folders, context and status… and with a simple checklist function just tap your event to see what the details are and tap the checkbox when it’s finished.
This list based app is pretty robust when it comes to features. I don’t particularly like the way the boxes can be colored, but that’s just me. You can create different types of lists like groceries, workout schedules, homework, and obviously to-do lists from the templates it comes with, and further customize those to fit your needs. This app works in both portrait and landscape mode, and has the checkbox function to tick off when you complete a task or grab an item (depending on what you are using it for).
I am still undecided on the design of this app. From the gradients to the absolutely solid colors, it seems like it is lacking something… but not features. This app has everything you need in a list app; checkbox functionality, the ability to create phone call and email tasks, audible alerts, and you can even export out .CSV files for Excel or other database and spreadsheet programs.
For a free app, I really like this one. It looks nice, colors flow together beautifully, and it is simplistic. Although not feature-packed, it covers most of the bases required of a simple to-do list app. It is made for homework and task management, so it basically lets you set up a bunch of different groups, subjects, or essentially lists, and then create tasks within them.
If you’re a project manager for a mid-market or enterprise coorporation, Workfront is able to offer you some high level tools for managing your team’s tasks. The Workfront View app to accompany the cloud project management software gives you easy access to all the projects you want to see, allowing you to drill down to see specific details and select from charts and widgets to visualize your project data.
Yet another amazingly designed app, using the sunny sky for showing today’s to-do’s, a night sky showing yesterday’s and a purple-ish eclipse showing tomorrow’s. It makes it really easy to organize your tasks, edit them, and tick them off as they are completed. Color schemes are really nice, the artwork is fantastic, and for three bucks… not too bad.
Yet another project management app for iPhone, ProWorkflow aims to help you manage your work more effectively. You can view upcoming projects and tasks you’ve logged in ProWorkflow, and track the time spent on these tasks. There’s also a feature that lets you create and manage contacts through the app.
Now usually I don’t like the look of flat colors on apps, but this one pulls together nicely with the orange and blue color scheme. It’s another really simple to-do app with all the basic functionality, but you actually might like to look at this one. There isn’t any fancy artwork, but it gives you the option to enter in essential information, as well as making multiple lists as well as pinning the location of where tasks need to take place.
Things has been around for a while and has been recognized by MacLife and Macworld as a fanstatically designed and easy to use app. You can sort all your tasks into different time periods, schedule exactly when they need to be done, move things around in time, and the Today section is even smart enough to update when things are due.
The icon on your home screen shows the number of tasks for the day yet to be accomplished, and when those are done, just check them off. You can also go back to look at your logbook to see when you actually checked tasks off too.
This is a huge app, and expensive at that. I guess when you look at the syncing capabilities, the Nearby functionalities, and the ease of use… you can kind of justify the price… but not me… sorry Omnifocus. It looks really nice, has a fantastic user interface, and has support forum and manuals to help you get the most out of syncing with your iDisk or web servers.
Trello is great because it can be used as a personal to-do list manager, as well as a full-scale collaborative tool for organizing projects within a team. It has a very visual user interface which allows you to comment on tasks, apply avatars to make it easier to see who’s working on what, and attach files to tasks.
Another averagely designed app… different themes, different color schemes, textures and fonts give you a little personalization, but not too much. For only 99 cents you can set tasks onto certain days, have your high-priority show up that day, and you can even see how many tasks you have pending for that day on the home screen icon of your app.
Throw in some natural iPhone gradients and some cute clipart… and hey! You got yourself a nice little app. Let me mention this first off… this is free! So now, looking at the fact that this free app is more aesthetically pleasing on the eyes, gives you all the functionalities of the 1-3 dollar range apps, and is easy to use, this might be one of the free apps you would consider from today’s list.
The much lauded Wunderlist offers the ability to manage to-do lists on your iPhone and access them across multiple devices through a squeaky clean, simple-to-use interface. Features of the app include the ability to share lists for collaborative editing, and attach photos, presentations, and PDFs. You can set up reminders so you never need to forget a task or an event again!
Asana is designed to help you manage tasks and to-do lists on the go. The cloud-based Asana software lets you work together with colleagues on tasks and projects. The iPhone app gives you the ability to get organized by quickly adding tasks for to-dos, reminders and requests. Collaboration is pretty straightforward, and you can comment directly on tasks instead of having to email team members.
Wanna go green with your iPhone? Well you (kinda) can with this app that “reuses” paper by creating paper pages on the screen with your lists on them. Okay, yeah, you aren’t actually reusing paper, but at least you aren’t writing these lists in a notebook right? You can flick through multiple lists, email them out, reorder tasks and enjoy the lists in 7 different colors with flipping fluid motion.
Evernote has been around the block for a long time now and has become one of the go-to applications for anyone getting bogged down with tasks. The beauty of Evernote has always been the effortless way it syncs notes and to-do lists across devices. The app allows you to capture and store notes, audio, images, web pages, and documents and access them easily from anywhere.
One of the main location-based to-do apps for the iPhone is Tasker, and it can really help you out when it comes to planning out your day or that weekend you have going on. By using location-based tasks you can plan out a series of events by hitting them one right after another in a line, saving time, and saving you sanity… as well as gas! It has a nice interface, simple icons, and an easy to use checklist system.
It makes me happy when I see themes for list apps done correctly. I really like the layout of this app, the colors, gradients, icons and overall feel of how it works. You can password protect lists and tasks, tag tasks with tags and contexts for organization, look through the integrated calendar for viewing of your soon-to-be busy days, and even search through your scheduled tasks for events if you forget when they occur.
This is a very well designed app, but you still have to weigh the price of this versus some of the cheaper and equally feature-rich apps earlier in the list.
I honestly didn’t know there were so many choices when it came to this genre of iPhone apps. We have seen some gorgeous (and some not so gorgeous) screen design, powerful features, and new technology such as location-based tasks and web server syncing.
But now it’s time for you all to tell me your favourites. Were they on our list, are there some other choices out there that haven’t been covered? Please feel free to share your personal favourites in the comments!
Update: This article was originally published on iPhone.AppStorm.net on January 19th 2010. It was updated on September 7th 2011, and due to popular demand, updated again on July 22nd 2015.