A few times a month we revisit some of our reader’s favorite posts from throughout the history of iPhone.AppStorm. This article first published on January 19, 2010, yet is just as relevant and full of interesting information today.
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 trips, shopping for birthdays, Christmas gifts (I know a little late but bear with me!), 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.
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 lanscape 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).
Packing is aimed directly at someone traveling soon, on the road a lot, or just very forgetful when they have to go places. It has a bunch of different lists for you to fill out before you leave, including a pre-departure to-do, and the items that you need to make sure you have (like clothes, accessories, gadgets and medications). I always end up making lists before I go on road trips and keeping that list until I leave wherever I’ve been to make sure I don’t forget anything… no longer do I have to worry!
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.
This is one of my favorite apps on the list in terms of UI gorgeous-ness. It looks absolutely awesome. From the large icons on the Lists screen to the functionality and layout of buttons, sliders and icons in the Edit Tasks screen, this thing is a joy to play around with. eTodo filters your tasks into four different intital lists; Inbox – which is everything, Action – the soon-to-be-done stuff, Next – for tasks for later on, and Someday – for items for the future, not necessarily right away.
The name of this one reflects it’s exact functionality. It has a notepad feel to the interface, with the option to make multiple checklists and store tasks or items within those lists to check off when you get to that list. Really simple, but it’s only .99 cents so you can’t expect much.
This app was made with the thought of making ZenBe Mail and the ZenBe Lists web app work all in conjunction. They provide awesome interactivity, but best of all you don’t have to use all those other apps to get the most of this one. You can also share your lists between the iPhones of friends and family members. You could update a grocery list and send that to your spouse so they can pick up food after work, or if you need things done while your significant other is out, you can make them a list for that as well and send it their way.
reQall has been featured on Apple.com as an “App for Getting Things Done”, recognized as a “Best iPhone App” by O’Reilly Media, and also is to be featured in their book, “Best iPhone Apps: A Guide for Discriminating Downloaders.” Quite the acclaim! They don’t really call this a to-do list, but a ‘Memory & Remembering Aid.’
You are able to use text-to-speech functions to record your voice to memos, and locations, as well as sync to Outlook or Google Calender your when and wheres. Also, the blue interface makes the user experience quite enjoyable.
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.
This is another free app that you can tell the development went into the functionality and not the design. It’s slightly bland with white to single color gradients and an odd looking calendar, but it has all of those functions that the to-do app should have so I guess you can’t shake a stick at free.
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.
Now this looks absolutely amazing – I would buy this app just to play around with it! With it’s wooden interface, and PostIt style to do notes, this is fun to use and helps you organize your stuff in an easy way. Aesthetics aside, it offers fairly basic functionality.
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.
Another really easy to use, simple app. No due dates, contexts, locations, but an interesting feature to save your to-do list as your wallpaper? I don’t know about you, but sometimes I forget to check my to do list. Having it as your wallpaper could really help you to get things done!
Now, if you don’t have kids or babysit… skip this one now. For those of yout that do, like me… this could be a lifesaver. If you know all too well the effects of not enough sleep, this app could save you more times in a week than you can count.
Say you need to take one kid to preschool, the other to the babysitter, and you are running on a cup of coffee and an hour and a half of sleep. It would be nice to have specific lists for specific situations and children to help you in the morning. That’s where this app comes in. Create custom packing lists for what that kid needs, and never forget a binky again!
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.
Okay, I know… another genre to-do list app. If you aren’t engaged, go ahead and skip this one too! Now, all you soon-to-be brides and grooms, this is the ultimate app to get to keep yourself on track for the big day, by giving yourself a range of premade categories and time-until’s, this will make planning that wedding a slightly less stressful than you thought it would be.
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 my list, are there some other choices out there that haven’t been covered? Please feel free to share your personal favourites in the comments!