Sunday, March 03, 2013

To Do Lists and Task Managers

I have tried several apps to help manage my To Do list and so far cannot find the optimal system for managing tasks. If you've read Getting Things Done by David Allen, the key to an effective system is to have only one entry point for all tasks. To guide you on the path I had taken, here are the tools that I've used so far:

  • Google Tasks - Web. Officially available only on the web but handy because you are already logged in to Gmail, if you use that.
  • GTasks - Android. Syncs to Google Tasks, handles offline but syncing is slow. 
  • Astrid - Android. Syncs to Google Tasks, handles offline but syncing is slow.
  • Taskos - Android. Syncs to Google Tasks, handles offline but syncing is slow.
  • NoNonsense Notes - Android. Syncs to Google Tasks, handles offline but syncing is slow.
  • Any.Do - Android/iOS. Syncs to Google Tasks, handles offline but adding new items and syncing is slow.
  • Wunderlist - Android/iOS/Mac/Windows/Web. Syncs to own server. Handles offline. Fast to enter items. Does not handle nested tasks.
  • Evernote - Android/iOS/Mac/Windows/Web. Syncs to own server. Handles offline. Many taps to enter a task.
  • Trello - Android/iOS/Web. No offline mode. Very good visualization for teams.
  • Do.com - Android/iOS/Web. No offline mode. Ability to create templates to create a set of tasks for a new similar project.
My verdict: Wunderlist. You want to be able to enter items fast even when offline because keeping a task in your mind goes against GTD principles and increases the chances of it being left out. Wunderlist has the disadvantage of having to create another account but using the desktop app makes using it more convenient. The smaller feature set of Wunderlist forces you to keep your list clean and manageable, which is really the point of having a task manager in the first place.