Last Updated on September 24, 2020 by The Soft Best
The Best Task Management App for your mobile: A task app is a huge tool that we can benefit from if it is used correctly — a place to deposit information to clear the mind and be able to organize properly. However, not just any Best Task Management App works, and not everyone works the same. We have tried the most popular to choose the best of all.
Is there a perfect homework app? For more than a decade. I have been testing and messing with any relevant Best Task Management App that has appeared on the Internet. There is no best homework app. All have the odd defect or missing feature that is necessary for my organization. Fortunately, each one can create their own method of organization or adapt to the wide variety of options to choose from in terms of task apps.
What Our Tests Have Been Based on?
The first thing we have done has been to install all the applications chosen for the comparison. We have installed them on different devices with different operating systems. In this way, it is possible to test how each one behaves in each context.
Later and to put the apps to the test, we have created the basic structure of a project to complete (in this case, it was the idea of repainting a kitchen). A project with enough steps and complexity to organize tasks or not in a hierarchical way and if they manage to show a coherent structure necessary to see how each task app allows it to run and bring out its characteristics. In this way, we have been able to see if the apps allow or not to organize the tasks hierarchically and if they show a coherent structure of the steps to follow.
We have also looked for the options and features offered by each task app to vitamin tasks. That is, what can be added to each task apart from the text. For example, dates with reminders, labels, notes, repetition, attachments. Here lies the magic of homework apps, if not just a simple pen and paper.
After this, we have simply used the apps throughout the weeks to see how they behave when executing the proposed project. See what difficulties they present and what are the absences or extras of each of them when it comes to assisting in the organization of tasks.
Finally, we have tested the extra features offered by each app to see how useful they can be in everyday life. These extra functions are often those that allow each app to differentiate and stand out from the others because, as we have seen, they all have a similar structure inspired by the GTD method.
The Balance Between Complexity and Versatility
The creators of the Best Task Management App are faced with the difficulty of having to make an app as versatile as possible so that each user can adapt it to their day-to-day. The problem with this is that it adds more complexity and therefore hinders the learning line, causing many users to leave the app because they cannot adapt to it. Finding the perfect balance between simplicity and personalization is the key.
As we have seen, we look for an app structure that allows you to organize tasks hierarchically. This means that in general, all tasks can be separated in different areas such as work, personal life, or home. Within each area, it is interesting to be able to create lists that specify a little better what each task or large projects require many tasks. Likewise, once the tasks are located in areas and lists, it is also convenient to be able to create subtasks, checklists, or steps to follow to complete it.
Who best meets the hierarchy mentioned above is Todoist, which allows you to categorize tasks into areas (they call it Projects) and then create all tasks with subtasks as desired. Likewise, each subtask can have its corresponding subtasks, and these are it’s own. The hierarchy is huge and, therefore, also the versatility of the app. Notion and TickTick are the other two apps that allow a lot of flexibility in this aspect. On the other hand, Google Tasks and Microsoft To-Do only allow you to create lists of tasks and within these tasks with a subtask level.
Once the hierarchical structure of the apps is analyzed. There is another detail to consider, and that is all we can add to a task. There are two main things, and these are the notes (add a brief description of the task or details to take into account) and reminders or due dates (so that we know what date or time you are interested in doing the task). All the apps we have tried allow you to add a note to the tasks, and practically all of them allow you to add reminders at least to the main task (subtasks in some cases are not allowed).
Other exciting functions that we can find in the task apps when adding details to the tasks are the following:
- Tags: There are different methods of using tags in tasks. They are generally of different colors and allow you to visually and quickly see what each task belongs to. They can be used, for example, to categorize tasks further even if they already belong to a specific list. Although the most interesting thing is to use the labels to know what kind of task each one is. For example, we can create labels according to the approximate time it takes to do each task according to the tool that is required to complete it or according to the place where it is to be completed.
- Priority: Many task apps allow you to add different visual symbols with priority levels to tasks. This way, it is easier not to miss an important task in the to-do list.
- Deadline: In addition to the reminders or dates to complete the tasks, a deadline or deadline can also be added on many occasions for which a yes or yes task must be completed. Very useful to know what is the time available for each task.
- Repetitions: Many times, a task is repetitive or a user habit. Most apps allow you to create a repeat option so that a task is created again as soon as it has been completed and has a new due date.
- Attachments: Pending tasks are often imposed or depend on new documents and files. In addition to text descriptions, some apps allow you to add attachments such as images, PDF documents, or other digital elements.
- Location: Normally, this feature is accompanied by reminders. Create a location where we are interested in the task being done. For example, if we want to buy toothpaste, we can add the supermarket as a location, and once we pass near the supermarket, the app, through the geolocation of the device, can let us know that this task is pending completion.
Of the features mentioned above, Notion, Todoist, and TickTick are the apps that have the most. They are also the most complex apps and therefore offer such features. Some simpler apps like Google Tasks or Microsoft To-Do simply do not seek to offer such complexity, although functions such as task repetition are usually available.
Other Methods to Capture Content
In the use of the Best Task Management Apps, we return again to a characteristic that is indispensable in the GTD method. It is the capture of the content, first step, according to David Allen. The idea is to be able to dump information quickly and conveniently to free the mind and then organize that information and process it correctly. In that sense, task apps usually have an inbox where tasks arrive from other places outside the app and where they stay until they are organized (for example, adding them to specific lists or giving them due dates). Curiously, only Todoist and TickTick have an inbox as such.
In addition to the inbox, it is interesting to see how each app allows you to add information directly from other apps or parts of the device. Normally this is closely related to the operating system and its way of connecting applications. In Android or iOS, for example, from its share menu, we can take advantage of the extensions of the apps to save a selected text, an image, a link, or other items. In desktop operating systems, you can usually create a keyboard shortcut that opens a pop-up menu of the app.
In Detail to Win the User
Some of the apps we have analyzed have a series of extra features with which they seek to differentiate themselves from the others. These features, although they can be of great help, can also be a distraction when creating a workflow where the Best Task Management App is included. Anyway, let’s see some of these functions and the apps where we can find them:
- Artificial intelligence to reorganize tasks: We often drag tasks from one day to another and accumulate too many pending or delayed. The smart thing here is to analyze one by one and re-plan them, although it can become a tedious task that only discourages the user more. The solution to this? Apps like Todoist or TickTick believe it is to reorganize the due dates of the tasks themselves. Todoist says he has artificial intelligence that learns from our habits and preferences (which days we work the most, which tasks are entertaining and which ones to work) to reschedule the tasks in the best possible way. TickTick, for its part with ‘Plan my day,’ does something similar for day-to-day.
- Gamification: One of the things I like most about Todoist is its karma system. As we complete tasks on time, we add karma points to Todoist’s profile. Little by little, we level up and gain more scores. There are no extra bonuses apart from this level up, although it is much more efficient and competitive than it seems.
- Integration with emails, calendars, and more: As we know, emails are often tasks to be done, and tasks are often events to attend. Task applications have different integrations to easily create tasks from emails or to create calendar events related to tasks. Google Tasks is the one who best integrates this because it is part of the same ecosystem as Gmail or Google Calendar, for example. Other apps like Todoist have their own extensions for Gmail, for example.
- Habits: Habits are recurring tasks that, after a while and after being accustomed, cease to be tasked to become habits. We can create repetitive tasks in almost all task apps, but TickTick has a section dedicated only to habits with a weekly view to visualize the progress and the streak. TickTick also has an integrated Pomodoro (a simple stopwatch). Unnecessary? It can be, although it is appreciated that it is integrated into the app, and we do not have to resort to external apps if we use this working method.
- Smart lists: More than an extra, this feature is becoming essential. It is about the possibility of seeing smart lists that combine tasks from different lists, projects, or dates. For example, a smart list that almost all apps have is to display today, showing all tasks due today or delayed. It is also possible in some apps to create personalized smart lists, playing with metadata such as tags, priority, or dates.
- Templates: Some projects we carry out are usually repetitive or have a series of steps that are more or less similar. For example, a meeting with a new client usually has similar steps, such as fixing a hangout, preparing documents to take, signing a contract. Apps like Todoist allow you to create templates to make it easier to create these repetitive projects in the app. But without doubt, the one who is the king of the templates is Notion. His great versatility allows us to generate and explore all kinds of templates, not only for tasks but also for databases, notes, or more.
- Shared projects: Some projects such as work or home projects often have tasks shared between co-workers or family. For this, the different services offer the possibility of sharing projects between users and working as a team. However, if we deal with this aspect of the apps, we should try different apps that are more focused on teamwork. We are not going to try it, but we must bear in mind that apps like Microsoft’s Todoist, Notion, or To-Do have the option.
- Review lists and projects: This extra feature is one that is not present in any of the apps we have analyzed, however interesting it may be. In the GTD method, one of the steps is to review the stored tasks to reorganize them periodically and verify that everything is in order. Apps like OmniFocus do have a system that marks projects or lists as a pending review on a recurring date. In the rest of the apps, what we can do is create a recurring task that reminds us to review each project or list that interests us.
The Design: the Key to Avoid Saturating the User
Few things influence an app more than design. After studying for four years, he designed graphics, and how it has a direct effect on the user in an interface, I have brighter than ever the importance it has. But it is that in a task app, the importance is even greater. Why? Task apps are supposed to be created to clear the mind and allow the user to have a clear organization of their work. If the app has a bad design, it will only cause the user to be overwhelmed even more when processing their work through a task app.
Best Task Management App That We Have Analyzed
Let’s look at the main details and aesthetic features of the Best Task Management App that we have analyzed:
Todoist is committed to its own design with its style guides that are maintained throughout all the platforms on which it is available. It is the advantage and, at the same time, the disadvantage of Todoist in terms of design.
Since it is cross-platform, it maintains an identical design on all sides, but something limited and basic that does not just fit on each platform separately on which it is located. In general, it is a flat design with a highlight color that can be customized. It could improve when viewing the hierarchy of tasks.
Once again, we find our own design of the app, although this time, it fits a little better in each operating system.
The tasks in TickTick separate a little better visually, but their hierarchy is not as visual as in Todoist, the levels of each task are not comfortably visualized.
3. Google Tasks
Google App and, consequently, Google design. The same that we find throughout the different services of Google. The advantage of this is that the user does not require a very large learning curve to understand the app.
It is a fairly simple task app, so Google design issues have not had many complications to face.
4. Microsoft’s To-Do
Microsoft is committed to following a design that we previously had in the acquired Wunderlist. Tasks are highlighted in each list and are easy to identify.
The downside is that there is no correct display of subtasks, and details such as due date or notes do not stand out in each task quickly.
The most complex app of all and the app with the most chaotic design of all. Unfortunately, in the design aspect, it suspends with a difference. On the one hand, we find a universal design on all platforms, even on the web. This makes the interaction more difficult, and many times, the interface items do not act as the user is accustomed throughout the operating system.
On the other hand, Notion has the problem of covering too much content and functionalities. The possibilities of this app are immense, but its interface means that many users simply do not know how to use it or abandon it due to saturation.
It is the simplest app of all, here we simply have a sheet in which we are adding steps to complete with their corresponding lower levels. The app does not offer many options in its interface since that is precisely its purpose. Perhaps better navigability between sub-levels would be helpful.
Despite this, perhaps the app that best deals with the design is Todoist, taking into account the versatility it offers as an app and its functions.
These six applications can be classified by two simple ones ( Microsoft’s To-Do and Google Tasks ), two more complete ones ( Todoist and TickTick ), and two with a somewhat different proposal ( Notion and WorkFlowy ). They have been our candidates for the best homework app.
Other apps of tasks that exist but have been left out of our list are, for example,
OmniFocus, for example, is exclusive to Apple, Simpletask Android platforms. On the other hand, apps like Evernote are more focused on the management of notes than tares.
For the Best Task Management App guide and comparison of them, we have analyzed the behavior and operation of a total of six applications.
It is an app that simply manages not to overwhelm the user by displaying the information and, at the same time, manages to intuitively guide the user through the interface.
As we see, each of the apps has its own design and no commitment to respect the style guides of the platform it is on. It is what it has to be multiplatform apps.
There are even more methods of data entry. For example, apps usually allow you to synchronize the tasks of the system default app or add tasks using the device’s voice assistant.
Apart from all this, something important in homework apps is that they understand the natural language when creating a task.
This means that we can write a task and tell you directly other information such as the list where we want it to be saved, the date, or the label.
For example, if we write “Paint the kitchen on October 20 at 9:00” that the app understands that the date of the task is October 20 and the time is 9:00 in the morning.
Asana or Trello are more collaborative tools, and their functions as a task app are also found in alternatives such as Notion that we have tried.
The reasons are different, although generally because of the impossibility of creating a comparison under the same conditions.
What is Best Task Management App: Todoist
The Best Task Management App that we can use today and for most users is Todoist. Todoist is one of the most experienced and most developed task managers in recent years. But this is not the main reason, but its great versatility and ability to adapt to each user, maintaining simplicity and consistency in the app.
Todoist also has interesting extra functions such as its karma system or the option to automatically reschedule tasks. It also has different customization options within the app to adapt it to the needs of each user.
Finally, it is interesting to emphasize Todoist’s large presence on virtually all platforms. The app is available for Android, iOS, Windows, and macOS. But we also find it in the web version or extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or emails like Outlook and Gmail. Dropbox, Zapier, IFTTT, or Alexa can also be integrated with Todoist. It is a universal app, and that is ideal for capturing data and tasks quickly from anywhere.
The positive point of Todoist is possibly also its negative point. Being so versatile and adaptable to all types of platforms and users, you need a design and a not-so-defined system. The consequence of this is that we have an interface not as polished and finished as we can find in other apps, making the user experience not as perfect as it could be. An example, desktop apps are the embedded web version. In spite of everything, over the last years, it has improved a lot in this aspect, and the experience is no longer as bad as it used to be.Read Also Best To-Do List Chrome Extension
Todoist is a freemium app. This means that we can download and use the app for free with some limited features. The features that we unlock with the premium version are, for example, labels, notes, custom templates, themes, backups, or progress visualization. Anyway, the free version gives us a good idea of how it is to use the app, and for many, it may be more than enough. The premium version costs three dollars a month by billing annually. You can try for free for 30 days.
Download Todoist Best Task Management App for free for Android, iOS, Windows, and macOS or access the web version.
What is the Alternative of Microsoft To Do?
If the Todoist task as the Best Task Management App does not just convince by any particular factor such as its interface, its price, or structure, the best alternative we recommend is To Do from Microsoft. The Microsoft task app is an excellent free alternative available on the main platforms and operating systems. The app has its origins in Wunderlist, another service to manage tasks that were acquired by Microsoft, and for many, it is still one of the Best Task Management Apps that have ever been created.
The reasons for choosing Microsoft To-Do as a task app are several. The main one of them is its simplicity and a careful interface that allows anyone to organize a series of to-do lists in different areas and with their respective subtasks if required. The To-Do learning curve is minimal, making it ideal for anyone who starts in the world of homework apps and personal organization.
As we can see, the app is much simpler than Todoist in the different aspects that compose it. Nor does it have as many features as Todoist. However, within its simplicity, we find the main functions that one expects from a task manager. In addition to the hierarchy, we can see functions to add due dates, notes, reminders, attachments, or priority.
The negative part of Microsoft’s To-Do is that it does not allow a very large escalation in terms of project complexity. Limit to something more basic projects where you cannot add many levels of tasks. Nor do we find such a complete integration with third-party apps and services. Essentially we can import tasks from the old Wunderlist or minimally integrate the Outlook mail service.
Microsoft’s To-Do can be downloaded for free for all major operating systems. It does not have any paid version, so all the functions of the app are available from the first moment and without paying money for them. It is a service within the Microsoft Office ecosystem.
Factors in Choosing The Best Task Management App
Choosing the Best Task Management App is not easy. Of all the categories of apps in which I have had to choose the best one throughout my life, in those of tasks. I am still looking for if there is any better one. Many factors influence. Although the most important and the one that does not depend so much on the developers. The user is the process of organizing each one. That is, an app, no matter how good, will not be useful if it does not follow the same workflow as the user.
During the last two decades, David Allen has influenced (I would say too much) in the way of organizing millions of people. The reason? He is the author of the GTD (Get Things Done) method. It has rightly influenced, it is a really effective method to carry out tasks in the short, medium, and long term. The consequence of this is that inevitably Best Task Management App are inspired in some way or another by the GTD method. We do not look for the app that complies 100% with this method, but we must bear in mind that it is reflected in the operation of most apps.
Anyway, the factors that we have taken into account when comparing and analyzing the Best Task Management Apps are the following:
- Hierarchical structure and workflow: It is directly related to the GTD method mentioned above. Apps are sought to create tasks organized in lists and projects, also subtasks if possible. On the other hand, it is essential that the method of data entry and tasks, the treatment of this information, and the way of executing it be clear.
- Multiplatform: We live in a digital world full of devices and different operating systems. In the task app, it is essential that the data can be synchronized between different devices and also that it is available for several platforms (in this case, the basic ones are Android, iOS, Windows, and macOS).
- Design and user interface: Nothing spoils the user experience more in a task app than its design. We are looking for apps with a careful and above all, intuitive interface. which does not overwhelm the user when processing the tasks, and that allows us to maintain a clear and simple view of the existing tasks.
- Integrations with other services: The tasks to be done are directly related to other systems such as the calendar and its events, the mail manager and its mails, or simply any other app with which the user interacts in their day-to-day. A good task app requires correct integrations with this type of service to be able to capture information and process it quickly.
- Price: the most determining factor for many, the price to pay for using one of these task apps. In fact, although the price seems high many times, for all the effectiveness it offers us in our day to day or the time it saves us, it is worth paying for it. Be that as it may, price is an essential factor in choosing which task app to use. Everything will depend on what the app offers in return.
In the end, whatever task app it is, it matters that the user can adapt it to their workflow. It is difficult to change a way of operating a person, so it is interesting to find the Best Task Management App that can be adjusted in this way. Do not force yourself to use a strict GTD method or what a task app says. The most interesting in this regard is to experiment for a few weeks with the most outstanding apps. Of all of them, Todoist is probably the easiest to incorporate in the daily life of each user.
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