Back in the fall of 2016, I switched my to-do list manager from a simple text-file based list to Todoist. I made the switch because I was looking for something with more capabilities than what my text-file offered—in particular, the ability to schedule tasks for certain dates and times. I chose Todoist because it looked like it could do everything I needed. I made sure to play with it for several months, and now having become a Todoist “Expert” (based on the Karma ranking they app provides), I feel I’ve used it enough to write about it, and to give a strong recommendation for folks looking for a to-do manager.
Here are my top 8 reasons I think Todoist is a great to-do list manager:
1. It is easy-to-use. You type in your to-do item and it adds it to your list. You can easily assign a to-do item to a project by prefacing the project name with a # sign as you type.
2. It is available everywhere in a consistent way. The app looks the same on my MacBook, iPad, iPhone, and in a web browser. There is nothing new to learn.
3. It has natural language recognition of dates. One of the things I have discovered about using to-do lists is that if I don’t give an item a specific date or time to complete, I don’t complete it. Todoist makes it easy by allow you to type in natural language dates. I can type: “Write post on Todoist tomorrow,” and the “tomorrow” is recognized as a date and assigned that date accordingly.
4. It integrates with my calendar. My calendar is the central place I use for managing my days. As I add things to my to-do list and assign them dates and times, those dates and times also appear on my calendar so that I don’t have to be looking at Todoist at all to know that I have things to do.
5. Sharing is easy. My wife uses Todoist and we have a shared project called “Family.” We can assign tasks to one another in this project, and the tasks show up on our respective lists—and also on our calendars. When one of us completes a task, the other is notified.
6. The Karma feature is a powerful motivator. Todoist implements a unique feature called Karma, which gamifies the process of managing your to-do list. You get Karma points for completing tasks, using advanced features and function. The more points you get, you accrue different levels of usage. (When I hit 7500 Karma points, I became an “expert.”) Karma also helps ensure you are using the tool correctly. If I don’t complete a task on a given day, I can reschedule it, and the Karma features encourage this. They also let me set daily and weekly goals, and track trends.
7. It has a useful API. My old to-do list was integrated into some scripts I had that allows me to automate my timekeeping at work. Filling out my timesheet and charging back to projects became simple and easy by parsing completed items in my to-do list. Todoist’s API was easy enough to use to allow me to replicate this functionality using Todoist instead of my old plain text file.
8. It integrates with Alexa. While I don’t use this functionality as much as I could, Todoist does integrate with Alexa. So if I am in the kitchen and realize we are low on milk, I can simply say, “Alexa, add milk to my shopping list.” Alexa does this, and as I have configured Alexa to use Todoist as my list manager, the item goes on my Todoist shopping list.
I resisted to-do applications for a long time, because they often seemed to add more effort than they saved. But Todoist has found the right balance. It is easy to add items to a list, search a list, organize lists into projects, schedule and assign tasks, and the Karma feature makes me feel good about all of the things I’m getting done. I definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a to-do list manager.
Would be really curious to hear if you tried out other to-do apps such as Wunderlist, Asana, etc and why you ruled those out in favor of Todoist.
Just wanted to add…. For me personally, I ended up selecting Wunderlist for it’s ease of use, and the free version does everything I need. Many of the features I get in Wunderlist for free, require a paid subscription with Todoist. Wunderlist is also very easy for my wife to figure out. 🙂 I’ve been considering a switch to Asana, but it seems to be overkill for what we really need. I love the Kanban board feature they added, but the software is just a but too busy/complex for basic needs.
I tried out Asana and Wunderlist years ago, and ended up going with todotxt instead, because at the time, it was all I needed. I wasn’t overly impressed with either Asana or Wunderlist at the time, and so I didn’t look at them again when the need arose. I’d had some friends another colleagues recommend Todoist, which I hadn’t tried before. It turned out to be just what I needed for the way I work.
Jamie, Glad to see you make the change from Todo.txt. I wanted to share TaskClone with you awhile ago as you were a heavy Evernote user and TaskClone gets tasks from Evernote to Todoist. It might be worth a try now that you’re using Todoist. Do you keep info totally separate between Todoist and Evernote or is there some overlap? Although Todoist is great and a more natural fit coming from Todol.txt, Asana is definitely worth another look.