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iOS

12 Great iPhone To Do Apps

Managing a to-do list can be a real pain, especially if you’re still using old-fashioned pen and paper to keep track of everything you need to get done. Fortunately, there are tons of to-do list apps for iPhone that make getting organizing and being productive much easier. With alerts, notifications, and the ability for multiple people to manage and complete tasks, these iPhone to-do apps will keep your life organized. 

While this article was originally written by Tanya Menoni, it has since been updated and substantially revised by Sam Costello.

2Do

image copyright Beehive Innovations Limited

Some people may balk at the price tag, but the 2Do list app is packed with features and has a ton of functionality. You can assign actions to each task—like phone calls or emails—and the app syncs with your contact list. The tabbed interface is easy to navigate, and 2Do also brings voice recordings, alerts, Twitter integration, and a wide array of customizable features. It can be a bit confusing to use at first, but the 2Do list app for iPhone is a clear winner. Overall rating: 5 out of 5 stars. 

Updated 2018: 2Do has drastically changed its pricing. After raising the price to $14.99 in 2016, the developer has now made the app free, but with in-app purchases that unlock pro features such as sending to-dos to the app via email, syncing content with Dropbox and the iOS Reminders app, time- and location-based alerts, and more. The app also offers an Apple Watch app and an iPad app.

Clear

image copyright Realmac Software

Clear (Read Review; $4.99) is perhaps the most beautifully designed and most iOS-specific app on this list. It uses the iOS’s multitouch interface to terrific effect, letting users manipulate and create to-dos with natural pinches, swipes, and drags. The interface—which is structured around tasks, rather than days, and limits to-do length to the width of the iPhone’s screen—won’t work for everyone, but for those it does, it’s likely to work very well indeed. Overall rating: 4 out of 5 stars. 

Update 2018: Clear has become more useful thanks to syncing with iPad and desktop versions, though the Apple Watch app was discontinued. It also supports Notification Center Widgets. In-app purchases unlock sound effects. The developer teased a major overhaul of the app in late 2017, but no new details have been revealed.

Ita

image copyright Nice Mohawk

Ita’s developers advertise it as both a to-do app and a list-making app (Free). Trying to be two things is a real problem in this case. As a list app, Ita is solid, if basic. As a to-do app, it lacks crucial features such as reminders, due dates, priorities, and a web version. If you just need to keep lists without worrying about when you’ll get things done, Ita is fine. But if you’re focused on productivity, you’ll probably need to look elsewhere. Overall rating: 3 out of 5 stars. 

Update 2018: Ita now has an iPad version and syncs across devices via iCloud. It also supports printing. No Apple Watch app available here. The app hasn’t been updated since 2015. It still works, but it’s clearly not in active development any longer. 

Thinglist

image copyright US Software Professionals Inc

What We Don’t Like

  • Can’t edit the categories.

  • App not fleshed out enough to be useful.

  • Not updated for current iOS.

Despite being last on this list, Thinglist isn’t a bad app (Read Review). It’s just too basic. Thinglist helps you create and maintain lists of, well, things. Want to keep a list of all the books you hope to read? Thinglist can help. But once you want to do more than that, Thinglist falters. It doesn’t offer search, user-added categories, or advanced features like due dates or geotagging of locations. It’s nicely designed, so if it adds features, it could move up the rankings, but for now, it’s just too simple. Overall rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars. 

Update 2018: Thinglist’s basic concept—creating lists around pre-defined categories—is still in place. The app hasn’t been updated since 2016, though, which means it’s not best for heavy users and probably not something that can be relied on in the long term.

Things

image copyright Cultured Code GmbH & Co.

What We Like

  • The Today view is laser-focused on to-dos and activities for a single day.

  • App is packed with features including a new Dark Mode for iOS.

  • Excellent app for GTD workflow users.

What We Don’t Like

  • Separate purchases for iPad and Mac.

  • Can’t interact with Calendar listings, only view them.

  • Glitchy with Apple Watch.

Things (US$9.99) is the only app on this list that wasn’t in the original article. That was an oversight, since Things is one of the most popular, and most powerful, to-do lists out there. It’s a complex app that takes a while to master, but those who do master it swear by it. Create lists and sublists, schedule and tag tasks, sync with Mac and iPad versions, and stay up to date from your Apple Watch. If you’ve tried the rest and haven’t found the right tool, or just want to start out at the top, check out Things. Not Reviewed.  

Update 2018: Things has been updated with support for iOS 12, Siri Shortcuts, and many more features. With its frequent updates and support for the latest iOS features, it maintains its position at the head of the pack.

ToodleDo

image copyright ToodleDo

What We Like

  • Friendly, intuitive, and customizable app.

  • Packed with features.

  • View, add, and mark tasks complete on Apple Watch.

The ToodleDo app (US$2.99) has a simple interface that makes it easy to add new tasks to your to-do list. For each task, you can set priorities and due dates, assign it to a folder, schedule reminders, and more. Folders are especially helpful for keeping tasks organized. However, the ToodleDo list app (Read Review) has a confusing priority system, and I wish it would set app badges as a default. Overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars. 

Update 2018: Like most apps on this list, ToodleDo includes an Apple Watch app. In addition, it offers an in-app purchase of sound effects, but its interface looks cluttered and overwhelming. Very few updates have been made to the app in recent years, including no updates in over a year as of this writing. It’s possible that ToodleDo is dying off.



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