My favorite “To Do List” App for the iPhone

My husband has been asking me for over a year to research “To Do List” apps for the iPhone, and I’ve put it off as long as I could. You see, I knew that there were lots of apps in that category. Three thousand three hundred eleven to be exact!

The Review

Since I couldn’t possibly tackle that list, I decided to compare the three most mentioned apps in the technology articles I read daily: Trello, Wunderlist and ToDoist. In addition, I’ll include the benefits of just using the Reminders app that comes with each iPhone.

Trello, Wunderlist and ToDoist have free and paid versions. All three, plus the Reminders app, keep your “To Do” lists synchronized between all your devices, can be accessed online from any computer and allow you to share your lists with others.

In it’s most basic form, a “To Do” app should function like pen and paper. You make a list of tasks and check them off as they are completed. But it’s the extra features that can keep you organized and productive that makes it worth using an electronic “To Do List” manager.

In researching each of these apps, I looked for functionality in three areas: 1) ease of creating, deleting and organizing tasks and lists, 2) ease of creating reminders for tasks, and 3) bonus features such as attaching additional information to a task, syncing with a calendar or using Siri to create tasks.

Reminders

Reminders is the most basic of the “To Do List” apps I compared, yet it’s quite enough for many people. With Reminders, you can create multiple lists and easily add tasks with due dates and times. Adding tasks to a list with Siri works very well, and you can have notifications based on date and time or location. For example, if you need to stop by the dry cleaners on your way home from work, you can be notified by Reminders when you leave work. Reminders falls short in its very basic design and the inability to create lists of lists (what I call sublists).

Trello

When I first tried Trello, I loved it because it was so visually appealing. In Trello, lists are called “Cards” and organized in “Boards” because that’s what they look like. It’s easy to drag and drop tasks from one “Card” to another, but it takes too many steps to remove a task once it’s completed. If you are highly visual, using Trello would be like having a big white board with post-it notes of lists.

Wunderlist

Wunderlist falls somewhere between Reminders and Trello. It’s more visually appealing than Reminders yet less flashy than Trello. Wunderlist allows sublists, which Reminders does not, and it accepts file attachments in its free version, as does Trello. If you want to see your “To Do” tasks in your calendar, it is very easy to set up.

ToDoist

When I first began testing ToDoist, I was expecting a lot because it is so popular. It is powerful, but only if you upgrade from its free version for $29/year. Otherwise, it’s a more basic “To Do List” manager than Reminders. Upgraded ToDoist is an excellent option for business users who need task management for a team of employees, but overkill for the rest of us.

As with many productivity apps, the best choice for you depends upon how you intend to use a “To Do List” app. 

To Do List Apps Review

AppAllows Lists within ListsLocation Based RemindersCan Sync with CalendarCan Attach File to a TaskEase of Use with Siri
TrelloYesNoYesYesLimited
WunderlistYesNoYesYesLimited
ToDoistYesPaid VersionPaid VersionPaid VersionLimited
RemindersNoYesNot without using a background program.NoExcellent

The Verdict

Best “To Do List” app for calendar syncing and file attachments – Wunderlist

Best “To Do List” app for managing employees and projects – ToDoist paid version

Best “To Do List” app for use with Siri & location based reminders & my personal favorite – Reminders

Here’s a little video I created to show you examples of how I use the Reminders app: