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Free To Do List App Lineup: Which is the Best?


woman working on laptop, notepad, phone with to do list app

Looking for the best To Do List app? Look no further - we’ve tested many of them, and these are our favorites.


First off, what are the criteria for picking a to do list? It’s very personal, which is why we’ve picked a few of them for you. These are the key factors we looked at:

  • Flexibility: A to do list has to flex as your focus areas change. If you start out using it for work, then want to add personal projects, the app needs to accommodate you. If you want to combine a few projects into a single one, the list needs to allow that. And so on.

  • Project and day-to-day views: When you’re planning out tasks, it’s often easier to think in terms of projects. But when you’re actually working, it’s nice to see what needs to get done each day. It’s helpful when a to do list can switch between those views seamlessly.

  • Cross-device support: Especially for managing work projects, it’s easiest to have a to do list that can be accessed on mobile or desktop.

  • Straightforward and easy to use: Focus energy on planning tasks, not figuring out how to enter them in an app.

Now, on to the exciting part: The winners!


Workflowy - Best for Total Flexibility

This is the to do list we’ve used for years, and we’d be lost without it. Workflowy is notable because of how flexible it is. At its core, this is simply an infinite bullet list, which means that you can organize it however you want. With no limit on how many layers of subtasks you can create, it’s easy to get as detailed as you want in planning. You can also drag and drop bullets (and all their sub-bullets) anywhere, making it a breeze to reorganize your plans. Hashtags to group projects, at tags to assign tasks to team members, and even a visual, card-like display of tasks add even more ways to rearrange and view tasks. If we were choosing a to do list now, we’d choose Workflowy again in a second.


  • Pricing: Free. Premium version available.

  • Platforms: iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod), Android, and desktop (Mac, Windows, Linux)


Trello - Best for Visual Thinkers

Trello is known for its visual display of tasks and projects as cards that you can drag and drop to rearrange. It’s a little more structured than Workflowy, with Boards (Work and Personal, say), Lists (projects), Cards (tasks), and Sub Tasks. This adds a learning curve figuring out how to set up the to do list, but works well once set up. Trello also offers an Up Next list of tasks across all of your boards with an upcoming due date, so you can switch between project and day-by-day views easily. One minor downside is that Trello doesn’t have a desktop app. You can access it in a browser, which is fine, but in our experience it’s helpful to have a to do list in its own separate app since you’ll be accessing it frequently throughout the day and don’t want it to get lost among browser tabs.


  • Pricing: Free. Premium version available.

  • Platforms: iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod), Android, web browser


To Do by Microsoft - Best Traditional To Do List

The To Do app by Microsoft was a very pleasant surprise. In addition to an intuitive user interface, it offers multiple ways of organizing tasks. Each day, the app displays tasks due today, as well as upcoming tasks. Separately, you can organize tasks into several groupings. Start by creating Groups, such as Work and Personal. Underneath each group, create Lists of tasks, such as a list for each project you’re working on. In each list, create tasks and even subtasks. Since tasks can have due dates, notes, and other details, it’s easy to capture all the info you need to about tasks.


  • Pricing: Free.

  • Platforms: iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod), Android, Mac desktop, Windows desktop


Runners Up


Todoist - Great Project Lists

A favorite for many, Todoist has a great set up and several ways of viewing tasks. By default, it offers day-by-day views of upcoming tasks as well as project-based lists. You have the option to view tasks in a traditional list view or as boards (similar to Trello). There is an option to nest projects, creating multiple projects underneath a parent project. To Do by Microsoft and Todoist have much of the same features to organize tasks in flexible ways. For us, To Do won out as more intuitive to use, but Todoist is a great choice too.


  • Pricing: Free. Premium version available.

  • Platforms: iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod), Android, Chrome app


Any.do - Great User Interface

Another great option, Any.do stands out for its easy and attractive user interface. It offers Lists to organize tasks and subtasks into, but the options for organizing tasks are a bit less built-out than we like when managing many projects at once. This app is a great option if you’re looking for a way to manage day-to-day tasks.


  • Pricing: Free. Premium version available.

  • Platforms: iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod), Android, Chrome extension


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