Who doesn’t love a to-do list? For the digital-minded among us, to-do list apps are an amazing tool, especially if you aren’t naturally organized. With a good one, you can create tasks for yourself, schedule future to-dos, and set reminders so you don’t forget what needs to be done.
We’re gathered an assortment of free to-do list apps that each offer something a little different, from location-based reminders to the ability to collaborate with others, along with integration into your calendar for date-based to-dos. Take a look through our list to find the perfect app to suit your productivity needs.
Best for: Calendar integration
Over 30 million people use Any.do to keep their work and personal lives organized. It’s a highly recommended combination of a task-based to-do list, calendar, planner, and reminders, all in one app.
Any.do syncs seamlessly between your mobile, desktop, web, and tablet, and you can assign tasks to others via email. When you create an Any.do task, you can add a label to organize it into a category such as work, personal, or household. You can add it to your calendar, add a note to a task, set an alert to get a reminder about it, and even set up reminders to pop up when you hit certain locations — for instance, an alert to tell you to pick up your clothes when you’re in the neighborhood of your dry cleaner.
Adding tasks is a cinch, with automatic options like “Send,” “Clean,” “Buy,” “Email,” and many more. The “Tasks” view is very clear, organized by Today, Tomorrow, and Upcoming, and the calendar integration is automatic and painless.
Best for: Team collaboration
Asana is a highly-rated, popular work manager that organizes work so teams are clear on what to do and offers in-app messaging for better communications, which makes it a strong choice if you want to collaborate on to-do lists with others. As a pro project management tool, Asana has paid-for premium, business, and enterprise plans, but the free forever version is comprehensive for individuals and small teams.
The free version lets you manage projects and tasks and personal to-dos, giving you the ability to work with up to 15 teammates to set up unlimited tasks, to-dos, and projects. The app gives you the option of a board or list view, and there’s a desktop version with seamless syncing between it and the apps.
Best for: Creating simple, daily to-do lists
The Bear app is not technically a to-do list offering, it’s an advanced text editor. But as part of its note-creating abilities, you can make tick-box lists. This makes Bear ideal for anyone who wants to create a daily to-do checklist and doesn’t need the option to schedule to-dos into the future. Using the free version of Bear, you can create notes, add tags and attachments, and export to a variety of formats. We like the Bear app for its incredibly clean design, which makes it easy to use and view.
Design-wise, you have a blank screen at the top and your keyboard view at the bottom. In the middle is a tidy, scrollable icon menu that offers one-touch formatting options for text style, bulleting, link making, inserting images, adding attachments, and creating those all-important check boxes. Another thing we love about Bear is that you can use your iPhone’s Spotlight search to look for words and phrases within your Bear notes. It also integrates brilliantly with Siri. You can ask Siri to create a new note in Bear, and even start dictating what you’d like the note to say — handy if you remember something to add to your to-do list when you’re out and about.
Best for: Robust reminder options
Remember the Milk is practically a vintage iPhone app, originally developed way back in 2004. Since then, millions of users around the world have signed up and rely on the app as a to-do list tool. It’s very easy to create to-do actions on this app, just typing “Remember the milk,” for instance, as a one-line to-do list entry. You can take things further by giving the to-do a priority status, adding a due date, or setting up a reminder that can be delivered via email, text, IM, Twitter, and mobile notifications.
This app lets you create recurring to-dos, which is useful if you want a weekly reminder to carry out a task you need to do regularly. There’s a desktop version of this service, and it automatically syncs with the apps. Remember the Milk offers integration with calendar and productivity services such as Evernote. And the premium version of this app lets you connect to Dropbox or Google Drive to attach related files to any task, to color-code to-dos, and to create subtasks.
Best for: Project management
A well-established option suitable for use by both individuals and teams, Todoist is another popular choice. It’s currently used by 25 million people to organize, plan, and collaborate on projects big and small. You can create basic to-do lists with separate tasks that you can schedule. You can then view your inbox, which contains all your to-dos; see the “Daily” view to check that day’s tasks; or view the “Upcoming” section for a look ahead at what you need to do.
This app allows you to add a priority level to tasks and to create recurring tasks. You can also use Todoist to create “Projects” in list or board form and invite people to collaborate. Unfortunately, comments, file uploads, labels, and reminders are only available if you pay for premium service, but the free version of the app does let you create up to 80 projects and collaborate with up to five people per project.