Best todo apps for Mac: Omnifocus, Things, Wunderlist, and more!

Best todo apps for Mac: Omnifocus, Things, Wunderlist, and more!

The best todo apps for Mac from creating shopping lists to managing projects, to just plain getting stuff done

We spend a good majority of our lives completing tasks. Whether that's buying groceries or finishing assignments or scheduling projects, keeping everything straight and getting things done in the most time effective way possible can sometimes be a task in and of itself. If you're a Mac user, there are lots of apps available that can help you organize the chaos. Most even have iOS counterparts to keep you productive on the go too. Todo apps can come with a high price tag, however, so it can be hard to decide on which one to go with. Here are our current favorite todo apps for Mac and the workflows they're best suited for.


Omnifocus by the Omni Group has the most features and organization options of any todo app avialable for either Mac or iOS. You can attribute this largely to the amount of customizations and sort options you're given. Omnifocus supports projects, contexts, due dates, flags, and more. A task can have a context attached to it as well as be a part of a project and an organizational folder. The search and sort features of Omnifocus let you drill town to broad or very specific filters. There isn't any tag support but with all the other sort and search options you're given, I doubt you'd even miss them.

If you want power and flexibility and aren't afraid of a steep learning curve, get Omnifocus.

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Todo by Appigo has a great interface, is easy to use, and gives you a section for lists, contexts, and tags. The main view separates the tasks you have coming up into several sections including overdue, today, tomorrow, next 7 days, and future. You can customize the view to show more or less information for each task. Expanded views give you a quick glimpe at not only due date but any contexts or tags you have attached to tasks. You can also customize your Focus list. By default it hides tasks due after tomorrow but you can easily change it within settings.

If you have a hard time prioritizing tasks and want a quick way to see what needs your immediate attention and what can wait until later, get Todo.

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Things by Cultured Code is easy to pick up and start using. From the way it's laid out to how you can configure options, it's works just the way you expect it to. Things can also tie into the native Reminders app for Mac and iOS and import items into Things, which means using Siri to create tasks becomes an option. The Today and Next Focus lists show what tasks you have due dates for. Scheduled shows you anything you have that is recurring. Another feature called Areas that lets you create virtual workspaces for different categories.

If you want ease of use and Siri integration for creating tasks and reminders, get Things.

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Wunderlist is available for pretty much every platform. Like many other task apps, Wunderlist features an Inbox that lets you dump tasks there until you're ready to categorize. While Wunderlist doesn't support contexts, it does have support for a very smart search including keywords and the names of teammates attached to a task. The free version of Wunderlist function more as a scaled down task app while the Pro version supports tons of collaboration features and attachment support for a nominal monthly fee.

If you need to share lists, collaborate with others on items, and attach media to tasks, get Wunderlist.

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Clear isn't a fully featured todo app nor is it meant to be. It's meant to be a super-fast, super convenient task list. From adding items to finding them to marking them as done, Clear is just unbelievable quick. It doesn't necessarily sacrifice features for speed, but offers only a very few, very carefully selected feature for people who don't want to spend a lot of time managing the way they spend time.

If you don't want to spend a lot of time inside a todo app and don't need tons of organization features, get Clear.

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Your favorite todo apps for Mac?

These are our favorite todo apps for Mac but we know there are lots of others out there as well. Do you use something different or one of the ones we mentioned? How does it (or they) fit into your workflow better than other options? Let us know in the comments!

Allyson Kazmucha

Editor for iMore, Potter pundit, and the ninja in your iOS

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There are 25 comments. Add yours.

SithKun Prom says:

Any.DO is to-do that I've been using since bought a iphone 5.. It is a great app.. U should try

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Allyson Kazmucha says: does not have a Mac app at all. Browser extensions only.

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weberm13 says:

I use Wunderlist. I love Things and bought it everywhere, but it lacks features and doesn't work on Windows, which I use at work.

I want to use Omnifocus but again, not on Windows to my knowledge.

Wunderlist has a ton of great features, and is everywhere. It has some flaws, like subtask management isn't great, but other than that, I really like it.

Hoagie5252 says:

I use and love things on the iPhone. If they ever have a sale in their Mac app I will purchase it. 50 is a little much.

Moe_NYC says:

Todoist has a great and simple, yet powerful Mac client. With flawless syncing with the iPhone and web app, it is one of the best services/apps today.

dsquared22 says:

+1 for ToDoist. it's great.

GlennRuss says:

2do, it works great, and an update is due soon. It will sync with dropbox, or toodledo. They have an iPhone, and iPad version, and syncs across all devices. I was a big Agendus fan in the palm days, but they never delivered a decent app, so I started trying out different todo apps, and settled on 2do.

Mikeintoshcz says:

Yes, I miss 2Do there too. The Mac App is excelent and it sync via iCloud, Dropbox or Toodledo flawlessly. Great thing about 2Do is that it’s very versatile, you can make it complex GTD tool or simple task manager.

dsacgt says:

Why would you overlook Reminders? It's free, built in,syncs seamlessly across Mac OS and iOS, has a much more efficient use of GUI/screen space than most of the apps you reviewed.

It's powerful enough for single user project management

Allyson Kazmucha says:

No one will agree on everything but I don't particularly think it's a great option. Clear is faster and more user friendly for something simple. Minimizes even more space too.

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CylonJason says:

But it costs $9.99 compared to free, but I guess it depends on what you need.

geggyta516#AC says:

Agreed. The stock reminders is versatile enough and syncs in the background so you always get your "Reminders"...

theegooch says:

If you use the GTD method to manage tasks, Reminders fall way short of the mark. It doesn't support contexts, projects, tagging, etc. No email to task option, no review view to show you past, due, and upcoming tasks, and more. If you don't need these features, then Reminders will get the job done. Otherwise you should upgrade to one of the more advanced options.

chirmer says:

Your needs aren't very GTD. It does support contexts - since you can search, you can just make your own tags, or you can use separate lists for each context (true GTD method). Tags aren't GTD. Projects are Lists. The no email to task is frustrating, no review is dependent on the person... but Reminders definitely works for GTD.

Melisa Singh says:

Hey. This is a great list. As I was reading through it, I realized a lot of the apps are similar to something I already have. For example, I use Remember the Milk instead of Wunderlist. I get the sense many apps are going to continue to get superior competition. That said, some of them like Evernote & Dropbox are no brainers. I threw together this list of the top five apps for those like me who have no attention span!: Feel free to add in your thoughts in the comments.

pictor says:

I've been thinking about this a lot lately, and I have settled on giving Todoist a fair shake. lacks an app for OSX and can't do recurring notes
2Do is amazing, but lacks a Windows client, and I can't email ToDos in
Things is just vastly overrated and not worth the hype

Wunderlist is solid, and I was tempted to make it my go to, but what sold me on ToDoist is calendar integration which I haven't seen on any other app except Remember the Milk (which I just feel is poorly designed from a UI perspective). ToDoist also has a lovely natural language way of entering due dates and reminders.

theegooch says:

Omnifocus integrates with the calendar.

chirmer says:

Todoist's repeating task options are second to none! I've got a bit of a peeve with its sort order in non-Project views - tasks that are of the same type (for example, tasks without a Priority or Due Date) show up in a jumbled mess - no sorting by project or project order at all.

ONickolay says:

I'm the author of To-do Lists app, it has a different approach - kinda Stickies, but for tasks. You should try it out. Actually firstly I was writing it for own usage - existing task managers were too complicated since you need to go through different menus, views, dialogs just to enter information that you should do this and that.

CylonJason says:

I can't find "To-do Lists app" anywhere in the Mac App or iTunes stores.

ONickolay says:

Try to search for Antlogic, it should bring up the results.

Jeremy Johnson0821 says:

Wunderlist has crashed since it's last update, and will not even open on my MacBook Pro. This does not bode well for them, since I previously used it a lot. I'm definitely not going to stick around and hope they come up with a fix. It was great, but I can't deal with a product that crashes for weeks on end.

Nina Parker says:

Great list, thank you for sharing this. I use an app for organizing my meetings that I find very useful. I can easily manage my meeting minutes and meeting agendas, action items, attendance, reminders, and easily prepare meeting related emails.