Top 5 task management apps for iPhone

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Top 5 task management apps for iPhone

Task management apps for iPhone are released into the App Store on almost a daily basis. My iPhone is not only a device I enjoy using in my personal time, it's instrumental in the way I conduct business and keep myself organized.

Between running my own business, contracting for a few companies, and writing for TiPb, it sometimes becomes a task to remember where I need to be or what I need to be doing. I have yet to find an app that combines all the tools I need but the mix of apps I use do a pretty good job of keeping me sane. Follow along for my top picks and to let us know what yours are as well!

Wunderlist

There are several list and task apps on the App Store and I've been through several of them. I recently found Wunderlist and fell in love. Not only is it dead simple and have a beautiful interface, it also allows you to share your lists with others who use the service. Myself and my partners have a shared task list for our business. If I add an event or a meeting, it automatically syncs to their iPhones and iPads as well. Wunderlist also supports push notifications. And the best part? It's free!

[Free - iTunes Link]

Evernote

I've also tried several note taking apps but Evernote still remains my favorite. It's dead simple to use and has a gorgeous interface. I use it frequently while in meetings or for jotting down notes when I'm consulting with a client. I can e-mail my notes to the people that need them before I even step foot out of the meeting.

Evernote also allows you to add tags and different notebooks. I have tags for home, my business, travel, and everything in between. I don't have to weed through dates and all my notes if I don't want to. I can filter all my notes by only the tags I want to see at that exact moment. Evernote is also free but does have a paid subscription if you'd like more monthly storage space. I use Evernote quite frequently and have never ran over my free monthly allotment.

[Free - iTunes Link]

Also check out:

Due

Due is rather new to the App Store and has quickly earned a spot on the first page of my home screen. I have a bad habit of dismissing reminders and then forgetting that they went off. Due solves this problem for me. I can set repeat reminders and even if I dismiss the push notification, the app will continuously bug me at the intervals I defined until I open the app and actually mark the entry as done.

The overall interface is extremely slick and setting notifications couldn't be easier. Some task management apps are a pain when entering tasks, but not Due. Heck, you don't even have to set a reminder title if you don't want to. You can also tweaks the settings to what you use most commonly. I typically set reminders for about 2 hours later so I have that as my default time. If I need to, I can change that. You can also set repeats and push the reminders back by minutes, hours, or even days in one quick tap.

[$4.99 - iTunes Link]

Droplr

There are many times that I want to share an image or a file with multiple people. This is where droplr has really come in handy. I can upload an image via the app and then e-mail the shortened link to as many people as I'd like. I can also tweet it or copy the link within the app as well. I especially love that they have a free Mac client as well. The iPhone and Mac version will also sync back and forth with each other. This is very convenient for when I'm taking pictures or screenshots on my iPhone that I need on my Mac. I don't have to e-mail them to myself any longer. I can simply upload them via droplr and pick them up in droplr on my Mac.

[$3.99 - iTunes Link]

ToDo by Appigo

Although Wunderlist is now my daily task management app, ToDo by Appigo will never lose its spot on my iPhone. While it may not be as easy to use, it's an extremely powerful task management app. I use it now for detailed projects that have separate deadlines and that have to be done in parts. If we are working on a web design project, I may want to set different completion dates on a project timeline. This is where ToDo really shines. I can organize a project in any way I like. I can mark individual parts of a project done and set reminders on the other parts.

ToDo is worth every penny if you need a very detail oriented task app. They've also just announced a Mac version with sync as well. So if that's what you've been looking for, look no further.

[$4.99 - iTunes Link]

Your top task apps?

Although, there are the top five task management apps that fit my lifestyle, it doesn't mean that there aren't other great ones floating around out there. Be sure to check out our Picks of the Week and iPhone App and Games Forum for more recommendations, and if we missed any of your favorites, leave them in the comments below!

Allyson Kazmucha

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

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There are 79 comments. Add yours.

Kyle (iRandom) says:

iStudiez Pro is a great task management app for school. I use it personally and couldn't live without it.

hbcbob573 says:

Evernote sucks. It requires an internet connection or a premium account for what I see as an exorbitant amount of money per year. You should have replaced that with 2Do. Now THAT's a To-Do app! Offline app viewing and creation. And allows sync feature to be used on the go.

Allyson Kazmucha says:

Any syncing capable app would need some type of internet connection in order to sync across devices and platforms. But I have no problem typing notes in Evernote and then them syncing once I have an internet connection. They just stay pending for sync until I have an established connection. I've never had an issue.

martin says:

evrenote is a good app but has a significant downside.
create a note on your mac or ipad..then sync your other idevice (ipod touch, iphone etc), now you happen to be in an area where you cannot access the internet you find a thumb nail of the synced note on your idevice but you cant view its full content! pics/drawings/audio clips. Offline veiwing should be a must after syncing!

natefish says:

I agree. Springpad is much better and "lighter" than Evernote. I'm also surprised 2Do didn't make the list.

zs says:

Try out Contacts Journal, which links your to-do lists to your iPhone contacts. Very interesting. You can use DropBox to sync between iphone and ipad version as well.

websyndicate says:

Droplr I dont see how that is very task oriented.

Rene Ritchie says:

Ally originally had a longer productivity/getting stuff done theme for the top 5; I shortened it in an effort to keep it more concise and focused, and Doplr payed the price. Sigh.

Allyson Kazmucha says:

I guess it depends on your industry. I work in web/graphic design and consulting. I need to share a lot of images and videos with clients frequently. Droplr provides a consistent experience and I can always go back and get the shortened links at any time. I can also pull them from any computer. So for what I do, with media, it is extremely useful and intuitive.

trock4u says:

Still, isn't a To Do app. What about Omnifocus!!! you should mention a least the top app.

Allyson Kazmucha says:

Evernote isn't either :) productivity and task management. For me, droplr is a productivity app :)

Rene Ritchie says:

Actually, I've used Evernote for tasks and to-dos, I've even used SimpleNote, and before that, the built-in Notes app.
I shall now find a way to use Dropl. The gauntlet has been laid down!

Andrew says:

OmniFocus for iPad is downright amazing. Yes, it's definitely the most expensive option out there (especially if you want to sync with its desktop counterpart, OmniFocus for Mac, which is also awesome), but the sheer power of that app makes it worth it--particularly if you're a fan of GTD. On the other hand, if you just want a simple To Do app, you might want to steer clear (but it's got my vote!)
For a notebook app, I'm a big fan of Alfons Schmid's Notebooks. Also an incredibly powerful app, it features syncing, nested notebooks, drawing, TextExpander plug-in, the ability to share notes/docs/etc. with other apps, and the list goes on. Plus, Alfons has put a lot of work into keeping it and its iPhone sibling app fresh with updates, and in my experience he's always been quick to answer emails.

websyndicate says:

Undetstood. I own all these app but I just don't see droplr as a task management app like the title say. I think of things omni focus and what not. I'm not trying be negative by any means please understand but you honestly lost me at droplr. I just and agree with it as a task manager. Yes it works great fOr other things but you could argue that cloud app or yfrog does the same thing

webvex says:

Awesome Note and Toodledo are very good.

Lee Miran says:

I have to agree with ToodleDo. Great interface, free web UI as well.

Dave says:

Awesome note is actually awesome. I've tried ones listed above but awesome note ticks all my boxes. I guess it's whatever works for you.

Lars says:

Yep - I'm a huge fan of Awesome Note! A great interface, and lots of organization options.

zero credibility says:

+1 for toodledo, tasks sorted by location and location alerts make it, IMO

Rodney says:

Pretty partial to Action Tasks myself. It has all the basics covered but stands out for its brilliant sound effects and animations.

AppleCentric says:

Evernote is a great note-taking app. I've been using it for free for over a year and I love it. Don't really need the features of the Premium option, so I haven't paid for it. But for to-do's, I stumbled upon BusyToDo (www.busytodo.com) and found it very useful. It syncs with my MobileMe account, allowing me to keep a to-do list on my iPhone in sync with iCal.

concealdcarrier says:

Does anyone read the previous comments before opening their comment mouth up? Droplr was addressed about 5 posts ago.

Richard Marx says:

Oh, quiet down there big brother.

applejosh says:

Not sure how droplr fits into what I think of as a task management app, but for me, OmniFocus works quite well. I used it for some things before I got my first MBP, but it's the only thing I use now that I've got the desktop version as well. Expensive? No argument there. But it does its job well, and to me just feels like a more customizable and polished program/app combo than ToodleDo/Todo/etc. I especially like the depth with which I can nest tasks/projects. The ToodleDo synced apps just don't seem to go far enough for me.

Duvi says:

i like NotifyMe2 & BugMe

mbpre says:

I think 2Do is the best GTD app. I tried ToDo for a while and it was nice, but 2Do is very visually appealing, more customizable, and I just like it better. Other than that, Evernote is great for notes.

dave says:

Wunderlist is a bloated piece of chit. It's cluttered and darn near impossible to use it with any great efficiency.
Evernote is great because of one simple thing. It's cloud based. You don't have to worry about losing every note when you have to restore your phone as new.
None of the $5 apps listed are worth their money.

Allyson Kazmucha says:

Hm, I've had no issues with Wunderlist. It's cloud based as well. I love the interface and the simplicity. I can add a task very quickly and share my lists with whomever I need to. Push notifications work extremely well too. I would not use bloated to describe Wunderlist since the app is clean and has an extremely simple interface.

Genyam says:

Things is my preferred todo management app. You really have to give it a try and maybe add it in your top five ;)

Colin says:

Yep, Things works for me. The only surprise was how far down the page I had to scroll before it was mentioned.

GadgetMomma says:

I love 2Do as well - I love how visually appealing it is, and I love how I can connect a specific action with a task, then complete the task from within the app. For example, if the task us to call someone, while I'm creating the task, I can either link it to a contact, or add the number right then if it's not a contact. Either way, when the reminder pops up, I can make the call directly from the reminder. That might be minor to some, but as a stay at home mom whose life issas up of calls to confirm appointments, playmates, and a million other things, that one small detail makes it worth the money!

GadgetMomma says:

Holy cow that previous post was full of typos - sorry about that!

Eduardo Malheiros says:

I also use and love Wunderlist, it's pretty, simple, effective and free!

Park says:

OmniFocus, hands down. I used to use Things, and it's good, but nowhere near as powerful as OF.

Todd says:

Do any of these sync with Tasks in Outlook 2007 (Windows XP)?

Richard Marx says:

Not that I know of. I'd looked at that a while back and gave up on that idea.

Richard Marx says:

Actually, 2Do claims so sync with Outlook on PC.

iPhone junkie says:

2do syncs well with outlookk

JNGold says:

2Do. It syncs with Mobile Me.

CrzyP says:

It's funny how this blog appeared the same day I started looking for apps to organize my daily life. I downloaded Errands and so far it's pretty slick. It leaves a badge on the icon until tasks are accomplished.

Estie! says:

POCKET INFORMANT is the best. Auto google calendar & tasks sync, slide navigating interface...

brentb says:

+1 for Pocket Informant. I purchased and tried, Omnifocus, Things, and a bunch more with variations on the name ToDo and Pocket Informant is way ahead of them all. Its one of the few that does Calendar events and todos, and syncs with google. Awesome note is very aptly named as its the best note app I've tried, and 1 went through at least 10 of those before settling on Awesome Note.

doublebullout says:

The task/notes management app I've settled on is iMExchange 2 because it syncs through Exchange with Outlook. If I didn't need the Exchange sync function so much, I'd use ToDo instead. (Bonus for jailbreakers -- there's a ToDo plugin for LockInfo, and it works very well.) I have used ToodleDo, Things, TaskTask, Tomorrow, and probably a half-dozen more various task apps. IMO, ToDo is the absolute best of the lot. I just wish it synced with my Exchange server.

mark says:

tough topic.
omnifocus: the granddaddy of them all, but bloated, ugly, overly complicated.
things: near-perfect. gorgeous, functional -- but lacks sync. (they're working on it.)
remember the milk: excellent feature set, but needs UI refresh. developer SLOW.
todo: probably functional, but has dated UI on iphone and even uglier (gimmicky) on iPad.
evernote: fantastic -- but it's NOT a task-manager.
wunderlist: gorgeous, but lacks features. (but may be enough for some.)
2do: 2gimmicky.
obviously both form AND function are important to me. (i wish apple would release its own TM app. (iTask?)

mark says:

...I'm on an iPad, and somehow tapped submit before I was finished.
bottom line: I'm using remember the milk for now -- best overall feature set, except UI. but as soon as things adds sync, that's probably where I'll head.

jjb70 says:

I bounce between 2Do and GoTasks. 2Do has a great UI and very customizable and works well for GTD. GoTasks is bare bones, lightning fast and syncs flawlessly with Google tasks. If GoTasks were a little more GTD friendly, it would be the only one.

Brian says:

Wunderlist is a HUGE disappointment! I have tried it multiple times. Basically, both the Windows versions and Web versions are buggy and unreliable. I think that they just wanted to get it out on as many platforms as possible so they could get the venture capitalists interested... Sad situation. Also, Wunderlist Web doesn't work on work PC's which are behind firewalls --- did I say that this product is not ready for prime-time yet?
I'm using TeuxDeux because I want to be able to use it on my home PCs, my work PCs and on my iPhone. Haven't found a better solution that just works...

bergman says:

I use Due sync'd between iPhone and iPad2. Another very handy reminder app is VoCal. It records your voice notes and allows you to set a reminder and/or email the audio. Great for whe you are driving and need to get your thoughts saved.

Jeff says:

Really wish their was a "start app" app. Want to have my usatoday, wsj and daily apps started and download so when I get up in the morning all my daily content is downloaded? I know not with the todo topic but interesting idea for an app.

vaytan says:

I use a very simple one called Today todo interface is nice and easy.

Dryland says:

The Title of this article should be GTD apps because most "To Do" apps are single function notification lists.
Omnifocus is a project management app, not just task management. Complex? Yes, however once you master it you'll have a great experience. And if you truly follow GTD, it's the go to app.
Things used to be my favorite GTD app but it is too simplified. More like a task manager that can handle projects.
I've tried the others listed and find them too simple for my work (Systems Administrator/Engineer).

Dryland says:

Omnifocus also has a Mac counterpart that syncs over the air via iDisk or whatever webdav server you decide to use. Priceless if you truly use it for projects with multiple tasks/milestones/deadlines. Also the iPhone app has the ability to show you tasks that can be done in your area based on GPS location. A very smart feature.

old dirty hacker says:

No disrespect but the omission of Omnifocus makes this list complete garbage. Omnifocus is one of the best apps in the app store period. Power and polish.

JP Dean Adams says:

I have tried many ToDo apps and, by far, my favorite is Toodledo. It can sync without a premium account with the iPhone and the iPad. The Web Interface is ugly but you can change it for free with Stylish for Firefox (I got the Mac UI).
What I like about it is all the options that you can customize and the information you can add. For example, you can add how long you think it would take to complete the task and then, when you have time to spare, it will select tasks for you based on priorities.
The other thing is context. You can create as many "Context" as you want depending on where you need to be to complete the task. For example, you can create a context, Home, Office, Bus and Waiting in Line. When you are in the Bus, just click on this context and it will show you all the tasks you can do.
I just love it. (But they really need to change the Web UI)

Blas says:

Todomatrix is the name and is for people using either GTD or Frankilincovey method.......TODOMATRIX=Franklincovey+GTD=stress Free with fully alerts. This is not only an app...it is a complete way of being in top of your important things in life. The key is to read the white paper and start using it.

Herc says:

I'm using Dunnit. Very simple, has notifications, tags etc. Helps me get the job done..

CstDskSol says:

It's pricy, but it's a business app. for syncing work orders.
Check out iDispatcher

natefish says:

I can't believe wunderlist made this list, IMHO. I tried Wunderlist and was left "wundering" how so much fuss could be made over a to-do app that doesn't used timed notifications. I need alerts, people.
Springpad is a much nicer option--again, IMHO--to Wunderlist AND Evernote. It has the PC/Mac syncing support that Wun and Ev do and it handles categories, tags, and other things better. I would suggest trying it if you haven't.
AND NotifyMe2 isn't on here? 2Do isn't on here? Seriously? Should have made this a top 10 list instead, I guess, or included a poll for other top apps.

H. H. says:

I love "the-deadline"... the-deadline.appspot.com ...
easy to use and really cool for distributed task lists.

Brandan says:

If you only use the list on your phone and don't need to sync try SeizeTheDay. I've tried a lot of the free ones but IMO opinion this is hands down the best. It has reminders and sends a daily reminder of the days tasks. Very NICE look and organized very well! And they are working towards a syncing function.

Elias says:

The app I use the most besides a translator or GPS related app has to be the TV Everywhere app from DISH Network. I work at DISH so I started using it right when it came out, and it allows me to watch shows off my DVR. Also, I can watch live TV as it is being broadcast into my receiver at home no matter where I am (as long as there's a 3G connection of course). A U-Verse customer wouldn’t have access to something like this. It’s great for keeping up with local news in real time or catching the game.

fabsgwu says:

I use Do It Tomorrow for simple lists, and Reminders! for tasks with specific actions/times required (like calls, sms, emails). I have dabbled with many other to-do apps, but I am not the type of person who does well with overly complicated GTD type todo apps.

JordanHomes says:

I have tried Pocket Informant and love the very complete feature set especially with the calendar. However, I think the UI is clunky and I keep moving back to 2do. 2do has a great UI, super easy to use, and will sync with Outlook, MobileMe, iCal tasks, or toodledo... your choice. I am currently syncing with iCal over wifi and patiently waiting for a price break on MobileMe / iCloud.

jhrogersii says:

No OmniFocus or PI? This list isn't very strong without them. I personally use PI, I am able to handle a huge running list of tasks that I have tagged, prioritized, and grouped by job or project. It also syncs to Toodledo without any hassles. All this, and you get a huge upgrade to your Calendar app, as well. For those that may not love the UI, keep an eye out for their coming 2.0 update, as the UI is supposed to be completely overhauled.

John says:

No love for Pocket Informant? It's the most comprehensive GTD program on iOS, IMHO. It syncs with Toodledo and Google Cal (along with iOS calendar integration).

Bhavesh Patel says:

Nice list. Thanks! There are so many out there, and I wish I had enough time to try them all. Lists and productivity is such a personal thing when it comes to workflow. What other ones have you tried? I am playing a little with TeuxDuex today. Also tried LifeTopix which is really cool, but more full featured. Also, the data format seems proprietary, not sure I want to get dependent on it (although it looks worth depending on)....

Ml02kr says:

i played with taskwise apps and they are pretty impressive and free

Jeremy Roberts says:

A task management system has to be super simple. I want to spend my time doing the task, not logging it. That's why I use Wunderlist for tasks. For EVERYTHING else, I use Evernote - http://www.cloudproductivity.net/2011/09/how-to-use-evernote-my-story.html

Brandan says:

GoTasks - syncs with Tasks on Google. Very simple, reliable, has reminders, and is free.

Henning says:

Steps is missing from this list. It is probably the most innovative of all task manager apps out there. Steps is often overseen, because it did not receive reviews yet of the major blogs. But it's worth a look, it has a unique design approach. Check out http://stepboard.net and http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/steps./id505791739?mt=8.

Sam Bolton says:

For my personal purposes I have been using OmniFocus. But working as a manager and having the necessity to be away from the office or on business trip requires something mobile for controlling the whole working process. We have been using (I mean, I and me project managers comindware task management software for mobile devices. Works perfectly and allows a possibility to generate real time reports. And, which is also very important, this app is easy to use and apply. you can have a look here http://www.comindware.com/task-management/

jgdealba says:

I love CLEAR for iPhone! Sometimes task managers are so robust and complicated managing your task manager becomes a task! This one is sexy and very simple! I LOVE IT!

Tiascha says:

I am using Doit.im and for sure it belongs to that list, it's nice to view, it greatly applies GTD technique, basic version is for free, but the Pro one has a good pricing. Check http://doit.im/. If you wish to get Pro version free, you need to submit your ideas, see http://enblog.doit.im/post/29101777326/doit-im-pro-contest

MustDoToday says:

Great list!
I would recommend adding Must Do Today to the list!
Thanks!

Tom Harvey1 says:

I would recommend the new iOS app ProperTask. I use this most days to manage my tasks. These can be assigned to Projects, property locations and contact person and more. It's a great app. Thanks