April 2019: Added a few new task manager apps and removed a few old ones to bring this list fully up to date.
While Apple's Reminders app is a useful productivity tool, but it doesn't necessarily meet everyone's needs. Some people may want more sub-task features or better integration with their calendar apps. Luckily, there are plenty of great to-do apps in the App Store. Finding the right one depends on how you handle your daily list making. Whether you want to keep it simple and fast, or need all the bells and whistles, there is an app for you.
Things 3 is the latest iteration of the simple but useful list-making app. It's always been easy to use with nothing to distract you from your task managing focus. But the third version really nails it with better options for advanced planning, a more intuitive interface with comfortable gestures, and a Magic Button that makes adding a new task to your list super easy. You can drag and drop any item to move it, or select a group of tasks and move them all at once. You can swipe right to add a date or swipe left to mark a task complete. When in the main list menu, you can swipe to the left to add a checklist to a task or group. Everything important is easy to get to but isn't overwhelming to learn how to use.
If you liked the now-defunct Wunderlist and are looking for something to replace it, you'll feel comfortable with a transition to Things 3 (except for the list sharing option). There is even an import button that lets you import your lists directly from Wunderlist, along with other apps like Todoist.
WeDo: Simple Life Manager is an app that not only helps you manage your tasks, but it also helps you form healthy habits. You can create reminders for habits, whether they're daily, weekly, or monthly, and it helps you stay on track to meet your goals. WeDo also manages your schedule and to-do lists, so it's a nice all-in-one solution. It's also very easy to share your lists with others when needed, and the free syncing means your habits and tasks go with you everywhere.
If you subscribe to the complex but effective Getting Things Done (GTD)method of managing your tasks, then OmniFocus is the tool you need for your everyday life. It is feature-rich with detailed list-making features for everything from simple daily chores to long-lasting projects. You can tag items with location, time, and context to help keep you focused on what's important whether you're at home or work. You can add photo and audio recording attachments to any task and add a note to help remind you of what to do. With the Notification Center widget, you'll know what's due today without having to open the app.
If you subscribe to the GTD method of productivity, or just really need a robust task manager app, OmniFocus is the only app you need and it's well worth its premium price. Fortunately, if you're not sure, OmniFocus 3 is free to download, and you'll get a two-week trial. If you like the system, then you can unlock premium features with a Pro subscription, with varying prices depending on how much time you purchase at once.
If you don't really know what type of list maker you are, and you're just getting started in the task manager genre, 2Do is a perfect starting point (and for a lot of people, staying point) for getting organized. It is flexible enough to let you create tasks and projects in whatever way works for you. You can even mix it up. Lists are labeled by type, due date, and you can even create a smart list based on task items you've set up with a specific list type, like Home or Work.
For a well-rounded variety of task managing options, from simple to complex, try 2Do. It's free to download, but you can unlock more advanced features, like cloud syncing with third-party services and email tasks, via in-app purchases that start at $2 and up.
Todoist, at its base, is a great app for creating simple lists with solid features, like a task inbox, items due today, and project lists with sub-task support. You can assign a task to a project, set a due date, and identify its priority. If you are working on a project with a team, you can also assign tasks to different people and send them an invitation to collaborate. It connects to a number of app integrations with Evernote, Google Calendar, IFTTT, and more.
If you need a more robust task management app, you can upgrade for $29 per year to get the premium features, which included reminders, labels, tags, filters, notes, and more. You can also upload photos and audio recordings via cloud storage services like Dropbox, and connect your to-do list to your Calendar app.
If you need a list maker that is fast but has some additional features, like sub-tasks and due dates, Todoist will keep you moving through your busy day.
Remember the Milk
The goal of this app is to make sure you remember to complete a task. Whether you get notifications via email, text message, or even social networking channels like Google+ Hangouts or Skype. The key to getting the most out of the iPhone app is to set up your preferences from the official website first. Once you've set up your preferences, you'll get alerts sent to you wherever you want.
You don't even have to use the app to enter an item list. You'll get a special email address that you can use to send yourself a message and it will automatically be added to your list. That said, the app is a fine piece of work. You can get daily digests with updates on your current and upcoming to-do items.
The pro version, which costs $40 per year, includes subtasks, advanced sorting features so you can organize groups and items, customizable themes, and more.
Remember the Milk is great for people that make to-do lists, but forget to check in on them. It will send you friendly reminders wherever you will be most likely to notice them.
What makes Any.do stand out the most in a crowd is its deep integration with Cal by the same app developer. When combined, the two create a powerhouse of productivity. Your daily tasks are always available to you while you are checking on your event schedule. It has all of the basic list-making features that make it easy to manage tasks, but also includes additional tools, like adding files, audio recordings, and photos from Dropbox or Google Drive.
You can easily share lists with others and add an item to your to-do list by sending an email to yourself. Every day, you'll get a friendly reminder of tasks remaining on your list. You can check them off, postpone them for a later date or time, or delete them.
If combining calendar and task lists sound like something you need, add Any.do and Cal to your iPhone for serious productivity. The app is free to download and will give you all of the basics. However, if you need the more advanced, premium features, you can subscribe to Pro starting at $6 a month, $27 for 6-months, or $36 for a full year.
Capsicum by Illuminated Bits
Capsicum is a unique to-do app because it acts like your digital planner. With Capsicum, you can track your to-dos and tasks, as well as habits, while checking your schedule and even forecast, all in a single app. You can keep multiple notebooks for every project, and it even lets you take notes if necessary. The interface is reminiscent of physical planners, and it's a great app to just keep everything organized in a single place.
While Capsicum is free to download, it requires a subscription to access all features, which starts at $2 a month or $20 a year. There's a free trial for 14 days, so you can give it a try to see if it works for you.
What app are you using to manage your tasks on the iPhone? Let us know in the comments!
Updated April 2019: Added a few new task manager apps and removed a few old ones to bring this list fully up to date.
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