You have a busy schedule and a lot of items to try and check off. That list gets harder to manage every day. No matter how you try, you can't seem to keep track of all those daunting tasks while you're on the go.
That is, until you try Todoist, a to-do list app for Android (plus iOS and Windows Mobile) that allows you to easily keep your ongoing to-do list in sync with all of your devices and from any web browser. It's a free app that connects to a free service (one that offers a premium plan for more features).
Todoist offers the following features with a free account:
- Automatically sync your tasks on all your devices
- Data is automatically synced to the cloud
- Due dates, recurring dates, sub-tasks, task priorities, sub-projects, and colored projects
- Manage your tasks while offline
- Visual scheduling
- Collaborate and share
- Instant notifications for updates and new comments
- Integrate with Dropbox and Google Drive (to add documents to tasks)
- Preview media links and file attachments
- View images/videos and play audio directly within the app
- Widgets, actionable notifications, Google Now and DashClock integration
- Add tasks from any app by sharing with the Todoist app
The premium account runs only $29.00/year and adds the following:
- Push notifications, email, or SMS reminders (based on your physical location or the time and date)
- Task notes, colored labels, and powerful filters
- Add files, sound recordings, and photos to your tasks
- Add tasks via email
- Access tasks on your calendar
- Track and improve your productivity with Todoist Karma
For users who want to give Todoist a try, even the free service is better than most other to-do list apps. Let's install it and try it out.
The installation of Todoist is quite simple. Follow these steps:
- Open the Google Play Store on your device
- Search for Todoist
- Locate and tap the entry by Doist
- Tap Install
- Read the permissions listing carefully
- If the permissions listing is acceptable, tap Accept
- Allow the installation to complete
Once installed, you'll find a launcher either on your home screen or app drawer. Tap that launcher to start the app.
First, a word of warning. I've tried, on a number of occasions, to sign in with my Google account (Figure A) to no avail. I'm unsure why this is happening and have yet to find a solution. To that end, don't even bother attempting to connect to your Google account. Instead, tap the Sign Up button.
Signing in on a Verizon-branded Sony Xperia tablet.
You can also go to the Todoist website and sign up for an account. Once you're signed up, log in to Todoist with your email/password credentials, and you're ready to start.
In order to really get the most out of Todoist, your first step (once you've logged in) should be to create Projects. By default, there are a number of pre-defined projects (Personal, Work, ERrands, Health, Shopping, Movies to watch, Books to read), but they're not unique to your particular needs. Here's how to create work-related projects to better track your on-the-job tasks:
From the Todoist main page (Figure B), tap the Projects listing in the left navigation (to see this navigation on smartphones, swipe from the left edge of the screen to the right).
The Todoist main window.
Now, tap the Projects gear icon and click the plus sign [+]. In the new window (Figure C), give the project a name and, if applicable, associate it with a sub-project.
Adding a new project in Todoist.
Once you've added a specific project, there are two ways to work with it. Let's walk through both methods. First, you can create a standard task within a project. Here's how this is done:
- From the main window, tap the plus sign [+] in the upper right corner
- Give the task a name
- Tap the Inbox drop-down
- Select the newly created Project from this list (Figure D)
- Tap the Calendar
- Give the task a due date
- Tap the More button
- Give the task a priority and a sub-task (if necessary — more on this in a bit)
- If you have a Premium account, assign the task a label from the label drop-down
- Tap the Done button in the upper right corner
Select a project from the list.
The next method of adding a task to a project is to first select the Project from the left navigation and then tap the plus sign [+] in the upper right corner (Figure E).
Adding a task within a project.
Sub-tasks can be used to help associate tasks with other tasks. It's not quite as intuitive as it should be, but once you figure out how to use it, it's very helpful.
Let's say you have to create Sub Task B associated with Task A. You can't actually select Task A as a parent task from within Task B. Instead, what you do is create tasks as sub-task levels. You have five levels to choose from ("no level" being a parent level task and then levels 1-4 as sub-tasks). Say, for instance, you have two "no level" tasks in a project. To create a sub-task for one of those tasks, do the following:
- Tap to select the "no level" task in question
- Tap the plus sign [+] to create a task
- Give the task a name
- Tap the More button
- Select the Sub-task button, and choose the Level 1 entry
- Tap Done
You should now see a newly created sub-task for the specific task (Figure F).
Make sure that you install Todoist on both your tablet and smartphone, and associate both devices to the same account. You'll find all of your Todoist data is automatically in sync.
Of all the to-do list apps I've tried, Todoist is one of the easiest to use. It helps me keep track of everything that I have to do, regardless of what device I'm on.
What app or service do you use to keep track of your to-do tasks? Share your experience in the discussion thread below.
Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.