Finding the perfect app to help you handle your out-of-control to-do list shouldn't be an extra task onto itself, so we've sifted through all the apps out there to find you the best on offer. By Jasmine France (Contributing Writer, Women 2.0)
never fails: when life gets busy, business gets busy. Keeping track of the multitude of meetings, tasks, errands, and other "to dos" can be daunting, especially if you’re trying to maintain balance in your day. Of course, in the age of the app, there is no shortage of task management tools to help you stay on top of things. And yet that’s part of the problem: with so much clutter to sift through, finding just the one you need becomes just one more task.
Which is why I’ve done the sifting for you and narrowed the list down to five of my favorites. Read on to find one to suit your needs.
Wunderlist is a free app that you can access online or download to your Mac or PC. There are also mobile versions for iPhone, iPad, and Android. The app is easy to use and includes options for setting recurring tasks and splitting big tasks into smaller steps. Push notification reminders help to ensure you won’t miss a deadline. Integrated Sticky Notes let you jot down important notes on the fly, and Wunderlist’s 128 bit SSL encryption guarantees all of your data is secure. You can also assign tasks to colleagues thanks to the team collaboration feature. There’s an option to upgrade to a Pro version ($4.99 per month) that includes project tracking and an Activity Center for communication within the app.
Evernote isn’t really a task management app, but it can act like one. It’s free for just about every device you can think of, and it offers a variety of features for keeping your thoughts and tasks organized. At the most basic level is the checkbox feature for the notes section. You can jot things down, save URLs from the Web, take snapshots and audio notes, share items via email, and organize it all by date, tags, and location. As always with Evernote, everything is automatically backed up to the cloud for free, so you can access everything from anywhere. For true team collaboration and project management, you can upgrade to Evernote Business ($10 per user per month). Features include a Business Library where employees can share and discover the collected knowledge of their colleagues, and an Admin Console for managing your organization.
Conqu is available as a free download for Android tablets, the Blackberry Playbook, the iPad, the Nook Color, Android phones, iPhones, PCs and Macs. Based on the Getting Things Done methodology, Conqu offers a filtering system that includes parameters for context, energy level, time required for tasks, flags, and tags. The app is particularly handy for procrastinators, as it will pester you via push notifications when an item is about to come due or is already overdue. It also includes a collaboration feature that lets you delegate tasks and notifies you once a user has completed an item. An upgrade to ConquSync ($5.30 per month) gets you additional feature such as cloud backup, cross-device synchronization, the ability to use the app offline, and the option to add tasks via email.
Remember The Milk
Look past the name of this app; Remember The Milk is more than just a grocery list. In addition to apps for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone, there are extensions for Gmail and Outlook, as well as the ability to add tasks via Tweet--so there’s no excuse for leaving something off your to-do list. There’s also a variety of ways to sort tasks, including "smart lists" that automatically update based on criteria you define (for examples, tasks within the Work list get set as high priority). Meanwhile, the "smart add" feature provides a super efficient way to add tasks with date and time reminders, locations, and tags all in one line.
Producteev is a beautifully-designed app available for free online or as a download for Mac, iPhone, and Android. The main focus here is team collaboration on tasks, which makes it particularly well-suited for business use. You can coordinate and complete tasks with your teams with features such as task assignment, due dates, labels and comments. The app also lets you monitor specific tasks in real-time to ensure projects stay on target, and an activity stream keeps all team members up to date. There are tools for measuring results as well.
Did I miss your favorite? Be sure to leave it in the comments section below.
About the blogger: Jasmine France is a travel-addicted, food-obsessed Bay Area writer with a decade of experience covering consumer electronics, digital music, mobile apps and cloud computing. Follow her on Twitter @WeirdEaredJas.