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Trying to find the best GTD task application.

GTD cat is not sure what to do next.

Recently I’ve been on a mission to find an application that can help me manage my tasks and get things done. I wanted something that was free, synced to my phone and easy to use.

Below are my random notes based on my testing. I wanted to do a full featured writeup but I haven’t gotten around to it. So instead  you get a bit of information on why I liked or disliked each one.

So far, Producteev is leading the pack for me. It’s got a great mix of features for free and my goal is to use it for one week and see what happens. By day 3, I feel pretty good.

Producteev has a very nice web app, Android app, iOS apps, Windows app and a Mac app. However, each app is slightly different. The web app is the most feature packed and the Mac app is lacking some features where as the Android app is missing other features. This bugs me, but I think I can work though it.

Producteev also has sub tasks which is really nice. Didn’t even realize I needed this until I had it.

After a month or so, the interface started to feel to busy and I felt I lost the simplicity I thought it had when I started. It’s definitely worth checking out though.

The Hit List
I actually like The Hit List quite a bit and it will sync to all my Macs via Dropbox which is nice. It’s got a hefty price tag but since I already had it I didn’t have to worry about that.  I’ve been using it for a while now and continue to go back to it. It’s easy to use and the native Mac application is great.

The downsides are no Android application, paid iOS apps and you’re suppose to pay for syncing.

It’s a great app and I always end back up here.

I’m a big of Toodledo and have been using it for years. The web interface isn’t great but it does have nice iOS apps. Sadly, no official Android app and the third-party apps all lack polish.

My favorite feature of Toodledo is that it can send me reminders via Twitter. When I have a bill do, it DMs me. Love this.

I still use Toodledo for my repeating tasks like bills, but unfortunately don’t use it for as much else.

Google Tasks
Google’s take on tasks is way to minimal for me. I find it hard to organize things when I have multiple clients, lots of tasks and due dates. Sorry Google, this just doesn’t work for me.

Evernote GTD
I nearly bought into the Evernote GTD system but I gave up before I even started. It sounds interesting but I don’t understand how moving your emails to Evernote fixes anything. You just transferred the problem. Then, once they are in Evernote, how do I respond to the emails? There is no link back to the original Gmail message. Now I have to spend time finding the message in Gmail? No thanks.
I kind of like a lot. Looks great, has very nice phone apps and a great feature set. The downsides though are the inability to see all my tasks in one view and you have to pay for syncing. Free accounts get one manual sync every 24 hours. Sorry, but this limitation kills any possibility of using this application. I can deal with manual syncs, or limited features, but not extremely limited syncing.

Astrid is nice. I don’t recall having any big issues with it except the lack of Android widgets without paying. Course now I have an iPhone so that doesn’t matter. Astrid is worth checking out, but it just didn’t feel right for me.

Update: Astrid let me know that they have a way to work with Siri. Check it out. It’s pretty smart and can probably be used with most to-do app.

Remember The Milk
I like the system, but it seems like I have to pay for anything other than web use.

Works great as a task app when you don’t have a lot to organize. Falls short managing multiple projects when you want an overview of everything you have going on. Or at least that’s how I feel at the moment. I haven’t dug to far into it recently. Maybe I’ll try that out next week.

As Wudnerlist 2 arrives later this year, it’ll be tops on my list to checkout.

When I tested Wunderkit it was still in development and had a lot of rough edges. Now it’s being replaced by Wudnerlist 2 so don’t bother with it.

Briefly looked at this but it felt to complex. I really only looked into it for about 10 minutes and then moved on.

Looked cool until I ran into the 5 project limitation. Then it’s not worth the high price tag for my personal need.

Again, I briefly looked at it but I didn’t feel comfortable after a few minutes so I left.
I want to love but it’s hard. It actually works really good for a to-do list of things that don’t coincide with projects or due dates. I use it for my quick hit list of things that I’m suppose to do sooner than later. But once you want to do more than that, actually plan and organize things, I feel it falls apart.

Update: recently updated their Chrome extension to integrate with Gmail. After a few tests, it looks really promising.

Seems nice and simple. But I haven’t done too much with it.

This is a new take on tasks lists and it’s pretty cool. Very simple interface, a bit of a learning curve, but it could be sweet. I haven’t spent too much time with it, but I kinda like it.

Another one that I kinda like. I stuck with it for a few days and thought it was pretty good. Ended up going back to The Hit List though as it has a nice desktop app.

Apple Reminders / iCloud
Since I got my iPhone I’ve been using Apple Reminders and really like it. If you’ve got an iPhone then it’s one of the best. If you’re on Mountain Lion, then you get a desktop app and integration into your OS. Comes with a nice web app too.

The big thing I like about Apples app is the simplicity of the interface and the location-based reminders. I can tell it to remind me to take in my bag from the trunk when I get home. Doesn’t matter what time that is, it’ll go off when I show up.

The Siri integration is handy as well.

I tried a lot more to-do apps than just these, but these are the ones I remember at this time.

Finding the right task manager application is difficult as everyone has a different idea of what the perfect system should be and how it should do it. Some people like simplicity, others want tons of options.

What do you use?

2 Responses

  1. buesingde says:

    Can’t understand why you haven’t dealt more intensely with Todoist. Definitively blows all the others out of the water!

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