Best To-Do List Applications

Thanks to everyone who voted in the to-do list application poll here at We’ve now got our top six task managers. While it is impossible to say which one is best for you, this will at least give you an idea of what others are using.

ThingsThe top spot belongs to Things from Cultured Code. The king-of-all to-do list applications seems to have every feature under the sun: repeating to-dos, due dates, notes, search, tags, projects, plus both iCal and iPhone sync.
It will set you back $50, but can you put a price on productivity? Well, probably. But I bet it is more than $50. Add another $10 for the iPhone app, if you want to sync in that direction too.

iCal MailNext on the list is a combined entry of iCal and Apple Mail, both which share to-do list tasks between them. Of course this combination of applications comes with Mac OS X, so everyone has it. Since this is an integrated solution that everyone already has, it is not surprising that it ranks so high. But it is perhaps surprising that it is not number one, or even dominating the list completely.
This is most likely because iCal/Mail really lacks any power to-do list functionality. It doesn’t even sync with the iPhone, even though most other parts of both iCal and Mail do. You’d think it would be a no-brainer for Apple to create a stand-along app that uses this data, syncs with the iPhone and also maybe MobileMe. But thanks to them ignoring this software genre, we’ve got all of these other third-party solutions. We’ve got an old episode about using iCal to-do lists if you want to check it out.

OmniFocusThird on the list is OmniFocus from the Omni Group. This is another full-featured application that has everything and the kitchen sink. Plus, if you are already a user of Omni Group applications, like OmniPlan, then you will probably find it nice and familiar. It carries an even heftier price tag an Things, at $80, and then another $20 for the iPhone app.

StickiesNext on the list if another comes-with-your-Mac application: Stickies. Now, this isn’t really a to-do list application at all, but its versatility has lots of people using it as such. You can put a single item in a note, or create short lists of items. Hey, if it works, it works. We did an episode on Stickies a while back if you are curious about it. You definitely can use it as a to-do list manager, but it just isn’t made for that.

EvernoteThe Hit ListTied for fifth on the list are The Hit List by Potion Factory and Evernote. The first is gainign popularity with its fancy and simple-to-use interface. The second is a multi-purpose notes and media tool that is part-of-the-way in the cloud.
The Hit List will set you back $50, and includes a lot of features in a very Mac-like interface. Evernote has a free standard version, and then they hit you with $45/year for a premium service to pay for the use of their net-based syncing. It has a free iPhone app as well, which makes it a great way to share notes between your Mac and iPhone without even having to dock the phone.
Here are the complete results of the original poll:

Which is the most popular to-do list application for the Mac? MacMost wants to know!
Look through this list carefully and select the to-do list or task management application that you use on your Mac. Some are Mac applications and some are online. This poll is about Mac applications only, not iPhone apps.

Which To-Do List/Task Management Application Do You Use?

  • Things (25%, 72 Votes)
  • iCal (15%, 43 Votes)
  • OmniFocus (11%, 31 Votes)
  • Apple Mail (10%, 28 Votes)
  • Mac OS X Stickies (6%, 17 Votes)
  • The Hit List (5%, 15 Votes)
  • Evernote (5%, 15 Votes)
  • Remember the Milk (4%, 12 Votes)
  • A plain text file (4%, 12 Votes)
  • Toodledo (3%, 9 Votes)
  • Task2Gather (3%, 8 Votes)
  • Google Tasks (2%, 6 Votes)
  • Anxiety (1%, 4 Votes)
  • TaskPaper (1%, 3 Votes)
  • ToDos (1%, 3 Votes)
  • Daylite (1%, 3 Votes)
  • iGTD (1%, 2 Votes)
  • iProcrastinate (0%, 1 Votes)
  • TaskMate (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Task List (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Todoist (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Pluto (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Organized (0%, 0 Votes)
  • EasyTask Manager (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Process3 (0%, 0 Votes)
  • VoodooPad (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Hot Plan (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Remember? (0%, 0 Votes)
  • iOrganize (0%, 0 Votes)
  • SimpleTODO (0%, 0 Votes)
  • DeskBox (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Kinkless GTD (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Midnight Inbox (0%, 0 Votes)
  • EtreTask (0%, 0 Votes)
  • BackBoard (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Task Coach (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Check Off (0%, 0 Votes)
  • ooSooM (0%, 0 Votes)
  • What ToDo Widget (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Backpack (0%, 0 Votes)
  • ToDoX (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Ghost Action (0%, 0 Votes)
  • TaskCard (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Do It (0%, 0 Votes)
  • What ToDo (2%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 287

Comments: 15 Responses to “Best To-Do List Applications”

    12 years ago

    I’d like to see links to all the app’s homepages so we can check them out. Possibly a $ to indicate paid apps too.

      Tinu Cleatus
      12 years ago

      +1 on that. Please ?

        12 years ago

        After the voting is done, I plan on writing up the top 5 or 10, with links.

    Domenico Bettinelli
    12 years ago

    I actually at least 3 of the above, for different purposes. Evernote isn’t strictly a to-do app for me so we can ignore that, but I use OmniFocus and Remember the Milk. I like RTM because of its multiple reminder notification paths while OmniFocus is the total GTD project-context tracker. So I wish I could have chosen more than one, but when forced to choose, I picked OmniFocus.

    Brian Wilde
    12 years ago

    i use stickies as a followup of topics to investigate. Also use READ IT LATER. On iphone use NOTES. Don’t see either on list. Assume this is for MAC only, not iPhone. Also, definition of “TODO” since i view term as: a) followup required, b) future reading, c) notes to myself or d) tasks to perform. The later (d) is a more confined definition.

    Steve Schulte
    12 years ago

    Try iOrganize 6.2.4 and also ScrapX (although no updates with that for a couple of years now- but works- more a scrapbook than an organizer or reminder).

    12 years ago

    I use SplashNotes. Any one have any comments about it? I did not see it on the list at all.

    12 years ago

    I looked at many of these but I feel they all come up short in the area of sharing. I am looking for a to-do that is sharable by several people at once.

    Felipe Cerda
    11 years ago

    I’ve been using Taskist. It’s ultra simple.

    Samin Shams
    11 years ago

    I personally like Qiknr It’s dead simple with no registration required. It also has a timer for each task, which is kinda cool.

    Rick T.
    11 years ago

    I have been using ccToDo for quite sometime now and I must say I am loving it. I have found it quite easy to use, interfaces are excellent and the best thing is they have a web based access as well as apps with cloud based syncing for windows, mac, iphone, ipad and android. And its free.

    10 years ago

    Take a look at ToDo Lists application by AntLogic. It is really plain and simple, focused on quick task management with nice interface.

    10 years ago

    I use TodoPlus, because it is easy to use and supports subtasks and it is freeware software.

    10 years ago

    I use Goal ToDo. it is integrate the Apple Remind and ToDo,Things main Function, is very easy and powerful, It is the best, no second.

    10 years ago

    I just started using Toduo ( It lets me set up one list for each partner I have, which isn’t a feature of any of the other apps I’ve used before. I have found it especially useful to manage my direct reports at work–it keeps them accountable without me having to babysit….

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