Task Managers... What you got?

I’ve been using Wunderlist for years, I get along with it, purely because I’ve bent my way of doing things to suit. But sometimes I do feel that it’s not the most suitable for the task. I suspect I’m not even using it for it’s intended task.

So, this is how I used it…

  1. An email comes in from a client with a request for some work.
  2. In Wunderlist I have a list set up for each client, so once a request comes in I create a “to-do” and add the task. Typically giving it a descriptive title, then copy the email they sent me into the comments section of the to-do. Any files they send me I drag and drop into the to-do.
  3. If the task is just added to my to-do list I don’t set a due date, if I’ve scheduled the task in, I add a due date.
  4. Once I’m doing the task I update the to-do in Wunderlist as needed, often splitting it into individual tasks, then clicking done when it’s done.

Wunderlist works pretty well for all that, although of course there is no calendar, which can make scheduling a bit cumbersome. Although, is truth, for small task I rarely bother to add them to my work calendar.

To keep on top of things I have Wunderlist open all the time, and regularly refer to it: When I ever finish a task and need a new one I look at it, scan the list, and select the next task.

A big annoyance for me though is that Wunderlist doesn’t hide due tasks until x number of days before due. That would be a nice feature, but I don’t think it’s ever coming.

That’s my workflow, so what do you use to manage yours?

I know some might say if it works, it works. But, everyone who knows I use Wunderlist says words to the effect of “why you using it, it’s shite, I tried it and didn’t like it.” etc. So curious what else is out there.

It is now Microsoft’s To Do. That should be the kiss of death.

I really like 2Do (and it is on Setapp)

  • I live in my email and the Airmail integration is awesome! One key click, and the email is in my 2DO inbox, with link back to the original email
  • Great iPad app (and the Airmail/2Do integration works there as well)
  • 2Do allows nesting of tasks in Projects and “List Groups” of Projects
  • 2DO also has one other killer feature - START DATES, not just “due dates” I don’t know why almost no other task manager has this…

I use two different apps. First is OmniFocus (OF). Wonderful app. It also has start and due dates (both of which can be quite important). Perhaps not important to your use, but OF syncs quickly to my 2nd Mac, iPad, and iPod touch. This is very important for my use. Also OF integrates with my email service easily (shortcut command for me to make an email a task in OF).

Another very different, but quite useful app, that I’m using more and more is NotePlan. It works very differently. It has a calendar view and a notes view. The notes are all in markdown format. Beyond the fact that I love markdown, the notes files are stored either on iCloud or Dropbox. This means it’s easy to open up a note about a project (or subproject) and edit in any MD savy editor (if you want). This allows me to put in not just “stuff to do” but clear extra notes about the issue or task or project.

I don’t know if either of these solutions will enhance your situation: but they are at least worth looking into. I find both very valuable.

Powerful, flexible and the very best I have ever found for task managing/organising/achieving and more for ALL of everything in my life!!

I LOVE it!!!


+1 for OmniFocus. I’m still on v2 on my (very old) Mac and it’s quite powerful and has all the features I need. Nearly all of my tasks from clients come via email - and with one click (thanks to Keyboard Maestro), those emails are flagged AND sent to the OF inbox. From there, I can assign categories and due dates and tags (which I underuse). Each morning I flag the tasks that need to be done first but it’s also easy to see them sorted by due date, by client, by type, whatever. And as Mitchell states, it syncs with ipad and iphone and even my watch although that’s not super helpful. A bit pricy but one-time only.

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Another vote for OmniFocus! I couldn’t manage projects (or life) without it

I recently switched from OmniFocus to Things (mainly based on this review https://thesweetsetup.com/apps/best-personal-gtd-app-suite/ ).

A lot of tech type businesses use Trello. I have it installed and it’s good for focussing on details, especially on bigger projects. If it’s a straightforward website with no particular deadline I can ignore it.

I used Todoist for a long time, but switched to Things a couple of years ago and haven’t looked back. I find that it hits the sweet spot in terms of balance between complexity I don’t need and simplicity that limits me. It does what I ask of it, and does it with a clean and pleasing UI.

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