When done right, to-do lists can be an effective way to keep track of all of the things you need to get done in both your personal and professional life, but managing all of those lists and remembering to do all of the things they contain can be a task in and of itself.
Luckily, there are numerous to-do list tools you can put right on your phone, tablet, or computer (or all three) that will help you keep track of what you need to get done and when, making it easier to remind yourself to send a student an email, prepare a presentation for a faculty meeting, or just pick up something for dinner on your way home.
Here are 7 to-list applications worth trying:
- Google Keep: This isn’t strictly a to-do list app, but many users swear by it for helping them to stay organized and on task. Google Keep allows you to store not only to-lists, but also notes, photos, and audio files. You can then email or search through your content and set up reminders in your calendar. Even better, everything you store can be accessed on any internet-connected device.
- Any.do: Easy to sync between all of your devices, Any.do is one of the most popular to-do list applications on the market. Any.do allows users to create lists, tasks, and projects (along with subtasks and reminders for each) and has integrated collaborative options that can make it a good fit for professional projects as well as personal use.
- Pocket Lists: Addicted to gadgets? This app might be a good fit for you, working seamlessly between all of Apple’s devices (including the new Apple Watch) to keep you on task. You can create as many checklists as you want, secure them with Touch ID, get prioritized streams of your to-do list items, add fun icons, set up reminders, and even create checklists automatically from a photo (think book chapters, recipe ingredients, etc).
- Wunderlist: This has long been one of the most popular to-do list tools available and may become even more widely used due to its recent acquisition by Mircosoft. Wunderlist’s appeal is in its simplicity; you can create to-do lists, set reminders, and collaborate with others. The minimalist design doesn’t hurt either, nor does its support on pretty much every web-accessible device out there.
- Todoist: Beautiful design, ease of use, and innovative features (you can see a graph of your productivity on any given day) help to make this to-do list app a top choice for both your everyday life and working on academic projects.
- 2Do: This to-do list tool is highly adaptable. It has loads of functions for in-depth projects and collaboration, but also works really well as a simple to-do list. You can make lists, group related tasks, send yourself reminders, and, important for busy academics, it’s designed to work well even when you’re in a really big hurry.
- Carrot: Think these are a bit boring and want a to-do list that has a little sass? Carrot fits the bill, outfitted with an AI system that will push you to complete your to-do list with a combination of gentle insults and fun rewards. While the more personalized motivation is a plus, keep in mind that other features are pretty spare with Carrot, so it’s not ideal if you’re looking for collaboration or a lot of bells and whistles.
If none of these apps float your boat, there’s nothing wrong with the old paper and pencil method if that works for you, just make sure you’re building a really effective to-do list. Find some research-based help with to-do list construction here. Have a favorite to-do list tip or app? Please share in the comments.