Super UserWhich tool do you use for your to-do list?
[+46] [45] Dani
[2009-07-15 12:28:52]
[ software-rec service-rec time-management gtd to-do ]

I've been constantly switching tools that keep track of my to-do list:

Which proved most useful for you?

[+45] [2009-07-15 12:32:37] quentin

I use the Webservice Remember the Milk [1]. It's a great Web 2.0 Todo Management Site.

In the Remember the Milk Blog are many good Tips to do GTD with it.


(1) RTM also has a good IPhone application for subscribers. - Iain
+1 I use both extensively. - Arnold Zokas
(6) Lest we forget, RTM can be embedded into Gmail too. They have put in a lot of thought into the Gmail addon. - Ashwin
(2) Also, RTM's iPhone app supports Push notifications and gives you a number badge on the icon, so it's well worth the $25/year - Schnapple
(2) Horrible UI in my opinion. I couldn't find how to just add a list; after 15 minutes of fiddling around I looked in the help files and it was some stupid convoluted way so I gave up. - DisgruntledGoat
@DisgruntledGoat, I agree. Its UI simply doesn't work for me. It's way more complicated than it needs to, and it takes four or five clicks from entering the page to getting even the simplest task done. - Daniel Daranas
Since this thread is locked I'll add my last todo app here : - Marcel Falliere
Interested in GTD? Join Personal Productivity and Organization, we are looking for users & experts... :) - Tom Wijsman
[+42] [2009-07-15 12:41:17] BenA

Google Tasks [1]. Now graduated to a full GMail feature, and has nice integration with Google Calendar. And an iPhone web app to boot!


(6) The iGoogle url lets you get to your tasks directly, instead of through GCal, GMail, or iGoogle: - Steve Armstrong
(1) Indeed it does, which is handy as you can also add that as a bookmark in firefox, and tell it to open in the sidebar - BenA
I also like to use the iGoogle URL in combination with Chrome (or prism for Firefox) Web Applications - BenA
Thanks for the standalone URL! So many possibilities now! - BrianH
Here are the URLs for the iPhone app: and for the Android app: You can open them in Chrome, Safari or Firefox and they will work :) - alex
(1) Note though that you can't access your todo list if you don't have a data connection... - Xavier Nodet
Google Tasks is very "vanilla" at this point. Way too simple for me, anyway, and I try to follow the GTD methodology. For instance, you can't set up contexts, priorities, current statuses, etc. - NoCatharsis
I love Google Tasks. The problems it solves for me that others seem to miss is 1) easy manual ordering of tasks, 2) hierarchical tasks, 3) nice keyboard control - donut
[+23] [2009-07-15 12:44:48] Niyaz

I always used a todo.txt file in my desktop to manage my stuff.

It is the simplest and most flexible method.

If you think about it, you don't need an application for each and every small piece of work you do. Some things are meant to be done manually. Using a separate application for trivial things such as to-do lists IMHO is a big overhead.

+1. Text files FTW! - RCIX
fast to write and easy to find, but hard to sort and manage. - Amr ElGarhy
@Amr - :%!sort ;) vi for the win. - romandas
I now use several such files and have a custom formatting that allows me to extract and sort items programatically. And a Vim syntax highlighting, of course. Also, the files are under revision control. Sweet :) - Quiark
(1) It's not as easy to get to your list if you're not at your computer. - alex
I disagree with your comment that "Using a separate application for trivial things such as to-do lists IMHO is a big overhead." I think it's necessary overhead, at least for things I do at work (and even at home). I am a project manager, handling 5-10 projects at a time and if I don't get my task into Outlook with notes added, then I usually end up forgetting (also I have ADD, but that's beside the point). With a text file, I would never be able to sort by separate projects or add priorities, which are very necessary in my line of work. - NoCatharsis
(3) Use in conjunction with "Dropbox" - then you can access it from anywhere. - Mick
If you're into text, go the extra mile and use emacs' org-mode. See below. Oh, and here's a link for the awesome and free Dropbox: - Epaga
[+20] [2009-07-15 12:30:28] Bob King

My inbox. I send myself emails with no body, only a subject, all the time. If I complete it, I delete the message. I use my inbox all day anyway.

(3) I work in a pretty similar to this - although I don't delete emails, I just archive and use Xobni to find them again if necessary. - user1937
I do the same. It's also helpful to have a mail filter. I have a gmail filter that tags an email if it has some obscure keyword in the body. This is nice, because I can transform emails from someone else into todos by simple tagging. - David Berger
[+15] [2009-07-15 12:37:13] hyperslug

AbstractSpoon's ToDoList [1]


I've been using it for a couple of months now and I find it quite practical. None of my previous Excel or notebook attempts lasted so long. - Daniel Daranas
[+13] [2009-07-15 13:18:27] Marcelo Santos

On my MacBook, I use Things [1]. Its a little expensive but I think it's worth it. I also use it in my iPhone. For general notes Evernote. For mail/bugs/work related stuff I used to use GTDInbox for Gmail but there was always some little problem with it so I kept the folder structure of GTD (A/Next, A/Someday, A/Wait) and use it to manage my tasks without the add-on.


A bit pricey for a to do list app, but worth every penny. - jtimberman
What things? ;) - RCIX
(1) I'm using Things on my Mac and my iPhone, and I love the seamless, fast, effective Wifi syncing. - Avi Flax
Seconding Avi Flax on the Mac/iPhone (iPod for me) sync. Also loving how it completely embraces GTD. It keeps me on top of the 80,000,000 things I have to do in any given week. - A. Scagnelli
+1 for Things, both on the Mac & iPhone. What Avi Flax said. I've been using them for almost a year, and never regretted paying for the apps. - Jonik
I love Things. The AppleScript API is particularly useful - I've written a fair few hacks that, say, export the list to a webpage and plain text file so I can see what I'm doing from the command line on my Linux boxes. - Tom Morris
[+13] [2009-07-15 13:33:34] Jon Tackabury

Toodledo [1]. It's web-based, but has an iPhone app and can sync to a ton of different things (like Outlook).


(1) And the Toodledo's iPhone app (2.39€) will allow you to access your todo list even when you don't have a data connection. - Xavier Nodet
[+10] [2009-07-15 12:32:30] pgs

Emacs' org-mode [1].


Agreed! Also works fine on Windows with the Emacsw32 port ( ). - Boris Terzic
Yes! It has by far the steepest learning curve out of all the things on this page, but it's sooo worth it. - Epaga
BTW, combine with free Dropbox for multi-machine syncing goodness: - Epaga
[+8] [2009-07-15 12:34:22] Nick Josevski

I use Evernote [1] on any platform (web application) and as an iPhone application too. It has lots of features; Twitter integration, voice notes, etc.


[+8] [2009-07-15 13:01:59] Bob Cross

Fogbugz [1] - for anything to do with work, we have a "Personal To Do" list that everyone can naturally sort according to their user name. This does two critical things that are incredibly useful for me:

  1. Keeps the list prioritized but not at a too fined-grained level. Really important, department head needs this right away vs. yet another TPS report [2] request are generally sufficient for scheduling my day.

  2. Task estimates: it really helps me to have that ticking clock that says "you said that this would only take an hour to pound out this summary and you've used up 45 minutes already. Wrap it up and send it out."


(1) I am also using FogBugz and i see its more than enough and very easy to use. I am happy using it. - Amr ElGarhy
(1) It's free for 2 users if you are a student or a startup too - Matthew Lock
[+6] [2009-07-15 13:44:36] Ryan Liang

Ta-Da List [1]. From 37signals [2].


Me too. Dead simple and easily accessible. - s1d
[+6] [2009-07-15 12:30:00] Diago

Windows: NotePad2
Mac OS X: Mail Notes
iPhone: Notes.

Notepad++, dropbox and a simple txt. Simply the best. :) - Shiki
[+6] [2009-07-15 14:29:03] djeidot

MS Office Onenote [1]


(although lately I've been using FogBugz Wiki instead) - djeidot
[+5] [2009-07-15 14:58:44] rschuler

A few cards in my hipster pda [1]. One card per location specific to do list. Nothing is faster or more reliable than paper and pencil. (Even survives a dunk in the lake while canoeing!)


Yes! Hipster PDA FTW! - Electrons_Ahoy
[+5] [2009-07-15 13:05:44] Pawka

If you are Vim [1] user, then you'll love Vim Outliner [2]. It's something like Emacs' org-mode [3] (suggested by pgs [4]).


[+4] [2009-07-15 12:30:44] Tadeusz A. Kadłubowski

I use OmniFocus as my main database and a Levenger Circa PDA on the go.

[+4] [2009-07-15 14:59:47] user1231

I use Tudumo [1].

Most of the GTD software I've found was trying to do way too much... This is lightweight and very easy to use.


agreed, I landed on this after some very cluttered interfaces. a lot of thought has gone into the info displayed, keyboard shortcuts, etc - brism
yep, can really recommend it as well - Epaga
[+4] [2009-07-16 15:48:51] Brant Bobby

TaskPaper [1] for Mac OS X. I like the minimalist interface because it doesn't try to tell you how you ought to be organizing your tasks, but gives you plenty of tools to make them easier to manage (tagging, filtering, and keyboard shortcuts aplenty) no matter how organized or haphazard your own system is.

It's very free-form even down to the file format, which is actually just plain text that is parsed and styled accordingly.

TaskPaper screenshot

Another company makes a similar product for Windows called TodoPaper [2] which is pretty nice as well.


There's also vim syntax file for this format: even more free-form expression! I use it at work. - Tadeusz A. Kadłubowski
If you like TaskPaper, have a look at which lists the various plugins for editors and the like (TextMate, BBEdit, Vim) and other apps that can be used with TaskPaper. - Tom Morris
[+3] [2009-07-16 10:04:37] l0b0

TiddlyWiki [1] - Single file with everything, feature rich, plugins, editable with a double-click, and works with the major browsers.


[+3] [2009-07-15 12:36:33] Jonas

I use a program called Tracks [1].

The positive:

  • Made for GTD
  • Fairly simple
  • Open source (written in Ruby)

The negative:

  • Hard to find hosted so you might need to install it on a server.
  • The GUI is a bit strange sometimes.

[+3] [2009-09-09 09:46:55] Richard

I wrote my own to do list app for Windows. It's a hierarchical to do list based on a treeview component (so you can have several sub-tasks and sub-sub-tasks). It handles multiple lists. Data is stored in individual XML files.

Tree List - A hierarchical To Do List Application

This is great. I've seen hundreds of to-do list programs and webapps and most of them don't have the basic functionality your little app has. And they usually have a lot of excess baggage. Thanks. - Domchi
very nice neat and simple! - pavanlimo
[+2] [2009-07-27 08:23:52] Charles Roper

MyLife Organized [1]

After wandering through a wilderness of many, many to-do app, this is the one I call home. Have been using it for a couple of years now and it's truly awesome. I particularly like its super powerful and customisable to-do view, and its ability to sync. It's perfect for GTD or just about any other system, come to think of it.


+1 It also has a nice Windows Mobile version too which you can sync with your desktop - Matthew Lock
[+2] [2009-08-06 16:21:27] dlux

On Windows, I have found the best Getting Things Done (GTD) app is MonkeyGTD [1]. It is based on TiddlyWiki [2] and is available as a direct download [3] or online through TiddlySpot [4].



[+2] [2009-08-06 16:24:06] Robert MacLean

Microsoft Outlook

The reason is that it allows me to quickly just create tasks by typing in the job or just clicking task on an email (where most of my tasks come from). Also has all the top end features like

  • Recurring tasks
  • Categorization
  • Web interface (through Outlook Web Africa)
  • Assignment to people and groups
  • Search via Windows Desktop Search

I think if I didn't use Outlook for my email too, then I may look for an alternative - but as an integrated experience this is the best.

+1 also syncs nice with Windows Mobile/Palms - Matthew Lock
[+1] [2009-07-16 15:05:09] FerranB

The Thunderbird [1] addon Lightning [2].


[+1] [2009-07-15 15:06:26] skarin

The Hit List [1]


I second that. The interface is simply incredible, and it really has helped me stop procrastinating. - Benjamin Dobson
[+1] [2009-07-15 18:35:59] Artur Carvalho

Todoist [1] is nice. Web and with hierarchies.


[+1] [2009-07-15 18:37:36] jbn

I've been using Tomboy [1] for my note-taking. It has wiki-linking between notes, which I find awesome. I'm currently troubled by the so-so port to Mac OS X where the shortcuts are wrong (Ctrl instead of Cmd) but hopefully that port will catch up. It's currently available on the major platforms at least. It works best on Linux as far as I've tried it (I haven't tried Windows).

I've written very large hierarchies of documentation in Tomboy and very small notes that I only needed for fifteen minutes. It's been excellent to me during web-dev work as a place to dump temporary logins, test-accounts, weird URL:s and assorted whatnot.

I've also been using a personal installation of Mediawiki (too new to link it) for ideas on projects I want to remember or expand on. Especially since I intend to invite collaborators.


[+1] [2009-07-15 18:42:31] faultyserver

In addition to our internal wiki, I have been using Getting Things Gnome [1] (GTG) (an organizer for the GNOME desktop environment), and I am really enjoying it so far. It supports a hierarchical task-based layout, coloured tags and the GTD methodology.

An Ars Technica article with more info:


[+1] [2009-07-15 23:53:22] Joey

I've been using Windows 7's Sticky Notes [1] for quite some time for long-term tasks and reminders. Since my desktop has only four icons the rest of the space can easily be occupied by the notes.

When away from my laptop I am using the notes on my Nokia 9500 Communicator [2] although I regularly neglect to look at them and thus it doesn't work quite as well (unless for timed reminders where I'm using the calendar).

Recently I've been using NextAction [3] which works quite well keeping my mind on the tasks I need to do. And using it is certainly very painless.

Needless to say, all those methods do not require manually saving what I enter into them.


[+1] [2009-07-15 12:44:30] Richard

When using a computer OneNote (in a shared notebook to automatically synchronise across multiple machines).

When away from the computer a Moleskine Volant X-small plain [1] notebook and a Pilot Birdie Twin [2] pen/pencil.


[+1] [2009-07-15 14:13:05] Jake McGraw

37Signals [1] Basecamp [2]. The best part about it is the great interface for allowing others to enter TODO items for you, ehem, todo.


[+1] [2009-07-16 07:09:11] NicJ

I've been using [1] for 2 years now. It's rock-solid.


[0] [2009-09-09 10:10:39] Kirill

TaskFreak! [1] is a simple but efficient web based task manager for personal use (it has multi-user version also).



[0] [2009-09-09 10:14:22] Sam Stokes

If you want a bit more structure (multiple projects, contacts, etc), try MonkeyGTD [1]. It's a personal organisation system designed with GTD in mind, based on TiddlyWiki [2], which is a single-file wiki.

I use it with the free hosting service TiddlySpot [3], which turns it into a web app that I can access from anywhere. (It's admittedly rather clunky as a web app, as there's a manual "Save" button, and since it's got no support for controlling changes from multiple locations, if you have it open on more than one computer you can end up overwriting your previous changes.)


[0] [2009-09-09 10:28:13] Michael Borgwardt

I use myTinyTodo [1] - single user PHP app that I host on a subdomain of my own server. The most important feature is the ability to use tags - that way, I can have both private and work todos accessible in the same place, but most of the time I see only the relevant ones due to the tag filter.

alt text


[0] [2009-09-09 11:06:36] Newtopian

I tried many things but one that worked very well in the low tech realm is the Emergent series (PDF files that are printed and filled out):

Actually there is a whole series [3] of tools pen and paper based that work very well... print and use !!!

There is even some online versions that are quite nice:


[0] [2010-07-18 11:57:41] rioch

I've also written my own application for managing tasks called Prioritise. It's written in python. Take a look here:

[0] [2009-07-15 13:48:15] Telemachus

A terminal-based datebook: Remind [1]. It easily keeps a calendar of (1) national holidays, (2) my holidays (family birthdays, anniversary, etc.) and (3) my events and things to do. I can sync it effortlessly by keeping a small number of text files under version control.

I highly recommend it, if you work in a terminal a lot. (I tried both TaDa list and RTM, but I kept neglecting to check the webpage. With this, I just type rem first thing in the morning and before I head home.)


[0] [2009-07-16 03:23:09] Alan Haggai Alavi

I used to use Basket Note Pads [1] when I used KDE 3.5.x. However, Basket Note Pads [2] is not yet available for KDE 4.x. So, I do this:

echo 'Fix all bugs' >> ~/TODO

[0] [2009-07-15 18:20:58] derobert

Bugzilla [1] (yeah, the bug tracker.)


[0] [2009-07-17 13:17:25] DisgruntledGoat

I've used a few different apps:

  • gTodo (Linux) - good, but I wanted to try an online one so I can use it of different computers.
  • Remember the Milk [1] - bad UI, couldn't find how to make a list. After reading the help files it was some convoluted method so I gave up.
  • Ta-Da List [2]: very nice and simple, but not as slick as Basecamp, which I'd been using at work
  • Basecamp [3] - discovered they have a free plan so I'm using that with half a dozen to-do lists. So I'm using this one permanently now.

[0] [2009-08-12 05:15:30] Randell

I use Sticky Notes [1] for the GNOME Desktop Environment.


[0] [2009-09-09 07:21:27] pramodc84

Reminder Fox [1]. A Firefix plug-in.

  • Can manage data/time-based reminder list.
  • To-do's
  • Alerts and Alarms

[0] [2009-09-09 08:24:40] StampedeXV

Use the Opera widget dotoo [1]. Always on Top if Opera is running (always). Very small Icon that can be expanded.