Best Free to Do List App for Home

Do you keep a to do list everyday? If your answer is yes, then you probably know that this is a great way to organize your daily tasks. One to do list app free download can help you stay organized, and it can even help you become more efficient and productive throughout the day.

There are many to do apps out there for newbie users, but not all of them are based on reliable sources. And some even ask for your money. Below are the best free to-do list app for home and android device, which will help you stay organized efficiently!’

Todoist

todoist

Overview

Todoist is the app that much of the team here at CIG uses. It has a fairly minimalist interface, yet it still packs a lot of power with its tagging and natural language processing features.

Compatibility

Pricing

  • Free tier (limited features)
  • Premium tier at $4 per month or $36 per year (70% off for students, though)

Pros

  • Best app for natural language processing. Categorize tasks with due dates, tags, and projects while you type as fast as you think. No other app beats Todoist in this category.
  • Sweet spot between power and flexibility. With projects, labels, filters, and priorities, you can tailor Todoist to your personal workflow, all while being intuitive to pick up and use. This is why Todoist is recommended by so many productivity experts as an entry-level tool, and even has courses designed with it in mind.
  • Quick add from everywhere. Todoist lets you add tasks from pretty much anywhere you can be online. In addition to being available on all the mobile app stores, Todoist has native apps on both Windows and Mac, a Chrome extension, and integrations with Gmail and Outlook.
  • Siri and Amazon Echo integration. “Alexa, add buy Tesla Model Y in 2021.”

Cons

  • Subtasks don’t work well. Among other complaints, Todoist doesn’t let you indent subtasks in its Inbox view. WTH. (Honestly, Todoist! Even the barest option — Google Tasks — has a more intuitive native subtasks function than you do.) Some folks from Todoist contacted me after this post went live and they said that they’re working on making subtasks better! Keeping my fingers crossed.
  • Windows app isn’t as good as the Mac app. This probably applies to a lot of apps. But the UI for Todoist’s Windows app doesn’t work quite as well as the mobile or Mac apps.
  • Creating custom views or lists take some fiddling. Todoist has a built-in Today and Next 7 days view, but if you want to see your school tasks due the next week without worrying about the tasks for your part-time job, then it’ll take some fiddling with Todoist’s filters.
  • $36 per year. If you go with Todoist, you’ll probably need to get the premium option to get the advanced flexibility of filters, priorities, and calendar syncing. (There’s a student account that goes for ~$1.50/month, though.)

Curious how your to-do list app fits into a larger productivity system? Check out this guide to staying organized in college.

TickTick

ticktick

Overview

TickTick is quite similar to Todoist, with a nearly identical interface. It does offer some features that Todoist lacks, such as a built-in Pomodoro timer and calendar view.

Compatibility

Pricing

  • Free tier (limited features)
  • Premium tier at $28 per year or $2.79 per month

Pros

  • Cheaper than Todoist (for almost-equal functionality). TickTick positions itself as a direct competitor to Todoist. At $28 a year it delivers most of Todoist’s features at almost half the price, plus some things Todoist doesn’t have like custom views (a.k.a. smart lists) and a built-in calendar view.
  • Lots of delightful productivity extras. TickTick has a built-in Pomodoro timer that ties to specific tasks. It lets you choose to add a new task to the beginning or the end of a list, and it lets you set start times and due dates. It even has a habit tracker and a white noise generator on mobile.
  • “Plan My Day” feature. Pulls up tasks with due dates on them to help you decide what to work on for the day.
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Cons

  • No native calendar sync. You’ll have to get the premium plan and fiddle with links to sync your current calendar with TickTick.
  • Super limited free plan. The free plan limits you to 9 lists, 99 tasks per list, and 19 subtasks per task. No calendar syncing or anything fun like that.

Microsoft To-Do

microsoft todo

Overview

If you’re looking for a free to-do list app that plays well with other Microsoft apps, then Microsoft To-Do is a great choice. The app has all the basic to-do functionality you need, though it does lack some “nice to have” features such as tags and natural language processing.

Compatibility

Pricing

  • Free

Pros

  • TOTALLY free. Touted as Microsoft’s Wunderlist replacement, Microsoft To-Do’s free features stack well against Todoist’s paid ones. For example, Todoist’s free plan doesn’t allow for reminders, calendar syncing, and file attachments, while Microsoft To-Do allows all of that for free.
  • Subtasks work well. Unlike Todoist, Microsoft To-Do turns subtasks into “Steps” (a.k.a. “checklist”) for a parent task. Each step can have its own due dates and notes.
  • “My Day” feature. This feature is similar to other apps that automatically organize your to-do’s for today into one place. The difference is that Microsoft To-Do’s “My Day” view starts out empty and lets you manually add tasks to the list.
  • Quick Add widget in Android notification. Good for capturing tasks quickly. (At least on Android).

Cons

  • No natural language processing I guess this is Microsoft’s way of saying, “Hey, it’s a free app. Be thankful.”
  • No tags, filters, and smart lists. MICROSOFT WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! YOU WERE SO CLOSE. For organization, Microsoft To-Do lets you make separate lists, but other than that, there’s no way to tailor the app to your current workflow.
  • Outlook-only calendar integration. I’m willing to bet my 5 internships that unless you work at a big company, you don’t use Outlook. Which means you’ll want a Google or Apple Calendar integration. Which you won’t get with this Microsoft app.

Wondering which app is best among these three? Check out our review video:

Google Tasks

GTasks

Overview

Google Tasks is a great to-do solution if you want an app that’s no-frills and works perfectly with other Google apps (particularly Gmail and Google Calendar). It does, however, lack the organization features that come standard with many other to-do apps.

Compatibility

Pricing

  • Free

Pros

  • Google. Tasks strength relies on its integration with Google’s suite of apps. For example, using Tasks on mobile or the web is great for quick capture, especially if you get a lot of tasks via Gmail.
  • Best Google calendar view. Seeing, checking off, and updating my tasks for each day as I’m flipping through my Google Calendar is a time-saver. If you add a time to the task, it’ll even show up within your agenda and block off that time for you.
  • “Clear completed tasks” button. Seeing all the finished tasks get whisked away with a click sends a surge of fulfillment. I’m surprised no other app has this feature because it keeps things really clean.
  • Subtasks. Really great for batching like tasks and then scheduling them all into one afternoon. Unlike more powerful apps, though, subtasks in Google Tasks don’t function as individual ones (e.g., you can’t set due dates for subtasks).
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Cons

  • Slow development. Tasks is an app that has been neglected for most of its existence. I used Tasks for 75% of my undergrad career, and only in my last year of university did they come out with a barebones Android app.
  • No recurring tasks. The biggest reason why I stopped using Tasks. As of this writing, though, you can import recurring reminders from Google Keep into tasks. Baby steps.
  • No organization. It’s easy to just add tasks and use the app as storage for them, without executing on anything. It doesn’t help that Tasks either sorts to-do items manually or by due date, then by name.

WorkFlowy

workflowy

Overview

If you just need an app that will let you make lists and check things off, then WorkFlowy is an excellent solution. It lacks some standard to-do app features such as due dates, but it’s still a useful app for tracking and completing quick to-do items.

Compatibility

Pricing

  • Free tier (limited features)
  • Premium tier at $49 per year or $5 per month

Pros

  • Roll-up feature. WorkFlowy is the original bullet-list app with its core roll-up feature for sub-bullets. All you have to do is click a bullet and all the sub-bullets beneath it roll-up into the higher one.
  • Quick capture. WorkFlowy is great for capturing and outlining thoughts during brain dumps. It doesn’t force you to pick between adding subtasks or notes. Just dump ‘em all in there and decide later.
  • List duplication and sharing. As simple as it is, WorkFlowy lets you duplicate, say, travel checklists for different trips and share those with your friends to make sure you don’t forget the beer water for spring break.
  • Tags. Despite being as barebones as possible, WorkFlowy allows tags like #soon, #now, and #15min, all of which help with searching notes.

Cons

  • Just lists stuff, and doesn’t help you DO stuff. WorkFlowy is great at managing lists, period. But unlike similar apps such as Dynalist and TaskPaper, there’s no native calendar syncing — which is essential to know when you actually want to do your tasks.
  • No file browser. Unlike Dynalist and TaskPaper, WorkFlowy doesn’t have a file browser to organize your lists into projects or folders.
  • Free plan is limited to 250 lists or items per month. This shouldn’t be a con because developers need to make money, too. But this limit pales in comparison to Dynalist’s, which lets you have unlimited items and docs on the free plan.

Dynalist

dynalist

Overview

Dynalist is in many ways similar to WorkFlowy, except that it includes many of the standard to-do app features (due dates, recurring tasks, calendar integration) that WorkFlowy lacks. If you like the WorkFlowy interface but need a bit more organization, then Dynalist is a great choice.

Compatibility

Pricing

Pros

  • Free Tier is usable. You get unlimited items and docs. At least, it’s better than WorkFlowy’s.
  • Has everything WorkFlowy doesn’t. Not trying to bash WorkFlowy here, but Dynalist has all the features that WorkFlowy doesn’t: file-browser navigation, due dates, recurring tasks, and calendar integration.

Cons

  • Formatting gets wonky if you copy-paste outside of the app. Same as WorkFlowy. If you use Dynalist to outline your essay and paste it to write it elsewhere, you’ll face a major PITA in reformatting.
  • Mobile app is harder to use. Clicking on subtasks on Dynalist often takes me to the main task’s page instead of the subtask. Frustrating.

TaskPaper

taskpaper

Overview

If you need an app that plays well with the Mac ecosystem and doesn’t require a subscription, then TaskPaper is a great option. It keeps the “page-oriented” design of both WorkFlowy and Dynalist, but it adds some additional features such as natural language processing.

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Compatibility

Pricing

  • $24.99 after a 7-day trial

Pros

  • Best list app for managing tasks on Mac. TaskPaper’s core functions are identical to WorkFlowy and Dynalist. Unlike WorkFlowy and Dynalist, TaskPaper was built to be a to-do list, first and foremost. This means it has a couple of extra features that the previous two don’t have (more on that later).
  • Better organization. In Dynalist and WorkFlowy, tags are just to categorize stuff. In TaskPaper, tags can be used to add context to a line item, such as a due date, or to identify it as a project in its file browser if you put a colon at the end.
  • Basic natural language processing (NLP) for dates. In addition to organizing, tags in TaskPaper let you set due dates (@due) and start dates for tasks (@start) with basic NLP. The start date feature is a pretty advanced one, something that even Todoist doesn’t have.
  • Native integration with Reminders and OmniFocus. The integration with Reminders means one less app to download on your phone. And if you prefer to use another Apple-only app like OmniFocus to manage all your tasks, it’s a cinch to integrate TaskPaper into your system, too.

Cons

  • Mac-only. It doesn’t have a mobile app. (Maybe the Reminders integration is a cop-out to save money developing a mobile app. )
  • No recurring tasks feature. It’s still a list-making app. What can you do? (Don’t worry — everything else on this list will have a recurring tasks feature!)
  • Unusable after free trial (unless you pay). The upside is that the fee is a one-time thing, not a subscription. Because of this, TaskPaper’s paid plan is cheaper than Dynalist or WorkfFlowy’s.

ClickUp

clickup

Overview

ClickUp is a great app to use if you like being able to visualize tasks and projects in a lot of different ways. In addition, you’ll find all the standard task management features you’d want in a to-do list app.

Compatibility

Pricing

  • Free tier (limited to 100 MB of storage)
  • Premium tier at $80/year or $12 per month (though the free plan should be enough for most students)

Pros

  • Tons of ways to view and manage tasks and projects. There’s a list view, a Trello-like board view, calendar view, and a Gantt chart view (a.k.a. timeline). There’s time tracking, subtasks, due dates, recurring tasks, and even a “Watch” function (so you can see if your group member actually did their part of the project).
  • Checklists. You can automagically generate templates for recurring tasks. This way you can stop forgetting that your liberal arts class’s semi-weekly essay uses MLA, and not APA.
  • Notepad feature. This is great for scratch notes, including a Chrome extension to get screenshots and add them to tasks.

Cons

  • Friction in capturing and processing new tasks. It takes a lot of upfront thinking to figure out where tasks should go/be categorized, especially when you’re rushing out the door to your next class.
  • Android doesn’t work offline.

Conclusion

So you are writing down tasks for your to do list, trying to organize your life using a pad of paper…and you are wondering what to do next. How about making an electronic to-do list? Many people are enthusiastic about using this tool, or other similar tools that have become popular in recent years. And why wouldn’t they be? With so many free to-do list apps being offered by developers all over the web, it’s easy enough to find one that suits your needs.

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