What are the Best Task Management Apps?

If you have a lot of tasks on your plate or are sharing tasks with others, try these applications.

Aliza Sherman
4-minute read
Episode #79


Hi there, The Digital Marketer here, ready to help you put the power of the Internet and technology to work for your business.

Are you a list maker? If you're like me, you have a gazillion to-do lists started, very few items checked off, and you never feel like you're getting things done. Let's hope you're not like me!

The Elements of Good Task Management

There are several aspects of managing tasks. The most common is managing your own tasks. I have yet to find the ideal solution to all sides of task management meaning a solution that offers good ways to: 

  • enter tasks in an orderly manner;
  • specify not only deadlines but also note recurring tasks;
  • easily set up reminders for my tasks in a variety of ways; and
  • access it from my mobile device.

For me, I need an application that is pervasive so it is right there with me at all times. I don't want to have to fire up a separate application or visit a particular website to get to my task list.

And in an oh so perfect world, my task management solution would also let me assign tasks and share tasks and task lists with others.

What are Useful Task Applications?

Before I share some ideas for task applications you may want to use, I have to give the caveat that I still haven't used them all to their fullest potential. I'm really at the “testing them out” phase so I'd welcome any feedback you can give me about these or other task apps.

On with the apps:

1. Remember the Milk. I'm just about to pay for the premium level at $25 a year, but RTM--as those in the know like to call it--let's you sign up for free. At the free level, you can easily do the following:

  • enter tasks;
  • set deadlines and priorities;
  • postpone or mark a task complete;
  • specify if a task repeats;
  • estimate time a task might take;
  • tag a task;
  • create lists for groupings of tasks;
  • set reminder method and frequency

PHEW! RTM does a LOT, and I've only scratched the surface. At the premium level, you also get priority email support as well as syncing with your mobile device--in my case, my iPhone.

I've imported my RTM into my Gmail so when I'm looking at my Gmail inbox, I also see a panel on the right side of my screen with my task list. I still haven't figured out how to stay logged into RTM so I don't have to click the log-in button to access my tasks when I log into Gmail, but I'm sure there's an easy solution. I like the fact that I can share tasks, but RTM warns that by sharing, you are also giving others the permission to change tasks so you better trust them! You can share with your RTM contacts or groups you've set up.

2. Google Tasks. I keep forgetting that Google has integrated their own task list feature that appears initially as a tiny link on the left side of my Gmail pages on the Web. Click on the link, and a small Tasks box opens. You can do all of the following:

  • add a task;
  • delete a task;
  • create task lists and mark tasks completed by clicking handy little checkboxes to the left of each task;
  • email task lists;
  • view completed tasks;
  • move tasks around easily on your list by dragging and dropping;
  • specify a due date; and
  • add notes about your task.

So far, I can't find a way to make a task recurring but I can access my task lists from my mobile device-- although it is through the Web, which I find to sometimes be less user-friendly and not as easy on the eye as actual iPhone apps. In terms of pervasiveness, if I forget to click the link for tasks, it isn't open, however, once I do click on it, the small box of tasks remains until I close it or close my Web browser. I'm sure there is a way to get reminders of my Google Tasks, but I can't find it. Right now, I rely heavily on reminders from my Google Calendar that pop up on my Web browser and that ping my iPhone via text message.

3. Task2Gather. You can ratchet up your task management with your team using an app like Task2Gather. This application was created with sharing tasks in mind. You can organize your tasks in a hierarchical fashion so you can visually see how tasks fit into an overall picture of your projects. Or you can create and view your tasks in traditional list form. You can share your Task2Gather tasks with others and filter your view by each person on your team to see which tasks are assigned to them. You can set deadlines; color code tasks; and sync task assignments with your iCalendar if you're on a Mac. They even have an iPhone app. Yay!

You can also generate general task reports based on tasks assigned to and completed by user and can generate statistics by project and related tasks.You can even see a project progress report. When it comes to more group-oriented tasking, Task2Gather could be a great solution-- although I'm still curious to see how Remember the Milk will work in a team setting.

Bottom Line

Bottom Line: If you have a lot of tasks to keep up with, you should consider an easy-to-use application that can help you organize and remember all the things you have to do. When you've got a lot on your plate, it's just smart business to use all the help you can get!

Contact Me

That's all we have time for today.

Quick and Dirty Tips founder Mignon Fogarty has a new book. In The Grammar Devotional, she offers 365 days worth of memory tricks, puzzles, and illustrations to help you learn and apply the trickiest grammar rules. Pick up a copy from your favorite bookstore on online bookseller and become a better writer one day at a time.

Visit the Digital Marketer’s website at digitalmarketer.quickanddirtytips.com for links to all of the sites mentioned in the show. If you'd like to ask a question or request a topic for The Digital Marketer, e-mail me at digitalmarketer@quickanddirtytips.com . You can also find me at Facebook.com/thedigitalmarketer and Twitter.com/alizasherman.

The Digital Marketer's Quick and Dirty Tips for Building Your Business With Web Tools is part of the Quick and Dirty Tips network at quickanddirtytips.com.

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  1. Task2Gather
  2. Remember the Milk
  3. ToDoist
  4. Google Tasks

Task List App image courtesy of Shutterstock