I can’t organise myself out of a paper bag without assistance, so over the years I’ve become a list-maker. Every day I make a new to-do list, usually on a notepad, highlighting the most important tasks and crossing things off as I go.
The features of my hand-written to-do lists are essentially the same as ToDoist’s system. First you set up an overall project - such as ‘June issue of PC World’, and then you break that project down into individual tasks. You can assign them a date, add notes and mini-tasks, and add labels to further organise them.
There’s also a priority setting which changes how your list organises itself. When you create your task, you assign it a priority level from 1 to 4, and tasks that are priority 1 will automatically go to the top of your list. If you can’t complete a task on the given day, but still have to get it done, you can tap on it and hit the ‘postpone’ button to delay it for 24 hours. Unfortunately, there’s no way to postpone it for more than one day at a time, so if you’re holding a task from Friday until Monday, you’re going to have to hit ‘postpone’ every day over the weekend, or change the date.
ToDoist incorporates an element of gamification too: as you complete tasks you’ll be rewarded with ‘karma’. If you don’t complete a task, and forget to postpone it, you’ll lose karma. Unfortunately, you can’t see your karma from within the app - you have to log into the browser-based version of ToDoist, which kind of defeats the point.
ToDoist is free, but has a premium option. Most people won’t need premium, but for US$29 a year it does allow you to label tasks with extra colours, add tasks to your list via email, and keep a record of your completion history.
While ToDoist is an effective to-do list, the app is missing the features that makes the browser-based version so great.
Free, premium version US$29 a year. Platforms: Android (tested), iOS
* Siobhan Keogh is editor of PC World New Zealand.