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Which is the best task manager? A comparison test

The times when my time / system accompanied me as a loyal friend through the day and my professional life are long gone. It seems to me now like another, distant life.

 

With today's flood of tasks, or better: the task tsunami, my ring binder would be completely overwhelmed. It's a shame, but not too bad either, because these days there are very good task managers for that.

But how do you choose the right one from the mass of programs?

Here is a list of the most important and well-known tools for task management from my point of view, all of which I have personally used.

ToDoist

ToDoist has a nice and tidy interface. It looks very modern and it's just fun to work with.

There is no platform for which ToDoist does not exist. There is even a corresponding app for Amazon's Kindle. There are also plug-ins for all common browsers and a good web interface. ToDoist did its homework there.

The program is simple and clearly structured, and you can find your way around straight away. Unfortunately, this advantage turns into a disadvantage in very complex projects: ToDoist cannot display them clearly.

Postponing unfinished tasks at the end of the day is a nice solution. With a simple click, the task can be scheduled for tomorrow, next week or next month.

There is a free demo version, the functionality of which is very limited. After that, you can only continue as a subscription. You can take part for € 21 per year. You cannot buy the programs / apps.

Since this is my system of choice, I wrote an article about it:

Top organized with ToDoist - A look at my control center

Platforms:

Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, Web, kindle, Amazon kindle fire, browser plug-in

Pros:

+ Available for really all platforms
+ modern design
+ Simply structured
+ Stable and fast synchronization

Cons:

- Confusing in complex projects
- Only available as a subscription

Wunderlist

Wunderlist is a product of the German software company 6Wunderkinder, a start-up from Berlin.

A lot of Wunderlist is reminiscent of ToDoist. With regard to the supported platforms, one might think that the two would compete for the number of supported devices.

I like the 'look and feel' very much, but unfortunately, and this is inevitable for me, Wunderlist does not support any areas.

The entry into Wunderlist is easy due to the tidy interface. But the same applies here as for ToDoist: The program reaches its limits with more complex projects.

The basic version is free and has even integrated team functionality. There are restrictions on the number of subtasks, the size of the file attachments and the number of team members.

Wunderlist is only available as a subscription. The Pro version costs € 4.49 per month.

Platforms:

Mac, iOS, Android, Web, Amazon kindle fire, browser plug-in

Pros:

+ Very nice, attractive design
+ Fast web client
+ intuitive to use
+ Easy team integration

Cons:

- Limited functionality
- No areas
- Only available as a subscription
- more expensive than ToDoist

Things

Things was my task manager for years, even when I had to be very patient until synchronization via the cloud was finally possible. On the other hand, the synchronization now really works flawlessly (German engineering).

But the interface is very dusty. Every time I start Things, a time machine made me feel 10 years back in time.

What is nice, on the other hand, is the workflow that is already specified in the program and is based heavily on David Allen's GTD method (Getting Things Done). For example, the 'Inbox', 'Today' and 'Sometime' folders are preinstalled.

In contrast, the implementation of areas and projects does not seem thought through. This is not the best solution for my requirements.

A more detailed insight into how I personally organized myself with Things can be found in the article: From old school to new school in task management.

Platforms:Mac, iOs

Pros:

+ Stable and fast synchronization
+ Predefined workflow
+ Based on GTD by David Allen

Cons:

- Design a bit outdated
- Supports only two platforms (Mac, iOs)
- Implementation areas and projects hackelig
- Not a team player

2Th

I used 2Do for a relatively long time. What I really like is the structure of the program. Areas and projects are perfectly solved for my way of working.

The range of functions is significantly more diverse than with ToDoist and Wunderlist. It therefore takes some time to become familiar with the program.

Unfortunately, the app for iOs is a catastrophe up to now (sorry, but anything else would be trivializing). There is also a very shaky synchronization.

Here at 2Do improvement is praised. You have been working on the new iOs app for a long time and the pre-publications on your blog are promising. Wait and see what comes next.

Platforms:

Mac, iOS, Android

Pros:

+ Good implementation of areas and projects
+ clearly structured interface
+ High range of functions

Cons:

- iOs client is still very weak at the moment
- Sometimes slow and faulty synchronization
- Not a team player

Omnifocus

Omnifocus was my first digital task manager. The program is very powerful and it is difficult to get started.

You have to dig deep into Omnifocus to understand the program and to be able to use the variety of functions. Getting started on the fly is definitely not possible with the program.

This is not least due to the countless functions and possibilities that Omnifocus offers.

But planning and tracking projects with this tool is a real pleasure and the overview is not lost here.

I find one function sensational: a built-in review, which you can carry out as you wish (daily, weekly, monthly).

The fact that there is a version for the iPhone and the iPad is not really great. With the price, which is already quite high, this means twice the cost.

Platforms:

Mac, iPhone, iPad

Pros:

+ Unmatched functionality
+ A built-in review function
+ Strong in complex projects

Cons:

- Version for the iPad costs extra
- Not intuitive
- Not a team player

Conclusion

What you shouldn't expect is a clear recommendation. There can't be. I believe that the multitude of different systems is absolutely justified, as each system has its own priorities, a specific focus and thus its own target group.

If you like it simple and don't have to manage extensive projects, ToDoist or Wunderlist can be the right tool for you.

If you have to work on complex topics and projects, you should definitely include Omnifocus in your considerations.

Things and 2Do are somewhere in between: Easy to use and yet also armed for a larger flood of tasks.

If the ability to work in a team is decisive for you, then only ToDoist and Wunderlist come into question.

Which is your task manager? Which program do you use to manage your tasks? Please just leave a comment.