Managing tasks and different projects can be a chore if you have not created a task management system that not only keeps you on track but also reminds you when your tasks are due. Many people like to maintain a task journal, many prefer physical calendars, and many prefer task manager applications. It doesn’t matter whatever your preferences are, what matters is that you get the job done. For me, my iPhone is the best place for creating a task management system. I carry it everywhere with me and it is always accessible to me no matter where I am. Add that to the fact my iPhone is capable of sending me reminders both based on time and place, and I have a constant companion which keeps me on track.
That being said, just because my iPhone has these capabilities doesn’t mean it can automatically do all these things. For me to take advantage of these features, I need a good to-do list application which can tap into my iPhone and make these features accessible to me. To find the best task manager app for me I have tried and tested many to-do list apps. Today, I am going to share my finding with you as I show you the 8 best to-do list app for iPhone that you should check out:
Best To-Do List App for iPhone
Over the years I have tested way too many to-do list applications for iPhone and I have learned a few simple and yet important facts:
- It’s always best to choose one task manager app and then stick to it.
- There is no-one true task manager application that can rule them all.
- The most feature-packed task manager is not always the best. The best task manager for you might be the simples to-do list app out there.
So, when you are looking for your next task-manager app, you should know your needs. Don’t get the shiniest thing out there. For me, there are some important features that I look for in a task manager which I have mentioned below. You should also make a list like this and choose the task manager app that meets your requirements:
- Easy Input: A good task manager should make it easy to input tasks and not the other way around.
- Flexible: A good to-do list app should be able to handle big projects as easily as a one-off task.
- Aesthetics: It should make everything easy to view and find and should be pleasing to eyes. The UI should be functional.
- Cross-Platform: It’s important that a good to-do list app for iPhone also has a Mac counterpart. For me, the Mac app is important for weekly review and getting the big picture.
- Documentation: Tasks and projects should support documentation so that users don’t have to switch apps to get the context.
- Attachments: while this is not a must have for me, support for attachment is always welcome.
These are the six things that I always look for in a task manager app. You should make your list and see if your task manager fits these points or not. As I said before, choose the right one and then stick to it. While I test many apps for my website, I have stuck to one app for a year and I am not going to change it unless my needs have changed and I require something more. Let’s start our article with the same and we will move along to see if you can find your task manager app out of the 8 to-do list apps that I am going to share here:
Best To-Do List Apps for iPhone
1. Things 3: Best To-Do List App for Most iOS Users
My personal favorite to-do list app for iPhone which I also believe to be the best app for most iPhone users is Things 3. The app fulfills almost all the criteria that I mentioned above and is all around a great task manager app. Let’s start with ease of use. Things 3 is as easy to use as a task manager app can get. You launch the app and can start creating tasks, projects, and areas (a place to hold multiple projects) in seconds. You can also apply tags, add notes and links, add due dates, and set reminders among other things.
My favorite feature of Things 3 is the ability to add a checklist in individual tasks. This allows me to create a simple task and add various sub-tasks which must be done. For example, I can create a project called vacation and add various tasks such as ticket booking, packing, hotels, and more. Then I can create a checklist inside these tasks. So, in the packing task, I can create a checklist of the item that I need to pack.
Other features of Things 3 include the ability to add repeating tasks and projects, a universal search feature, and support for Siri Shortcuts which makes automation so much easier. I love Things 3 and use it on both my Mac and iPhone. And while the Mac app is a bit pricey, the iOS app is not. If you are looking for a stand-alone to-do list app for Mac, Things 3 will fit the needs of most users.
- Easy to use.
- Functional UI which is pleasing to eyes.
- Support for checklist in individual tasks.
- Extensive documentation support
- Due dates and reminders
- No dark mode for iOS app.
- Task sharing is not supported
Get Things 3: $9.99
2. Sorted 3: Best Task Manager App for Planning Out Your Day
Sorted 3 is the app that came very close to replacing Things 3 for me so you know that this app is good. In fact, at first glance, the app does look like a long lost brother of Things 3. That said, I found Sorted 3 to be a lot more powerful than Things 3 in many regards. So, if you love Things 3 but just found that it’s a little thinner on features, Sorted 3 might just be the app for you.
As the headline suggests, Sorted 3 is the best to-do list app for people who like to plan out their entire day. The app brings many features to support this. For starters, it has an awesome auto-schedule feature which allows you to plan out your whole day in a few taps. All you need to is add the tasks that you want to complete in order, assign time duration and buffer time between each task, and hit a button and Sorted 3 will plan the whole day for you. There’s also a magic select feature which allows you to select multiple items and make changes to their due dates, time allocations, and more.
Another great feature of Sorted 3 is its calendar integration. Not only the app pulls in your calendar events but it has a built-in calendar drawer which allows you to easily move tasks to different dates and schedule or your lists and projects. Like all the other apps, Sorted 3 also supports folders, lists, and tags for easy organization. Other features of the app include a dark mode, natural language processing, URL scheme, splitting tasks, and more. I was quite impressed with Sorted 3 and can see myself using this app for all my needs.
- Flexible and full of features
- Makes it easy to plan out your day
- Good calendar integration
- Various unique features which are both fun and functional to use
- The ability to break tasks into multiple tasks
- Information is packed a little more densely
- UI feels cluttered if you add more than half a dozen tasks
- No task sharing
Get Sorted 3: Free trial ($14.99)
3. OmniFocus 3: Best To-do List App for Power Users
Before I switch to Things 3, OmniFocus was task manager of choice. The app is excellent with a beautiful UI and a feature set which very few can rival. However, that also means that this app is a little more complex to use than Things 3. Both power and complexity go hand-in-hand in most cases and it’s no different here. If you are ready to spend some time, OmniFocus can serve you well. The app utilizes the GTD or Getting Things Done principal to help you achieve your goals.
You start with emptying your mind and dumping everything in Inbox. Then you organize the mess into different projects and one-off tasks. Then you assign priority, add due dates, and complete the tasks. Lastly, you review your projects to see what you have done and what’s still pending. OmniFocus is built to support the GTD method and hence it is great for people who need a bit of guiding in achieving their goals. Probably the biggest feature of OmniFocus is its support for unlimited project nesting along with different views which allow you to focus on one project at a time.
Recently, the developers have launched the newest version of OmniFocus 3 which brings a number of new features. The app now supports tags and nested tags which also work in perspectives and views. There’s now improved repeating tasks, more flexible and detailed notifications, hidden fields for clearing UI, and more. OmniFocus 3 is pretty powerful and is best for people who manage a lot of projects at the same time and need a powerful tool to keep everything in check. If that’s you, it is for you. However, if it sounds too much, you should look at other apps on this list.
- Full support for GTD methodology
- The ability to create unlimited projects and nest projects
- Support for due dates, defer dates, and reminders.
- Fast and reliable sync across devices
- A bit complex for new users
- Not worth it for people who don’t manage a large project or a number of projects.
- No task sharing
Get OmniFocus 3: Free 14-day Trial, starts at $39.99 - $9.99/month to unlock on all devices
4. 2Do: Best Customizable To-do Lis App for iPhone
2Do is one of the most powerful and customizable to-do list apps that you can get for your iPhone. It also features the most unique user interface with panel view. The left-most panel or the side panel houses all your main lists such as Inbox, Home, Done, and more while the tasks are displayed in the main content area. The lists can be easily organized, rearranged, color-coded, and duplicated. Users can also create a smart list which gives them different viewing options which is great for looking at tasks which might be across different lists.
The main content area which houses all your tasks can contain as much or as less information as you want. There are three viewing options; Compressed, Normal, and Extended. The information density decreases as you move from compressed to extended. I found that the Normal mode works best for me as it has the right amount of information density. I also love that the sidebar is collapsible allowing users to have more screen real-estate to view tasks.
There’s also support for tags, batch editing, GTD, and more. One of my favorite features of 2do which is the Nearby Panel which shows me only the tasks which are relevant to my current location. That said, this feature can also be found in OmniFocus 3 so it’s not the only app that does it. 2do also allows you to password protect individual list or the entire app which makes it secure. If you can afford to spend time and effort in learning this app, 2Do can serve you well as a powerful and capable task manager.
- Powerful and customizable
- Password protection
- Different syncing options
- Smart schedule and smart list support
- Batch editing and focus filter
- Not intuitive for first-time users
- Requires time and effort to learn the app to be used at its full potential.
Get 2Do: Free, $19.99
5. Todoist: Best Shared Task Manager with Cross-Platform Applications
Todoist is probably the most popular task manager and there are a few good reasons for it. Firstly, Todoist is one of the few task manager apps that allows you to share tasks with others in an easy and efficient manner. Todoist is also platform agnostic and no matter which device you are using you will be able to access your tasks on it. Finally, it offers a beautiful chart-based progress tracker which shows you the number of tasks you have completed in the past and visualize your productivity trends. The chart is great for boosting your morale when you are down as you can see the progress that you made in the past.
Todoist also makes it very easy to assign due dates and create repeating tasks thanks to its easy to use natural language processing. You can create different projects, assign tags, and assign priority levels to tasks which are displayed using color-coded tags. Todoist is also very intuitive to use and you won’t need to spend a lot of time figuring this out. If you are someone who works with a team with a shared task list and want an app which can work on any platform be it iOS, macOS, Windows, Android, or web, this is the app to get.
- Cross-platform presence
- Shared list with other users
- Natural-language processing
- Progress graph
- The UI looks dated
- Subscription-based pricing
- Only single view mode
Get Todoist: Free, $28.99/Year
6. Google Tasks: Best Task Manager for Beginners and Gmail Users
Google Tasks is as simple as a to-do list app can get. It is great for users who are not looking for tons of features but are looking for a simple checklist app which can sync across devices. It is especially great for Gmail users who don’t use any third-party email clients for Mac and use the default web app as Google Tasks directly integrates with the Gmail web app.
The task manager itself is pretty simple and bare-bones. You can create lists and add tasks to the lists. You can also assign due dates and create sub-tasks inside a task. That’s pretty much it. I found Google Tasks to be best for users who don’t want to spend a ton of time learning the app and need something simple to use. The only missing feature here seems to be reminders but I am hopeful that Google will add this in future updates. If you are looking for a simple task manager which is also completely free to use, look no further then Google Tasks.
- Beautiful and easy-to-use UI
- Supports sub-tasks and lists
- No reminder functionality as of yet
- Not meant for users who need anything more than a list app
Get Google Tasks: Free
7. Microsoft To-Do: Best To-Do List App for Beginners and Office365 Users
Another simple to use task manager app for iPhone is Microsoft To-Do. Just like Google Tasks, Microsoft To-Do makes it very easy to create tasks and lists. The benefit of using Microsoft To-Do is that it supports time-based reminders, something which Google Tasks currently doesn’t. Not only that you can also add notes to tasks to make them more contextually aware.
I also love the My Day view of the Microsoft To-Do which allows you to add only those tasks that you want to focus on today. The idea here is that you are not discouraged by a horde of tasks and complete the tasks that are most important. Microsoft To-Do is free to use which makes this perfect for users looking for a simple and free to-do list app for their iPhone.
- Simple and functional UI
- Support for reminders and due dates
- My Day view is great for keeping track of what’s important
- Needs a Microsoft account to work
- No sub-task support
- Not meant for users who need anything more than a list app
Get Microsoft ToDo: Free
8. Any.do: Best To-Do List App with Calendar Integration
Any.do is a powerful task manager for iPhone which packs in a ton of features. The app brings a number of unique features which you won’t find on any other app on this list. One of those features is its ability to quickly move between a calendar view and a task view. While the task view shows you your tasks just like any other to-do list app, the calendar view allows you to visualize your tasks in terms of time and day that they are supposed to be done.
Any.do brings a full-fledged calendar right inside the app which also automatically pulls in all the events from the calendar. I also love that Any.do comes with a dedicated groceries list area which makes it pretty easy to add grocery items. Other features of the app include support for Siri and reminders, the ability to share task lists with other Any.do users, a beautiful Today View widget, and more. If you use your calendar a lot to plan your days, this might be to-do list app for you.
That being said, this is not for everyone. For one, it is quite complex to figure out and is not a simple to use to-do list app. You will have to spend some time learning the app. I also don’t find its UI attractive as it feels rather bland. However, that might be a personal bias as I am used to elegant and simple UI of Things 3. If none of the above apps felt right to you and you want to a calendar based to-do list app for your iPhone, definitely check this out.
- Cross-platform presence
- Shared list with other users
- Built-in calendar integration
- Siri support
- Support for separate Grocery Lists
- Not easy to understand for beginners
- Subscription-based pricing
- UI feels too bland (might be a personal bias)
Get Any.do: Free, $2.99/month
Bonus: Some Other Task Manager Apps
While these 8 to-do list apps are the best in my eyes and should cover the needs of 99% of iPhone users, there are some other apps that you can keep an eye out fore. The first such app is GoodTask 3 which brings a beautiful UI and is pretty simple to use. The USP of GoodTask 3 (free trial, $9.99) is that it syncs with both the Reminders and calendar app for your iPhone.
Another good task manager app for iPhone is Habitica (free, in-app purchases) which gamifies your work and rewards you for completing tasks and vice versa. If you are someone who loves Apple’s Reminders app but needs some extra features, you can also checkout Reminder ($1.99). The app not only brings a new and beautiful user-interface but it also brings additional features such as different viewing modes, location alert, a dark mode, and more.
Best To-Do List Apps for iPhone: Final Thoughts
I hope that you found the information included in this article helpful. If you want to learn more about any of the above apps, you can ask your questions in the comments section and I will reply as soon as I can. Most of these apps offer a free trial so you can check them out yourself before settling for one. However, once you have decided on an app, I recommend that you stick to it as it will help you in the long run.