Before Todoist, I thought I had to choose between powerful features and ease of use. I would read descriptions of to-do list apps that seemed capable of transforming my life, that could manage everything: work projects, grocery lists, and future plans. But when I downloaded them, they were usually too complicated. They could do lots of stuff, sure, but the learning curve was steep, and using them was a pain -- so I stopped. Todoist is both user-friendly and fully featured, and while I wouldn’t say my life is totally transformed after using it for a week, I’m definitely more organized.
Todoist features an Inbox, where you enter tasks that you can move elsewhere later. This works well for entering things as they occur to you, without having to think about details. Later, you can add deadlines, turn tasks into projects or add them to existing projects, etc. (Folks who use the Getting Things Done system will recognize how well Todoist fits into that model, but it works well for anyone/any system.)
And as someone who, well, doesn’t always get things done, I appreciated the way Todoist deals with overdue tasks: it marks them but offers a “reschedule” option that quickly moves tasks to the next day or any other day you choose. You can do this for all overdue tasks at once, as well, so it’s not an onerous procedure.
Todoist’s language parsing is smooth and intuitive: you tell it what you want, and it does it. “Write 1 hour every day” becomes a recurring task, “grocery shop Monday” gets scheduled to Monday.
The Premium upgrade ($3.99/month or $35.99/year) is definitely useful. You can set reminders for tasks, add labels and custom task views, create project templates, and pick a theme. It also lets you look at your completed tasks and activities in-depth, great for people who want to measure their progress over time. You probably know just by looking at that list whether or not you need those features.
The free version is also packed with features and probably enough for most people to use as a personal to-do list app. For more complicated work projects or organization fanatics, Todoist premium would make a great project manager. So it really depends on what your needs are.
Todoist can do complicated things, but it feels simple. It does everything you need without requiring a lot of effort. It’s easy to learn and a pleasure to use. It is the app on which, when I finish writing this article, I will check off “delete other to-do list apps.”
Todoist is a Goldilocks app, and for me, it was just right. But that means it makes compromises on either side -- it’s not as dead simple as our Runner Up, Google Tasks, and it’s not as fully featured as project management tools like Asana or Trello.
So if you’re looking for more or less than Todoist, it may not be the best app for you. That said, for most people, especially if you're looking for an app for personal, non-professional use, either the free or premium version of Todoist is likely to meet your needs.