I don’t not have the best of memories so getting myself organised is essential. One of the things in my arsenal if a task manager. This has, for a long time, been TickTick but, having let me down horribly recently, I’m looking for an alternative.

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My requirements are not vast…

  • Ability to add notes to tasks
  • Being able to add lists to folders, so I can have, say, a “Social” folder then containing lists for gaming, theatre, etc.
  • Able to add lists to a task
  • Optionally – able to create sub-tasks
  • Website access along with Android and iOS apps
  • Ability to create custom event repeats, including an ability to repeat a task based on its completion date.

It’s that last one, though, (repeating based on completion) that’s causing the biggest issue yet, based on how we work – to me- it’s the most obvious thing that all task managers should include. Unless you complete everything on time, this is critical. Let’s say, you need to clean the dishwasher once a month. If, one month, you forget for a week, you don’t want it reminding you in 3 weeks – you want it to be a month once you completed the previous time.

So, here’s what I found with the alternatives, based on their free offerings…

Wunderlist

The first one I turned to, and one I used to use before getting fed up with their syncing issues (which I now believe are resolved).

This ticks all the boxes EXCEPT for the repeating on completion <sigh>.

It’s such a shame as I really want to love Wunderlist but without this option it really is a non-starter.

Any.do

WHAT IN GODS NAME? That web interface. Massive icons and so difficult to navigate.

Instead I turned to their app which is more pleasant on the eyes, even though it uses the same massive icons to represent folders. Anyway, without the premium option you can’t even have custom repeating events (and I struggled to find a  way to repeat events at all).

I’m sure, all set up, and once you know what it’s doing, it can look lovely but I found it way too complicated and the web version a complete mess.

Remember The Milk

My first task manager. It’s had an overhaul but still looks like a website from many years ago. This DOES allow repeating on completion (hurrah) but doesn’t have folders. The retro looking interface puts me off too.

One thing that really does put me off about Milk is that, like TickTick are now doing, there’s a constant on-screen graphic to upgrade to Pro(which in their case is pricey at $39.99) and the pro options remain on screen, ready to pop up a message if you accidentally click into them. That kind of nagging does put me off.

Todoist

Once again, repeating on completion is present but sadly lacking are folders and the ability to add comments to tasks (which is a pretty essential requirement).

However, their premium option does include commenting and it’s reasonable priced. Sadly, you don’t get much else with that premium option.

ToodleDo

This does far more than task management but the interface is pretty awful. It has most of the features I’m looking for but doesn’t have tasks in lists, instead just a folder, meaning that I don’t have a sub-folder option. It also doesn’t allow lists to be added to a task either.

It’s okay, but I don’t find it particularly user friendly.

Google Keep

I already use Keep for notes but a lot of people swear by it for general task management too, so I thought I’d give it a go too.

You can set repeating reminders and, although there’s no folder concept, you can use tags as a way of grouping together. Sadly, there’s no repeat upon conclusion option.

What is clever though is that this works by adding the reminder into Google Calendar (and, indeed, you can add entries into Google Calendar and they will appear in Keep automatically).

Conclusion

The conclusion is that there’s no conclusion. My requirements may be simple but none of the available tasks managers can match them, which is a shame.

For now, I don’t have the time to move from TickTick so I have a little while longer to decide where to move to. Any.do is the only one I can rule out for now but all the others, for one reason or another, are still options. Oh, I wish Wunderlist would add repeating on conclusion and it would make my life so much easier!