Todoist is a great list-based task management app with an intuitive interface and innovative feature set. There’s a lot to like here, but its lack of advanced views and features keeps it from our best project management software roundup. That said, it’s still a great addition to your overall toolset, as you’ll see as we go along in this full Todoist review.
As list apps go, Todoist does a great job and it’s as good as — maybe even better than — the former Wunderlist (read our Wunderlist review) or its successor, Microsoft To-Do. We really like how it sends you a notification when you’re close to the location of a task, for example, and how the tutorial makes you learn through doing.
- Todoist is one of the better list-based apps out there. It’s easy to use, has some nifty extra features and manages both tasks and subtasks, which comes in handy.
- The board view isn’t very good. If you need a board just for a handful of cards, it’ll do fine, but we wouldn’t run a full project on it.
- The free plan should do fine for most people, most of the time. It has the bulk of Todoist’s features, with the paid version only adding some cool little extras.
However, if you need to manage large projects, Todoist won’t help. You’ll need to go either with a fully fledged solution (check out our monday.com review for our favorite) or relegate it to an auxiliary role. Still, though, for freelancers or small businesses, it may be a great fit, so keep reading this Todoist app review if you’re in either of those categories.
Cloudwards.net completed a fresh review of Todoist.
Updated Todoist’s pricing information.
If you need a list to keep track of your tasks, then Todoist is a great little app and we recommend taking it for a spin. If you need a full project tracking program, look elsewhere.
We would classify Todoist as a task manager rather than a project manager. Its scope is pretty small, and it can’t handle full projects.
Besides its scope being limited, we don’t really like the kanban board. Other than that, it’s a solid app.
That depends on a few factors. If you’re already using a lot of Google’s other apps, like Google Calendar or Google Assistant, then stick with Tasks. If you don’t, or need to add subtasks to tasks, Todoist may be the better option.
Top Alternatives for Todoist
Strengths & Weaknesses
- Great list-based app
- Cool extra features
- Extremely easy to use
- Very limited functionality
- Mediocre Kanban board
- Some privacy issues
Todoist is pretty much just a list and a board, with some basic calendar functions added to it. It’s great for keeping track of simple, day-to-day tasks, but that’s about it. If you need to keep track of large, complicated projects, Todoist is not the app for you — check out monday.com or Asana, instead.
Todoist Task Manager
Todoist is designed as a pretty basic task manager, and it achieves that goal very well. The main attraction here is lists, which you can set up either in what’s called a project or according to the day. They’re essentially the same, with the difference being that the “today” view automatically sets the date as the day you’re on. If you need a different due date, you’ll have to change it manually.
The list is, well, a list. You can easily add entries and mark them as complete by clicking on the bubble to the left of each. It’s just like Google Tasks or a similar app, except that you can easily add subtasks to Todoist by clicking on the task and then going from there. It’s great for shopping lists, for example.
You can also click on the “upcoming” tab to see what tasks have due dates in the future, but as a calendar it’s a bit weak — it’s still just a list. However, it’s a nice solution if you complete a task ahead of time and want to strike it off, or you want to plan something ahead of time.
That’s it for the lists: they’re basic, but get the job done. If, however, you need some basic project management functionality as well as list-based task management (see the difference between task management and project management), there’s also a nice little kanban board. It won’t be occupying a spot on our best kanban app roundup, but it does the trick.
As free kanban boards go, Todoist’s is pretty good, but lacks any and all visual flair. While you can add color-coded priority flags, all they do is color the circle around the checklist — you really have to look for it to spot it. Also, dragging and dropping kanban cards is nowhere near as smooth as it needs to be, so if all you need is a board, we recommend you check out our Trello review instead.
That’s pretty much it for the core functionality of Todoist — it’s an extremely simple app. However, upgrading gives you access to a few more handy abilities, the most interesting — at least from an innovation point of view — are location-based reminders.
This type of reminder allows you to set a task with a specific location — say, picking up your clothes from the dry cleaner — and then get a reminder whenever you get close to that location. It’s pretty cool, to be honest, and we can think of several occasions when something like that could have helped us out.
That said, it does mean relinquishing your location to Todoist, which not everybody may be willing to do. However, if you often find yourself wishing you had remembered to run an errand because you were so close to a certain place, it could come in handy.
Gaining Karma Points
Todoist also has a way to set and measure goals, called the “karma system,” accessible through the settings menu. Here, you can set goals (say, completing five tasks per day) and you are then given karma for meeting those goals. It’s all very go-getter, but if it works for you, it’s a pretty nifty system (despite brutally misappropriating the Hindu concept of karma).
Overall, we like Todoist’s features, basic as they may be. It’s a great way to keep track of tasks, especially if they’re not too complicated. That said, when compared to the best management software for projects, Todoist falls short in most areas. However, you can get a little more out of it by using integrations.
There are too many options to mention here, but wise use of integrations could turn Todoist into a real powerhouse. If you use mostly free apps for this, you can even do so without spending a single penny.
Todoist Features Overview
|Multiple project management|
|Native scrum management|
|Set user permissions|
|Free Trial||30 days|
Todoist pricing is straightforward, with just three plans: two for one main user and several collaborators, and one for multiple users — check out the table below. If you want to know the details for each plan, check out the Todoist pricing page.
- : 1 main user 5 active projects 5 collaborators (per project) 5MB file uploads
- : 1 main user 300 active projects 25 collaborators (per project) 100MB file uploads
Todoist Free Version
Most of the features we discussed are in the free plan, meaning that signing up to Todoist gives you almost the full functionality of the app without spending a penny. However, there are some limits to the free tier: you can only have five projects active at any time, and you can only have five people help you with them as collaborators.
It seems collaborators are different from users in that they can’t create new tasks, but can move them around or set them as done. This means that you could run a small business using just Todoist, which is pretty cool.
That said, this list-based task manager won’t make it into the top five of our best free project management tools because others (read our Asana review for one) just offer more.
Though the core functionality of Todoist is already in the free version, that’s not to say there aren’t benefits to upgrading. The Pro plan almost functions like a premium plan to the free version. It offers some nifty extras, like the reminders based on location, and increases the caps on collaborators and projects.
Unfortunately there is no Todoist premium trial for Pro, but there is a 30-day free trial for the Business plan.
The Business plan’s main advantage seems to be the ability to add collaborators with full responsibilities, as well as allowing administrators to set permissions for different users. It also adds a large number of team-oriented options, like setting up an inbox for your whole team. It’s pretty good, overall.
Todoist Pricing in Comparison
If Todoist were any more expensive, it would price itself out of the market. It has very little functionality, especially considering there are so many good kanban boards out there. As just a list, though, there’s a lot to like here, especially compared to popular options like Google Tasks. Todoist is also a great alternative for Wunderlist.
However, as a way to manage projects, it falls short. Thankfully, it’s a lot cheaper than most options — the only full-featured piece of project management software that’s cheaper is nTask (read our nTask review for all the reasons to like it).
Then again, with fewer than half the features, it’s only fair that you pay a lot less. For what you get, though, we like its prices.
Todoist is very easy to use, with a clean interface. The list, especially, is very pleasant to use; the kanban board isn’t great, though, so it loses some points there. Let’s take a look at the full experience so you get an idea. Note that we used the web app for screenshots; the Windows app and the Mac experience are almost identical.
Opening an account is easy: just head to the website and click the red “get started” button in the middle of the screen. You’ll be brought to a screen where you need to enter your email address, name and password. Fill those in, pick a theme on the following screen and you’re done.
There’s no other introduction — you can get started straight away with making new lists. If you need help finding your bearings, though, there’s a to-do list ready to go that serves as a tutorial. Just click on the entry that says “welcome” in the left-hand sidebar to learn more.
Using the list is really just clicking on the right buttons, and thanks to the intuitive layout, you barely need any training to add a new task. If you want to see or change a detail of a task, just click on it and you’ll get a full overview of what the task is, its subtasks and when it’s due. You can also use the “comments” tab to attach files or leave remarks about a task. You simply check off completed tasks.
It’s a system that many other project management software uses, but we like how clearly laid out Todoist’s cards are. That said, the decision to color-code the circle where you can check a task when it’s done rather than just add a bar like Trello does to denote priority is a bit silly, as you can barely see the color. The above screenshot is a good example.
Other than little gripes like that, though, we really like how you can set a task’s details. One great example is recurring tasks, which are set by clicking on the “schedule” button and then, instead of picking a date from the calendar that pops up, type “every day,” or “every Monday” or whatever frequency you want. It’s pretty cool and a nice use of natural language.
Using the Kanban Board
As easy as it is to use the task list, it’s disappointing to see how mediocre the kanban board is. Where the list is smooth and responsive, the board is sluggish and sticky. It’s a shame, too, as the expertise to do better is clearly there.
Add to that the lack of color, and the kanban board fails to deliver one of its most important functions — namely, overview. All the cards basically look the same, and even Wrike is more colorful in this regard (read our Wrike review). Hopefully Todoist will fix this in future updates.
Todoist Mobile Apps
That said, let’s get back to a department where Todoist shines: its mobile apps. Todoist is available on iOS and Android and, thanks to its simple interface, works extremely well on both platforms. This is in sharp contrast to most other similar tools, which have interfaces far too complicated to work well on a tiny smartphone screen.
This makes Todoist one of the very few tools that we would actually recommend for mobile, so if you foresee the need to do a lot of small-scale planning while on the go, Todoist is a great option.
Not only that, but Todoist can work on smart watches, like the Apple Watch and Android Wear, so you can manage each task while on the go. Plus, it also works with the usual suspects: MacOS, Windows, Linux and many of the top browsers.
Service & Support
When it comes to security and privacy, Todoist is all right — no better, no worse. Its security is industry standard, with encryption provided both in transit and at rest. Its only real weakness is that it uses Amazon Web Services, which suffers from leaky buckets at times. That said, pretty much everybody uses AWS, so you’re probably not escaping that risk, however small.
What’s not so great is that some of the terms are a lot harsher than we’re used to. While Todoist pledges not to sell your data, the list of possible vendors it may share it with is rather long. While we understand the need to share data with service providers, the data shared is a lot — maybe even more than necessary.
This is compounded by the fact that Todoist will store your data for up to six years — unless you object — meaning your information could end up with as-yet-unknown providers at any time during that period. The upshot is that you may want to think twice about storing sensitive data with Todoist.
When it comes to support and customer service, Todoist is one of the more limited services we’ve seen. It offers only some basic tutorials as we described in the user-friendliness section, as well as a knowledgebase and ticket-based support. There’s no chat or phone support, which is common enough, but it also doesn’t have a forum, which is rare.
That said, considering how basic the software is, these options should be more than enough to keep you going.
Besides the list-based tutorials, your most likely stop for help is going to be the support page on the Todoist website. The articles here are good, with clear writing and easy instructions, but not all of them seem to be up to date, with some guides referencing interface features from earlier builds.
While we understand that it’s tough to keep updated, this is a shame. Thankfully, there’s support to rely on, which you can reach via the “contact us” button farther down on the page. Response times are decent (within a few hours) and the staff is pretty helpful, so you should be back to using Todoist pretty quickly, no matter what the problem is.
Todoist is a very limited app, but it does what it does well. If you need a great list that works well on both desktop and mobile, definitely check it out; the board, though mediocre, may come in handy for basic planning. However, if you need any more than a list, we recommend you check out our other project management reviews, starting with monday.com.
What do you think of Todoist? Do you use it to manage your tasks? Is there a different task manager you’d recommend? Let us know in the comments below and, as always, thank you for reading.