I think I will settle down with Todoist for a while after a long search of a to-do app. Although some functions are lacking, Todoist has many key features which I think a to-do app must have. I am going to start with the pros of this app:
Works on all platforms. I am a Mac fan using iPhone, iPad, and iMac at home. However, I have to use Windows for my work for many reasons. The fact that it works on all platforms matters to me. Todoist is the only to-do app which has this flexibility among the three (OmniFocus, 2Do, and Todoist).
Flexible attachment file format. You can attach all kinds of files to a task, with no limitations like 2Do. This is of importance when working on different platforms. I can attach a word file from my phone, and work on the file on a computer.
Relative cheap option compared with other cross-platform solutions. I am working at a University as a researcher, so I am qualified for the educational discount. I only need to pay $14.5 a year for one account. If I want to add accounts for my students, employees, or my spouse, I also only need to pay $14.5 for each account. However, the company just announced that they are going to increase the price for future users (from $29/year to $60/year for business users, and $29/year to $36/year for personal users). I suggest grabbing your subscription as soon as you can.
For the iPhone app, there is no passcode locking functionality. I mean, seriously? I cannot setup extra passcode for the Todoist app? This should be a default function for these kinds of apps which deal with sensitive personal information. For me, this is the only but huge concerns.
No action function like 2do. As I mentioned here, I think this function is really convenient and a must have for a to-do app. Todoist provides link function instead, but it is not as intuitive as the action function. For example, you can type tel: xxx-xxx-xxxx and it will become a link for making phone calls. But I cannot pick up numbers directly from my contacts. Typing adds chances of making mistakes.
Just like what I mentioned, the company is going to increase the price start from Dec 1st, 2018, and all the current users are going to pay the legacy price in the future as long as the accounts keep active. For the business accounts (including the educational accounts), the legacy price applies to all the current and future users. This is truly a great deal! I suggest to subscribe for one year before price increases, and you can decide whether you want to keep using it in the future. it would be good to open a business account because the price now is the same for personal and business users. By holding a business account, you can add new users for your colleagues or families with the same low legacy price in the future.
During my to-do list app searching, 2Do is my favorite one. This app initially developed for iOS, and this is the best thing about this app. You can manage your to-do list on your smartphone without a computer, as it was designed for that purpose. Other than that, there is one essential functionality that the OmniFocus has never had so far: Action.
When you plan to call your mom for something at a specific time, you can just create a task and pick up the action: call. You can either choose a phone number from your contacts or type in. You don’t need to leave the app to make a phone call; instead, you can click the green bottom. This function is also available for some other todo list apps (e.g., Appigo Todo), but 2do make this function looks great.
Another thing that I like the most is the pricing strategy. The starting price of 2do for iOS was $6.99, and the company provides discount periodically. I got the iOS version for $2.99. This is not the best part. The best thing is that they NEVER ask for an upgrade fee. Instead, they increase the price of the app with the improvement of the functionality. I consider that this is an appreciation for the loyal customers who were willing to support them in the very beginning. The iOS version is now free for download. If you want the pro version (you will!), you can get it from in-app purchase for $19.99. For the Mac version, it is $49.99 now (the lowest price was $14.99), and I got it for $24.99. Since they always provide discount every couple months ( especially Thanksgiving and Christmas), I highly recommend that you should wait for the discount if you are not in hurry.
Now I would like to start the cons of this app:
For Apple and Andriod users only. 2Do has the similar issue as the OmniFocus: it is limited to specific platforms. 2DO provide solutions for Windows and other Unix-like OS users, which is Email to 2Do, years after the first release of this app. With this function, you can designate an Email account which their server should catch todo tasks for you (left figure). And then you can decide what types of Email should be caught as a task(right figure). You can even use the subject line of the Email to assign tags, lists, actions, etc, for that task. In the beginning, I was very excited about this function. With this function, I can email to myself to create a task from a Windows computer. For example, if I want to create a task while I am working on a Windows computer, and can send an Email to a designated account with title “todo: call mom list(Personal) due(today) tag(Home) action(call, 8008888888)”. However, I realized (you probably also noticed) that it is still too complex since I need to type a lot of (correct) information in order to put the task in the correct place.
2. There is no For Web version. This is the biggest issue in my opinion. A Web version would make this app perfect. However, it took the developer of this app (I believe that there is only one developer for this app) years to build for Mac version and Android version, and I don’t think that he is planning to build and maintain a Web server.
3. Limited file attachment options. Only voice memo and photos could be really attached to the task. Although you can attach file-link to a task, it is not that convenient in some circumstances. Especially when you work on different devices frequently, and the file is for only one-time use (in that case you don’t want to waste your time putting it on your cloud drive, creating the link, and deleting it after using it).
I think that 2Do works for people who :
manage their to-do list on a tablet (a phone screen is too small for me). If you have a tablet which you can access all the time, I think 2Do is for you. It is powerful, beautiful, and the price is also affordable. For Mac version of this app is not necessary but a plus.
consider beautiful User Interface is a MUST.
To conclude, 2Do will be the best to-do list app if it has a For Web version, period.
After reading the book Get Things Done, I started to apply the GTD concept in my life. I tried different Apps to help me during the past few years and ended up with Todoist. OmniFocus, 2Do, and Todoist are the three that I used the most. These apps have their advantages, and many websites have introduced them with beautiful demo pictures. Here I just want to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of these three apps from my point of view and hopefully can help some people who are looking for todo list apps.
Let me start with OmniFocus: OmniFocus is a popular to-do list apps with a long history. I had used Omnifocus 1, and I also purchased OmniFocus 2. They recently deputed OmniFocus 3 for iOS. The advantage of this app is that it is robust and highly customizable. Their official website has detailed instructions to help everyone “quickly” get started with this app. you can also find many Pro website teaching you how to write AppleScript to automate some of your workflows. There are also websites to provide a variety of themes so that the entire software interface looks better for your taste.
Below I list the reasons why I think this software is not good for me:
1. This software was first developed only on MacOS. The earliest Omnifocus was only available for Mac, and later for iOS, and is currently under development for the Web version. This is the biggest problem in my opinion. Because they first made a computer version of the software interface, the whole program is designed for the interface of a computer. For their iOS version, the concept of the design makes me feel that it should be used to assist the Mac version (not a standalone app). Nowadays, everyone is using handheld devices to handle their todo list. You will find that it is difficult to create and manage the to-do list on your smartphone. You need the Mac version.
2. Another big problem is that the OmniFocus is currently available only on the Mac and iOS system. Microsft Windows computers can’t run it, and this excludes 90% of computer users from this powerful tool. The Web version is still under construction, and I would say that it will take another good year (if not two) before it becomes useful. Although they currently have some solutions for people who use both Windows and Mac systems, I am very dissatisfied with its functionality (too complicated). I believe most of the users will feel the same.
3. This software is not cheap. At the current update speed, they release paid upgrade about every four to six years. For Mac version, there are regular and professional versions, for $39.99/$79.99, respectively. The upgrading fee from an old version is $19.99. /$39.99. For iOS versions are also regular and professional versions, for $39.99/$59.99, respectively. The upgrading fee from an old version is $19.99/$29.99. In the future, the Omnifocus For Web will require an additional monthly fee. I don’t think the price for that would be low.
4. The learning curve is steep. I consider myself is a person who loves to play with computer software. However, although I spent a significant amount of time on OmniFocus, I still don’t master this software! It makes me wonder whether I am playing this software, or I really use it as a tool to improve productivity.
I think that the OmniFocus works for people who :
rely on Apple products for both personal life and work
use a computer as the primary tool for handling to-do items