As an Android user, you don't have to search long to find a good to-do app to help you manage tasks and lists. Google has three homegrown apps you can use for free to help you keep track of tasks and stay on top of your to-do items: Google Calendar, Keep, and Tasks. But if you're looking for something outside the Google stable of apps, all of our picks do a good job of covering the basics: handling your individual lists, reminding you of upcoming activities, managing group tasks, and keeping notes.
Whether you go with a Google app or want to check one out from another developer, all of our picks come in free versions, so you can try one out to see if it matches how you work and then dump it and move on to another one if it doesn't meet your needs.
What to look for in a to-do list app?
The best apps can help you keep track of your to-do lists, manage upcoming -- or missed -- tasks, send you reminders about upcoming events, make the best use of your time, and help you work on projects with family members or coworkers. Some also track your location and let you set location-based reminders if you want to be reminded of something when you reach a destination.
You also want an app that works across platforms, so make sure the mobile app is available across platforms and via the Web, either through a webapp or a browser extension.
Can you sync tasks across platforms?
Keeping a task list won't do you much good if you can't check it. Look for a to-do list app that syncs your items everywhere you keep track of tasks. All our picks have apps for Android and iOS. You can also manage your tasks via a website; many of our picks have extensions for Chrome and Firefox to let you view your tasks with a tap. And some, such as Todoist, also work with the Apple Watch and Google Wear, so you can view your notifications on your wrist with a smartwatch app.
Can you share tasks and to-do lists with others?
A checklist app won't replace a full-featured project-management or team-management service, such as Microsoft Project, but if you just need to track tasks, share files, write notes, and assign items to teammates or family members, apps like Todoist and Remember The Milk have collaboration tools for managing team projects.
Can you manage your to-do list online?
It's handy to have a to-do list application on your phone to add tasks and receive alerts and notifications. But for some activities, such as writing notes, it's better to have a physical keyboard. All our picks let you manage your tasks and lists via a Web browser on a PC or Mac. A few even have desktop apps. For example, there's a Windows app for Microsoft's To-Do.
What about free versus paid?
If your needs are simple -- you just want to keep track of your own to-do lists and write a note now and then -- one of the free to-do list apps, such as Google Keep or even the free version of Todoist, should be up to the task.
But if you really want to take control of your tasks, you'll want to consider paying for the premium features of an app, which will let you create detailed recurring tasks, create subtasks, and assign tags.
A paid version will also get you collaboration tools to share and manage tasks across a team. TickTick and Todoist, for example, have premium features designed specifically for team scheduling and project-management. Annual subscriptions start at around 25 bucks.
Can I manage a to-do list in another app like Gmail?
From Google Tasks -- which sits in the right-side panel in the Web version of Gmail -- to Todoist that lets you access your tasks from Gmail and Google Calendar via plug-ins, many of our picks work well with other apps so you can manage your time in a way that makes sense for you. Some also come as browser extensions, so you can keep tabs on your items right from Chrome or Firefox.
Can it work across devices?
The real value of a to-do list app is that you can check it wherever you are. Our picks are available for Android and iOS, via a website or as a browser extension, and in some cases as MacOS and Windows apps -- with all your lists synced automatically across platforms.
1. Any.do (Android)
The free version of the Any.do app does a solid job of tracking your to-do items across Android, Apple, and the Web versions of the task manager. A $26.99 premium version of the well-designed app unlocks more interesting and useful features, such as the ability to assign tags, set colors, share unlimited lists, create detailed recurring tasks, and set location-based reminders.
2. Evernote (Android)
Much more than just a to-do list, Evernote helps you make checklists, set reminders, take notes, track tasks, and save websites. Everything in the digital notebook is synced across your Android and desktop devices. And you can set reminders to keep track of events. The free version has a monthly upload limit of 60MB and syncs to over two devices. Moving to 10GB a month costs $69.99 a year and lets you sync over every device you have.
3. Google Calendar (Android)
With the free Google Calendar app on your Android phone, you can, of course, view your upcoming events at a glance. But if that is all you're using it for, you're missing out on some of its most interesting and useful features -- from setting reminders and creating to-do lists to helping you manage long-term goals. And it works with Gmail and Google Keep, so you can create and manage events across other Google apps on your iOS or Android device or desktop computer.
4. Google Keep (Android)
Android's free Keep app -- -part of Google's suite of productivity apps -- is a quick and easy way to take notes, keep lists, make drawings, and store voice recordings and images and then access them anywhere on your Android device and iPhone and iPad, through Gmail, via Keep's webpage, and with the Keep Chrome extension. From Keep, you can copy a note or list to Google Docs. You can also share a note with a collaborator. You can set location-based reminders for your notes, if you want to be notified of something when you reach a destination.
5. Google Tasks (Android)
Another free -- and simple -- to-do list manager from Google, the Tasks app helps you keep track of your to-do items on an Android phone or iPhone, through Gmail, and with Google Calendar. As a basic to-do list, Google Tasks is solid. But its features overlap a bit with Google Keep and Reminders and lacks some of the more useful task-management tools Keep and Reminders offers. If you are looking for a simple task management app, Tasks is up to the job. If you need something more powerful, you'll want to look elsewhere.
6. Remember The Milk (Android)
Don't be fooled by its name: Remember The Milk is an unexpectedly powerful and usable to-do and management app that is capable of much more than just helping you remember your grocery list. Create lists, share tasks with colleagues, sync across platforms, even create smart lists that automatically update based on criteria you set. You can sync your tasks with Microsoft Outlook, view you tasks in Apple's and Google's Calendar, and create reminders in Evernote that will be added automatically to your Remember The Milk lists.
For $39.99 a year, you can go pro and create subtasks for complicated items by breaking tasks into individual items. Like Microsoft To-Do, Remember The Milk has an import tool for moving your Wunderlist tasks over if you are looking for a new task manager with Wunderlist's retirement.
7. TickTick (Android)
TickTick offers a powerful set of task-management tools to help you keep track of personal and group lists and projects across platforms. You can also create reminders based on location to receive alerts when you arrive at a place you designate. While the free version TickTick offers basic tools for managing personal tasks and lists, if you want to manage tasks across a group, you'll want to look at paying the $27.99 annual subscription to unlock useful team scheduling and project-management tools.
8. Todoist (Android)
Todoist can easily manage your projects and keep you on schedule. It's available on Mac, Windows, and mobile phones and via the Web and browser extensions, so you can check off tasks wherever you are. Todoist understand some natural-language terms, so you can schedule a task by typing "next month" and have the app schedule the task for the first day of next month. And you can collaborate with others. If you work on a team, you can use Todoist's group tools to manage projects, share files, assign tasks, and track progress. Everyone on the team needs a Todoist Premium $28.99 account.
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