If you want to get things done quicker, more efficiently, and with a dose of fun, this post is for you. People can waste so much time looking for productivity apps and task management tools. Don’t ask me how I know this. My aim is to save you time with this post, so I will show you the task management tools I’ve explored or used, let you know the top two I really like, then reveal the one task management tool I ultimately became best friends with and paid for premium upgrade service.
Photo courtesy of bigstockphoto.com/contributor=Sergey Nivens
Before smartphones and wireless methods, I used day timers and Covey-Franklin Planners. I heart the Franklin Planner. I carried it everywhere, and even had difficulty parting with it after the advent of phone planners. It was a sad breakup.
If you’re like me, you get a buzz from accomplishing tasks and to-dos, and want a user interface to match that enjoyment. That’s why I’m always testing new task management tools.
I’ve used toodeldo, Asana, Omni Focus, Remember the Milk, Trello, Awesome note, GTD, Action method, Todoist, Toodledo, and recently I tinkered around with Smartsheet.
What about Evernote? I consider it my digital filing cabinet.
Two task management tools stand above the rest: Nozbe and Wunderlist. I will now show you the similarities of what they both offer, then move to the differences, and end with the one I rode off into the sunset with.
NOZBE and WUNDERLIST BOTH GIVE YOU
- A place to set goals, lists, dreams, to-do’s, and/or tasks. This gives you the convenience of having almost everything in one place.
- The convenience of creating tasks, lists, etc. on the fly, wherever you are. Whether I’m making plans with my wife, setting goals with the staff team, listening to a podcast, or working out at the gym, I can simply open the app, type in the word and, voila, the folder and new task is created.
- Retrieval capability. You can review the list, to-dos, and goals at anytime – with or without Wi-Fi. Our staff team uses google docs for sharing ideas and goals, but the serious limitation with those is that there must be Wi-Fi capability to access it. Neither Wunderlist nor Nozbe require this. So I set my list every week, and then review it everyday – checking off to-dos as I go from work to home to the store.
- The capability to share projects and tasks with other team members and family members. With a click you can send the project, task, or list via email, the CloudApp, or onto their Wunderlist or Nozbe app.
- Streamlining capability, as each syncs with all Calendars – iCal, Outlook Calendar, Google Calendar.
- Prioritize features, as you can click a star next to any task, goal, or projects. Doing this moves the task up to the top of your list.
- Unlimited amount of lists, projects, or goals. Create, add, subtract, and modify, to your heart’s content.
- Integration with popular third party apps, like Dropbox and Evernote.
- Real-time sync, which means users sharing lists or projects, can collaborate in real time with each other as the lists or projects are updated. No waiting 10 minutes after someone sends you a list. It arrives to your phone or device immediately. It also syncs immediately with your other devices and the cloud. What a world!
- Centralized communication and interactive collaboration between people.
- Functionality with all devices – on desktops, the Web, Mac OS X, Windows, and iOS devices.
- The ability to create a project or goal, then add other notes with a simple click, as well as due dates, timed reminders, and subtasks.
- A free download of the app, but both require a subscription to upgrade for enhanced services (viz., file sharing, unlimited folders, lists, goals, tasks)
- Reminder capabilities for your list, goal, and task – whether with an email or a push notification.
- Share tasks with certain people while keeping the other tasks private. Huge win! Whether it’s with team members working on a project or my wife and I sharing the grocery list, we can share lists and keep others private in the same app.
So which one did I choose? Well, I had to look at the differences. Here’s a quick summary:
- It’s intuitive and easy to navigate. I can’t say enough about this. We waste enough time trying to be productive and searching for productivity applications, so why go with an task management app that is complex? Wunderlist is the most intuitive and easy task management tool. Huge win.
- The free version itself offers extraordinary value, as it stretches a long way to meet your task management needs.
- The subtask functionality is easy and sleek. Once you add a task or goal or list, you can click to open it up and set a due date and subtasks. Wunderlist has the best subtasks functionality of any task management tool. Of course, we don’t need to keep creating task after task, then sub-task after sub-task just because. Some people are addicted to lists and miss out on living. If your to-do lists are overwhelming you, see how to make to-do lists fit into your day rather than vice-versa.
- You can quickly scan both today’s list of tasks and what’s going on during the week. Again, no messing around, and no wasting time. It’s quick and intuitive.
- The drag-and-drop for sorting tasks is a huge plus. The big downfall here is I can’t drag-and-drop tasks in the weekly view. Hello? If anyone at Wunderlist is reading this, please add that feature. Thank you.
- I like the color options. Sounds superficial, but colors are mood affecters. If I’m getting stuff done, I want to get into peak performance. Colors help.
- Checkmarks! When you accomplish a task in Nozbe, it puts a checkmark next to the task in the day of your synced calendar too. I talked to someone recently about productivity, tasks, and to-do lists, and her response was, “I still like paper to-do’s. I know I can lose them, but I love the feeling of wading up the paper and throwing it away when the tasks are completed.” Well, the buzz and feeling of seeing that checkmark is priceless to me.
- The interface is cumbersome and challenging to navigate for the first couple hours. I learned Wunderlist in 10 minutes. I spent far too much time with furrowed eyebrows trying to navigate around.
- The calendar functions make me very happy! This is the best time management tool for calendar integration (primarily because of the checkmark).
- I can create new tasks in the Calendar setting (can’t do this in Wunderlist)
- The subtask interface needs improvement. It takes longer than needed. Wunderlist makes sub-tasking easy and enjoyable.
- It keeps a faded view of what I’ve accomplished. For some reason, Wunderlist hides the accomplished tasks. Who doesn’t want to see what they have accomplished? In my sticky-note days of to-do lists, I used to include things on my to-do lists that were already finished because I loved seeing the line crossed through it.
- In following David Allen’s GTD method, it allows one to add a context for tasks. I think this is overrated, but it’s there.
- It goes a step further past due dates and reminders, to setting an estimated time of completion as well as the capability to track the running time it takes to complete all the tasks in any list you create. It shows you where you are spending your most valuable currency: time.
With either, you will get things done a lot faster, set exciting goals, and waste a lot of time playing with productivity apps. Of course, it’s totally worth it. In the end, you can go try all the current apps and time management tools out there, but I have a feeling you’ll include Nozbe and Wunderlist in your top choices. Hopefully, this post saves you time.
Which did I choose? Either helps you Do What Matters Most – Most Of The Time. I could go with either. I chose Wunderlist, primarily due to the ease and intuitive nature of navigating it. I still heart Franklin-Covey, but I now spend my life with Wunderlist.
Question: Which task management tool do you recommend? Your turn! Tell us your take with a comment by clicking here.