While there are several to-do list apps, I think there is an app for everyone and everything. There are subtle differences that allow users to tweak different aspects of the app and make it their own. Two such apps are Apple Reminders and Todoist that we will compare.
Which one’s for you? That’s the question most people are unable to answer. Apple Reminders follows Apple’s design and work policy, offering a simple, quick, and easy to use to-do app. Todoist wants to offer granular control over different aspects of lists and individual tasks.
Apple neglected Reminders until the debut of iOS 13. That’s when it received a major overhaul for the better. The UI is more refined with four smart lists ready to add tasks. You can easily create a new list with a custom icon and color.
Smart lists are self-explanatory. It contains four options — Today for all tasks for the specific day, Scheduled for the future tasks, Flagged ones denoting importance, and All for the pending tasks.
Todoist comes with its own set of smart lists. Apart from the usual, I liked the Next 7 Days, which allows you to view your entire week in a single glance. It has a list view as opposed to Reminders’ grid view. On the other hand, it’s collapsible.
Todoist comes with many themes and icons to choose from.
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Creating Tasks, Lists, Projects
Reminders support natural language, which means you can add tasks using Siri as well. You can create lists on the main page, but to create tasks, you will need to select a list first. When you type a date or time, it will turn blue.
Tap on the ‘i’ info icon anytime to add more details such as notes, links, images, and set priority levels. You can set time or location-based reminders in both Reminders and Todoist.
You can also divide one single task into multiple subtasks here. Easy and simple. One cool feature is 'Remind me when messaging' where you can choose a contact, if enabled. The next time you are messaging him/her, you will see this reminder in iMessage.
Todoist does all of that and some more. Todoist has Projects instead of lists where you can create tasks and subtasks by tapping on the big red ‘+’ icon from any screen. No need to drill down. Todoist also supports natural language with Siri or type. No info icon saves a tap.
You can select a date, time, project, priority, and even custom label right there. Tap on the task inside Project to add subtasks or make changes.
You can then attach files, notes, and people from your team or group to that task or project easily. People from your team can add, edit, and comment on the tasks. Collaboration is at the heart of Todoiost. It was built to scale with teams in mind.
You can also share lists with Reminders, but it works with only iCloud users. And it was not built to scale like Todoist, which comes with admin rights and controls in the enterprise plans (more on that later).
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Managing Tasks, Projects, and Sections
Reminders support drag and drop functionality. You can move a task under another to make it a subtask. To move it back, you will have to drag the subtask over the primary. I wasted 10 minutes trying to figure it out.
Moving tasks around in Todoist is simpler. You can further group tasks by priority and labels. Labels make it easy to connect two tasks that are part of different lists or projects. Add team or family members to the mix, and managing tasks is so much easier. Reminders only has 4 priority levels, and you can’t create new ones either.
Open a list and tap on the three-dot icon to share it with someone else in Reminders. You can’t share individual tasks or subtasks or invite others that way.
Todoist not only allows you to share projects with others, but you can also assign individual tasks to team members. They can then comment and share their opinion on that particular task or check it off as completed.
Then there are sections. Sections allow you to divide a single list into multiple sections so that you can divide tasks between them. Better task management.
Platform and Pricing
Apple Reminders is entirely free to use as long as you have space in your iCloud account. On the flip side, like all Apple apps, its only available on Apple products. There is a web version that you can access via iCloud. If you have iCloud on Windows, it will sync.
Todoist offers apps for Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, and Linux. Then there are addons and extensions for popular browsers and even email plugins for Gmail and Outlook. The free plan doesn’t support reminders and restricts the number of projects, team members, and labels. The pro plan will cost you $3 per month per user, and team plans with admin roles will cost $5 per person per month.
Just Do It
Apple Reminders is excellent for those who are deep within the Apple ecosystem and mostly work alone or with friends and family members. Todoist is more suitable for professional individuals and teams. With additional features like creating to-do tasks from emails, admin and member roles, granular control over how projects and tasks are shared, or who can comment, Todoist has got you covered.
Next up: Click on the links below learn how Reminders and Todoist compare with the Microsoft To-do app.