By Peter Frankl.
Is there anyone out there who doesn’t use a to do list? If you don’t and your life isn’t totally messed up, I want to know how you do it.
For me it’s been a journey, a to do list app journey. I’m betting that it’s been the same for you.
My to do life changed with the discovery of a free tool called Workflowy. I still use it a bit but it is not currently my main app. The strength of Workflowy is its simplicity. I’m a big believer that all of your to dos should be visible at one glance. Workflowy does this beautifully. One of its weaknesses is the ease with which you can move things around and lose them.
When I was a full-blown Workflowy user, someone convinced me that I should be using something more sophisticated – something like ToDoist or Wunderlist. The benefit of these types of apps is that they can do everything including notify you of your failings in 25 different ways on every device.
The weakness of these apps is that they are such a pleasure to use that they can quickly become a to do jungle. Eventually you need to delete everything and start over again.
Much of the to do list journey has been about finding something better than the appalling offerings within Microsoft Office. I’m embedded in the world of Microsoft but got hooked on Google Calendar. I tried their reminders and other Google apps for to-doing but none stuck.
In 2015, Microsoft acquired Wunderlist, the to do app that I mainly used. Now, in a major shake-up in the world of to dos, the inevitable has happened and Microsoft is ending its life. Fortunately, I stopped using Wunderlist a few months ago and switched to To Do, a boringly named app that comes with Office 365. I’m happy with it, especially because of its simplicity.
I know a lot of people are also using apps that come with their phone. That’s great also. In my experience, success with to do apps is about minimalism. If your to dos are a page turner or multi-level monster, then a to do app isn’t going to do it for you. You may be better off with a project manager sitting by your side.
Microsoft finally brought (or bought) me back. It’s a testament to the power of Office 365, Microsoft and its ability to buy out competitors. Could this be the end of my to do app journey?