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Published on September 5, 2018

10 Best Task List Apps Out There for Getting Stuff Done

10 Best Task List Apps Out There for Getting Stuff Done

Life is a continual series of tasks. From the daily nitty gritty to the higher level juicier ones (like goals and aspirations), you’re faced with a stack of tasks requiring your attention.

At the end of each day, it’s up to you to decide how much of it you feel like accomplishing.

Unfortunately, we’re inundated with opportunities to slack off and procrastinate, and it’s crucial we need a legitimate source to keep track of everything stacked on our plates.

There are a ton of really well-made apps out there designed to help you stay on top of your to-dos. So I decided to take a look at some of the more popular ones and compile a list of what I think are a combination of the best ones.

Without further ado, here are the top 10 task list apps out there to help you stay focused, sharp and ready to tackle your life’s biggest goals (and daily tasks):

1. Todoist

    A solid choice looks-wise and a task-list app veteran, Todoist touts itself as super user friendly. It’s got a great system allowing you to create sub-tasks, assign due dates, and color code tasks based on priority.

    It also integrates with a variety of popular third party apps like Gmail, IFTTT, and more.

    You can even sign up using your Google account and immediately jump in to creating tasks.

    Available for iOS | Android

    2. Trello

      Trello really shines in business settings.

      It’s the go-to app to manage tasks for a lot of smaller companies. Each project is represented by a “board”, and you can then assign multiple tasks to each project via what Trello calls “Cards”.

      Dragging and dropping is intuitive and makes the experience super smooth, especially on a computer.

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      There is an iOS/Android version, but if you use this, it’s best on a PC or Mac to create and manage the tasks.

      There are better, easier apps if it’s just for your personal stuff — but for a small team or business, this is one of the best out there.

      Available for iOS | Android | Web

      3. Google Tasks

        Fairly new on the scene, Google is taking their stab at the ever popular and saturated task-list app market.

        But in true Google fashion, it’s nothing to look past.

        Simple, beautiful, and easy to use, Google Tasks is a designer’s dream come true and a user’s best friend. It does what it does best: track your tasks.

        The rest of the bells and whistles are left for others.

        And of course, it’s seamlessly integrated into Gmail, where it appears on the right side of your inbox, should you use it.

        Available for iOS | Android | Web

        4. Evernote

          If you find yourself taking longer notes instead of just quick one-liners, Evernote may be the way to go.

          It’s well-known for its ability to capture your thoughts in more than just a few words, making it intuitive and easy to track your mind’s daily brain dumps.

          More than just text, it supports taking notes via voice recordings, pictures, and more.

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          So if you’re definitely one of those more visual people, Evernote is calling your name.

          Available for iOS | Android

          5. Wunderlist

            A fan favorite, this app has been around for years and continues to dominate based on it’s ease of use and super sharp GUI (graphical user interface, i.e. the way it looks to the end-user).

            It’s been voted App of the Year in multiple publications, including the Apple App Store.

            In short, you can create different task lists based on a category, and then share those with others.

            For instance, if your husband or wife sends you to the grocery store, the two of you can share a list and both can edit on the fly, allowing for on the fly collaboration.

            It is also fully integrated with Slack now, one of the most popular chat apps on the tech market today.

            Available for iOS | Android

            6. Microsoft To Do

              If you’re a Microsoft fan, you’d be pleased to know they’ve also taken a stab at making their own task list app.

              It was originally created by the team at Wunderlist (Microsoft bought them in 2015), so if you’re familiar with the app, then you have an idea of what you’re getting here.

              Furthermore, if you are locked into using Outlook and Microsoft’s suite of tools, this app will naturally integrate seamlessly.

              One unique feature is their take on what they call “My Day” — the philosophy that each day is a blank slate and you’re given the opportunity to fill it as you see fit.

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              In other words, there’s no carryover from previous days if you don’t want. But if you do, the option is there.

              Available for iOS | Android

              7. Things 3

                There’s a common theme here for the best task list trackers, and it involves one thing: looking good.

                Things 3 is no different, but it takes the clean GUI to a new level.

                Made for individuals looking to keep tabs on their daily to-dos, it splits things into simple tasks and lists without the extra bells & whistles some apps may carry.

                Available for iOS

                8. Habitica

                  Words, pictures, and voice memos not doing it for you?

                  Enjoy playing games in your spare time and want to transfer the same feeling into your boring task list?

                  Enter Habitica, which turns your tracking into gaming of sorts.

                  When you first start the app, instead of asking what your first to-do is, it asks you to create a character.

                  And just like that, you know the intent of this app — by gamifying the system, you’ll be more inclined to keep track and stay efficient.

                  Available for iOS | Android

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                  9. Any.do

                    This app stands out for its unique take on organizing your lists.

                    Instead of putting them in categories such as “Work”, “Personal”, and others, any.do will show you the tasks which you need to accomplish first.

                    So if you’ve set a personal goal due tomorrow, you’ll see it first…even if work is bugging you nonstop at the moment.

                    Any.do also syncs up nicely with your calendar, working side by side to show you what deadlines you’ve set.

                    Available for iOS | Android

                    10. Fantastical 2

                      If you can’t let go of the idea of integrating a calendar in your daily to-dos, then look no further.

                      Fantastical 2’s sweet spot is it’s actually just that: a calendar. But with your to-do’s built in on the GUI, you can see exactly what you need to do and at what time, all wrapped in a more visual way than just simply showing a wall of text.

                      Unfortunately, Fantastical 2 is only for iOS — but with such a clean interface, it’s hard not to be a fan.

                      Available for iOSMacOS

                      The bottom line

                      These are considered some of the top ones that I feel could make a difference in your quest to tackle this thing called “life”.

                      Ultimately, the choice is yours — but as you begin to track your tasks, you’ll find that certain methods work better than others. Hey, we’re all different.

                      Whether you’re visual, list-oriented, calendar-heavy, sound-induced, or any combination thereof, rest assured there’s an app out there to help you.

                      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                      More by this author

                      Adam Bergen

                      Adam Bergen is the founder of Monday Views, a movement dedicated to showing that with focus and self-discipline, your potential is limitless.

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                      Last Updated on September 20, 2018

                      8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

                      8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

                      You go to the gym to train your muscles. You run outside or go for hikes to train your endurance. Or, maybe you do neither of those, but still wish you exercised more.

                      Well, here is how to train one of the most important parts of your body: your brain.

                      When you train your brain, you will:

                      • Avoid embarrassing situations. You remember his face, but what was his name?
                      • Be a faster learner in all sorts of different skills. No problem for you to pick up a new language or new management skill.
                      • Avoid diseases that hit as you get older. Alzheimer’s will not be affecting you.

                      So how to train your brain and improve your cognitive skills?

                      1. Work your memory

                      Twyla Tharp, a NYC-based renowned choreographer has come up with the following memory workout:

                      When she watches one of her performances, she tries to remember the first twelve to fourteen corrections she wants to discuss with her cast without writing them down.

                      If you think this is anything less than a feat, then think again. In her book The Creative Habit she says that most people cannot remember more than three.

                      The practice of both remembering events or things and then discussing them with others has actually been supported by brain fitness studies.

                      Memory activities that engage all levels of brain operation—receiving, remembering and thinking—help to improve the function of the brain.

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                      Now, you may not have dancers to correct, but you may be required to give feedback on a presentation, or your friends may ask you what interesting things you saw at the museum. These are great opportunities to practically train your brain by flexing your memory muscles.

                      What is the simplest way to help yourself remember what you see? Repetition.

                      For example, say you just met someone new:

                      “Hi, my name is George”

                      Don’t just respond with, “Nice to meet you”. Instead, say, “Nice to meet you George.”

                      Got it? Good.

                      2. Do something different repeatedly

                      By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you do this new thing better and faster.

                      Think back to when you were three years old. You surely were strong enough to hold a knife and a fork just fine. Yet, when you were eating all by yourself, you were creating a mess.

                      It was not a matter of strength, you see. It was a matter of cultivating more and better neural pathways that would help you eat by yourself just like an adult does.

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                      And guess what? With enough repetition you made that happen!

                      But how does this apply to your life right now?

                      Say you are a procrastinator. The more you don’t procrastinate, the more you teach your brain not to wait for the last minute to make things happen.

                      Now, you might be thinking “Duh, if only not procrastinating could be that easy!”

                      Well, it can be. By doing something really small, that you wouldn’t normally do, but is in the direction of getting that task done, you will start creating those new precious neural pathways.

                      So if you have been postponing organizing your desk, just take one paper and put in its right place. Or, you can go even smaller. Look at one piece of paper and decide where to put it: Trash? Right cabinet? Another room? Give it to someone?

                      You don’t actually need to clean up that paper; you only need to decide what you need to do with it.

                      That’s how small you can start. And yet, those neural pathways are still being built. Gradually, you will transform yourself from a procrastinator to an in-the-moment action taker.

                      3. Learn something new

                      It might sound obvious, but the more you use your brain, the better its going to perform for you.

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                      For example, learning a new instrument improves your skill of translating something you see (sheet music) to something you actually do (playing the instrument).

                      Learning a new language exposes your brain to a different way of thinking, a different way of expressing yourself.

                      You can even literally take it a step further, and learn how to dance. Studies indicate that learning to dance helps seniors avoid Alzheimer’s. Not bad, huh?

                      4. Follow a brain training program

                      The Internet world can help you improve your brain function while lazily sitting on your couch. A clinically proven program like BrainHQ can help you improve your memory, or think faster, by just following their brain training exercises.

                      5. Work your body

                      You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Yes indeed, exercise does not just work your body; it also improves the fitness of your brain.

                      Even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. But it’s not just that–exercise actually helps your brain create those new neural connections faster. You will learn faster, your alertness level will increase, and you get all that by moving your body.

                      Now, if you are not already a regular exerciser, and already feel guilty that you are not helping your brain by exercising more, try a brain training exercise program like Exercise Bliss.

                      Remember, just like we discussed in #2, by training your brain to do something new repeatedly, you are actually changing yourself permanently.

                      6. Spend time with your loved ones

                      If you want optimal cognitive abilities, then you’ve got to have meaningful relationships in your life.  Talking with others and engaging with your loved ones helps you think more clearly, and it can also lift your mood.

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                      If you are an extrovert, this holds even more weight for you. At a class at Stanford University, I learned that extroverts actually use talking to other people as a way to understand and process their own thoughts.

                      I remember that the teacher told us that after a personality test said she was an extrovert, she was surprised. She had always thought of herself as an introvert. But then, she realized how much talking to others helped her frame her own thoughts, so she accepted her new-found status as an extrovert.

                      7. Avoid crossword puzzles

                      Many of us, when we think of brain fitness, think of crossword puzzles. And it’s true–crossword puzzles do improve our fluency, yet studies show they are not enough by themselves.

                      Are they fun? Yes. Do they sharpen your brain? Not really.

                      Of course, if you are doing this for fun, then by all means go ahead. If you are doing it for brain fitness, then you might want to choose another activity

                      8. Eat right – and make sure dark chocolate is included

                      Foods like fish, fruits, and vegetables help your brain perform optimally. Yet, you might not know that dark chocolate gives your brain a good boost as well.

                      When you eat chocolate, your brain produces dopamine. And dopamine helps you learn faster and remember better. Not to mention, chocolate contains flavonols, antioxidants, which also improve your brain functions.

                      So next time you have something difficult to do, make sure you grab a bite or two of dark chocolate!

                      The bottom line

                      Now that you know how to train your brain, it’s actually time to start doing.

                      Don’t just consume this content and then go on with your life as if nothing has changed. Put this knowledge into action and become smarter than ever!

                      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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