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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 March 15, 2019

                      How to Be a Leader Who Is Inspiring and Influential

                      How to Be a Leader Who Is Inspiring and Influential

                      When I began managing people 15 years ago, I thought having a fancy title was synonymous with influence. Over time, I learned that power is conferred based on likeability, authenticity, courage, relationships and consistent behavior. When leaders cultivate these attributes, they earn power, which really means influence.

                      Understanding influence is essential to professional growth, and companies rise and fall based on the quality of their leadership.

                      In this article, we will look into the essentials of effective leadership and how to be a leader who is inspiring and influential.

                      What Makes a Leader Fail?

                      A host of factors influence a leader’s ability to succeed. To the extent that leaders fail to outline a compelling vision and strategy, they risk losing the trust and confidence of their teams. Employees want to know where a company is going and the strategy for how they will get there. Having this information enables employees to feel safe, and it allows them to see mistakes as part of the learning journey versus as fatal occurrences.

                      If employees and customers do not believe a company’s leadership is authentic and inspiring, they may disengage, or they may be less inclined to offer constructive criticism that can help a company innovate or help a leader improve.

                      And it is not just the leadership at the top that matters. Middle managers play a distinct role in guiding teams. Depending on the company’s size, employees may have more access to mid-level managers than they do members of the C-suite, meaning their supervisors and managers have greater influence on the employee and the customer experience.

                      What Is Effective Leadership?

                      Effective leadership is inspiring, and it is influential. Cultivating inspiring and influential leaders requires building relationships across the company.

                      Leaders must be connected to both the teams they lead as well as to their own colleagues and managers. This is key as titles do not make a person a leader, nor do they automatically confer influence. These are earned through trusting relationships. This explains why some leaders can get more out of their teams than others and why some leaders experience soaring profits and engagement while others sizzle out.

                      Eric Garton said in an April 25, 2017, Harvard Business Review article:[1]

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                      “… inspiring leaders are those who use their unique combination of strengths to motivate individuals and teams to take on bold missions – and hold them accountable for results. And they unlock higher performance through empowerment, not command and control.”

                      How to Be an Inspiring and Influential Leader

                      To be an inspiring and influential leader requires:

                      1. Courage

                      The late poet Maya Angelou once said,

                      “Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.”

                      Courage is required in the workplace when implementing new strategies, especially when they go against professional norms.

                      For instance, I heard Lisa TerKeurst, bestselling author and founder of Proverbs 31 Ministries, explain her decision to move away from her company’s magazine. While the organization had long had a magazine, she saw a future where it didn’t exist.

                      In order to make the switch, she risked angering her team members and customers. She took a chance, and what started out as a monthly newsletter, has grown into a multi-dimensional organization boasting half a million followers. Had Lisa not found the courage to change the direction of her organization, they undoubtedly would not have been able to experience such exponential growth.

                      It also takes courage to give and receive feedback. When leaders see employees who are not living into the company’s mission or who are engaging in behavior that may undermine their long-term success, one must risk temporary angst and speak candidly with the colleague in question.

                      Similarly, it takes courage to hear constructive criticism and try to change. In business, as in life, courage is necessary for being an inspiring and influential leader.

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                      2. A Commitment to Face Your Internal Demons.

                      If you feel great about yourself, enter a leadership position. You are likely to be triggered in ways you didn’t think possible. You are also likely to receive feedback that may leave you second-guessing yourself and your leadership skills.

                      The truth about leading others is that you get to a point where you realize that it is difficult to take people to places where you yourself haven’t gone.

                      To be an influential and inspiring leader, you have to face your own demons and vow to continually improve. Influential leaders take their personal evolution serious, and they invest in coaching, therapy and mindfulness to ensure that their personal struggles do not overshadow their professional development.

                      3. A Willingness to Accept Feedback

                      Inspiring and influential leaders are not afraid to accept feedback. In fact, they actively solicit it. They understand that everyone in their life has a lesson to teach them, and they are willing to accept it.

                      Inspirational leaders understand that feedback is neither good nor bad but rather an offering that is critical to growth. Even when it hurts or is an affront to the ego, influential leaders understand that feedback is critical to their ability to lead.

                      4. Likability

                      Some people will argue that leaders need not worry about being liked but should instead focus on being respected. I disagree. Both are important.

                      When team members like their boss and believe their boss likes them, they are more likely to go the extra mile to fulfill departmental or organizational goals. Likable leaders are moved to the front of the line when it comes to being influential.

                      Relatedly, when colleagues feel management dislikes them, they experience internal stress and can spend unnecessary time focusing on the source of their manager’s discontent versus the work they have been hired to do.

                      So, likability is important for both the leader and the people she leads.

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                      5. Vulnerability

                      Vulnerability is critical for being an inspiring leader. People want the truth. They admire leaders who can occasionally demonstrate vulnerability. It promotes deeper relationships and inspires trust.

                      When leaders can showcase vulnerability appropriately, they destroy the illusion that one must be perfect to be a leader. They also demonstrate that vulnerability is not a dirty word; they too can be vulnerable and ask for a helping hand when necessary.

                      6. Authenticity

                      Authenticity is about living up to one’s stated values in public and behind closed doors.

                      Influential leaders are authentic. They set to live out their values and use those values to guide their decisions. The interesting thing about leadership is that people are not looking for perfect leaders. They are, in part, looking for leaders who are authentic.

                      7. A True Understanding of Inspiration

                      Effective leaders are inspirational. They understand the power of words and deeds and use both strategically.

                      Inspiring leaders appropriately use stories and narratives to enable the teams around them to see common situations in an entirely new light.

                      Inspirational leaders also showcase grit and triumph while convincing the people around them that success and victory are attainable.

                      Finally, inspiring leaders encourage the teams they lead to tap into their own genius. They convince others that genius is not reserved for a select few but that most people have it in them.

                      As explained in the article True Leadership: What Separates a Leader from a Boss:

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                      “A leader creates visions and motivates team members to work together towards the same goal.”

                      8. An Ability to See the Humanity in Others

                      Inspiring and influential leaders see the humanity in others. Rather than treating their teams as mere tools to accomplish organizational goals, they believe the people around them are unique beings with inherent value.

                      This means knowing when to pause to address personal challenges and dispelling with the myth that the personal is separate from the professional.

                      9. A Passion for Continual Learning

                      Inspiring and influential leaders are committed to continual learning. They invest in their own development and take responsibility for their professional growth.

                      These leaders understand that like a college campus, the workplace is a laboratory for learning. They believe that they can learn from multiple generations in the workplace as well as from people from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds.

                      Influential leaders proactively seek out opportunities for learning.

                      The Bottom Line

                      No one said leadership was easy, but it is also a joy. Influencing others to action and positively impacting the lives of others is a reward unto itself.

                      Since leadership abounds, there is an abundance of resources to help you grow into the type of leader who inspires and influences others.

                      More Resources About Effective Leadership

                      Featured photo credit: Markus Spiske via unsplash.com

                      Reference

                      [1] Harvard Business Review: How to Be an Inspiring Leader

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