App of the Day: Todoist


Alyson Burton / Illustrator

Edward Ruano

When spring break came to its inevitable end, most were savoring their last few days of relaxation before switching gears. We all have a million things to do when we get back—homework, exams, projects, essays—and it’s a good idea to get organized before the semester picks up again. Some will choose to make lists on scraps of paper, scribble down notes on their planning calendars or litter their desks with Post-it notes, but others will opt for a more elegant and efficient tool: Todoist.

Though there are hundreds of task managers out there, Todoist is one of the simplest and most feature-rich to-do list apps. Todoist is a cloud-based service, so your tasks from one device can sync across your phone, laptop or tablet.

Adding a task to Todoist is easy and takes seconds. You start with projects and subproject lists, then slowly populate them by dragging and dropping tasks and subtasks. Projects can be color coded, while tasks can be assigned priority levels, due dates and reminders via phone notifications, e-mails or text messages.

For students, it could take just one evening to fully capture and set up coursework, exam reminders, project deadlines, etc. All tasks can be scheduled to be recurring, and Todoist allows for natural language to set them up. The text bar can recognize anything from calendar dates to “tomorrow and every other Friday” and “the last day of every month at 4:00 p.m.,” for example.

Every day, Todoist will display a “Today” view, which notifies you of your important and urgent tasks while hiding the distraction of everything else. If you need to look ahead, Todoist can display a “Next 7 Days” view, which can show you what the upcoming week looks like. If in case you find yourself with too much to do in a day, however, it’s easy to defer a task. Simply dragging it to the bottom of the page will automatically schedule the given task to tomorrow.

Todoist is available on iPhone, iPad, Android, Web, Chrome, Outlook, and more. The app is free to use, but a premium option is available, which unlocks labels, tags, location-based reminders, and more bonus features.