And finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t include Things ($10; iPhone only). Another classic task manager, Things’ system is time-tested and true, embracing the GTD philosophy and utilizing a drop-dead simple interface that stays out of the way while still helping you manage and dutifully organize your tasks.
How we made our list
During my extensive testing—which included more than two dozen task managers and list makers—I tried to represent as much of a cross-section as I could. Still, there’s a good chance your favorite one didn’t make the cut. So allow me to explain why.
First off, the apps on this list are all inexpensive. I imposed a price limit of $10, not because of a misguided notion that iOS apps should cost as little as possible, but because I wanted to keep a uniform, if not level playing field. By no means is this an indictment of Omnifocus or premium subscription models, but comparing a $1 app to one that costs $30 seems unfair to both.
No matter the price, every task manager needs to do a few basic things: Organize tasks, make lists, and set a schedule. Some obviously do a whole lot more, but those three facets were a starting point for every app I tested. If it didn’t do one, it was out. (For example, the fantastic list-making app Paperless doesn’t do due dates, so it was chopped.) I also discounted any app that wasn’t yet updated for at least the iPhone 6, which notably eliminated Taasky, Finish, and Zippy, along with a few others.
From there, I used three more criteria: Interface, organization, and time management. While each of these are wholly subjective, there are some standards I did my best to apply. I tend to gravitate toward cleaner interfaces, but function trumped form. Folders (or some kind of structural hierarchy) were an absolute must, as was the ability to quickly create a new task on any page. Alerts and scheduling were important as well, but so was the ability to snooze and delete tasks without needing too many taps.