For years, my to-do list flow was something like this:
- Remember just before bed that there are a couple important things I need to do the next day.
- Grab a piece of paper (blank paper, a bill, whatever's laying around).
- Make a quick to-do list in the corner, rip it off the full paper and put it with my wallet.
- Come home from work the next day and find the piece of paper with my wallet with most of the tasks undone.
When I got an iPhone a couple of years ago, I decided I was going to start using a better system.
For the past couple of years, I have used Remember the Milk, a fantastic to-do list manager that has a great iPhone application. It has some benefits and drawbacks though:
Remember the Milk Benefits:
- Easy to use
- Keyboard commands
- Great iPhone app
- Repeating Tasks
- Tasks can be set for a specific time as well as date
Remember the Milk Drawbacks:
- iPhone app requires a $25/year Pro membership
- Email reminders are only for that day's tasks, not for anything that's overdue
- Can't reorder tasks other than using priority or the like
When the time came for renewal of my $25 Pro membership this year, I decided to look around. My only major requirement was that whatever I did needed to have a native app on the iPhone so it could remind me about tasks.
I discovered Wunderlist fairly quickly, due to the amount of buzz around it and gave it a try. I really really wanted to like it. I went all in, migrating by hand my entire existing list of short term and long term tasks. I gave it a full month before I finally threw my hands up and had to go back to Remember the Milk.
Wunderlist Benefits over Remember the Milk:
- Reorder tasks to your heart's content
- Native Mac App
- Reminders only worked when adding tasks from the iPhone app (if you set them at all).
- Any tasks added from the web interface don't get a reminder email.
- Can't set a time on a reminder (Call John at 1pm tomorrow)
- No repeating tasks
These drawbacks all ended up becoming an overall deal breaker for me. I need my to-do list to remind me every month when various bills are due, every 6 months to renew my auto insurance, etc. I need to be able to be reminded at a specific time about something. Finally, I needed to be reminded when I had something due, regardless of where I entered the task.
I hope Wunderlist can add these features someday and if so, I'll give them another shot. For now though, I am happily back at Remember the Milk as a Pro member again. It's just not that important for me to be able to reorder tasks and save $25/year.
Now if Remember the Milk could just let me reorder tasks and add subtasks into the mix, I'll be a member for life!