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To-Do List Apps (And More!) That Will Streamline Your Life | Fairygodboss
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Helpful Apps
32 To-Do List Apps (And More!) That Will Streamline Your Life
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Chelsea Fonden,
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In a world where new apps are created daily, it feels sometimes like it’s hard to stay organized and on top of all the tasks that we have to do, especially when we’re getting constant notifications about news alerts, text messages, emails, and likes.

It’s gotten so pervasive that there’s even a movement to re-focus our attention — using technology itself — called Time Well Spent. “We check our phones 150 times per day,” the site says. “Every time we are interrupted, it takes up to 23 minutes to resume focus, fragmenting our attention and leaving us constantly distracted.” And if you check out this quick but interesting read by Google design thinker Tristan Harris, he provides even more background on how we get psychologically hacked by our devices!

But if there’s one role that technology should play for us, it's that it should streamline our lives and make things easier and more convenient — not more complicated or distracting. We know there’s no shortage of organizational apps available on the app store, but which ones truly work?

Here are 32 mobile apps — some functioning as to-do lists and others simply rocking our mess-strewn worlds — that will streamline your life and help you regain control over where you direct your attention. Give them a go, and start focusing on what you really need to.

1. InboxWhenReady

Key Features

InboxWhenReady helps you minimize the total amount of time you spend in your Gmail inbox by allowing you to only view your inbox when you choose to, pre-set an inbox budget, and set a schedule for locking your inbox so you can focus on other things — not just your email.

Advantages

  • Lock your inbox to avoid using it as a distraction or being distracted by constant emails

Disadvantages

  • Takes up space on your device when you can just turn off notifications instead

Pricing

Free

2. Freedom

Key Features

Freedom lets you temporarily block certain websites or apps that you’d like to avoid, or block the Internet altogether, for pre-determined amounts of time that you set. This app is only compatible with ios devices, including your Macbook, iPhone and iPad, however; Android device owners should seek liberation elsewhere!

Advantages

  • Block apps or the internet altogether for set periods of time to avoid distractions

Disadvantages

  • Not free for all devices

Pricing

Just under $2.50/month for all devices

3. AdBlock Plus

Key Features

AdBlock Plus lets you block intrusive ads so you can surf the web in peace.

Advantages

  1. Blocks ads you don't want to see

Disadvantages

  • May block ads you would have wanted to see

Pricing

Free

4. Pocket

Key Features

Pocket lets you save resources and articles directly from your browser onto your device so you can keep organized, share with others, or view later when you’re ready. Bonus: It’s available for both ios and android devices!

Advantages

  • Save articles to share or view later

Disadvantages

  • Takes up space on your phone, when you can also just keep tabs open

Pricing

Free

5. Boomerang

Key Features

Boomerang lets you schedule emails from your Gmail account for later. It’s great for reminders — and for not letting anyone see that you were responding to them at 3am on Saturday.

Advantages

  • Send emails later on

Disadvantages

  • May send emails after you don't want them to be sent anymore and you forget to unschedule them

Pricing

Free

6. Paprika

Photo via Paprika

Key Features

Paprika (Apple, Android, Kindle, Windows) is the recipe and grocery list app you’ve been waiting for. You can look up any recipe online, or manually input a special family recipe of your own, and Paprika will automatically create a shopping list for all of the ingredients you’ll need. You can also set up the app to help while you’re cooking, show instructions, and set timers. Bon appetit!

Advantages

  • Look up recipes
  • Input your own recipes
  • Create shopping lists
  • Set timers

Disadvantages

  • Not free

Pricing

$5.00

7. Reminders

Key Features

If you’ve got an iPod, iPhone, or iPad, then take advantage of iCloud and use the built-in Reminders feature to set reminders for deadlines, bills, appointments, you name it. Your ios device/task manager will remind you, wherever you are — talk about making technology work for you!

Advantages

  • Sends reminders for anything you need

Disadvantages

  • Reminders can be annoying

Pricing

Free

8. KeePass

Key Features

Tired of keeping track of approximately one billion passwords? KeePass features the headache-skipping ability to let you use one master password instead, keeping your other passwords safe.

Advantages

  • Keeps passwords in one place so you don't forget them

Disadvantages

  • Risk of keeping passwords in one place

Pricing

Free

9. Clean Master

Key Features

Clean Master frees up storage space on your phone by cleaning up the junk.

Advantages

  • Frees up space on your phone
  • Gets rid of stuff you don't need

Disadvantages

  • Users have called it glitchy before, slowing down their devices

Pricing

Free

10. Mint

Key Features

Mint can be a bit overwhelming to set up, but once you do, it’s worth it. You can set up budgets and track your spending in each area; track and pay bills; monitor your credit score; and see all of your money in one place. It’s a life changer.

Advantages

  • Helps you track your spending
  • Helps your budget 
  • Send reminders for bills
  • Monitors your credit score

Disadvantages

  • Reminders can be stressful

Pricing

Free

11. Clue

Key Features

Clue lets you track your menstrual cycle and any related health concerns. After a few months, the app can even begin to give you insight on your cycle, helping you stay on top of what symptoms to expect when, track ovulation and fertility, and (of course) remind you when to stock up on menstrual products.

Advantages

  • Helps you track your cycle and symptoms, sharing insights
  • Helps you track ovulation and fertility
  • Sends reminders

Disadvantages

  • Graphs can be a little overwhelming

Pricing

Free

12. RescueTime

Key Features

Rescue Time helps you do just that by allowing you to track how much time you spend on different mobile apps and websites. Make changes wherever you’re surprised or unhappy with the findings and, as the site proclaims, "find your ideal work-life balance."

Advantages

  • Lets you know how much time you are wasting every day on your device

Disadvantages

  • Is an app on your phone, which requires you to spend more time on your phone (an oxymoron)

Pricing

Free

13. Moment

Photo via Moment

Key Features

Moment tracks how much time you spend on your phone each day, and lets you set a limit to force yourself off once you’ve gone over.

Advantages

  • Lets you know how much time you are wasting every day on your device

Disadvantages

  • Is an app on your phone, which requires you to spend more time on your phone (an oxymoron)

Pricing

Free

14. Yelp

Key Features

Yelp lets you look up nearby everything (restaurants, shopping, services, and more) so you can read reviews and make a choice you’ll be happy with in advance.

Advantages

  • Offers recommendations with reviews, photos and information

Disadvantages

  • Takes the adventure out of hunting down your own ideas
  • Isn't always accurate because reviews are subjective

Pricing

Free

15. Gboard

Key Features

Thanks to 50 percent faster “glide typing,” Gboard's in-app keyboard lets you respond to a message and get off of your phone more quickly.

Advantages

  • Types for you, saving you time

Disadvantages

  • De-humanizes the experience

Pricing

Free

16. Venmo

Key Features

Venmo is king for when you don’t have cash, want to easily split the check, or need to pay back a friend. You sync it with your bank account and can charge or request money from anyone else who’s signed up, easily. No more waiting to split the check, having to go to an ATM for cash, etc. etc.

Advantages

  • Easily send and receive money

Disadvantages

  • Can accidentally send to unknown users
  • Takes time to transfer to the bank
  • Only available in the US

Pricing

Free

17. Overdrive

Key Features

Overdrive lets you rent e-books from your local library without having to actually go to the library. It’s like Netflix for bookworms!

Advantages

  • Rent ebooks without having to buy them or go anywhere

Disadvantages

  • You don't get to hang onto the book

Pricing

Free

18. Time Doctor

Key Features

If you want to take charge of your life and free yourself from time-pressure, then Time Doctor is just for you! The ideal time tracking and productivity monitoring app that allows you to stay on top of all the tasks and assignments.

Advantages

  • Tracks time and productivity
  • Offers alerts
  • Sends reminders

Disadvantages

  • Isn't always the most accurate

Pricing

$10/month

19. NightShift

Photo via Nightshift

Key Features

Nightshift is more so one of your phone’s features than an app, but enabling it makes the light from your screen warmer (the regular blue light disrupts our ability to sleep).

Advantages

  • Helps your eyesight over time

Disadvantages

  • Can be frustrating when you need more light

Pricing

Free

20. Flux

Key Features

Similarly, Flux also helps cut blue light from our screens and even adapts your screen color based on the time of day.

Advantages

  • Helps your eyesight over time

Disadvantages

  • Can be frustrating when you need more light

Pricing

Free

21. Habitbull

Key Features

Habitbull helps you track new habits so you can more easily maintain them over time. It could also be used to help you break bad habits, too.

Advantages

  • Tracks new habits over time
  • Offers community
  • Displays graphs

Disadvantages

  • Doesn't offer advice on breaking bad habits

Pricing

Free

22. MyFitnessPal

Key Features

MyFitnessPal is an incredible tool for tracking your health and fitness goals. You can track calories, weight, meals, and macros seamlessly. There’s even a function that lets you scan or enter in a new food if you can’t find it by searching.

Advantages

  • Offers workouts
  • Offers calorie tracker

Disadvantages

  • Doesn't necessarily hold you accountable

Pricing

Free

23. DuoLingo

Key Features

DuoLingo is sort of like the free version of Rosetta Stone. It helps you learn languages whenever you have a spare moment, making becoming multi-lingual seem more like a way to pass a commute than a test you have to study for.

Advantages

  • Helps you learn multiple languages
  • Sends you reminders
  • Gamifies learning

Disadvantages

  • Doesn't necessarily teach you real-world scenarios
  • Difficult to learn a language without in-person practice

Pricing

Free

24. Learn CSS

Photo via Learn CSS

Key Features

Similarly, Learn CSS and its related series of apps help you learn in-demand, relevant skills that will boost your career on-the-go.

Advantages

  • Teaches you CSS skills

Disadvantages

  • Takes time and lacks in-person accountability

Pricing

Free

25. Vouchercloud

Key Features

Vouchercloud helps you search the best coupon and discount codes available from leading retailers to help you save money easily.

Advantages

  • Offers coupons to save you money

Disadvantages

  • Can only be used for online shopping
  • No longer available in the US

Pricing

Dependent upon country

26. Honey

Key Features

Honey automatically syncs the best possible coupon codes for you at check-out when browsing online, helping you find better deals instantly.

Advantages

  • Offers coupons to save you money

Disadvantages

  • Can only be used for shopping

Pricing

Free

27. Google Tasks

Key Features

Google Tasks is great for digital task management and taking notes because it works in conjunction with your Google Calendar account, meaning you can have a quick visual of your tasks for that day and the week ahead all in one place. It’s super basic (and free!), but will be enough for those who aren’t interested in the bells and whistles of fancier apps.

Advantages

  • Easy user interface
  • Combines with Google Calendar account

Disadvantages

  • Not great for minimalists

Pricing

Free

28. Wunderlist

Photo via Wunderlist

Key Features

Microsoft was so fond of the to-do list app Wunderlist that it bought the company that created it, and if that’s not a solid sign, then we don’t know what is. The Wunderlist app lets you easily create and share task lists, allowing you to collaborate with coworkers or family members. You could also get Wunderlist Pro as a fairly low-cost in-app purchase, but most users will be plenty satisfied with the free version.

Advantages

  • Ability to share tasks for collaboration
  • Easy user interface

Disadvantages

  • Not great for minimalists

Pricing

Free

29.  Todoist

Key Features

The Todoist app remains one of the popular app store choices for those in need of an online task manager, and for good reason. You can separate tasks into projects, drag-and-drop projects to form a hierarchy, color-code priorities, and set separate reminders for when you should start working on a task versus when that task is due. Todoist Premium even rewards you for productivity by scoring your daily work ethic!

Advantages

  • Online task manager
  • Separate tasks by project
  • Color-coding capabilities
  • Reminders
  • Rewards for work ethic

Disadvantages

  • Free version is limited

Pricing

Free with in-app purchases

30. Firetask

Key Features

Firetask is a great way for big-picture thinkers to manage to-do lists and comes with two “views.” The first, Organize, gives you a quick-glance rundown of all your upcoming projects for the next two days, as well as further down the road. The Scratchboard view then lets you jot down notes.

Advantages

  • Two views
  • Easy organization
  • Quick rundowns of projects
  • Scratchboard view for notes

Disadvantages

  • Not free

Pricing

$40

31. Any.do

Key Features

Any.do enables you to sync your various task lists and to-do’s across all your devices, create recurring tasks, and make notes via voice-entry. Plus, this task management app helps you compartmentalize what can wait a couple days and what has to be done immediately. Most of its best features come ready to go on the free version!

Advantages

  • Simple userface
  • Can add different lists
  • Can add tags
  • Flexible calendar views

Disadvantages

  • Not great for minimalists

Pricing

Free

32. TickTick

Key Features

TickTick is another simple yet effective to-do list app. You just list your tasks and tap any of the more complex ones to add subtasks, this turning the task into a project. Todo lists are also automatically organized according to their due date, which takes some of the pressure off of yourself!

Advantages

  • Simple userface
  • Can add subtasks
  • Automatic organization
  • Flexible calendar views
  • Syncable across platforms

Disadvantages

  • Not great for minimalists

Pricing

Free

What will you do with all of the time and resources you’ve saved by streamlining?

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Chelsea is a career coach, trainer, and resume writer with over 5 years of experience working with diverse adults throughout the New York City area. She has worked with jobseekers across industries and professional levels, including immigrants and formerly incarcerated individuals. She loves poetry, travel, and arctic dogs, and lives in Brooklyn, NY.

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