Simple yet powerful task management with Todoist

Daniel Pataki
Jan 17, 2010
Updated • Dec 11, 2012
Apps, Internet

Over the past years I've been using task managers on and off, but one I always come back to is Todoist. While there are certainly more powerful options out there (Remember The Milk), Todoist, to me, is the perfect balance between power and simplicity.

If you take a look, you can't argue that it has a superb no-frills interface, and you can shoot out and manage tasks very easily. It supports inline tagging (use @tag to quick tag a task) and priorities (use !p1 or !p2 or !p3 to quickly add a priority), notifications, task indentation for hierarchy, and a handy search box, which you can use to search based on any word, or task data.

So far this is not unheard of for task managers, I just simply connect with this one better than others. However, where I feel Todoist excels is that it offers a wide range of ways to add tasks, best of all, complete Launchy integration.

If you log in, and go to Todoist Help (if you have no tasks yet, you should see this page displayed anyway), you can see a section named plugins. Apart from finding Netvibes and iGoogle and a Mac dashboard widger (all excellent), you can find instructions on how to use Launchy to add tasks without even opening your browser. I usually find that ideas come in the stupidest situations, where I don't want to be distracted from my work, so pressing alt+space and quickly typing a task is much easier than going to the site.

Another way you can use laucnhy is from your iPhone, using the application named Doings. I have not tried this personally, I will purchase it in the next few days, so if any of you have first hand experience, share your thoughts in the comments please! It looks as simple as the online counterpart, and supports offline mode too, so you can be sure your tasks will all be there wherever you are. Apart from the name sounding like something you do on the toilet, this seems like a perfectly usable application.

If you really love Todoist, you can also opt for a paid version. The developer stylishly chose to include features in the paid versions which only the most avid users need, so the free one is extremely useful on its own. The paid version gets you Email, Phone, or Twitter reminders, an improved label system and SSL security. At $3 a month, if you really need these, I think they are at an affordable rate.


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  1. Mike said on February 29, 2012 at 11:17 pm

    Another Dooster user here and like the others, no complaints. Successful tool for us.

  2. Nathalie said on September 22, 2011 at 11:54 pm

    One of our clients uses Todoist and they love it. Our company has been using Dooster even though I thought we were going to get Basecamp. I like Dooster it has definitely made improvements in my working life.

  3. Jack said on September 6, 2011 at 1:58 am

    We were told to look at Todoist when we were choosing collab software but didn’t get that far because after trying four products (Basecampm RTM and another) we decided to get Dooster which has turned up trumps for us. The customer service is very good.

  4. Ulrich Riedel said on November 7, 2010 at 10:58 pm

    Todoist is really simple. But after a while I found it limiting in the way that I do not want to execute all of my tasks by myself. I wanted to assign tasks to others (family, colleagues) too.

    I just found a still easy-to-use web based task management application, that supports assignment of tasks / collaboration:

    It also offers a mobile solution. This works perfect for me.

  5. Shinta said on March 13, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    I love todoist’s simplicity.

  6. Jordan said on January 24, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    Another Todoist fan checking in here – it is awesome stuff, though I’m waiting for the Firefox sidebar plugin to be updated for 3.6. I also use Doings, and it is almost as good as you think it is. The latest version has a lot of improvements, but you do have to manually sync any tasks you add in Doings back to the Todoist servers. It’s just a press of a button, but sometimes it can be easy to overlook that when you’re in a hurry, and then you wonder why the new tasks are missing when back on your computer.

    This is an easy fix, though, and I still definitely recommend it if you’re a heavy Todoist user.

  7. a+a said on January 18, 2010 at 4:06 am

    Indeed it is a powerful and simple task manager. I really like the almost completely keyboard based workflow, but it is not as powerful as other task managers, such as toodledo, which I’m using right now (yeah, interface is not that good, but you can easily change that with userstyles).
    Also, search box only works with certain criteria, such as dates and tags. AFAIK, you can’t search any word.

    1. a+a said on January 18, 2010 at 4:08 am

      I also like the bookmarklet to pop up your tasks from any site…. THAT is useful.

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