Wunderlist: The To-Do List App to Beat

Most of us struggle with too many things to do. From projects you need to complete at work or school to the random things you need to fix at your house, there’s simply too much to do each day. There are dozens of to-do list and project management apps for Windows, Mac, mobile, as well as standalone webapps so you can keep up with your tasks online. Many of them are beautifully designed and are simple to use, but they’re often expensive and only work on one platform.

Very few to-do list apps offer an integrated solution to keep your tasks synced between all of your devices. The last thing you need to do is to manage a complicated to-do list sync when you’re already struggling under too many things to do. But many popular apps still don’t sync seamlessly. Today we’re going to look at a new beautifully designed to-do list app that blows all of this away: Wunderlist.

And Then There Was Wunderlist

It’s always exciting when a brand new company springs up and turns a whole category of software around. 6Wunderkit is a firm that did just that. They had planned on making an advanced project management app, but first, they set down and designed a free to-do list app to prove their concept. This app, Wunderlist, was initially released for Windows and OS X, but then was soon released for iPhone, iPad, and Android devices. Finally, they’ve brought the entire Wunderlist app to the web, so you can keep up with your tasks no matter what device you’re using. For a free app, it’s incredibly impressive how quickly they’ve iterated on their original concept.

6wunderkinder's Unique Website with their flagship product: Wunderlist

Each of Wunderlist’s apps work almost the same, and they all tie into your online Wunderlist account to keep your tasks in sync across all of your devices. You can even share lists with others and see any tasks or notes they’ve added to the list right in your own Wunderlist account.

If you’ve already tried out their mobile apps, you should already have a Wunderlist account that’ll be ready to use with the webapp. Otherwise, just head to http://wunderlist.com/ and create a brand new account for free.

Wunderlist webapp's beautiful homepage

As soon as you’ve created an account, you’ll be logged into your new Wunderlist, which will be pre-populated with a tutorial task list to help you quickly get started. Even if you don’t have a new mobile device, the Wunderlist webapp includes all of the features you’d find in the other platforms, so you’re not missing out at all. All of the apps work the same, since Wunderlist was built on the Titanium framework, though it’s still amazing to see this level of multiplatform integration even today. Wunderlist is organized with your tasks in the main center pane, and your task lists are organized on the right sidebar. Along the bottom, you can sort you tasks by their due date or priority, and you can search for tasks from the sidebar as well.

Get started with a tutorial list

Your Tasks, Your Way

Wunderlist is not just a simply functional task list. It’s also a beautifully styled app that makes it fun to keep up with your tasks. Wunderlist uses a wood grain background by default, but you can choose from a dozen high quality backgrounds on the bottom menu. These range from stylish to simple to whimsical, so you should find something to suite your tastes.

Customize your list with a variety of stylish backgrounds

You can also customize how your tasks are organized. Just click and drag to rearrange your tasks, or drop the task in another list on the right to move it. Need to edit a task? Just double-click it, and type in your changes. Or, if you need to prioritize your tasks, click the star on the left to move it to the top and add a bookmark to it.

Drag and drop tasks to organize your lists

Save All Your Tasks

Adding tasks is quick and easy. Just type in anything you need to do in the text box on the top, then click the clock on the left to add a due date to the task. Alternately, you can leave the due date blank if your task doesn’t have to be done by a particular time. I personally have a list of things I’d like to do that’s entirely unscheduled, and I add things to it as I think of them throughout the week. Then, on Monday, I’ll go through and schedule out the things that need to be done this week, adding in any of those tasks I think I can get done.

If you prefer using your keyboard to navigate your computer, Wunderlist works great with keyboard shortcuts, too. Tap T or N to enter a new task, L to start a new list, F to search your lists, and more. You’ll find a complete list of shortcuts in the help menu on the bottom of the sidebar.

Schedule tasks or add tasks without a due date

Sometimes tasks need more explanation than you can include in a one-line to-do entry. If you need to add more info, just click the note icon on the right of your task, then enter any extra notes you have about your task. Links will automatically be clickable, so this is a great way to organize research you’ve done online about your task. Unfortunately, Wunderlist’s search only searches the tasks themselves, so you won’t be able to find a task from data in its notes.

Add notes to any of your tasks

Outsource Your Tasks

Perhaps you don’t actually plan to do the tasks alone. Many things you need to do will be done in groups, and Wunderlist works great for this, too. You can share your lists directly with others in Wunderlist, or can email or print a list of tasks to share with anyone. Alternately, click the cloud icon on a list to share an HTML version of your list via CloudApp, so you can share your list online with your social network, website viewers, or others.

Share lists with others, email tasks, or share with the world on CloudApp

The best way is to share directly in Wunderlist. Just click the people icon beside the list you want to share, and then enter your friend’s email address. If they already have a Wunderlist account, they’ll get an invite email to join your shared list. Seconds later, you’ll both see the same set of tasks, and can easily collaborate on tasks. I’ve been using it to collaborate with colleagues around the globe, and it’s worked great so far for us!

Keep your lists in sync with your friends' Wunderlists

No Task Left Behind

The Wunderlist webapp works great in any modern browser, and even can be used in a mobile browser. However, sometimes it’s simpler to use a native app to manage your tasks. You can download Wunderlist for free for your Mac or PC, iPhone, iPad, or Android device. You’ll get all of the great features of Wunderlist on your favorite platform, and can keep up with your tasks even when you’re offline. Best of all, everything’s kept in sync across all of your devices!

Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and the web: Your tasks, everywhere!

Conclusion

No matter what device you prefer to use to organize your tasks, Wunderlist is a brilliant solution to keep track of what you need to do. You can organize your own to-dos, share lists with family and coworkers, and keep everything synced no matter how many devices you use. Best of all, it’s free. It’s very exciting to see a webapp that feels this much like a desktop app, so if you haven’t already tried it out, you definitely should just to see how it works.

If your team is looking for a more integrated project manager, definitely keep an eye on 6Wunderkinder’s upcoming premium app, Wunderkit. We’re excited to see how it turns out, after Wunderlist is such a nice app. Plus, if you’d like to dig into Wunderlist and tweak it to your liking, you can even download its source code from GitHub. Now, what more could you ask?


Summary

Wunderlist is an elegant and free to-do list that helps you manage your tasks and coordinate projects with friends. With a webapp, as well as desktop and mobile apps, you'll never be far from the things you need to do.

9
  • http://www.twitter.com/knozos Mauricio

    Wunderlist needs a calendar view

    • Jesse Wallace

      Why? It’s a task list app, not Outlook/GCal. If you’re using it to schedule your life, your more than likely using it wrong. There is a presentational layer that is strange with you mixed scheduled tasks with unscheduled ones in Calendar views. The format that Wunderlist has eliminates that.

    • Daniel

      I would also like to see a calendar view, but other than that i agree that its better than the rest

  • http://www.brunomarinho.com Bruno Marinho

    So simple and Cool. Great UI too. Will be perfect if they put a timer to record time per task.

  • Paul

    No recurring tasks? Won’t be using this until they implement it.

    • http://baked.thecomicseries.com/ Radie

      Ugh, I agree. I really had high hopes, but man does it hurt when a feature that you need is missing from an otherwise great package.

      • John

        I am using evernote for all my big tasks, but just for a really simple todo list, I am using an app called taskcat. I tried a bunch of other ones, but those two are the ones I’m using now.

  • Lori

    too bad it doesn’t have a blackberry app

    • J. Jones

      I can’t believe this simple app can’t support repeating tasks. Also, why not give the user the option for subtasks? It doesn’t matter how pretty the application is, why can’t it deliver basic functions? If it got those two things going for itself, I would be much more likely to use this application. Shoot. I’d even pay a buck or two a month.

  • xxdesmus

    Talk to me when Wunderlist can handle something as repeating tasks. Sorry, but Wunderlist is extremely basic. Remember the Milk is the best solution of mobile app (iOS and Android apps are both amazing), website, and Gmail integration I’ve come across and I’ve tried just about all of them at one point or another. Wunderlist is overhyped for such a simple app.

    • http://baked.thecomicseries.com/ Radie

      Really? I have tried using RTM at least 3 seperate times in the last few years and each time I am severely underwhelmed.

      Aside from having arguably the worst name in web app history, I find the minimalist approach really lacking. Plus I have a regular phone, so no cool apps for me.

  • http://www.hammyhavoc.com Hammy Havoc

    Wunderlist is all of the functionality that should be in Things and OmniFocus. C’mon Cultured Code and The Omni Group, we know you’ve got the capability of delivering it.

    Wunderlist isn’t enough on it’s own, but it certainly raises the bar of what is to be expected as the minimum of a GTD application.

  • Tim

    I still don’t lke how Wunderlist only shows one line of text for a todo and then you have to click it to see the full text. That is annoying.
    I don’t care for the web interface of Google Tasks, but the iPhone app called GoTasks makes Google Tasks so awesome on the iPhone. It would be hard for me to switch away from using that.

  • http://thefreelancepinoy.com/ Stephanie

    I just downloaded Wunderlist and after trying out the app, the only thing I don’t like is using Comic Sans for note-taking.

    The app’s UI and website are professional, slick, and attractive that it’s such a turn-off to see Comic Sans as the default font for note-taking. And after browsing through 6Wunderkinder’s help section, they said they don’t allow font changes yet. :(

    • betaguru

      the new beta of the wunderlist app just show notes like in the web app, so no comic sans anymore :-)

      • http://thefreelancepinoy.com/ Stephanie

        Hi betaguru,

        What do you mean by “just show notes like in the web app”? I’m using the wunderlist desktop app right now and Comic Sans is still there. :)

    • http://baked.thecomicseries.com/ Radie

      hehe… Comic Sans

      If you use Comic Sans, there is little need for an app like Wunderlist… I got your task list right here:

      1) Juice & Cartoons
      2) Nap
      3) Throw a tantrum
      4) Defecate on self

      Just print that up every day and you are all set… Dont worry about using a whole page to print it, you can use the extra space to draw pretty pictures and color.

      • zing

        um, she was saying that wunderlist itself using comic sans. so, i suppose wunderlist should follow your 4 steps, then.

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  • http://baked.thecomicseries.com/ Radie

    Does anyone know if this thing can handle accepting tasks by email? With no smartphone, I need an app that can “communicate” through emails.

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  • http://www.vexterdesign.com Carlo

    Not to toot my own horn… well… yeah, I will. Anyone else think this is too much for a “to-do” list? My team at Vexter definitely just needed something super simple. I can’t believe the hundreds of productivity tools out there that fail to miss the target. This app has tons of options, yes, but are they really (REALLY) necessary?

    A bunch of people we know have been using our Easy List app and have had better luck with it than most of their other tools. I’m sure life doesn’t need to be even more complicated than it already is.

    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/easy-list-easiest-to-do-list/id440531829?mt=8

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  • kenji

    OMG, you can’t really please some people. I love this app, great work…why? One, its freaking FREE….! That’s 4/5 stars in my book, especially in a time when everyone want to make a buck. Its Free…eh. Its looks great and give you a hand in changing it some. You have sync to more than one platform and cloud sync….did i mention it FREE! You can print and share your tasks…for free…i mean really? Come on….! You guys and gals sure what the whole darn barn when you arent paying crap. Great job guys! Keep it coming!

  • http://langparkerenschiphol.net/ Park

    I miss the week calendar overview.. I’m using now weekplan.net to get a overview of the weekly todo list

    On the other hand, it is free! :D so we dont need to complain haha. I do love the cloud sync!

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