Some people get a thrill from checking items off a hand-written to-do list. Others prefer to manage their lives with feature-packed digital calendars. I am both, and when I discovered Todoist earlier this year, it seemed like the best of both worlds: the ease of managing tasks in a centralized app combined with the simple pleasure of marking tasks off when you finish them. Now Todoist is even better with a facelift that delivers a new look and even more helpful new features.
The popular task management app on Tuesday rolled out a brand new version for iOS that sets the stage for a dramatic, platform-wide overhaul. Some 4 million people use Todoist to add 510,000 projects daily, and share an average of 52,000 tasks a day across millions of projects. Todoist founder and CEO Amir Salihefendic told me his team has been working to make the task management tool's mobile apps as powerful as its desktop version, and with version 10, they have finally succeeded.
"A few years ago. you could only do a simple list and nothing else," Salihefendic said. "Now we have made the mobile apps as powerful as our desktop apps, and I think they are easier to use and more intuitive."
A slew of new (free!) features
There are immediately obvious changes: Version 10 gives Todoist a makeover that makes every interaction cleaner and simpler to use. There are also now 10 themes to choose from, so you can swap in tangerine, blueberry, or a neutral shade for the Todoist red.
But the new Todoist for iOS goes beyond a fresh face. The app's new features are subtle but convenient. The two biggest changes are multi-task editing, which lets you change due dates, delegate, and move multiple tasks from one project to another, and more intelligent scheduling, so you can create tasks with unique start and end dates like, "Run 5 miles every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 7 a.m. from May 1 through November 1." Todoist has always been able to parse deadline dates/times as you type, but now it's even smarter--and the app's in-line adding can recognize 10 languages.
Todoist's overhauled date-parsing is one of the features that will take time for its users to discover, but it's also what sets the app apart, Salihefendic said. More than 50 percent of Todoist tasks include dates, so the company decided to make those dates "much more powerful" in a way that no other to-do list app has done.
Another new feature is one I didn't even realize I wanted until I had it: the ability to pull apart two tasks to add one in between. You can also use a long press to reorder projects, move sub-tasks from one project to another, and collapse or expand tasks or projects.
All of the new features, minus a few of the themes, are available in the free version of Todoist. Premium users can pay $29 a year to unlock labels, task reminders, location reminders, calendar synchronization, productivity tracking, and the complete library of color schemes.