This page may be out of date. Submit any pending changes before refreshing this page.
Hide this message.

Which is the best To Do List / Task Management application that also has Project Management features (tasks as part of a project)?

I should note that I've been looking at Pivotal Tracker, Asana and Trello for creating product specs, but other applications look those above look better suited to To Do Lists and general task management.

78 Answers
Brian de Haaff
Brian de Haaff, Co-founder and CEO of Aha! -- the new way to build brilliant product roadmaps...
15.1k ViewsMost Viewed Writer in Project Management with 30+ answers

If you are looking for a tool to build great software that is beautifully designed you really would benefit from a purpose-built tool for software companies like Aha!

Note that Aha! has a product management focus. Let me explain more and disclose that I am a co-founder of the company.

After our last two companies were acquired by Aruba Networks and Citrix respectively, we wanted to help product and engineering managers in software companies get their mojo back.

We were tired of using spreadsheets and wikis and trying to apply generic project management tools that were not designed for product management and planning.

We also saw too many product folks beaten down by soft strategies, weak communications, and lousy tools. So, we built Aha! and seem to have touched a nerve and are already serving 50,000 users at many of the best known technology and Web companies around.

Check out a few screenshots of what Aha! can do for agile teams.

Screenshot of portfolio roadmap

Screenshot of feature planning

Screenshot of sprint planning

Screenshot of strategic planning

If you are interested in checking out Aha! for yourself there is a 30-day free trial available on our website. Happy roadmapping.

Jason Hurley
Jason Hurley, knowledge worker who loves data, soccer, sports, health, and Seinfeld
I'm very guilty of Productivity Porn.  I've tried nearly a dozen different websites / apps to keep track of my projects and tasks.  Each time, I feel like I've accomplished something because I spend hours recording everything I need to do.  I felt like David Allen would be proud! (Although I knew  Merlin Mann would not be) However, I could never just stick with one.

My favorites were Remember The Milk, Wunderlist, Trello (product), and WorkFlowy.  Each had many awesome features, but none of them seemed perfect to me.  After a short time, I'd abandon one in lieu of another and felt like I repeated the cycle endlessly.  I tried others and spent much time simply updating an Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.  I've often been frustrated with the lack of a "perfect" application (for me, of course - I know this is a personal decision).

HOWEVER, just the other day, I came across what I've always been looking for.  Not sure how I missed it this whole time because it's wildly popular among successful companies (Twitter (product), Foursquare, LinkedIn (product), Airbnb, etc) and has $10s of millions in angel investor money.  I'm completely hooked and feel like I've found my answer:


Features I like:
  • It's simple, yet it has just enough complexity to be thorough
  • Keyboard shortcuts are a breeze
  • Projects are kept on the left nav where you can mark some as favorites and order them as you wish
  • Each project can have a description and unlimited tasks (which can have subtasks)
  • Tasks can have attachments, be prioritized, assigned to a user, set as Today/Upcoming/Later, specific due dates, tags, and comments
  • There's a real slick search capability to find projects / task as well as run simple "reports" (what have I completed in the past x days, what is due in the upcoming y days, etc)
  • The font and the interface is beautiful.  I've only been using it for a few days and I obviously can't say enough good things about it
  • The iOS app is very good

Update: along with many new, fantastic updates to Asana since I wrote this, IMHO one of the most impressive updates is the new Guide: Asana · Welcome to the Asana Guide.
Thomas Carney
Thomas Carney, Project Management Enthusiast at Planio

For a long time, I got to-do lists mixed up with task management.

You might argue that they’re the same thing.

I think there’s an important difference between a to-do list and task management.

A to-do list is binary: you’ve either done the task or you haven’t. It’s perfect for personal tasks that you can do by yourself without any input from anyone else.

You have to fill out a form for your health insurer, put it in an envelope and send it. Done! Tick it off your To-Do list.

When you’re working in a team, however, things get a little more complicated.

You need to get bits of information from various people. You need to get sign-off from a manager, or you need specialized input from an expert.

You’re no longer a lone wolf knocking off items from your to-do list.

Enter the Issue Tracker

And I think that’s why you’d be best served by an issue tracker.

An issue tracker is a specialized to-do list. It brings an extra layer to the table, because it allows a “task” to go through various different stages. You can assign to a person, then assign it to someone else for review.

Instead of having two steps (to-do or done), you have as many steps as your processes need.

It’s focused on accountability and progress.

Now, you’ll come across tons of different forms of issues trackers on the market.

However, they all fundamentally revolve around issue tracking and how you present those issues visually.

Different ways to present tasks are:

  • Kanban or scrum boards
  • workspaces
  • Gantt charts
  • issue lists

For example, Trello is an issue tracker with ONLY a visual view - the trello board.

JIRA is a very complicated issue tracker with a highly technical JQL syntax for searching for issues.

Planio, the issue tracker I work for, falls in between these two.

It has a Trello-style kanban board, but it also has Gantt charts and an issue list.

It’s particularly suited to software development and software support due to its tight git and email integration.

Ultimately, I’ve found the best way to choose a tool is to mock up a project in several different versions and find the one that suits you best.

Justin Sturgis
Justin Sturgis, Founder & SimpleLotus, LLC
I've "wasted" hundreds of hours testing solutions for GTD, general tasks, project management, todo lists, communication, productivity, etc. Well, it wasn't really  wasted time, but more of a side project for the past 15 years. It's almost a hobby at this point, scouring for new ideas and solutions and then taking them for a spin. Believe it or not, there are many more that I have tried than what appears below, but I have either forgotten them or I wouldn't recommend them. The lists below are solutions that I believe are worthy of checking out.

The first list are solutions that just didn't fit my style, but will work for many.

The second list are solutions I've really appreciated for a time, but were replaced along the way with options that suited me better.

The third list are three incredible solutions, but I only need one incredible solution so I stopped using them.

The last list is the combination I use today with the dates I began using them.

Obviously, finding the right solution is a very personal journey, so I don't expect that many will enjoy the exact setup I have, but you can see that I have certainly tested the waters and I feel like I have vetted the industry well, so that I am pretty confident in my current choices. If nothing else, I'm sure there are some options on these lists that people haven't tried so maybe your perfect solution is here somewhere. Good luck.

If you'd like me to expand on why I picked certain options over others, I'd be happy to.

Here's what I've tried and had varying degrees of success with
Todo Pro
Action Method
Astrid (dead)
epythia (dead)
43 Folders
Orchestra (dead)
Ace Project
Project Insight
Remember The Milk

Here's what I've liked enough to use for good amount of time

The most powerful tools that I'm no longer using

Here's what I've kept and the combination I use today
IQTELL - main tool (integrates w/ Evernote + Google) (2012)
Evernote - general note taking, collecting data, mobile (2008)
Google - underlying framework for all of this (2004)
Wiggio - collaboration and project management (2013) - quick little daily tasks (integrates well w/Gmail,Android,Chrome) (2011)
MS Office - because it's familiar, but Google Docs and LibreOffice are closing in fast (1989)
IFTTT - set it and forget it (2010)
FellowUp - set it and forget it (2012)
FollowUpThen - set it and forget it (2012)

You can also get some pretty comprehensive reviews at:
Priacta - Time Management Training, Coaching, Software
Karina Orlova
Karina Orlova, manage freelance projects

To use wall for task management is incredible. I'm not joking) Offline methods are one of the best, because you can not archive the same understanding among your team as you can do by discussing it offline. Freelance needs a good pm skills and tools.

One of them is Trello. But among a pool of advantages i found sone disadvantages such as inability to assign task among your team members. Also Trello has not a good visibility. It is critical if you work with remote teams and customers.

So one of the best instruments for project managers is GanttPRO. Gantt charts has a great visibility This tool is very simple and intuitive. You can share task with other members and can export files to XLXS. PDF and iCAL.Try GanttPRO if you want to get aquainted with gantt charts.

View More Answers