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Todoist Review 2016 – Android

Here we review Todoist for Android.  Todoist is one of the big players in the multi-platform task management arena.  Previously in my Todoist review for Windows I found it to be an elegant implementation of a Todo list app.  In this Todoist review, we’ll see how the Android premium version compares.

Todoist (Android)
9.2 Reviewer
Pros
• Seriously multi-platform
• Simple, elegant design
• Integrates well with multiple apps
• Smart date and time recognition
Cons
• Premium license required for
basic functionality such as
comments & labels
• Cumbersome to move tasks
between projects
Bottom Line
Although there is a free version of Todoist, you will probably have to go for the $29 per year option as certain key functions such as labels, comments and filters require the premium version. Having taken that step you will find yourself with access to a slick, multi-platform tool for task management that generally works well. It is feature rich, integrates well with other apps and is deservedly one of the leaders for mobile productivity.

 

Introduction

There is no shortage of multi-platform Todo list apps such as Wunderlist, Ticktick, Swipes etc.  As productivity goes mobile it is becoming the norm to have your task list with you wherever you may be and on whatever platform you are using. Whether that be on a PC, tablet, mobile phone or even on wearables such as the iWatch.  Without doubt, Todoist is a heavyweight in this market as people gravitate towards it’s simple, elegant approach to task management.  In this Todoist review for Android, I will be covering Todoist Premium, which costs @29 per year.  Let’s start by considering the Todoist user interface.

Todoist User Interface

The overview screen shows which views are possible.

Todoist Review - Todoist for Android Overview Menu

Todoist overview screen

From this you can see ,

  • Inbox – You can enter new tasks from here, or indeed anywhere in Todoist
  • Today – The tasks you have scheduled for today
  • Next 7 days – Tasks scheduled for the next week
  • Projects
  • Labels
  • Filters

The second and third views will indicate any scheduled tasks you have for those time frames.  For any unscheduled tasks you will have to navigate to the folder in question to see what is to be done.  Another option to view unscheduled tasks is to utilize the filter.  But in this case, you will need to be a paying customer to avail yourself of those cherished filters.

Admittedly the filters are not only useful, but for power users invaluable.  They can be configured to your particular needs as we will see in the next section and for many will be a great time saving feature to show exactly what you need to see.

Todoist Review - Todoist Today view

Todoist Today screen

From the Today screen you can directly access two of the main task functions,

  1. Marking tasks as complete
  2. Scheduling tasks

These are done simply by swiping the task right or left respectively with one’s Smartphone workhorse – the opposable thumb.  Swiping it right will indicate the task is finished and remove it from the list.  Swiping left opens a schedule window with various rough time frames such as Today, Tomorrow, Next week etc.  All can be selected with a single button which is great for efficient task management.  If you really want to set a date, this is also possible with a few more button pushes.  The latter method would probably satisfy most people’s needs and given my lazy tendencies would probably be the one I would opt for in most scenarios.

The “Next 7 days” screen is an extension of the Today screen with scheduled tasks over the next 7 days being shown.

Todoist Features and Functions

Although Todoist has a simple interface, one should not underestimate it’s intelligence.  Before we come to the science bit let’s cover the basics in this Todoist review.

When it comes to any mobile to-do app there are only a limited number of things that the app needs to get right.  For me, these are listed below.  If it can achieve more than these, it is but icing on the cake.

  • Fast task entry on the go
  • Fast manipulation of the tasks between lists
  • Easy addition of labels, tags, or defined dates for tasks
  • Quick and easy view of what is to be done given your current context

I give these things priority because of the nature of the platform.  We are dealing with small screens and keyboards on the go and sometimes even in motion.  It is difficult and frustrating if a lot of user intervention is needed to accomplish simple tasks given those interface restrictions.  Let’s see how Todoist fares with these simple requirements.

Fast task entry

Excellent.

I could leave it at that but you guys have kindly visited my site and read nearly 900 words by this stage so I won’t short change you at this stage.  (As a heads up, there are about another 900 words to go so you are half way through).  What I see with Todoist is that tasks can be entered anywhere in the app, irrespective of the view screen.  If you add a hashtag preceding a task name it will automatically go into the relevant project.  So if I write “buy bread #shopping”, in any project or Inbox or anywhere else for that matter it will go straight to the “shopping”, project.  Additionally Todoist has smart date recognition.  So, you can enter “Appointment on Wednesday at 3pm” and it will recognize Wednesday and 3pm and schedule it accordingly.  You can also enter the tasks, dates and times with Android voice dictation and again it automatically schedule those for you. I find voice dictation a great feature to brain dump tasks while on the go.  At present the smart input does not recognize labels and projects from voice dictation but that seems to be in the works.

One fly in the ointment though is for fast subtask entry.  Although individual tasks can be entered from any screen, subtasks can only be entered for project views.

Fast manipulation and adding task information

Tasks can be categorized at the point of entry with hashtags or using @ for labels.  If you later need to move tasks between projects this can be a bit cumbersome.  I counted 5 button presses to move a task,

  1. Select the task
  2. Push the edit button
  3. Hit the Project selector button
  4. Select the project
  5. Enter

That is a bit much just to move tasks around so ideally one needs to get the correct Project at the point of task entry with the hashtag to avoid this additional effort.  But, as mentioned with voice dictation this is not yet possible so something which could be improved I think.

For the date/time information, as mentioned in the last section this is excellent.  One swipe on the task and one button push to enter the time frame which is sufficient for most occasions.

 

Context based task views

You are a couple of ways you can skin this cat with Todoist.  The first is to simply work from the projects list where they are already configured more or less by context.  The example projects are setup as “Shopping”, “Home”, “Errands”, etc.

The second possibility is location based reminders where you can define a location on a map and when you are at that location the reminder will trigger you.  From the example video below you can see what they mean.  One need never forget the anniversary flowers again!

 

So, that’s the basics covered.  I could stop at that point, but my feet up and declare it to be a good app, but no.  The rabbit hole goes deeper – let me mention a few other noteworthy features in this Todoist review.

Todoist also has browser plugins whereby you can save URLs as tasks, directly from the browser.  It is also possible to email tasks directly to your Todoist where the email subject will become the new task and the email body will be appended as a comment.

The filters are another great time saver in Todoist.  You can configure them to show you exactly what you are interested in.  They can be configured to show tasks over a given timeframe, tasks assigned to yourself, tasks associated with given labels or tags or all of these together!  Boolean expressions are also supported.  So, let’s say you wanted to know the tasks over the next 7 days to be done, simply enter “7 days & @home”.  For a full list of the other possibilities you can check out the Todoist filter commands here.

One thing that I don’t see though is being able to share tasks from the Android App.  I know it can be done from the PC app, but here it seems to be absent.  So, unless Todoist or a reader corrects be here I will take it to be impossible.

 

 

Todoist Integration

If coming to Todoist from another app or indeed having the freedom to move away from Todoist, import and export of tasks is essential.  Thankfully csv import and export is supported.

Todoist also can integrate well with other applications such as,

  • Cloud storage such as Dropbox and Google Drive
  • Google Calendar
  • Email tools – Dispatch, Mailplane and Airmail so you can create tasks from emails
  • Workflow for automating tasks

I will not list all of them in this Todoist review but you can head over to the Todoist support page full the full list of Todoist Integration.

Todoist Platforms

Todoist has always had a very strong support for multiple platforms.  At the last count this stands at more than 10 including the usual Windows, IOS, Android Mac etc.

Todoist Pricing, Free and Premium

At present the full complement of Todoist apps will cost $29 of your hard earned cash.  There is also a free version available but the $29 will bring the following additional features

  • More active projects, from 80 to 200
  • More people per project, from 5 to 25
  • Labels and reminders – pretty much essential I would say
  • Productivity tracking
  • Task comments and file uploads. Again comments is a biggy.  It normally comes with free versions of such apps.

Todoist Review Summary

Todoist not a single app but a task management solution spanning a plethora of integrated platforms.  In this Todoist review we covered but one of those – Android.  You can also check out the Todoist for Windows review.  My opinion has not changed much.  I still see it as a configurable, slick solution for managing one’s tasks in whatever context you find yourself in.  There are other competitors though in this field who also offer similar functionality in their free offering such as Swipes and Wunderlist.  Check out the full review of the Swipes app.  If you are a user of any of these feel free to let me know which one you favour and why.

Brendan Toner

Let me welcome you to this alcove of the internet. In this little productivity blog, I detail the trials and tribulations of trying to use my time more effectively utilising the latest productivity tools and techniques. I hope you enjoy the articles, cheers!
Brendan Toner, author of Done Before Brekky

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7 Responses

  1. .dan.g. says:

    The 3rd-party Android app for ToDoList has been recently updated: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=hg.hgTdlList

    • Done Before Brekky says:

      Thanks for the tip Dan. I will have a look but from the screenshots I wonder if entering field data could be an arduous process for a mobile platform with a little screen and keyboard.

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