Best for collaboration
Trello is developed with collaboration in mind, making it easy to share tasks and communicate with others within the app. It is built around the concept of "Kanban" a task system that lets you move tasks into different columns depending on their state (To-do, In progress, Completed etc.). This gives you an overview of how tasks are progressing and what needs your attention the soonest.
Packed with features for collaboration
Designed for use within teams, Trello makes it easy to work on projects with others.
You can leave messages for other team members directly on the task (known as a card), or use the Slack plugin to attach Slack conversations to the card. Trello is easy to learn, so there is very little cost associated with introducing new members to the platform. The history log lets you follow changes, and there are notifications for when another user makes changes to the board.
Trello gives you plenty of freedom to set it up in the way that works best for you and your team.
Adding custom fields to cards means you have a consistent way to add information that is important to a frequent type of task (account numbers for example).
Tasks can be dragged and dropped between columns, which can be completely customized as priority levels or categories. Various other features and integrations let you modify the behavior of Trello—such as setting cards to visibly fade as they age, or set time intervals for cards to repeat.
Highly visual design
Trello boards are designed to give you a visual overview of your project. The separation of tasks into columns based on progression level lets you easily see how your project is progressing overall and where bottlenecks exist. The overview keeps the whole team informed and helps raise morale as you can visually see when tasks move towards completion.
The visual overview does have a limit with larger projects however; it can be difficult to keep track of tasks as they are pushed off the screen.
Subtasks lack features
Every task can have a list of subtasks which more closely resembles a standard to-do list.
These lack the functions that cards offer you. You cannot comment on a sub-list, give the sub-tasks due dates, or provide additional information. You are limited to only checking them off once completed.
Trello is awesome! We've been using it at work for a year or so now. It's the best way we've found to keep the sales and dev teams on the same page. You can add a lot of extra info and attachments to the cards so you can keep the tasks from being ambiguous. We only recently switched to the premium account, the free account honestly has everything most small teams need.
Best for quick use
Todoist has a minimal and cleanly designed user interface so you can quickly perform actions. The purpose of the app is to be practical and speedy to use, but that doesn't mean it's light on features. It has powerful search, reporting abilities, gamification to keep you motivated, and plenty more.
Designed for efficient use
New tasks can be added and organized directly from the home screen. Todoist lets you schedule tasks using phrases such as "tomorrow" "next month" "every 3 days" etc.
It has other features to increase efficiency, such as task templates (allowing you to structure new tasks based on old ones). On mobile, you can add tasks directly from the device’s lock screen.
A simple, two-column interface (web/desktop) offers you a clutter-free way of viewing your tasks by date, project, or labels. Tasks are color coded and grouped based on priority level and projects so you can quickly see what’s up next.
Keeps you on track
Todoist monitors how many tasks are completed and gives karma points as rewards for accomplishing them. It can also display charts showing productivity trends, which are great for finding areas that need improvement and increasing your overall productivity.
Light on organizational features
You cannot set a start date on tasks or reorganize tasks manually (they are ordered by due date and priority only). The only way to get an overview of all tasks (rather than viewing them by project or priority) is by first filtering using "to:me". Text formatting is fairly minimal—there is no way to adjust font sizes for example.
Other things to note
"Smart Schedule" AI will sort your tasks by urgency based on your past and future to-dos, and how you've handled workloads in the past. Location-specific tasks can utilize the GPS in your mobile device to offer reminders when you are in the appropriate vicinity. Adding notes to tasks can only be done after the task is already created.
I switched to todoist from Google keep because I got frustrated that it was too hard to organize. Todoist is light on features too, but has a lot more structure and IMO a way better design. It's pretty perfect if you want an app for normal to-do lists, not great if you want to add a bunch of instructions to each task.
Best for versatility
Organize the way you want
A big strength of Moo.do is all the various features it provides to keep you organized. By using tags (either with an actual date, or tags like @tomorrow,) tasks will automatically appear in your calendar, so you can get a visual overview of what needs to be done when.
There is no limit to how many lists you can nest within lists, which can be really helpful in organizing your thoughts.
Use the workflow you prefer
If you like the style of a Kanban board (organizing tasks into different columns based on level of completion,) you can do that by setting up panes as columns. If you'd prefer a Getting Things Done (GTD) workflow, Moo.do easily supports it as well.
Turn Gmail into a list of to-dos
Moo.do can integrate with Gmail so you can drag and drop your emails directly into Moo.do to organize them the same way as your other to-do tasks. Emails can be separated into a variety of different folders so you know what still needs to be done and what the priority level is.
It can also work with other email services through Mailbird, a unified email inbox with Moo.do integration.
The flexibility that Moo.do offers can also create more work compared to apps with opinionated workflows. Organizing your notes and to-dos on your own can take a lot of planning to avoid clutter and confusion.
I love using Moo.do because of the freedom it gives me. It's not just great for to-dos, it also has lots of features that make it excellent for note taking. Rather than having to break everything down into tasks right away, I can jot down my ideas and organize them later.
What others are saying
How they compare
Ease of use
Using Todoist on mobile lets you add new tasks and edit existing ones right from your home or lock screen. This is a great feature if you want to make changes to your list on the fly.
Todoist is designed with a very clean interface that is free of clutter to make working with your to-do lists as fast and simple as possible. Todoist's web and desktop interfaces both have a simple two-column layout with all the controls accessible, saving the need to navigate through menus.
- Moo.do starts you off with a blank page rather than providing a structure. This flexibility means you can immediately start adding your lists with no need to set-up the app.
- It’s not entirely intuitive right from the start as you do need to learn how to format your information. However all the formatting options are provided in the help menu.
You can immediately jump in and start creating to-dos with Trello thanks to its intuitive interface. It’s laid out with all controls on the right, and your task board on the left to eliminate the need to navigate through menus. The main way of organizing to-dos is a simple drag and drop action between lists, which are a way for you to separate tasks either by project type or priority level.
The design is well suited for people who appreciate clear visual distinctions. The “Kanban” style of Trello, which lets you separate tasks into lists based on level of priority, gives you a clear overview at a glance of what needs to be done.
There is no way to view all tasks across all boards which can make things difficult if you are working on more than one project at a time. You can however see all cards that are assigned to you in an overview.
Trello is easy to learn for most tasks, but getting the hang of all the features it offers can take some experimenting.
Trello has a very flexible workflow that enables you to set it up in a way that works best for how you use the app. The detail of the priority levels needed are entirely up to you and the granularity level you need.
Markdown is supported which means you can format your text easily to increase the clarity of your tasks.
The appearance can be customized by choosing from six different color schemes, and uploading your own image to be the background of the app.
- You can view multiple panes at the same time, depending on if you prefer a distraction-free interface or you like to overview everything at once. For example, you can have a pane open with your to-do list, and another with your agenda.
- The free account offers no way to format your text (such as font size or weight, changing the color, etc.)
- You can save your tasks as templates which allows you to use past task items as a starting point for creating new tasks.
Some text formatting is supported such as bold, italics, and hypertext. You can even add emojis, however there is no ability to increase the size of the font for emphasis.
There is very little ability to adjust the layout. For example, there is no way to change the two-column layout to one.
You can decide how detailed you want your levels of progression to be and name them in the way that best suits your project. Moving a task between levels is a simple drag and drop between lists.
A variety of plugins are available to extend the organization abilities of the app. For example, you can add a calendar view, track the time spent on a project, or allow members to vote on tasks.
- Large projects can be difficult to track on Trello due to how the one page app is laid out. It becomes considerably more difficult to keep track of various cards and priorities as they are pushed off the screen.
The flexibility that Moo.do offers means you can set it up and organize it the way that works best for you. For example, there is no limit to how many lists you can nest within lists, which can be really helpful in organizing your tasks. You can also use tags and multiple priority levels to keep things organized.
By using tags (either with an actual date, or tags like @tomorrow) these tasks will automatically appear in your agenda panel, so you can get a visual overview of what needs to be done when.
- While you do have complete flexibility over how you organize, this can also become a flaw. If you don’t plan how to organize your lists, things can become cluttered and confusing without any kind of structure.
There are multiple ways you can organize and filter tasks. Tasks can be structured in nested lists. They can be moved around by dragging and dropping them or via keyboard shortcuts. Tasks can be assigned labels, color codes, priorities, and can also be grouped into projects.
Todoist allows you to perform advanced queries to find tasks that are overdue, have a certain priority level or label, are within a certain project, are assigned to a certain person, or have a deadline set within a certain date range.
These queries can be saved as filters for easy access. Filters can be color-coded.
You can add comments to a task, but there is no way to attach files for additional information.
You cannot sort your tasks manually.
Will Trello's free version be too limiting for use on a group project?
Trello actually has a very generous free plan that I'd say is more than enough for any small team/group.
The free plan gives you less control over what permissions each team member has, and it limits you to only using one “power-up” (extension). This means integrations are more limited, and you can’t add your own photo to the background.
However you still have the more popular integrations like Google Drive and dropbox, the number of boards, lists, and members are unlimited, and you can still add attachments.
Is there an app that does a better job at giving reminders?
If you're not looking for something super feature-rich, then I'd really recommend checking out Todoist. It has a lot of features for alerts - you can set GPS alerts which will remind you of tasks when you’re in the area (for example when you’re at the grocery store it will alert you to "buy milk". You can set time-based reminders as well. Todoist is also available on a lot of different platforms, so you can get notifications on a variety of devices (plus email alerts).