When comparing Todoist vs Workflowy, the Slant community recommends Todoist for most people. In the question“What is the best cross-platform to-do list app?” Todoist is ranked 3rd while Workflowy is ranked 5th. The most important reason people chose Todoist is:
Todoist's web and desktop interfaces have a 2-column layout. The right column has all tasks organized in nested lists with color codes and information such as what people are assigned to each task and which project the task is part of. The left column offers ways of accessing various groups of tasks – tasks that have to be completed within a certain timeframe, tasks that are a part of a certain project or have certain labels attached to them, etc. The left column also contains filters that allow even more advanced ways of finding a group of tasks. The mobile interface follows a similar design philosophy, but gives each column a separate view.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Minimalist UI that's designed for efficient use
Todoist's web and desktop interfaces have a 2-column layout. The right column has all tasks organized in nested lists with color codes and information such as what people are assigned to each task and which project the task is part of. The left column offers ways of accessing various groups of tasks – tasks that have to be completed within a certain timeframe, tasks that are a part of a certain project or have certain labels attached to them, etc. The left column also contains filters that allow even more advanced ways of finding a group of tasks.
The mobile interface follows a similar design philosophy, but gives each column a separate view.
Pro Powerful search and filtering functionality
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. It also allows combining different queries, removing certain results from the queries, and creating either/or statements.
These queries can be saved as filters for easy access. Filters can be color-coded.
Pro Multiple ways to organize 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.
Pro Supports natural language input
Todoist supports phrases like "tomorrow," "next month," "in 3 weeks," or for recurring tasks, "every week" or "every 3 days."
Pro Allows sharing and collaborating on tasks
Anyone can be invited to collaborate on tasks and projects. Users can work alongside five people for free and 25 via the paid version. Collaboration includes the ability to assign tasks, comment on tasks, and receive instant updates.
Pro No ads in free version
The unpaid version contains no ads or popups encouraging you to upgrade. The only time you will be asked to upgrade is if you attempt to use a premium feature.
Pro Monitors productivity and rewards it with karma
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. This feature is a great motivator and an effective way of tracking productivity.
Pro Visual scheduling
By clicking on a task and then selecting “schedule,” a dialog box will pop up with shortcuts like "today," "tomorrow," or "postpone until tomorrow." A date can still be entered manually.
Pro Can be set to send a daily digest email
You can easily program a digest email that will send you an up-do-date summary of your tasks and deadlines.
Pro Allows creating location-based reminders
Location-specific tasks can utilize the GPS in your mobile device to offer reminders when you are in the appropriate vicinity. For example, grocery lists that are linked to the location of your regular grocery store.
Pro Allows creating task templates
Tasks can be saved as templates by going to "task actions" and selecting "export as a template." The template will be saved locally. Saved templates can then be imported by going to "task actions" button and clicking "import from template." This allows you to use past task items as a starting point for creating new tasks.
Pro Great home screen and lock screen widgets
The native widget is fully functional and editable without needing to open the app. A premium feature allows you to add and edit the task list on your mobile device’s lock screen.
Pro Extensive integration with a wide range of external apps
Todoist offers integration with a wide range of external apps, including Google Drive, Dropbox, Google Maps, Apple Maps, Zapier, Toggl Button, TaskClone, CloudMagic, IFTTT, Calendar Sync, Google Now, Dispatch, Mailplane, Airmail, Drafts, Workflow, PomoDone, 1Password, Powr of You, Mailbird, Yoke, Taco, Ginger Keyboard, Time Doctor, and Rindle.
Pro Browser extension for "add website as task"
Bookmark any webpage as a to-do item.
Pro Quickly browse your list through smartwatch devices
The Todoist app supports Apple Watch and Android Wear for instant action and task viewing through smartwatches.
Pro Super quick syncing
You can shift between devices without having to worry about if tasks have been synced or not. Todoist sync will always be quicker than you.
Pro Supports text formatting
You can make tasks stand out by setting them in bold and spice up your project names with emojis. Todoist also allows editing of hyperlinked text in the task comments. Hypertext, bold text, italic text, and emojis are supported in task names, project names, and task comments. Emojis are also supported in label names.
Hypertext, bold text, italic text, and emojis are supported in task names, project names, and task comments. Emojis are also supported in label names.
Pro Integration with any app supporting web-calendar link
Pro Infinite list depth
All subtasks are full featured tasks. This means that at a glance you can see subtasks, unlike other applications that require you to open the task.
Pro Smart Schedule (Let AI schedule your tasks)
Todoist Smart Schedule adapts to your habits over time, analyzing your workload and determining how urgent a task is. By using both your past todos and future todos (as well as the data from millions of other users), it can sort your tasks in most important/ most urgent order, if you want.
Pro Outline-style hierarchy with zoom
Any sublist can be viewed as a top-level list. This sounds simple but makes WorkFlowy extremely powerful. For example, the same line item, "write my book," can simultaneously be a to-do in my task list and the container for my entire working document.
Pro Minimalistic interface
Interface has no clutter. It allows focusing on thoughts to note down. This keeps things simple and easy to understand, which can help keep everything organized in an intuitive manner.
Pro Easy to see an overview and organize notes
All notes are part of a list, which makes it easy to organize everything. Nested lists allow for organizing notes into hierarchical categories of infinite depth. All lists can be folded. WorkFlowy also has tags and instant full-text search.
Pro Tasks can be added and manipulated quickly
WorkFlowy allows entering many tasks very quickly – especially useful for meeting minutes or a "brain dump" when you have to type fast. After typing in all your thoughts, it's very easy to organize and sort multiple groups at once.
Pro Deep nesting
Workflowy's 'everything is in a tree' interface makes it easy to keep expanding on topics, no matter where, or how deep in the hierarchy they are.
Pro Quickly focus on a specific topic
Enables users to focus on specific topic area, which is referred to as "hoisting" within Workflowy.
Pro Supports tags
Enables users to search by tags.
Pro Super fast sync between devices
While adding a list of to-do on web, it syncs with iPhone and iPad apps very quickly. This way you can jump between devices with no delay of up to date content.
Pro Strong community
There are number of talented coders who help customize WorkFlowy with extensions and styles. It has an active blog and welcomes collaboration.
Pro Cross-platform web and mobile
WorkFlowy can be accessed from either a browser or their apps, which include a Chrome app for desktops as well as an iOS and Android app. This makes it easy to access ones notes no matter the platform or device being used.
Pro Text Formatting
You can have bold, italic and underlined text.
Pro Import and export via OPML
OPML (Outline Processor Markup Language) is a commonly used standard for text exchange. With two-way support for OPML you are never locked into Workflowy. Importing/exporting via copy/paste of entire outlines is a snap.
Pro Daily digest email
WorkFlowy can send you an email with that day's activity. It's a great way to track progress.
Con Annual subscription required for notifications and attachments
A yearly subscription costs $29.
Con Awkward data entry
Several aspects of data entry are far more awkward than they should be: Adding notes, moving subtasks within the outline, and scheduling repeating tasks are all handled better by other apps. Adding notes cannot be done while creating the task, but must be done after. Moving items within the outline hierarchy is very clumsy and the use of keyboard shortcuts (such as holding down 2 or 3) requires knowledge of your current level in the hierarchy (which is not always clear). Finally, there is a natural language syntax for repeating tasks but it is very finicky and there is no good feedback mechanism to tell you whether or not it’s working.
Con No way to add additional info to a task
There is no metadata for the task itself, like a description. While a paid feature allows you to write comments and attach files, info could be lost in the conversation.
Con Heavy premium advertisement
There is a screaming red "Upgrade and get more done" badge fixed in the bottom of the view, and additional features free users cannot access.
Con Does not listen to user suggestions
Todoist has been shown to be fairly unresponsive to requests from their user community. An example can be seen here.
Con No support of a "start" date
Very often wished by many users but never implemented. There is clumsy workaround by using a recurring task where they support a start date.
Con Very basic compared to alternatives
Compared to some other options, this is not a feature-rich app. The free version is not much better than keeping a text file of your to-dos.
Con Makes it too hard to see all tasks assigned to you across the app
There is no default or easy-to-access view to simply see all your tasks from all your different projects. You have to use the filter (to:me) which seems like too much effort for something that should really be a default view.
Con Labels (@contexts, etc.) only available with premium subscription
Con Free version has limited functionality
Without a subscription you won’t have access to reminders, comments, or labels and filters. These are features that many users find essential, but aren't included without a subscription.
Con Latest iPhone app only available for iOS 8 and above
The latest iPhone app is only available for iOS 8 and above, which excludes users with iPhone 4 or older models. Older versions of the app that can be used with previous iOS versions can be found here.
Con Not much independence of customising the layout
This has been a consistent "con" with Todoist. You cannot decide what should be the size of the fonts. You cannot switch between one-column layout and 2-column layout. You cannot view completed tasks. It is a brilliant application of course, but the development team is stuck on its basic idea of the app and after that they just haven't been developing further.
Con Using "next" actions requires a messy workaround
Todoist was not designed for "next" actions. You can use a workaround by manually setting certain items as priority and then filtering them, but that process requires a lot more management than other tools.
Con No decent filtering or complex searches
Con Import feature is bad at handling non-English characters
Con Naming convention for labels is very limited
No spaces or special chars are allowed.
Con Mac Mail not supported
Even in the Pro version, Mac Mail is not supported for sending tasks as email attachments. There are some workarounds to send mail, but those attachments will still be impossible to forward.
Con Recurring tasks are hard to set because the app only supports "natural language"
Con Offline desktop app requires Chrome
The offline desktop requires installing Google Chrome first before the WorkFlowy app can be installed. This is not good news for non-Chrome users especially users who frequently uses Firefox or Safari as their default browsers, in which Chrome app also suffers memory leak and battery issues.
Con Doesn't work well in mobile browsers
The functionality of the mobile version of the site is a bit limited, while new features have been added such as the ability to move lines of text, even that is limited on Android to only being functional on Chrome.
Con Doesn't support images
Con Cannot use link-text
You cannot have text link to a URL. When you link to a website you have to post the full URL instead. Instead of having the name of the website or article like, Slant, you instead have to post
http://slant.co. It's especially annoying if you have a long URL that takes up a lot of space in the document.
Con No color coding
It's a black and white interface without the ability to differentiate based on color.
Con Doesn't work on all mobile phones
Not compatible with Android OS version 4.1 and 4.2.
Con No public API
Con Inconvenient interface
Notes automatically collapse, making them unreadable without user interaction. You cannot view multiple long notes at once.
Con Only supports one big text file
Although with Workflowy's focus feature this can work, you might prefer managing separate text files.