Trying to find the perfect Todo list app

Colin Wren
27 min readOct 28, 2023


A while ago I wrote about how I’ve always struggled with the traditional Get-Things-Done style of Todo list app, as these would leave me feeling bad about myself and I couldn’t plan far into the future so I built my own system of 19 Todo lists.

After building that initial system in Notion I moved onto another app called Tweek but I’m still finding there to be too much manual maintenance I have to perform to force the app to work how I need it to.

In a bid to find a new Todo list app I decided to have a look at 13 apps in the iOS app store and see if there was one out there I’d missed that worked with what I wanted.

These apps are:
1. Notion
2. Tweek
3. Structured
4. TimeBloc
5. Brite
6. Tiimo
7. Pencil Planner and Calendar Pro
8. Timepage & Actions
9. Reminders
10. TickTick
11. Things 3
12. OmniFocus 3
13. Addie
14. Twos
15. Todoist

How I’ll be comparing the apps

I’ll be measuring each app on how well they meet my following needs:

  1. I want to be able to assign Todo Items not only to day-based Todo Lists but to Todo Lists that represent more vague blocks of time such as weeks, months and even years
  2. I want a Todo List that I’m able to see Todo Items that fall within a specific block of time such as if I’m looking at a Todo List representing a month. I want to see Todo Items that are assigned to a day and a week inside of that month
  3. I want to be able to move a Todo Item between Todo Lists representing different blocks of time such as moving a Todo Item from a Todo List representing a week, to a Todo List representing a month
  4. I want the app to integrate well with my device’s OS and make use of the features available within it. I mainly use iOS and Mac OS so will use integration with the Apple ecosystem for this purpose
  5. I want to be able to create a Todo Item and its Subtasks without having to fill out a form, I want to be able to just type out Todo Items and Subtasks as I would nested bullet point lists in a word processor
  6. I want to be able to tag Todo Items with a project easily and see the Todo Items that make up that Project as well as see the progress I’m making against completing that Project
  7. I want to be able to change the current week for the Todo Lists representing the days of the week and preferably have the Todo Lists representing the next 6 weeks and 6 months update to be based off that current week
  8. I want the app to respect my privacy. I don’t want to have to expose more data about myself than I need and I’d prefer to not store my data on their systems
  9. I want to “own” the app. I don’t want access to my data or key features to be dependent on a subscription

To help test out each app I created a set of test data for my use-case, with Todo items that were assigned to different granularities of time, Todo items with Subtasks, Todo items that recurred at certain frequencies and Todo items across different Projects.

When discussing the apps I’ll use the following terminology, as each app will have its own terms so it’ll be easier to understand if I use a consistent set of terms myself.

  • Todo Item: A thing I plan to do
  • Subtask: A step within a Todo Item that helps break down the task
  • Todo List: A list of Todo Items within a specific period of time
  • Project: A collection of Todo Items that would lead to the completion of a bigger piece of work
  • Recurring Todo Item: A Todo Item that can be set to automatically be included in a Todo List due to a rule (e.g. a Todo Item that’s set to recur every week on a Wednesday)

The Apps

To find the apps I did a search for “Day Planner” and “Todo list” in the iOS app store and picked those that looked like they might offer something aligned to what I want or offered something unique.


Notion is a knowledge base tool that supports checklists. I had previously used this to build up my initial 19 Todo List approach so I decided to revisit how it would meet my needs.

Notion screen showing 19 Todo Lists with Todo Items in them
My 19 Todo List setup in Notion

What I liked:

  • Easiness of adding Todo Items and Subtasks, you can type `[ ] ` to have it generate a Todo Item and pressing tab would allow you to indent the list, representing a Subtask
  • Dividers allow you to create some hierarchy to the page of Todo Lists while also ensuring that on Mobile devices the lists will collapse into a single column
  • A consistent UI and UX across both Web and App makes it really easy to update everything regardless of device being used
  • I was able to build my 19 Todo List approach in Notion which means I can move items between different Todo Lists representing different granularities of time
  • I can use colour coding to represent different projects on the board

What didn’t quite work:

  • I have to manually update the board every week, although maybe there’s some magic that could be done with the Notion API which has been added since I last used Notion for this purpose
  • The Todo Lists aren’t actually linked to a timeframe so there’s no “smartness” to the lists
  • The iOS widgets don’t provide much more than a link to the page
  • While I can use colours to show a project there’s no means to use that colour to filter or aggregate those Todo Items
  • Have to create a Notion account and store the data on their servers

Verdict: Notion meets 4/9 of my needs, the main issue being that it’s not a strict Todo list app so doesn’t have the structures in place to be automated


Tweek is Day Planner app that I’m currently using. It has a view of the days of the current week (and that week can be changed) and supports multiple “Someday” lists which I currently use for my 6 weeks and 6 month lists.

Tweek screen showing 19 Todo Lists and Todo Items
My 19 Todo List setup in Tweek, the left and right arrows in the top right allow me to change active week for the days

What I liked:

  • Easy to add a Todo Item, just click and type
  • It’s easy enough to add Subtasks to a Todo Item but this does require a Premium subscription
  • A consistent UI and UX across both Web and App makes it easy to update everything regardless of device being used
  • I was able to build my 19 Todo List approach in Tweek which means I can move items between different Todo Lists representing different granularities of time
  • I was able to setup recurring items for things like work and monthly social events
  • I can move the currently displayed week for the days shown, this makes it really easy to add Todos on specific days in the future that I have a set day for
  • I can use colour coding to represent different Projects on the board
  • I can export my data from Tweek so I can backup my data on my machine and I have some portability should I want to change tool

What didn’t quite work:

  • A lot of the features that make Tweek usable require a premium subscription, such as having more than 3 “Someday” Todo Lists, adding Subtasks to Todo Items, adding Recurring Todo Items
  • When a Todo Item has Subtasks it’s not shown on the Todo List UI, you only see these when you click into the Todo Item which makes it hard to see these at a glance
  • I still have to manually update the 6 weeks and 6 month Todo Lists and there’s a particularly annoying bug where the title of the Todo List doesn’t update until you reload the Webapp
  • Integration with iOS is pretty basic, there’s a widget but that only shows the Todo Items for the current day
  • While I can colour Todo Items to indicate a Project there’s not means to filter on colour, and you only have 3 colours unless you buy a premium subscription
  • Have to create Tweek account and store data on their servers

Verdict: Tweek meets 5/9 of my needs, an improvement over the Notion setup I was using but there’s still too much manual maintenance required and I’m also paying $4 a month for the premium features that make it usable.


Structured is a Day Planner that caught my eye due to the focus mode that gives you a live activity on iOS which I wanted to see how that worked if it was something that could compliment my setup.

The focus mode and live activity integration is amazing for keeping you on task. I also like the way you can see blocks of free time in the day

What I liked:

  • No account necessary and syncs across multiple devices with iCloud which means that my data isn’t stored on the app developer’s servers
  • If you know the time and duration that you want to do a task then you get a very useful view of the amount of free time between tasks which I’d find great for days when I’m in a lot of meetings
  • There’s some really nice Widgets for iOS and one that shows the current task and the subtasks under it which gives a nice contextual task view
  • The focus now mode is well integrated with iOS so if you enter that mode and leave the app you’re reminded of the amount of time you have via live activities and the Dynamic Island
  • I can use colour coding to represent different Projects for Todo Items

What didn’t work so well:

  • Recurring tasks are only available with a pro subscription
  • The app is set to collect anonymous analytical information by default so had to turn that off
  • When adding a new task there’s a number of default alarms that are set for the task, I didn’t want these and there’s no means to prevent that behaviour in settings
  • UX for setting up custom colours and durations wasn’t the smoothest, you have to remove one of the presets to add your own
  • While I can use colour coding there’s no concept of a Project in the app
  • To create a task without a duration that wasn’t an “All Day” task, you need to set the duration to 1 minute which was a little confusing
  • Has the days and an inbox so doesn’t allow for the larger granularities of time I need for my 19 Todo List setup
  • The app works best when you have specific times and durations for the tasks you want to do, which while I like how this works doesn’t work well with my needs

Verdict: Structured meets 4/9 of my needs. It has some really cool features for managing the time you have in a day but the period of time I’m looking to organise are much larger than that, although it would be really cool to have those features at that granularity of time.


TimeBloc is a Day Planner that caught my eye in a similar manner to Structured with the timers to show how long you have for a scheduled Todo Item and having previously used Reflectly’s diary app I decided to give it a try,

TimeBloc has to have the worse onboarding I’ve ever experienced

What I liked:

  • No account needed to use the app
  • If you know the time and duration for your Todo Items it gives a useful view of the amount of free time you have between tasks
  • You can assign both a colour and a tag to a Todo Item which gives you a means to have two types of information on there
  • You can create routines and assign Todo Items for that routine, which means can have multiple Todo Items that recur

What I hated (yep, it was that bad I’ve added a new section):

  • The onboarding was absolutely shit
  • The second screen on the onboarding prompted me to pay £27 to go premium for a year before I even used the app — Fuck off
  • After passing up the first offer for premium I was then prompted to have a 7 day trail which would then be double the price at £54 a year — Fuck off even further
  • After saying no to all those, on completing the onboarding and shown the Todo List I was then prompted to a timed 1 hour deal of £9 a year for premium — What part of ‘Fuck Off’ don’t you understand?

What didn’t work so well:

  • Widget for iOS doesn’t seem to work for me, I’d set a task which the app would show as being currently active and counting down but the widget would never actually show this
  • After going through that onboarding experience I kinda made my mind up that the app was awful and a cash grab
  • There’s no support for SubTasks
  • While you can tag items with a tag and assign a colour you can’t filter the list by either

Verdict: TimeBloc meets 1/9 of my needs, it’s a pretty basic app and while I can see that Reflectly want you to get a bundle subscription (as they literally shove it in your face whenever they can) I’m not looking for 7 apps to do the job of one.


Brite is kind of all-in-one app that contains a planner, calendar, habit tracker, notes and a lot of other features. It caught my eye as I thought that I might be able to use it in a way similar to how I was using Notion but as it had the Todo List functionality it might be more powerful.

Week view in Brite
Brite has a week view of your Todo Items

What I liked:

  • Has loads of options for tagging Todo Items, I particularly liked the difficulty tag as I think it’s often easy to forget the cognitive load of the things we have to do
  • You can have Subtasks and those Subtasks can have Subtasks which is great as sometimes I like to plan out how I’ll take a Todo Item across multiple levels
  • Subtasks can have all the same tags the Todo Item can have which is awesome
  • Brite has different spaces for personal, work and shared Todo Items and it’s other features which makes it easier to separate those parts of your life
  • Brite has a bottom menu that can be customised so you can build up a stack of views you like and switch quickly between them
  • There’s support for Projects and each Project will have it’s own Todo List which can be presented in a Kanban board and have it’s own documentation

What didn’t work so well:

  • Had to ask the app not to track me at the first boot (even before the onboarding)
  • Had to fill out a very long survey asking me about my usage of the app as part of the onboarding which I couldn’t skip and is likely building up a marketing profile on me
  • There’s a limit on the number of Projects, tags and due dates you can have on your Todo Items before you have to subscribe to a premium subscription
  • When adding Todo items on the “My Day” view it gets a bit clunky to add Todo Items for the later days as the view doesn’t scroll up to show the day when you type
  • You can’t change week that the “My Day” view is showing so it’s only ever going to show the current week
  • Project tasks aren’t shown in the “My Day” view, instead showing you a count of tasks in Projects on the Todo List headers, this pretty much makes using Projects pointless for my use-case

Verdict: Brite meets 3/9 of my needs. I think Brite has a lot of potential but I also think it’s doing too much at once which means, similar to Notion it’s not solving the problem I have but has lots of tools that if developed I could carve a solution out from


Tiimo is a Day Planner similar to Structured but the main thing that had me interested in trying it out was the tagline “Everyone is different. Plan as you are” which is very true of the system I’ve developed and it mentions being useful for ADHD having people like myself.

The Right Now mode and the live activities are great like Structured but when you drag the tick mark on the circle to complete a task it makes you feel really good

What I liked:

  • If you miss a Todo Item it gives you a prompt to easily reschedule it
  • The “My Day” view has a “free time” visualisation and a prompt to add pull in tasks on your lists via a search which might be useful if you find yourself motivated and ready to tackle something you’ve been putting off but hadn’t necessarily planned to do that day
  • Has a “Right Now” view which tells you the next scheduled task and the option to start a focus mode for that task
  • When in the focus mode you can easily extend the duration by a minute via a button press and to complete the task you drag the remaining time to the end of the circle timer which has some nice haptic feedback and is really satisfying to do
  • You can assign colours and tags to Todo Items to indicate Projects they belong to
  • There’s a 7 day trial of premium which means that you don’t have to put money down to see how those premium features work, although you have to remember to cancel the trail
  • There’s a useful Notes button in the corner of the Todo List for jotting things down
  • When a Todo Item has Subtasks it will show a progress bar for the overall completion of all tasks, the Subtasks are shown under the Todo Item on the “My Day” view and when in “Right Now” view completing the last Subtask will prompt you to mark the Todo Item as complete

What didn’t work so well:

  • Had to ask the app to not track me at the first boot
  • Had to create an account with the app
  • Some of the features that are on the free tier of the other apps I tried are looked behind the premium paywall such as Subtasks
  • While you can tag a Todo Item with a tag to indicate a Project you can’t filter by those tags or colours
  • There’s no means to add a Todo Item without assigning it to a day and there’s no means to view Todo lists for other periods of time

Verdict: Tiimo meets 3/9 of my needs. I think Structured meets my needs better, even if it doesn’t have some of the satisfying Todo Item completion aspects that Tiimo has. I do like the means to pull in tasks from other days into the empty blocks of time you might find yourself with but I think this feature’s usefulness is really dependent on how I’m feeling that day

Pencil Planner

Pencil Planner is a Planner that caught my eye as it offered different granularities of time to plan against and pulled in data from the Reminders and Calendar apps, all while you can use draw over them to plan your time out.

The idea behind Pencil Planner is that you draw over the various calendar views but it didn’t work well for me. Also the contrast on the close button on the onboarding to exit it trying to get you to pay for a year of “Pro Access” is right scummy

What I liked:

  • It pulled data in from Calendar and Reminders

What I hated:

  • Prompts for signing up and buying a yearly subscription were first in onboarding and the close button on the yearly subscription screen had such a bad contrast that it felt scummy as hell

What didn’t work so well:

  • As the planner can be drawn on you have to two-finger scroll or enable scroll mode which at first I couldn’t figure out out because onboarding never mentioned it
  • I wasn’t able to draw outside of day blocks in the week or month views which made it hard to visualise items in the those blocks of time
  • While it pulls in data from Reminders app on iOS it doesn’t show these reminders on the day layout only on the Task List

Verdict: Pencil Planner meets 0/9 of my needs. It’s not a Todo List app and more of a planner that allows you to draw on a calendar with different views of time and because the onboarding was so crap I never really figured out how to use it which is a real shame as it could have been interesting

TimePage & Actions

TimePage was the initial app that caught my eye as I’ve always been a fan of Moleskine notebooks and it looked like it offered the granularity of time aspect I wanted. I ended up having to download Actions too as it turned out that TimePage doesn’t actually allow you to add Todo Items but works with Actions which does to display those in the app.

TimePage (on the left) is an app for showing your calendar and pulls in Todo Items from Actions (on the right). Actions is a Todo Item managing app and while the apps have some nice UX and integrations I don’t want two apps to manage one task

What I liked:

  • Being able to pick a colour for the app as part of the onboarding was cool and then being able to use that colour to set the app icon also made it feel very personalised
  • Offered a 7 day trail on the membership which was good as I couldn’t actually use the app without having one
  • Can see next 7 days relative to the current date as you scroll down the app which is great as most other apps only offer a Monday to Sunday view
  • The widgets for iOS are really good, especially the expended day view one
  • The navigation between the day, week and month views is really slick

What I hated:

  • The app wouldn’t work unless I gave it full access to my calendar
  • You can’t add an event in TimePage until you sign up for a “membership”
  • You can’t add Todo Items until you have Actions, which is a separate app

What didn’t work so well:

  • App wanted access to my location data even when not in use, but it still worked when I denied that access which is better than refusing to work when I denied access to my calendar
  • There’s no means to assign a Todo Item to a block of time larger than a day

Verdict: TimePage + Actions meets 4/9 of my needs. While the combination of the two does give me a lot more than most apps have I don’t like the switching between the two that this setup has. Trying to work with Todo Items from Actions from with TimePage launches the Actions app instead of just letting me do what I need to do with TimePage which is very annoying.


Reminders is Apple’s Todo List app and comes pre-installed with iOS as bloatware. I had long deleted it from my phone but decided to re-install it to see if there was something I could gain from the vertical integration that Apple gives their apps.

Smart Lists in Reminders are really powerful, allow you to build all kinds of views of your Todo Lists

What I liked:

  • Smart lists are awesome for creating Todo Lists that pull in Todo Items within a specific date and I was kind of able to reproduce my 6 weeks and 6 month list setup using this
  • It’s an Apple app so there’s a lot of cool features this app has that other apps don’t such as a means to figure a reminder when you enter a specific location or open a conversation in Messages with someone on your contact list
  • The iOS widget for showing a Todo List can show any of the smart lists which makes it really easy to have specific lists shown
  • The tagging functionality allows you to create a list of Todo Items for that tag (it’s kinda amazing how many apps don’t do this)

What didn’t work so well:

  • There is a means to create a smart list that uses relative dates but you can’t define a start and end date for this like you can with the absolute date filter and while you can include a filter to exclude Todo Items in a list you can’t select a smart list for this purpose which means you end up with relative lists that contain the Todo Items in the prior weeks and months
  • You can’t assign a Todo Item to a month or week so need to set the date to the last day of that time period to be included in the appropriate list
  • The Todo Item creation UX is clunky as you have to press the Info icon /Details button on the Todo Item to access all the options
  • In order to create a Subtask you need to access that clunky options screen and then go to the Subtask list instead of just typing the subtasks

Verdict: Reminders meets 5/9 of my needs. This is mostly because the app is free and the filters give me that view of my Todo Items over different periods of time but I don’t think I could use Reminders as a daily driver because of the manual maintenance needed to keep those lists up to date.


TickTick is a Todo List app that I was interested in after reading about the Smart Lists and Filters it offers and having tried something similar with Reminders to build my lists I wanted to see what I could do.

TickTick allows you to create Smart Lists for relative periods of time which is great and it’ll group the Todo Items by Project too

What I liked:

  • Can create smart lists that are relative date based with a start and end date (so 14 days in the future to 21 days in the future)
  • Offers an Eisenhower matrix for helping determine what the most important tasks to do are from a filterable list of Todo Items
  • Offers a 7 day trail of premium so can try those features out without having to spend money
  • Can add Todo Items to a Project and that Project will be used to group those items in the smart lists

What I hated:

  • Premium features were locked behind both creating an account and then having to subscribe without clear communication on this, it felt like a lot of hurdles to jump over just to get some extra functionality

What didn’t work so well:

  • Subtasks aren’t shown on the Todo List view
  • No means to assign a Todo Item to a block of time larger than a day
  • The relative date selection only goes up the 31 days in the future so I was not able to create the lists that I’d have needed for my 6 weeks and 6 months setup

Verdict: TickTick meets 3.5/9 of my needs. The smart lists are certainly better than the Reminders ones but the shorter timespan on the relative date range makes it harder to use it for my use-case.

Things 3

Things was my first Todo List app and back before I realised how to organise my plans around my brain and it’s weirdness I used to love using it (even if I never actually completed half the stuff I planned). I decided to see if the latest version of it would be more useful for me.

I love the UI and UX of Things

What I liked:

  • The onboarding for Things was perfect, it shows you the menu options and what they do and then creates some example Todo Items that tell you how to use that side of the app
  • Markdown formatting for Todo Items is great as means you can build up a good description of what needs doing
  • Upcoming view shows Todo Items falling within the next 5 months which is so close to the timescale I want
  • The UX is just great and the app feels like an absolute joy to use
  • Can have iOS widgets for the inbox or a specific list which is really useful

What didn’t work so well:

  • The Upcoming view doesn’t have a weekly breakdown for that next 5 months so doesn’t really give me that relative date reminder
  • It doesn’t allow you to assign Todo Items to a period of time larger than a day or “Someday” which was one of the reasons I created my 19 Todo List system in the first place

Verdict: Things 3 meets 5.5/9 of my needs. If Things 3 had the smart list filtering of TickTick then it’d probably be enough for me to switch to using it again but the score is mostly high because of the data and ownership side of things and even then the price of Things 3 is quite high if I wanted to then also use across Mac and iOS.

Omnifocus 3

OmniFocus 3 was the Todo List app I used before I switched to using Notion and the 19 Todo List approach. The perspectives side of OmniFocus was part of the inspiration to build it as I saw how powerful the day planning view was. Given my history with it I decided to see if it might be worth switching back to it.

OmniFocus 3 calls it’s Smart Lists “Perspectives” but doesn’t let you filter on specific date ranges just if a due date has been set…

What I liked:

  • Perspectives are great for creating custom views of your Todo Items
  • You can have an iOS widget of the Forecast perspective which is really useful for having your day planner freely available
  • The project management side of OmniFocus is great, being able to set the Project as active or inactive and if projects are sequential or parallel helps define the way to complete the Todo Items within
  • Being able to auto-close a Project with the last Todo Item marked as completed is a nice time saver
  • You can create and use plugins to enhance the app although I believe these don’t alter the data model and provide extra means of filtering and automating the current Todo Item and Todo List data

What I hated:

  • You can can’t use the app if you don’t create an account, and apparently you can’t create an account with the name omni at the start of it

What didn’t work well:

  • The pricing on Standard and Pro editions are really expensive
  • The Forecast perspective only shows the next 4 days and then Todo Items in the past and the Future, most apps have a rolling week instead
  • The perspective custom view filtering is crap, you can only filter on if a Todo Item has a due date but not if that due date falls within a specific time frame
  • Unable to create a Todo Item against a period of time larger than a day
  • I couldn’t find a means to add a Subtask to a Todo Item

Verdict: OmniFocus 3 meets 2/9 of my needs. It’s basically an overly expensive single Todo List and they appear to have dropped a lot of the support for using your own WebDAV server to host your Todos that they used to have which is sad.


Addie is a Todo List app that is “designed by ADHDers for ADHDers” so I decided to give it a try to see if it had a new model that would fit my needs better than the 19 Todo Lists approach.

Addie has some really interesting UX designs aimed giving users that sweet sweet Dopamine

What I liked:

  • When creating a Todo Item you can assign priorities based on the urgency, the importance and how fun the task is which I really like as sometimes I just wanna do fun stuff
  • When you create and complete Todo Items you get awarded coins, essentially gamifying the use of the app, those coins can then be put towards cosmetic changes to the app
  • There’s a “Supernotify” option that is really good for ensuring you don’t miss a Todo Item when it’s due
  • There’s a notification when a task starts, this might be better as a Live Activity though
  • You can display your Todo List as a list or as a Tinder style card list which gets you engaged with the Todo List when you’re feeling a little distracted
  • There’s a bunch of tools that help you keep track of things like taking medicines, measuring your productivity and they’ve just launched a Virtual Assistant service where you can have someone help you with day to day tasks

What I hated:

  • I had to create an account to use the app and I wasn’t able to use the Hide My Email feature of iOS when signing up to the app
  • I had to sign up for a free trail before I could use the app (although they did say they’d send a reminder to cancel the trial and will issue a refund if you forget to cancel)

What didn’t work so well:

  • Collects a lot of information about you and your ADHD diagnosis when you sign up and I didn’t see how that information tailored my experience of the app
  • Has an AI thing to generate Subtasks based on the task name, I found this to be quite annoying as it generated a shit load of Subtasks but I can see why that would be useful for those who get overwhelmed by large tasks and need something to give them smaller steps to reaching that larger goal
  • There’s no means to assign a custom date to a Todo Item without also assigning a time which is weird as there’s Today and Tomorrow shortcuts
  • Can’t assign a Todo Item to a period of time larger than a day
  • No real planning functionality, more of just a single todo list with a set list of categories

Verdict: Addie meets 1/9 of my needs. The Todo List part of the app is pretty basic but I think that’s just a small part of what they’re trying to do so I think it does the job for that goal but is definitely not useful for me.


Twos is an app based around organising “things”. It wasn’t part of my original comparison but Parker Klein ✌️who builds it left a comment suggesting that I check it out so I decided to give it a go.

Twos has some nice ways of having a Reminder/Todo span multiple days so it’s always shown

What I liked:

  • Easy to create sub tasks and projects
  • The paid for extras are broken into features which means you only have to buy the ones you actually want and you can unlock some of the paid for extras by earning coins within the app by doing various actions
  • The paid extras weren’t a subscription so once I’d paid the one-time fee for those features I couldn’t be bothered to grind coins for I had them unlocked unconditionally
  • There’s a means to have both Reminders (an event that’s just there to remind you and can’t be checked off) and Todos
  • You can apply a start and end date to the “things” which I was hoping could act as a means to hack the system into supporting those higher granularity blocks of time. The calendar will display those “things” on it’s list for those days kind of achieved this

What didn’t work so well:

  • Week view seems to start on a Sunday with no means to set it to starting on a Monday
  • Lists are static collections of items, this means that I’d still be having the issues I had with Notion and Tweek where I have to manually update the lists
  • Twos has a “focus mode” but this doesn’t integrate with the iOS Live Activity functionality so the timer is only really useful when the app is open
  • Privacy wise I was able to use the app without having to create an account but the App Store info says the app collects Contact Information and User Content which is a bit worrying (assuming this is for the “Text to create things” functionality)
  • The universe feature on web is a little confusing, it looks like it should be a graph but I was only ever able to see the nodes and never had any edges

Verdict: Twos meets 6.5/9 of my needs. The app offers a lot of flexibility on how to lay things out and beat both Brite which Parker compared it to and Tweek. I’ve docked half a point on OS integration due to the lack of support for Live Activities which makes the focus mode a bit pointless unless the app stays open.

If there was a means to have “smart” lists that had a filter for a relative time period then I think it’d be a strong contender for me to move over. Failing “smart” lists, then a means to lay out lists side by side similar to how the Notion or Tweek UI lets me would be great.


Todoist allows you to create “smart lists” that take relative date ranges but these don’t support weeks or months so they aren’t as powerful as they could be

Todoist is a task management and to-do list app. I’ve had a lot of comments asking about why Todoist wasn’t on the original list of apps I looked at (which was due to its functionality looking similar to TickTick within the App Store) so I’ve decided to give it a go.

What I liked:

  • You can create “smart” lists using relative date filters to pull in Todo Items for specific ranges. The docs for the filters is here [Introduction to filters](
  • There’s an API you can use to create and update filters so my issues with only being able to define filters in days could be resolved with a monthly cron job that keeps the filters up to date based on the number days in the upcoming months
  • There’s a lot of extensions and integrations that allow you to bring functionality into the web app

What I hated:

  • The price for “pro” is ridiculously high at £48–60 a year and there’s no free trial like most of the other apps had
  • You can’t use the app without creating an account

What didn’t work so well:

  • It took me too long to figure out how to create a subtask on web
  • The filters while very useful don’t seem to have the concept of weeks or months so you end up having to base everything on days which doesn’t work well at those higher granularities of time and makes things overly complicated
  • There’s no means to set a vague due date so I have to rely on hacking this by setting the due date to the end of the time period I want it to be in
  • I seem to have hit a Sync Error when creating Todo Items on the web version which never went away

Verdict: Todoist meets 4/9 of my needs. I gave half a point for being able to see what Todo Items fall within a month due to the filtering not being month based and half a point for creating subtasks due to the way the web interface didn’t make it obvious.

Overall I could see Todoist being useful for my needs if it allowed users to define weeks and months in filters and allowed you to create a view of your filtered lists on a board or something so you could see the granularities of time and the tasks within them side by side on one screen.


It looks like Tweek, my current Todo list app is the best solution for my needs at the moment so I’ll be sticking with that (and I may look to build my own) but it’s been really interesting to see what else it out there.



Colin Wren

Currently building Interested in building shared understanding, Automated Testing, Dev practises, Metal, Chiptune. All views my own.