Getting Things Done: To-Do App Smackdown!

Last week I hinted that I was doing a test drive through three apps that I find helpful.  Since the arrival of the iPad, my measuring stick for apps has risen as I'm always on the lookout for productivity apps that sync three ways:

  • iPhone to cloud

  • iPad to cloud

  • Cloud to iPhone and iPad

As I'll mention in a cast due sometime this week, I'm digging the three-way standard because there are times when the iPad is the tool of choice and at other times, I'm on the go and only have the phone with me.  Cloud syncing is really important because if your computer blows up, you've got a backup.  My wife likes to remind me that this has yet to happen in my life.  True enough.


ToDo comes out on top here as it's vastly cheaper than both Nozbe and Things. For those on a budget, you can't go wrong with ToDo. As for product support, there are a lot of complaints against both ToDo and Things on the message boards. Nozbe would not provide me with any feedback when I asked for an educator discount so I guess you can say all three leave something to be desired in the customer support department.  As you can see from the chart above, there is a wide price difference between the three apps.  Here's how I look at this- how much is your productivity worth?

Favorite iPhone App

Nozbe was my favorite with Things as a close second. Nozbe really flies and has a wonderful single button that can then add Project, Action, Note, etc. The green UI is pleasant and very quick.

Favorite iPad App

Things was my favorite with ToDo as a close second. Things has a nice project page which lists each project as a separate sheet of paper.  You can then move each around by simply dragging it where you want it to go.  As for ToDo, it's one of the most beautiful iPad apps that I've seen, with a virtual notebook that you can customize.

Best Cloud Sync

This one is a toss up as Nozbe would be my favorite if it weren't for the high price.  ToDo syncs with but it's about as spartan as an Excel spreadsheet.  While it's only a wi-fi sync, Things for the MAC is really excellent.  The company behind Things is promising a true cloud sync in the near future.  For right now, I'm content with the wi-fi sync.  I like to plan my week from my laptop so the lack of full cloud is not a negative thus far.

And the Winner Is

Things.  I can't really explain it except to say that it works.  It's not the cheapest.  It's not the fanciest.  I just like using it and is captures what I need from a suite of devices.  Simple as that.  I asked for an educator discount from Cultured Code, the maker of Things and they provided me with one- that was icing on the cake.