For users of to-do apps, Wunderlist being discontinued came as a shock. We had to look for alternative free to-do list apps. If you don’t know Wunderlist, I doubt you’ve ever used your phone for productive means and it’s about time you did.

To do apps keep your days organised. They are all-in-on productivity apps. Set reminders, make shopping lists, plan recurring tasks … Once you start using a to-do list app, you’ll take so much pressure off your short-term memory. 

For this selection, we downloaded 40+ apps. After the usual review process, five incredible apps remained. They all have free versions without subscription and ads. Below, we’ll present our top 3 apps with that little extra. Afterwards, we’ll mention the other two, just in case. For the minimalists among you, we also included a very straightforward to do app with zero clutter. (Shortcut)

Do you want to track your habits as well? Have a look at our Top 3 Habit Trackers.

Top 3 free to-do list apps:

Free to do app icons on iPhone

Free app 1: Planny 3 – Smart to do list

Features 9/10

Planny 3 is a comprehensive to-do list app. The app offers a wide range of functions, our favourite being the daily review. As you start up the app, you receive a small report of tasks completed, planned and delayed. It’s a great way to stay on top of things. You’ll even receive task suggestions based on past activities and projects. 

The app offers all the usual functions, such as adding tasks as well as setting deadlines and reminders. You can view your assignments on a calendar or as a list of upcoming events — perfect to see them organised by date rather than project. 

Other features included in this free to-do app:

  • Search box
  • Turn tasks into daily, weekly or monthly routines
  • Log in with TouchID or FaceID
  • Scan lists and turn into digital text (Works only with very clear writing)
  • View time and date of completion
  • Siri shortcut 
  • All described functions are available for free and without a subscription. A pro account also includes iCloud sync, multiple lists, tags, teamwork, sketches and photos.

Design 9/10

Planny 3 uses a dark theme: a black background with a range of colours. The colours can be changed in a few menus but it’s a lot of work. Adding a few general theme options would make things easier. 

The many different colours are a bit hectic as well and there are probably better default options than pink and orange. However, apart from a few more colour options, we’re quite happy with the design and theme of this app.

Usability 9/10

The app is easy to use. Everything works as you’d expect from a to-do list app: adding tasks with deadlines and reminders takes just a few clicks. Ticking off a task, however, requires two actions, rather than a simple tick or swipe. That’s a small usability issue you’ll have to accept if you want to have all the advantages of Planny 3. 

Why choose Planny 3?

With a total score of 27/30, Planny 3 is the best all-round option. The app has a clean and easy-to-use interface. Moreover, it boasts all the basic features a to-do list app needs, all for free. And if that’s not enough, you’ll receive a daily review and progress chart as soon as you open the app. Choose Planny 3 if you struggle to plan ahead. The tailored suggestions and reminder to plan your next day could be the missing links in your personal productivity plan.

Planny 3 – Smart to do list (Plan and complete your tasks — Kevin Reutter)
Features: 9/10 — Design 9/10 — Usability: 9/10
App Store

Free app 2:  Focus To-Do: Focus Timer & Tasks

Features 8/10

Focus To-do is a very different to-do app. The app perfectly blends to-dos with a Pomodoro timer. This allows you to track time for your activities and avoid disruptions. One Pomodoro session has a default duration of 25 minutes. If this duration doesn’t work for you, you can easily change it in the settings.

By default, Focus To-do includes six folders or projects to organise tasks: today, tomorrow, upcoming, someday, inbox and completed. The completed folder comes with a calendar view of your completed ‘Podomoros’. 

What makes this app special is the gamification aspect. Ticking off your to-dos suddenly becomes twice as satisfying (It does require log-in, though). Actions like daily logins and completing tasks earn you ‘sunlight points’. Earn enough points to make your forest grow and race up the global leaderboard.

Other features included in this free to-do app:

  • Add priority flags
  • Add estimated completion time (measured by amount of ‘Pomodoro sessions’)
  • Work and break time customisation
  • Sort by project, due date or priority 
  • Daily task completion reports
  • Daily focus time reports

Important missing features:

  • Reminders
  • Repeated tasks
  • Search box

Unfortunately, the free version doesn’t include repetition and reminder features. You also need to get the premium version for cloud backup and synchronised data, as well as more detailed historical reports.

Design 8/10

The design of this app is not horrible but it’s not its strongest point either. There are too many symbols and colours going on to keep it clean enough for our liking.

You can choose from four theme options, which all include a reddish shade. They don’t affect the appearance of the app much, however, as the background stays white and the different folders still have their own colour.

Usability 9/10

Using Focus To-do is pretty straight-forward and we like that you tick off tasks rather than swipe to complete. Focus to-do doesn’t get a 10/10 because after opening the app, you’re still one or more clicks away from seeing your to-dos and adding new tasks. You have to open your folders first. We do like the simplicity of adding priorities, deadlines and estimated completion time to new tasks though.

Why choose Focus To-Do?

Choose focus to-do if you want a time tracker included in your to do list app. If you struggle to complete your tasks, you might find some motivation by competing with others. Track your progress in your forest and on the game leaderboards. Total score: 25/30

 Focus To-Do: Focus Timer&Tasks: Pomodoro timer for work&study — Shenzhen Tomato Software Technology Co., Ltd.
Features: 8/10 — Design 8/10 — Usability: 9/10 
App Store
Chrome extension (also works with Brave)
Google Play Store

Free app 3: Lists to do

Features 8/10

Lists to do has fewer features than the previous apps, but it’s still one of the better to-do apps. The app has the basic functions to create lists and tasks. 

The biggest plus is the broad choice of list symbols so you can easily find and organise your to-dos. Especially people who prefer visual information will benefit from using this app.

Other features included in this free-to do app:

  • Search box
  • Pin items or lists to the top
  • Bulk-edit options, such as delete all checked and uncheck all
  • Sort by date created, alphabetically or manually
  • View a list of upcoming items based on reminders
  • Duplicate lists

Important missing features:

  • Due dates
  • Organisation by day

Design 9/10

The symbols I mentioned are without a doubt very practical. However, they do give the app a somewhat child-like feel. For us, not being able to change the colours of the symbols makes the app a bit too colourful – but it doesn’t hinder productivity.

A white background with lime green header and details is the default theme. Changing the colours from lime to another theme is the only premium feature I’ve found. This cheap upgrade also adds extra symbols. 

Usability 9/10

Lists to do allows you to tick-off rather than swipe to complete, and that’s always a bit more joyful, right? 

Unfortunately, not everything is as easy. While it’s possible to add notes, repetitions and reminders, these features are a bit hidden. First, you need to create a task, which you need to edit afterwards. 

How to set a reminder also puzzled me, as I needed to click ‘off’ in order to turn reminders on.

Why choose Lists to do?

If you’re more of a visual person, this app is for you. The symbols will help you easily find and organise lists. It’s very easy and straightforward to use but for the issue I mentioned above. 


Lists to do has all the basics and a bit more, but not as much that you’ll get lost in the app or have a lot of useless features. Total score: 25/30

Lists to do (To-do lists, tasks & reminders by Thomas Tsopanakis)
Features: 8/10 — Design 9/10 — Usability: 8/10 
App Store

Bonus: free minimalist to-do list app for iPhone

Daily – Zen Planner is very minimal app. It just offers three screens with tasks for today, near-term plans and notes. Swipe to complete. 

Daily – Zen Planner  Today is a new day SHAUN REINHOLD 
Features: 2/10 Design 9/10 Usability: 10/10 (21/30)
App Store

Extra free to-do list apps

If none of these top-rated free to-do list apps could convince you, have a look at the two apps below:
These apps fell just short of the top 3. I found minimalist a bit less practical and tomatodo’s design just isn’t as convincing. They are good alternatives for Focus To Do, however, as they both include focus timers. 

Minimalist – To do list & Task for iOS and Android 
Features: 8/10 Design 9/10 Usability: 7/10 (24/30)
App Store

Tomatodo – Focus timer and to do list 
Features: 8/10 Design 7/10 Usability: 9/10 (24/30)
App Store

Conclusion:

Honestly, I hope you didn’t make it this far. That either means that none of these free to-do list apps could convince you or that you’re still in doubt. 
If you’re in doubt, remember this:

  • Planny 3 works best for people who tend to forget to plan ahead. It’s probably the best option for people who want to use a to do app for the first time.
  • Focus To-do has a gamification aspect for those of you who thrive in competitive environments
  • Lists to do is more visual. Choose this app for the easiest navigation and organisation.

Or are you still not sure which to do list app is best for you? Reach out, maybe we can help! 

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Written by Kjell
Edited by Loki

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