The best apps for managing and sharing tasks or to-do lists

The best apps for managing and sharing tasks or to-do lists

App Cafe Details

Apps reviewed:

  • Wunderlist
  • Trello
  • Asana
The best apps for managing and sharing tasks or to-do lists
Wunderlist, Trello and Asana – the best apps for managing and sharing tasks or to-do lists?

What are the benefits of using such apps?

Team working is such an important part of any job and managing tasks and responsibilities for getting work done across the team is no easy task. Especially as it becomes more common to work within virtual or temporary projects teams.

These apps will help you track tasks, keep a running list of your to-dos and telling you just when you need to do them. They also help you to delegate tasks and check in on the team’s progress. Plus offer a central location to share comments, message the whole team, share and jointly work on files and documents and more.

Problems these apps can help address:

  • You want help in managing or working on individual or team projects.
  • You’re losing track of tasks or time and want to get back on top of it all.
  • You want a central shared place for you and/or your team to track tasks and assign ownership, plus share files, assign due dates, get alerts for important alerts and more.
  • You want somewhere visual to show team progress and achieve goals.
  • You want to possibly replace email, task management, and file sharing with just one platform.

Guides, tutorials, tips, hints and reviews

Below is a quick run-down of the features and benefits of Wunderlist, Trello and Asana that were explored during the App Cafe.

Please see related links further below to in-depth explanations of app features, screenshots, videos, reviews, pros and cons and more.

Wunderlist logoWunderlist

What is Wunderlist?

Here’s the blurb from Getting Started with Wunderlist

  • Wunderlist is a simple, well designed, flexible and easy-to-use free task management tool based around lists that contain to-dos, tasks (and much more) that you can tick-off when completed.
  • You can create to-dos for tasks that fill your daily life and organise them into lists such as “Shopping”, “Work”, “Private” or anything else you would like. Use Wunderlist to capture your ideas, goals, wish lists, trip plans and daily tasks – personal or to do with work.
  • You can share your lists with friends, family, colleagues and partners so that you can all see to-dos and work together on completing them. Use Wunderlist as your collaboration tool to help each other get stuff done.
  • You can display your to-dos in different ways with Smart Lists. For example, you can see all of your to-dos for Today or for the Week. Or those that you’ve prioritised with a Star. You can also hashtag content to help filter to-dos. Also sort your lists alphabetically, by due date, by creation date, by priority or by assignee.
  • You can rename your to-dos or re-arrange via drag & drop within a list or between lists, and organise your lists into Folders.
  • To to-dos you can further add Subtasks, as well as adding Notes, Comments and uploading Files. All helping to add context to your to-dos.
  • Set one-off or recurring Due Dates and Reminders for to-dos and get notified when things need completing.
  • Real-time sync allows you to access your to-dos between each device so you can edit your Wunderlist anywhere, at any time.
  • If you’re in a rush you can email your Wunderlist and turn those actionable emails into to-dos.
  • Finally, you can personalise your Wunderlist by choosing between different backgrounds.

When to use Wunderlist

It was felt that Wunderlist may be better placed for use on managing individual tasks, rather than team tasks. It’s harder (than say Trello) to see at a glance ‘who’s working on what’ across a team. The task sharing interface could certainly be easier to use and more intuitive. 

Wunderlist works well for keeping track of both work-related tasks, projects and work, but also equally in managing personal jobs and projects (house improvements, presents to buy, etc).

Wunderlist Pros

  • Being based around lists and sub-lists means it’s intuitive and super-easy to use. This means it can fit-in immediately with minimal effort and start helping you to organise all sorts of different priorities and tasks.
  • Works really well across all devices and syncs effectively, meaning you can add something quickly via your mobile phone whilst on your way to the office, then log into a work PC browser to finish off, or add notes etc.
  • The Inbox feature works really well and acts as a clearing-house for tasks. This means you can capture tasks quickly and then when you have more time, move them to relevant lists, plus expand with sub-tasks, notes etc.
  • Ability to add notes, comments, links etc, to tasks is really useful and really helps to add much needed context to tasks. Also being able to re-edit these notes or delete them is invaluable.

Wunderlist Cons

  • Attachments cannot be updated, limiting the functionality. It’s far better to add a link to a Google Doc, Evernote note or similar collaborative document if you need to co-create content.
  • Cannot assign sub-tasks to team members. Only top level tasks.
  • Cannot archive sub-tasks like you can with tasks (whereby tasks are ‘striked-through’ and hidden but can always be retrieved). Instead if you have many sub-tasks within a task they can quickly clutter up the dashboard. The only way to de-clutter is to delete sub tasks.
  • Sometimes the copy and paste function fails to work, meaning you cannot quickly copy content between titles, sub-tasks, notes, and comments (which you often have to do to tidy stuff up).
  • As mentioned above the team collaboration and task assigning could be more flexible and easier to use.

What do you think about when best to use Wunderlist, plus pros and cons? Please comment on this post below.


Trello logoTrello

What is Trello?

Here’s the blurb from Getting Started with Trello

Trello is a collaboration tool that organise your projects into boards.

When to use

It was felt it may be better suited to team task management as you can far more quickly and easily see who has been assigned to tasks across any board. 

The flexibility of Trello ensures it can be used effectively on virtually any work or non-work related project. See these Trello inspiration boards for loads of examples.

Trello Pros

  • Trello’s visual interface makes it really engaging, intuitive and encourages use.
  • Sharing options are far better – can share as just view only, or so that others can edit.
  • Can add coloured tags. These make it far easier to see who exactly has been assigned to cards and therefore work across the team.

Trello Cons

  • To add a header image to card you have to upload an image. It doesn’t take an image from say a link added to a card.
  • Signing people up to boards could be a lot more intuitive.
  • Cannot assign people and due dates to specific checklist items. Though this is in development.

What do you think about when best to use Trello, plus pros and cons? Please comment on this post below.


Asana logoAsana

What is Asana?

  • Asana is a lightweight project and task-management tool that allows for easy collaboration and communication within your team.
  • With Asana, there’s no need for extra emails, status meetings, wikis, or to-do lists – it has all those tools built in!
  • Asana users can create projects, assign tasks to individuals, set deadlines, comments, requests and more.
  • This way you can easily look up who is supposed to do what, check what’s already been done, share ideas, comments and efficiently communicate with the entire team whether on Android, iOS or in the Web app.
  • You can use Asana and create projects and tasks with teams of up to 15 people for free, with premium tiers increasing this cap and unlocking more organizational tools. 

When to use

Asana is much more of a project management tool with a whole heap more functionality (and complexity) than compared to Wunderlist or Trello. That said, it’s far more intuitive and easier to use than a full-blown project management tool like Microsoft Project and can be used by project managers (or project administrators) to run both simple and complex team projects effectively.

It’s suited both to individual use and can be up-scaled effectively to managing multiple projects (across multiple teams if you wish) featuring many, many tasks.

Asana Pros

  • Great for managing multiple projects across a team.
  • Links in with Instagantt to create Gantt charts.

Asana Cons

  • Unless you take time to explore the interface and train-up on how to use the tool effectively, you can get lost.
  • Never upload files – instead share URL’s of collaborative documents etc. If you upload a file you cannot save over it again, plus it’s impossible to get rid of it.

What do you think about when best to use Asana, plus pros and cons? Please comment on this post below.


Get involved

  1. Share your thoughts by adding a comment below within this WordPress site.
  2. Visit the Apps for Productivity G+ Community to comment and share advice – using the Wunderlist, Trello or Asana entries.
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About Jim

Staff trainer and e-learning developer working for the University of Northampton, UK. All views my own, aside from those shamelessly taken from others.

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