Six Years with Todoist

There was a time that I thought I’d be on the search for the perfect to-do management software forever. That’s what I wrote in this blog post back in 2007, when I first mentioned Todoist, a Web based to-do list application that was then fairly new to me.

But six years later, I find myself still using Todoist, which is kind of amazing to me. I’ve poured thousands and thousands of to-do items into it, and have been faithfully ticking them off and moving them around every single work day. In that time, Todoist has gone from a side project run by its founder, Amir Salihefendic, to a real, profitable company called Doist, with a staff scattered all over the world.

What’s even more amazing to me is that at its core, Todoist is still fundamentally the same; it remains a ridiculously simple bit of software that takes just moments to learn, and it’s still extremely effective. In spite of the many years it’s been in the market, and the many users who have sent in feature wish lists, and the many talented people who have signed on to Amir’s team, it hasn’t become encrusted with complex features geared towards specialized use cases. In the world of software, keeping your feature set essentially unchanged while also keeping it relevant is a real feat. It may not be glamorous, but it’s incredibly hard.

Actually, Todoist has changed in one important way: it’s become more readily available on every platform. Whether you use Chrome or Safari, Android or iOS, Mac or Windows, Todoist is available and fully functional. In fact, today the company just released a brand new version of Todoist for iOS, a fully-fledged, native, beautiful overhaul of its iPhone experience. (At one time, Todoist for iPhone was just a native wrapper around a Web view, and it was exactly as flaky as that sounds. It’s come a long way.). Even better, this new version is optimized for the iPad, too. I fully expect to be using Todoist for the next six years, at least.

+

4 Comments

  1. I have also been using Todoist for several years. It is indeed the simplicity that makes it so easy to use. I looked at other apps over time but none came close. Now with the iPad and the iPhone version I am happily creating and deleting more todo’s. But with any todo list the goal is to keep it as short as possible so I have time for those things that do not need a list to begin with. Not that easy.

  2. Thanks for the writeup. I’m curious: how exactly do you use Todoist? Do you use “projects”, or do you just put everything in the “inbox”? Do you use “priorities” or just ordering? Do you use due dates?

    Given how many different features the app has, I’m not so sure it qualifies as all that simple. Every feature prompts me to decide whether and how I want to use it. Personally I could do without most of the features — I think. The truth is I’ve never managed to stick with any task management system, so I’m eager to hear more specifics about how you’ve managed to stick with Todoist for so long.

    Thanks!

  3. Avi Flax, I cannot imagine using Todoist without using tasks. Todoist is a GTD-compliant app. I actually started using it because it is listed on the Getting Things Done wikipedia page. So, to me the idea of using Todoist without using projects is strange.