Review: Wunderlist

My thoughts on using Wunderlist for managing my to-do items

For the last month or so I have been using Wunderlist as my to-do app of choice and I wanted to pen a quick review on it.

Before I start, I know you are going to start groaning about *another* to-do app, I get it, there are a load of them, shut up, I don't care.

That is a lie, I do care a bit, if you are 100% happy with the to-do app you use or you don't have a need for one then then of course this review isn't for you and I would leave now.

I would take a second though to make sure that you don't need some type of list system in your life, because it is very liberating being able to set it and forget it, but that is for another blog post, onto my review:

Wunderlist Review

Wunderlist is a cross platform to-do list app in the truest sense of the term in that not only does it have an app for all the major desktop operating systems and devices but it also has a web app that you can log into from any machine that has an internet connection. As a result I will be reviewing the app based on my experiences with the Android version, the OS X version and the web version, but first let me give you my overall thoughts on the product.

I think Wunderlist is a gorgeous application, it has an incredibly nice feel to it and manages to contain powerful functionality without cluttering the interface. Of course at its core it simply lets us store and categorise to-do items, but there are some other worthwhile features that really make this stick out;

  • It syncs automatically to an online service.
  • You can set alarms that will use whatever system the operating system uses for alarms.
  • You can create groups of to-do items and share these with other people.
  • It retains items you have completed in a non-annoying way.
  • You can add notes, attachments and sub-tasks to to-do items.

All of the above are massively handy although I must confess I haven't really played about with sharing items with people.

The only thing I would love to see is a really easy way to import an email into Wunderlist with the subject as the task and the content as the notes for the task, currently I don't think there is a way to do that.

The only other negative I would say is that this is a free service, normally this is a good thing but I want this app to be available for as long as possible and I am unsure how this can be sustained unless they have a paying userbase, Wunderlist if you are reading this I would happily pay for use of your application!

Now I want to take some time to talk about the different ways I have worked with Wunderlist;

Wunderlist Android App

More often than not companies rush out an Android app so that they can appease a small but growing amount of users, and normally it will be some hacked together clone of the iPhone app, not with Wunderlist, this app has certainly been created with Android in mind, or at least appears to be.

They are one of the surprisingly small amount of apps that have embraced Android widgets, which for a to-do app is crucial in my opinion and I get a lot of use from just having the widget sit on things I need to get done today or this week.

They have also made it incredibly easy to add a task in this app, once you click on the shortcut you are in an area where you can quickly type something, hit enter to save it and close out of the app. I just timed myself at less than 4 seconds to open the app and log something in, which is perfect for on the go set it and forget it style tasks.

One absolutely killer feature is that you can send a text message to Wunderlist, again this is just super handy for setting something and then not having to think about it all day.

Wunderlist OS X App

Just like the Android app feels like it has been considered for Android, the OS X app feels like it has been considered with OS X in mind, it has a very Apple feel to it and works incredibly smoothly.

One great feature about the OS X App is that it has embraced a growing trend for responsive applications, that is to say that if you have the app sitting only taking up a quarter of your screens width then you will just see a list of items and nothing else, if you have it a bit bigger you will see the items and the groups you have created, even larger and you will see a couple of extra options. Things like this just make it abundantly clear how much thought and effort has went into this app.

I used Alfred to make a global hotkey to be able to access my to-do items immediately with a quick keystroke, this is not a feature of Wunderlist but I would recommend everyone do it.

Wunderlist Web App

Finally I want to mention the Wunderlist web app, which as I am now using a Chromebook at least part of the time (read my initial thoughts here) will be something I will be using more and more and to be honest even when I was using my Mac most of the time I had considered ditching the native application in favour of the web app as it functions as far as I can tell nearly identically to the native OS X app.

Again, responsive, gorgeous and built to the strengths of the web.

I maybe have a few concerns about how tabbing functions, I don't feel it is intuitive and I would imagine there would be some accessibility concerns about how it currently works but apart from that it is brilliant.

Round Up

So as you have read, I really like this app, and it is free for an account and all the native applications are free so the only thing you would be wasting by giving it a go would be your time and I honestly don't think you will. Check it out!

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