Todoist is considered by many to be a simple to-do list. The Todoist Premium and Business variants are not aimed directly at private individuals.
How far can paid versions of the to-do list app help you in everyday project management? This information and a general overview of the tool and a field report, you will get in this Todoist test and review.
The most important facts in brief:
This review presents you the experiences from our test. So you don’t have to read it all, here’s a quick review:
- Todoist* goes into the realms of a simple and cost-effective task management tool with Premium and Business
- With the free version you get a simple todo list app
- The big picture shows a solid SaaS solution when you know the appropriate use case
- Data protection is observed, but you should take a closer look at the GDPR case
- The app convinces as a mobile variant for tracking and easier planning of your tasks
The company behind Todoist
doist was founded in 2007 and is now a decentralized remote company. What is special about today’s SaaS solutions is that doist operates completely without external financing and has grown via bootstrapping to its current size of 93 employees. This means that the original founder is still part of the company, which is no longer the norm for startups.
With Todoist as a productivity app and Twist as a communication tool, doist offers two complementary solutions for individuals and small and medium-sized businesses.
Getting started with Todoist
In the review, it quickly becomes apparent that this app is heavily focused on increasing productivity in the style of to-do lists. We have tested Todoist Business*, the paid version that is still above the premium tariff.
How much project planning is in Todoist?
Due to the strong focus on checking off to-dos, planning projects is limited. There is no possibility of visualization in the form of Gantt charts or timelines. If you want to use this software, you should rather use it for smaller projects and daily business. Nevertheless, the basic structure is presented in the form of projects. You can thus separate different tasks from each other via the projects.
The information you can store at the project level is limited to the project name and a color selection. The display variant in the project, however, allows the board view in Kanban style in addition to the display as a list.
More task management than to-do list?
In the area of task management, Todoist* shows features in the test that go far beyond the simple to-do list. You can attach several pieces of information to one task, so you can get a good structure and increase your productivity for sure:
- Task title
The title corresponds directly to the task description. Thus, ToDoist remains an app that is more suitable for simple instructions than complex tasks.
With a deadline you structure your toDos even better
Larger tasks should be broken down into several individual steps.
You can set a structure that applies across your projects with tags. For example, in our example of evaluating a tool, we have an “Evaluation Criteria” tag
The comment function allows to attach information directly to the tasks
Some tasks are more important than others – label that.
Recurring tasks in Todoist
If you want to set recurring tasks in Todoist*, just write a specification like “every week” or “every 3 months” next to the task title.
Communication and collaboration with Todoist Business
Of course, a to-do list doesn’t have to be a comprehensive communication tool. First and foremost, you think of a piece of paper with a few bullet points to check off. Nevertheless, the Todoist Business variant offers some useful options to be able to work together in a team even with the bullet point list. Especially the communication channel directly at the tasks simplifies the collaboration in contrast to a separate software.
Teamwork and Comments in Tasks
Once you have two people in your projects, you can assign tasks to team members. These are then responsible for the solution. By working on different devices, you can also work on the go. With the comment function, your team also has the opportunity to exchange information directly in the tasks.
File sharing at task level
Drag-and-drop tasks to attach files, so your team has more information to implement or one is pinned directly to the solution.
Representation of Todoist Kanban Boards
If you choose the board view instead of the usual display as a list, you can work with the Kanban methodand have an overview of the work in your project and team at any time. You can directly see task title, processor priority, day and the deadline.
All activities at a glance
Activity allows you and your team to keep track of what has happened at the project or task level. If you want you can set up notifications based on different activities. Notifications can be sent via email, the browser, the mobile app, or the browser app.
The personal view – a simple solution
As a team member, the personal view is defined to see the “Tasks needed today” in the form of a list. This helps to structure the day and adjust to the work.
Roles and permissions
In the Todoist Business* version and higher, there is a team member in addition to the administrator role. As an administrator, you can assign teams to projects and see the activities of the members.
If you need even more communication tools in the project, doist still offers the tool Twist. This relies more on group chats and time-shifted responses.
Does Todoist have other project management capabilities?
Todoist does not try to break out of the realm of pure task management and replace classic project management software. Therefore, there are virtually no functions that cover this requirements, controlling or resource planning and you have to rely on external tools or extensions from the area of integrations here.
The structure of the software makes it easy to work on several projects in parallel. With the filter function you and your team can see all projects in which you have ToDos. A total overview of all tasks is also possible. What is missing, however, is the overall bird’s eye view of the existing projects with the number of tasks and the current progress level.
How does ToDoist perform in the most important evaluation criteria?
Features and functionality
The functionality of ToDoist shows some basic features that you would also expect from a typical task management software. With team capability, Kanban board and activity report, the tool is much more powerful than the typical individual to-do list. Compared to a slimmed-down project management software, however, many weaknesses still show.
However, some particularly interesting functions can help you considerably in everyday project work:
- Add tasks by email
You can add tasks directly to your projects by sending a mail. With this
- Calendar synchronization
Todoist supports Gmail, Outlook and Google Calendar and you always have all appointments in view.
- Project templates
The so-called project templates are more like Todoist templates for well-prepared to-do lists, but help you get started with a new topic.
And if you are still missing one or the other feature, you can find it in the list of additional integrations and track times, connect calendars or use automation tools. Important examples of Todoist* integrations are Slack and Evernote for communication and documentation or
Other criteria of Todoist evaluation
- The language can be set to 19 different variants, which allows international editing in the project.
- Premium and Business can be tested free of charge for 30 days. However, you should be careful, because you already have to deposit your credit card data during the test and you have to cancel actively. only if you are not convinced, of course.
User interface and ease of use
The operation of Todoist is one area that is quite convincing. This is exactly how it should be, since you want to check off your tasks quickly at the ToDo level and don’t want to spend a lot of time searching. With little functionality, you or your employees can also quickly learn the tool. Even if an employee isn’t exactly tech-savvy, it should be easy to get started.
Especially interesting is the so-called “Karma”, a kind of gamification element. Here you can assign yourself points via completed tasks and thus set your daily goal or weekly goal.
For many areas there are shortcuts in Todoist, i.e. keyboard commands. You can find the shortcuts directly in the settings menu of your desktop app.
Only the addition of subtasks is slightly confusing, as multiple nestings are possible here.
Review of the Todoist App
Using to-do lists on the go has become indispensable today. This is something that doist has also dealt with and released Todoist* for all possible platforms (Android and iOS).
In the test, the iOS version of the Todoist mobile app shows pretty much all the features you know from the web version.
Data protection, hosting and service
Todoist Privacy – Where is the data located and where are the servers?
According to Todoist’s statement, the GDPR will be fully complied with since 25.05.2020.
Data is generally AES-256 encrypted and protected again with TLS 1.1 or higher for sending and receiving.
Todoist accessibility and stability
No failures were noticed in the test and the software ran very smoothly without any delays. Used the web version of Todoist* with the Chrome browser.
Important to know:
Todoist comes in different installation versions from web and mobile to macOS and Windows. There is even a way to use Todoist on Linux and Ubuntu. Even though it is basically SaaS tool, you can work offline. As soon as you have access to Internet again, the data will be synchronized with the server.
Support from the manufacturer (customer service) in case of problems
In the help section, you will find quick guides on account setup and the basics of the app. If you ever have problems with the tool, there are extensive FAQs as well as the possibility to contact the support directly. Here doist tries to solve many problems easily directly by selecting clever questions and redirecting to the FAQs.
Unfortunately, there is then only a contact form to reach the support. Even with Premium or Business account, the option for a direct phone call is missing+.
Todoist prices and costs
The cost overview in ToDoist is staggered into 3 tariffs from Free to Business. In the case of paid plans, the calculation is always per user and month, whereby the annual price is naturally cheaper than the monthly debit.
By the way
An overview of the costs for project management software from different providers can be found here.
The free plan offers a simple to-do list app for individuals. You will only be able to use a little of the total app after signing up for Todoist*.
- max. 80 projects
- max. 5 users per project
- Lists and boards
- external integrations
- Due dates
Todoist Free Cost: 0€ /User/Month
With the paid premium version of Todoist, almost all program features you need for a smaller team are unlocked.
- max. 300 projects
- max. 25 users per project
- Memories, comments and uploads
- Labels, filters and activity log
- Themes,Templates und Backups
- Calendar synchronization
Todoist Premium Cost: 3€ /user/month
Todoist Business offers all the features presented in the review. In contrast to Premium, here you still have extended administration through admin and member roles. In addition, there is a separate team entrance and the possibility to settle teams. Thus, the business variant is primarily aimed at professional use.
What is a bit surprising is the limitation to 500 active projects and max. 50 people per project, as this excludes larger companies. However, a to-do list with more than 50 people may not make much sense anymore.
Todoist Business Cost: 5€ /user/month
Todoist costs and prices comparison
Pricing for Projectmanagement Software Todoist per Year - in Euro (pm-tools.info, June 2022)
Todoist experiences and reviews
Increasing productivity with Todoist – Experience and expert opinion by Ivan Blatter
Ivan Blatter is a productivity coach. He guides his clients to be more productive while being stress-free. Todoist is a tool that Mr. Blatter used himself for a long time until he switched to a more complex project management tool to cover more project management tasks. His opinion on Todoist:
Even though I personally don’t work with Todoist anymore, I’m happy to recommend it to my clients if they’re looking for a simple solution that still offers more than what they need. This is exactly what Todoist manages to do.
It’s not so much individual functions that only Todoist can do, but rather the overall package of simple design, clever functions that can handle somewhat more complex task lists, paired with the ability to manage tasks in a team. Todoist brings all this together in one simple interface for every conceivable platform (Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, browser only, etc.).
Our evaluation of Todoist
Cost-effective productivity solution for small teams: gamification elements help increase productivity.
Time tracking, documentation tools and more can be added via external integrations
The notifications help to keep tasks in view
The support with FAQ, help pages and support is convincing
Few project management functions
In order to test the business variant, you must provide your credit card and actively cancel it for the completion of the test – otherwise you will continue to pay directly.
The situation in the area of GDPR is not entirely clear – here, the customer must explicitly look at whether data storage outside the EU is a problem.
For whom is Todoist worthwhile?
The review shows clear differences in the application for different payment plans:
If you choose the free version, it will be enough at most for use as a simple to-do list for individuals. Here you can use Todoist* for Getting Things Done (GTD) or other productivity methods.
The focus of Todoist Premium and Business continues to be on individuals but also on small teams and startups. The tool represents a simple variant of task management and tries to continue this way with the new Kanban board. In the long term, integrations offer the possibility of adding missing functions via external services.
If you want to increase productivity in thesmall companyof around 50 employees and have simple tasks rather than need complex descriptions, Todoist Business can be the right solution for you. At least Todoist remains cheaper than many providers from the pure task management.
If you have not yet had any contact with task management, Todoist can give you a first uncomplicated introduction to this topic.
Todoist alternatives in review
- Wunderlist used to be a competent alternative to Todoist. Today it is its successor ToDofrom the portfolio ofMicrosoft 365.
- With any.do there is an alternative to Todoist, which has a little less functionality but is cheaper.
- The productivity tools MeisterTask and Trello setzen increasingly rely on Kanban to represent work.
- Asanacan do many things that go far beyond a to-do list. For some, Asana is the next step in moving from multiple tools to a total solution (in project management).
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