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The best to-do apps on Android

Evan Dashevsky | May 3, 2013
Modern life is all about doing things. Constantly. Between family, friends, work, pets, and fantasy hockey leagues, something always needs doing. And just when you think you've got all those things done--bam!--it's two in the morning and you wake up in a panic over all those other things you forgot about.

Modern life is all about doing things. Constantly. Between family, friends, work, pets, and fantasy hockey leagues, something always needs doing. And just when you think you've got all those things done--bam!--it's two in the morning and you wake up in a panic over all those other  things you forgot about.

Thankfully, a variety of tools and services can help you keep track of all the stuff you need to take care of in your life. Here, we present the best to-do apps and services for the Android user who has way too many things to do.

Note that while this list takes into consideration the best to-do apps available for the Android platform, we know that you use multiple screens in the course of your day. Keeping that in mind, we incorporate the best total  services that will help keep you organized across your phone, tablet, laptop, and work computer.

Google Keep (Free)

Okay, so Google Keep isn't technically a dedicated to-do application. However, its bare-bones design and ability to create simple checklists is good for busybodies who want to keep organized across multiple screens.

Keep's minimalistic interface allows you to post a note or checklist on your phone or tablet, and have it instantly sync with the Google Keep site on your laptop. So, if you're, say, planning a shopping trip after work, you might add items to a checklist on your phone or via the website throughout the day and check them off one by one on your phone as you make your way through the grocery store.

One strange thing about Keep is how unintegrated it is with the rest of the Google ecosystem. Keep does not collaborate with Gmail Tasks or even Google Calendar (while other non-Google to-do apps do--see the Tasks app below). Keep also lacks a sharing mechanism and alarm reminders.

Who this is for: People who want to make very basic notes and checklists throughout the day and who don't need more-advanced options or the ability to collaborate with others.

Astrid (Basic, Free; premium, $5/month or $50/year)

Where Keep is minimalist and barely there, Astrid has just about all the bells and whistles you could want. The app lets you set due dates and reminders, and will even sync with Google Calendar, iCal, or Outlook. Astrid is also big on collaboration, so you can share lists and notes with coworkers, friends, and family members, as long as they're also signed up with Astrid.

The app even integrates itself into the Android operating system. During my test drive, for example, I missed a call and was greeted with an awaiting message from Astrid giving me the option to turn that missed call into a new task. Similarly, when I got a Google Calendar reminder, Astrid automatically opened with a prompt to create a checklist for the coming appointment. Depending on your personal workflow, that sort of integration either comes in handy or is very annoying. Luckily, you can personalize it in the app's preferences.

 

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