My Top 3 Task Managing Apps

Rachel Poli
Jan 28 · 8 min read
Photo by Plush Design Studio on Unsplash

I am no stranger to staying organized and having a plan for everything I want to do and need to do. I’ve always been fairly disciplined with my work and enjoy checking things off my to-do list.

Over the years, I’ve found various task managing apps. Instead of creating a handwritten list in my notepad or using the sticky-notes app on my computer, I have found some interesting task managing apps and websites that are designed to aid you in keeping track of your to-do list and holding yourself accountable for these tasks.

Before we begin, let me say these are some fun apps that work for me. However, some of these websites I’ve used, forgot about and went to a different website, and went back to it again in time.

I don’t know why I do that. Maybe I get bored with a certain app after a while and need a change of scenery to motivate myself to complete certain tasks again? Maybe some apps are more satisfying than others? I’m not sure.

The point is, there are a lot of task managing apps out there for you to pick and choose from. You can see if one works for you, find a favorite, and stick with it. Or, if you’re like me, you can find a few and use them all for different things.

Let’s get into it. Here are my top task managing apps in no particular order.

1. Asana

I discovered Asana when I began writing for Pure Nintendo Magazine. Asana is something we use to delegate tasks and share magazine pieces in one place.

I enjoy the website and it also has an app I’m able to put on my phone and take my list everywhere with me. So, I made a separate account on Asana for my personal work outside of Pure Nintendo.

I run two websites with various other projects in between — either for those websites or something else entirely. One of these websites I run with my sister. So, on my personal Asana account, I created a “group” that I was able to share with her through email. She made an account and now we can delegate tasks to one another.

The things you can do

You can create groups and invite whoever you need to. In each group, you can create projects and limit who in the group can see which project. For example, I have one group on my personal Asana account. She can see all our projects together pertaining to our website but my personal website and anything that goes along with it is private to me.

These projects are giant to-do lists. I have mine set up as such because I enjoy checking them off. However, you can also have them look like boards (similar to Pinterest) or in a calendar. You can also use a timeline feature, but that’s if you pay for an Asana upgrade. I use the free version.

You can assign each task to a specific person and add a deadline. The deadlines are in grey until the due date is “tomorrow” or “today.” Then it turns green. If you miss a deadline, it’ll turn red.

This use to be an incentive for me to complete my tasks in a timely manner. I didn’t like seeing the red dates. Then I realized you can change the deadline whenever you want.

Was something due yesterday? Oh, let me just click on that date and change it to next week… perfect! Now I can procrastinate longer.

Overall

Asana is a great task manager. I still use it, though not as consistently as I normally did when I first found the website. I still have the app on my phone and, of course, use it regularly for Pure Nintendo at the least.

I use it more so as a general to-do list so I have all my tasks in one place. It’s like a big organizer for me if you will.

2. Airtable

I recently discovered this one. Airtable is similar to Asana in a way where you create a “workspace” and within that, you have “bases.” The bases is where you put all your fancy stuff like your to-do list or… anything else you want, really.

In fact, I use Airtable more so for Medium than anything else at the moment. I have a base for content ideas and a base for marketing my articles.

The things you can do

These bases can be set up in various ways depending on what you’re using it for. You can use it as a spreadsheet which is called a grid (with formulas included but I’ll admit I don’t know how to do that), boards, a gallery, a form, or calendar. There are so many things you can do with each of these.

I personally use the grid for marketing my Medium articles but I use the boards for content creation.

Within each base, you can have multiple tabs and these tabs do not have to be the same format. You can have a grid and a gallery in one base. You can add tags to organize and link certain tasks together. The possibilities are endless.

Like Asana, you can add people to join your workspace and work together on certain projects. There is an upgraded version of Airtable where you can do more and have extra features, but I’m still using the free version for now.

My favorite part, though? There are so many templates! You can do a lot with Airtable and it’s a learning curve. When you create a blank base, you don’t know what to do with yourself even if you have an idea of what you want to use the base for.

Well, Airtable has an arsenal of templates for you to use and edit to fit your needs. When you start a new base, you have the choice to import a spreadsheet, start from scratch, or choose a template.

The templates themselves are overwhelming. They have their own categories, that’s how many templates there are. If you’re looking for content production help, there are 28 templates you can choose from in that category alone.

Overall

Airtable is a lifesaver. I haven’t played around with it too much yet but it’s easily one of my favorite things ever. Going through the templates alone is such a rabbit hole.

3. Habitica

I think Habitica is my favorite out of all the task managing apps I’ve tried and used. This is actually a website my sister came across a few years ago. I followed through with it quite a bit for a long time before I fell out of the habit. I recently picked it back up again.

Habitica aims to help you form habits. You can create habits that you can check off multiple times a day but the point is to form a habit. You can create positive habits and negatives ones. Obviously, if you don’t check off the negative ones then that’s good. It shows the streak of the good and bad habits you form.

The things you can do

In addition to forming habits, you can also create “dailies” which are daily tasks. Do you want to write a Medium article every day? Add that as a daily and the task will reappear every day.

You can set it to appear for certain days of the week and begin it at a certain time as well. For example, you can say you want to write a Medium article Monday through Friday but you can’t start that routine until next week. Habitica will leave it grayed out until the day comes.

Finally, there’s a to-do list. These can have deadlines but even if you don’t add a deadline the color of the checkbox will slowly darken after a few days and weeks just to show you that specific task has been sitting there longer than the rest.

In fact, the dailies will do the same thing. They start off as yellow but if you don’t follow through with checking them off every day, they’ll turn orange and then red eventually. If you have a good streak going, the colors will brighten to a light blue.

What makes Habitica so special, though? Aside from creating habits, it’s just another to-do list, right? Well, what I personally love about Habitica is that it’s also an RPG game.

You have a character and can choose a class (I’m a mage). You gain experience points by checking off your tasks eventually leveling up, earning more health and mana. You also gain in-game coins that you can use to get weapons and armor.

There are quests you can join to battle bosses. You attack by checking off your to-do list, dailies, and habits. If you don’t check off all your tasks for the day you’ll attack the boss for less damage. You won’t hit the boss at all if you don’t check off anything.

In fact, it’s the same for the boss as well. If you don’t check anything off, the boss will hit you for a decent amount of damage. If you check off everything, the boss will hit you for little to nothing damage.

There are health potions you can buy if you fall to the wayside, but if you lose all your health and “die” then you lose a level and one item such as a piece of armor. Alternatively, if you’re going on vacation or something, you can stay at the “inn” and it’ll more or less hit pause on your account until you come back.

Overall

It adds an extra incentive for you to complete your tasks with the gaming element. I myself am a gamer and enjoy a good RPG so Habitica is right up my ally. If you enjoy games, then this might be fun for you as well. You can even get your friends to join and form a group to go against bosses together.

In conclusion

Those are my top three task managing apps (as of right now). I’m sure there are plenty more I have tried and missed. I’m also sure there are more to be discovered soon enough.

I love a good to-do list and these are some of my favorite ways to keep my work (and my personal life) in an orderly fashion.

Do you use any of these apps or is there something else you use?

I hope you’re productive today!

I am an author who offers proofreading and book publicity services plus more for writers at all stages during their creative journey. My goal is to make the process go smoother so you have the time to do what you do best: create.

If you’re looking for more blogging and creative writing tips and resources, then please join me on my email list.

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Rachel Poli

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Author | Proofreader & Book Publicist (ACCEPTING New Clients) | Creative Enthusiast | RachelPoli.com & DoublexJump.com & Linktr.ee/RachelPoli

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