Why TickTick Is the Best To-Do App for Android
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If you want to maximize productivity, you need a to-do app. Offloading task management from your brain lets you focus your mental energy on what’s important: the task you’re working on. But finding a to-do app that fits your style can be tough.

I’ve gone through dozens of such apps in many years, always migrating to the next because the previous was too basic, too bloated, too slow, too clunky, too ugly, too pricey, etc. But once I discovered TickTick about a year ago, I’ve never looked back.

Note that I’m the kind of guy who loves trying new apps all the time (which can be a huge waste of time 10 Time-Wasting Habits You Should Quit Today 10 Time-Wasting Habits You Should Quit Today A minute here or there doesn't feel like much, but it all adds up! Could it be that you're wasting time on meaningless habits? We'll show you daily tasks you can quit. Read More ). But when new to-do apps are announced, I don’t even care anymore. TickTick is that good. Here are the reasons why I think TickTick is truly the best Android to-do app.

Interface

Why TickTick Is the Best To-Do App for Android android ticktick interface

The interface isn’t anything special, but that’s precisely why it’s great: it’s immediately obvious that simplicity, readability, and usability are key to its design. And for a to-do app, nothing is more important than that.

TickTick employs a three-panel approach. The main panel shows the currently selected list and all of the tasks therein. The left panel, opened by tapping the menu button at the top left, lets you switch between various lists. The right panel, opened by tapping on a particular task, shows more details and lets you edit various aspects of that task. More on that later.

The bottom of the main panel is where you add new tasks to the current list, and you can add new tasks using voice commands if you like. Overall, TickTick is smartly laid out and strikes the perfect balance between white space, color, navigability, and information access. Nothing is ever more than two or three taps away.

Smart Lists and Folders

Why TickTick Is the Best To-Do App for Android android ticktick lists

In TickTick, your individual tasks are organized by lists, and lists can be further organized into folders. This multi-level hierarchy is great for tracking different areas of your life in one single account. You might have folders for Work, Home, Hobbies, etc., and several lists for each.

Lists can be assigned colors, making it easy to know which one you’re on at a glance.

TickTick also has a feature called Smart Lists, which are dynamic lists that filter all tasks across your entire account according to certain parameters. For example, the Next 7 Days smart list shows all tasks due within a week while the Assigned to Me smart list only shows tasks that — you guessed it — have been assigned to you.

The provided Today smart list is excellent for staying on top of everything going on in your life, whether those tasks exist in your Work folder, your Home folder, your Church folder, etc.

Notes, Comments, Attachments

Why TickTick Is the Best To-Do App for Android android ticktick comments

In addition to titles, every task can hold several kinds of extra information.

First, notes. Unlike most other to-do apps, TickTick actually lets you store notes for each task. There’s an unlimited amount of space for this, and it’s separate from comments. In comparison, a couple other to-do apps allow for limited descriptions, but most only allow for short comments. Some, like Todoist, even restrict comments to a premium plan.

Notes can also be toggled into subtasks. When doing so, every line becomes a separate subtask, and subtasks are essentially checkboxes that you can marked as completed. Once all subtasks are finished, the task itself is marked as completed. Unfortunately you can’t have notes and subtasks as a free user.

Second, comments. As if notes weren’t more than enough, TickTick also supports user-based comments. These come in handy when collaborating on a task with others as a way to flesh out certain details or leave informational reminders.

Third, attachments. These can be files and documents, voice memos, uploaded photos, or direct camera shots. By attaching media and documents to a task, organizing external resources becomes much easier and headache-free.

Sorting Tasks

Why TickTick Is the Best To-Do App for Android android ticktick sorting

TickTick tasks do support priorities: None, Low, Medium, and High. These don’t mean anything on their own, so use them however you want. I actually use them as an extra organization tool: high-priority tasks are pinned references, medium-priority tasks are back-burner ideas, and low-priority tasks are ones I want to tackle next.

Lists have no sorting by default, but you can enable Priority Sorting to group tasks by priority. You can also choose to do Title Sorting (by alphabetical) or Time Sorting (by due date). If none of them appeal to you, go with Custom Sorting (drag and drop however you want).

Repeats and Reminders

Why TickTick Is the Best To-Do App for Android android ticktick reminders

While I don’t use these two features often, I’m ecstatic that they exist. They’re simple and even mundane, I know, but TickTick really sets itself apart here.

If a task has a due date, you can set reminders for it. You can choose an “on the day” reminder or customize it to be anywhere from 1 Day to 60 Weeks before the due date. If no due time is set, it defaults to 9am. If you do set a due time, more reminder options become available: anywhere from 1 Minute to 60 Hours before due.

TickTick also has location reminders. Pick a location through Google Maps and select whether you want the reminder to trigger When You Arrive or When You Leave. This feature requires location services to be enabled.

Whether or not a task has a due date, you can set repeats for it. This automatically recreates the task at set intervals, so you can mark your “Grocery shopping” task as complete for today and have it reappear next week. Customization is flexible, allowing repeats for certain days of the week, every other week, etc. And you can set an end date for repeats!

One last helpful feature is the Daily Alert, which can be set in account settings. Pick a time of day (e.g., 9am) and TickTick will push a notification at that time with all your tasks for today.

Premium Features

The features mentioned above are all available to free users. However, the free plan does come with some limitations that you may or may not be able to live with:

  • 9 lists maximum
  • 99 tasks maximum per list
  • 19 subtasks maximum per task
  • 2 reminders maximum per task
  • 1 attachment upload per day
  • No list sharing or collaboration

The premium plan costs $2.79/mo or $27.99/yr (about a 15 percent discount). It raises the limits to 299 lists, 999 tasks per list, 199 subtasks per task, 5 reminders per task, and 99 attachment uploads per day. In other words, practically unlimited.

The premium plan also comes with some useful extra features:

  • Task revision history: See all changes made to a task.
  • Subtask reminders: Individual reminders per subtask.
  • Custom smart lists: Make your own dynamic lists with special filters.
  • Calendar integration: View third-party calendar appointments in TickTick’s view.
  • Lock screen task creation: Add tasks right from the Android lock screen.

TickTick Is the Perfect To-Do App for Android

But not everyone will love it. Maybe it’s too simple for you, or maybe it’s too advanced! Fortunately, there are all kinds of other to-do apps worth checking out 9 Best Apps For Managing To-Do Lists On Android 9 Best Apps For Managing To-Do Lists On Android If you need to keep track of what to do next, these Android apps could be a life saver. Read More if TickTick doesn’t meet your needs or expectations.

The three big ones are Any.do, Todoist, and Wunderlist To-Do List App Showdown: Any.do vs Todoist vs Wunderlist To-Do List App Showdown: Any.do vs Todoist vs Wunderlist Some to-do list apps stand head and shoulders above the rest. But how do they compare and which one is best for you? We'll help you find out. Read More . If you prefer something simpler, a bullet-based to-do system like WorkFlowy Zen-Style Listing And Project Management with WorkFlowy Zen-Style Listing And Project Management with WorkFlowy Read More or Dynalist This Bullet-Based To-Do List App Is the Simplest, Fastest, and Easiest Way to Take Notes This Bullet-Based To-Do List App Is the Simplest, Fastest, and Easiest Way to Take Notes Need a simple-to-use but powerful and flexible to-do list solution? Forget Workflowy. Forget Google Keep. Dynalist is the one for you, and here's why. Read More may serve you better. And don’t forget that true productivity is as much about removing unproductive apps 7 Android Apps You Should Delete to be More Productive in School 7 Android Apps You Should Delete to be More Productive in School If you're headed back to school this Fall, whether that's to middle school, high school, or college, you should make sure you delete these apps first. Read More !

Regardless of which app you use, see these tips for better management of to-do lists 7 Tips to Better Manage Your To Do List 7 Tips to Better Manage Your To Do List Does your to-do list cause you nightmares? Maybe you're trying to get done too much at once. It takes a sensibly compiled task list for an efficient workflow. We can help. Read More .

How do you like TickTick? Is it missing any crucial features? If you don’t like it, what to-do app are you using instead? Let us know in the comments below!

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  1. Martyn
    October 20, 2017 at 10:40 am

    I find toodledo to be fantastic. The double sort of priority and urgency works very well.

    • Joel Lee
      October 20, 2017 at 8:00 pm

      ToodleDo is great! Just a bit too much for what I need, I'd say. :D

  2. Doug
    October 20, 2017 at 3:10 am

    You left out what I consider to be the best feature of Tick-tick. You can print your list. Most other apps make it quite difficult to create a complete hardcopy of your list. I prefer to organize my tasks maybe once a week and then scribble on my hardcopy (always with me) when I think of something I want/need to do. Printing only works from the website, but that suits me.

    • Joel Lee
      October 20, 2017 at 8:01 pm

      I've never used that feature but that's great to know! Maybe I should start keeping hardcopy lists, they may make me more productive... Thanks, Doug!

  3. Go
    October 19, 2017 at 5:43 pm

    I don't see any references to Alexa. Any.do skills allow you to replace Alexa's To-Do and Shopping lists with Any.do's. Kind of a game changer for me -- especially since Google Keep no longer works with Google Voice.

    • Joel Lee
      October 19, 2017 at 8:04 pm

      Oh, I don't have much experience with either Any.do or Alexa. Thanks for letting me know about that, Go!

  4. Srikanth
    October 19, 2017 at 2:49 pm

    I agree with you thoroughly. I have more to add. 1. This app has wonderful widgets. There is a widget which allows you to filter the lists with one click. There is another which has horizontally scrollable dates showing one week at a time. One more and the most useful for me is a month widget which can show you all the tasks (including completed ones if you choose - but this makes the calendar widget very crowded) in a month. Of immense help for me is ability to add a task directly to date of your choice by one click rather than typing the task and then trying to add it from a scroll list of dates (like in iOS) which is more time consuming. Also you can just tick off a task from android home screen. Rescheduling is also very easy- by just a swipe (which you can customise). 2. Another most useful feature is when you add a new task by your voice, and when you specify date and time , they are automatically recognised and a reminder is set for that date and time. Ability to set up recurring tasks just by voice too works very well. 3. About attaching files from external apps - Here I would like to mention that this is only one of the few apps which works well with Evernote (I'm an Evernote fan and have lots of my files there). For example, you can just set up a task like "Hotel check in" and from Inside Evernote, you can open the Hotel confirmation document and share it with Ticktick. Problem with other apps is Evernote file is shared just as an external link and it takes you to Evernote Webpage and you need to log in again there. But here, the Evernote file is right inside the task. I have used most of the To-do apps on both iOS and Android including very popular Omnifocus 2, Todoist, Things etc. Even though Todoist seems to be more popular, the month view widget is missing and Evernote Integration wasn't working well for me. Also setting up a recurring task was more tedious with Todoist. All in all, right now Tick Tick has most of the features which work well for me.

    • Joel Lee
      October 19, 2017 at 8:03 pm

      Had no idea about those, thanks Srikanth. I don't use widgets much anymore but I'm going to try TickTick's now!