How Much More Productive Is ToDoist Premium? Here Are 6 Good Reasons To Upgrade

Ryan Dube 06-06-2013

todoist premium features
About a year or so ago, I first signed up for a free account with ToDoist Todoist - Simple but Powerful Task Management App Read More . It fast became one of my favorite task management apps. With that said, it has been a rocky relationship. I eventually found it difficult to reschedule tasks that I hadn’t completed on time, and instead of taking the time to figure out how to make ToDoist meet my needs, I kept switching back and forth between it and Google Tasks Use Excel & Google Tasks to Create the Best Goals Management Tool Ever Lately, I've started to realize that I'm working very hard, but if someone asked me whether or not I feel that I'm working toward a larger purpose, I'd have to say that I really don't... Read More . Once, when I bounced back to using ToDoist, I even tried using the WeDoist project collaboration app Collaborate On Projects With Small Teams Using Wedoist Project Tracking WeDoist allows small teams to manage up to three projects for free. It helps you collaborate with your group on coming up with tasks associated with a project, and assigning those tasks to members of... Read More  to bolster the work that I was doing with it.


That isn’t to say that it’s been a fairy tale since then. I still bounced around among other task management apps. I’ve tried the Big Picture Stop Treading Water and Make Progress in Life With the Big Picture I'm sure many of you have thought about whether you're doing the right things every day, whether you're getting anywhere, and whether you're headed in the right direction. To-Do lists and organizational apps will help... Read More , To-Do List App Showdown: 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 , and I’ve even tried to use OneNote 10 Awesome OneNote Tips You Should Be Using All the Time Microsoft OneNote is just as good as Evernote. OneNote is the digital equivalent of a binder, giving you more organizational control. We show you effective note-taking tweaks you'll love. Read More as a task management solution. So, what happened? You guessed it. I went back to ToDoist once again.

This last time, I really tried to make the best of it. I noticed that ToDoist started using a bit of gamification Tried And Tested: 3 Gamification Tools That Try To Make Your Life Better I'm a big fan of gamification, truth be told. I'd even go so far as to say our entire society should be gamified, with pleasures in life reserved as rewards those who actually contribute. Apparently... Read More , in the form of what it calls “Karma”. Every time you accomplish a task, create a project, or finish a list of other actions, you get more karma points. It’s kind of fun to see your points go up – sort of an affirmation of what you’ve accomplished. However, when I started digging deeper into some of the cool reporting tools ToDoist offered, I hit a brick wall. Those are ToDoist premium features only offered to Premium members.

So, I kept using ToDoist for free for a while. But kept coming up against things I wanted to do and couldn’t. Email reminders. Adding notes to task. Things that would really add a whole lot to the value of ToDoist as a time management and task management solution. So, one day this year, I just decided to bite the bullet and pay the really inexpensive annual fee of $29 so that I could finally access those features.

In this article, I want to describe those ToDoist premium features, and share whether or not the features are worth the price.

A Review of ToDoist Premium Features

Honestly, I wasn’t really certain that forking over my hard-earned $29 would be worth it, but the price was low enough to take a gamble. Not sure what I’d gain in the process, I took the plunge and then started exploring things at ToDoist a little more. This is not by any means a paid review – I am a full-fledged paying customer, and so you can be 100% sure the opinions offered below are of my own volition.


Adding Reminders to Tasks

The first thing I wanted to check out was the reminder feature. This is something I’ve wanted to use since I first started using the service, and was really frustrated that it wasn’t accessible. You can find the Reminders tool by right clicking on any task and clicking on “Reminders” in the dropdown menu.
todoist premium features
It simply lets you issue an email or SMS reminder about that task at any date and time of your choosing. Of course, the beauty of ToDoist is that you don’t have to remember the exact date. If you know that you absolutely need to finish a task at 5pm on Tuesday, you can type in the reminder date as something like “tuesday at 16:00”.
todoistpaid2ToDoist automatically figures out you mean the approaching Tuesday at 4pm, locates the correct date and sets up the reminder that you requested.

Attaching Notes to Tasks

Another premium luxury – task notes. This is nothing minor, as it’s the core reason I wanted to upgrade to premium in the first place, and it didn’t let me down. The ability to jot down notes alongside a task is such a simple thing, but for me it’s critical because this is where I prefer to keep notes as I’m working on a particular task – right inside of the to-do list where I manage the task itself.
todoist premium review

Bonus – you also get to attach pictures or other files to the notes as well. Need to use a diagram as part of the task? No problem – upload the file and save it with the task notes.

Keeping Backups

It may seem silly when you have 10 or fewer projects going on and a short list of tasks for each, but just imagine that you’re managing 20 or 30 projects, each with their own subcategories of tasks and associated notes, files, reminders, and everything else. The last thing you want to have to do is rebuild all of that from scratch. So, ToDoist Premium also includes a daily backup of all of your active projects.
todoist premium review
Backups are stored as text files, which you can download and check out at any time, or save on your own secure device if it makes you feel better. You can also force ToDoist to take a full backup of your tasks at any time, by clicking “Create a new backup”.


Exporting Your Calendar and Templates

Another nice perk of having a Premium account is the ability to extend your task management projects to your calendar applications. Specifically, ToDoist gives you the ability to export out your tasks as an iCalendar feed, which – according to ToDoist – works with Google Calendar and Outlook, among other applications.
todoist premium review
All you have to do is copy the iCalendar feed URL from your account and  use that link to access your data from the other applications.

You can also export particular projects that you might have set up especially well, as a “project template”. This saves the formatting, task configurations, and more about each project in a text-based “template” that you can later import when you are creating new projects.
todoist premium vs free
This can save a lot of time, especially if you tend to do the same sort of projects over and over. Instead of starting from scratch every time, just launch the new project, import the project template, and most of the work is already done for you. Just start working on completing tasks. Now that’s a time saver.

Email Tasks to Your Projects

One pleasant surprise that I just stumbled upon as I was researching Premium features for this article is the fact that you can set up a project with the ability to “Email tasks to this project”. You can find this feature by clicking on the settings for any project.
todoist premium vs free
This allows you to assign specific email addresses that have the ability to send new tasks to be added to the project. ToDoist will give you a special email address for that particular project, so that every time you email a new task to that email address, ToDoist automatically adds the task. It’s one of the fastest and easiest ways to update your to-do list without ever having to lay your fingers on a keyboard or even go anywhere near a computer.
todoist premium vs free
Just send the task email from your phone, and you’re done. You can also add multiple emails that are authorized to issue new tasks to the project.

Trends and Reports

One of the most important ways that you can improve your productivity, is by tracking your current productivity levels and trends. ToDoist tracks your productivity for you, so that you don’t have to think about it. The free version of ToDoist lets you see a basic overview of your productivity, but to really start digging into the trends and reports, you’ll need Premium.
It’s actually pretty surprising how these trends can help you to identify any patterns in your behavior. Maybe you didn’t realize that you’re far more productive in the middle of the week than at the beginning or end. Maybe you have better months than others. Maybe you’re applying far too much effort on one project, to the detriment of your other responsibilities.
todoist premium features
All of the productivity trends, accessible by clicking on your Karma score, can help you find those inefficiencies or personal behavior patterns that you just didn’t realize were there. Data never lies, and when you see your own behavior – or procrastination and laziness – right in front of your very eyes, it’s very hard to ignore.


So the bottom line is this – ToDoist Premium features and services are well worth the annual fee, at least in my case. I can’t say that would be true if the cost was much higher, but I can say that the ability to issue email task additions remotely, getting productivity reports, and task notes are the three features that I really love the most. The fact that there are other additional features available with Premium is just gravy to me, and proof that it was money well spent. So, if you’re considering upgrading to ToDoist Premium, I hope that this review told you whether or not Premium has what you want. If it doesn’t – why bother paying? But if it does – you can have those features for less than 8 cents a day.

Do you use ToDoist Premium? What’s your take on the ToDoist Premium features? What do you like or not like about ToDoist? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Related topics: GTD, Time Management, To-Do List.

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  1. Jaiver
    January 26, 2018 at 4:20 pm

    O Wunderlist. I miss you so badly!

  2. sm
    March 19, 2017 at 3:27 pm

    I do not think that the professional edition is worth the price. For the vast majority of uses.
    The things that you get in the professional edition, are functions which are free in other programs.
    Why pay 30 bugs per year for an alarm function that is found in free calendar and phone in advance?
    The only reason that I found and use this application.-- Is supports Amazon Echo. If it becomes too active with pop up and advertising
    Then I choose a different alternative that works with DOT.

  3. ajisdf
    November 9, 2016 at 5:22 pm


  4. Jose San Martin
    July 14, 2016 at 3:58 pm

    I'm figuring out To do List for use in our company, the requirement is for 25 users centrally.
    We are in Chile, have some representative in Chile?

  5. henry
    April 7, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    Thanks for this review! I found another great productivity app called Beesy, it is an all-in-one app that handles many features (you can sync, Create Tasks, Create Notes, create automatic meeting minutes, for example). If you like people who thin out of the box and make something of their reflexion you should take a look at Beesy ;)

    • kjh
      October 4, 2016 at 11:42 am

      shutup, you.

  6. Jeff
    December 16, 2014 at 12:11 pm


  7. Matthias Buesing
    October 20, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    Great review - I really fell in love with Todoist after evaluating pretty much ALL other todo apps that are out there. I appreciate the android app as well.

    But I'm still unsure if I need the premium subscription. Karma and the statistics are completely useless to me. Reminders on my phone are cool but as I work on my tasks on a daily basis it's not THAT kill feature. Maybe I'll wait for black friday - if they repeat the 50% discount I'll be jumping on for sure!

  8. mrsean2k
    August 18, 2013 at 9:18 am

    Is there any progress importing tasks from other applications?

    I use RTM premium and don't have hundreds of tasks, but a general lack of import / export makes me nervous

  9. Tiffany
    August 11, 2013 at 2:57 am

    Can you take pictures from inside the application? I really need to take a picture of the whiteboard when I make a school task.

    • Karl
      September 5, 2013 at 9:32 pm

      I have not seen this, but would suggest a copy of the photo stored in Evernote as reference material (can take a photo from within Evernote) and then put the URL link to your Evernote note/ reference material directly in your task. Food for thought...

  10. baily
    June 17, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    I tried PRO when doing web design for and I didn't notice any particular improvement, but it's probably just me :x

  11. Sinjid
    June 7, 2013 at 6:53 am

    How does this compare to Remember the Milk? Remember the Milk has a lot of these features which you can use for free.

    • Dave Hong
      July 27, 2013 at 2:26 pm

      I noticed that Todoist (even the free version) supports subtasks, which RTM doesn't.

    • Amit
      August 9, 2013 at 11:27 am

      Well, just to list few, Todoist have Outlook or thunderbold app that fits in very well. It also have desktop app that actually work unlike third party rubbish, RTM supports.

  12. TechnoAngina
    June 6, 2013 at 7:31 pm

    Been using ToDoist Premium for almost (exactly) a year now and I find it so incredibly useful and well worth the cost I spent. That said, I still keep my options open, though with Thunderbird, Outlook and Gmail integration it's really hard to find something that I enjoy better. It's important to note you can try the premium features for free and they were offering a discounted first year of premium features.