Microsoft To-Do vs. Wunderlist: Everything You Need to Know

Dan Price 02-05-2017

The world of task management and to-do list apps is a competitive space. You have several excellent options to choose 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 from, each of which has its own benefits and drawbacks.


For the last few years, one name that kept popping up when discussing the best-in-class was that of Wunderlist. Between the Android and iOS versions Wunderlist - The Best To-Do List Application On The iPhone [iOS] Wunderlist is one of the simplest ways to keep track of what you need to do. It has an elegant user interface that just makes sense. Anyone can pick it up and figure out how... Read More , it’s been downloaded more than 10 million times and has 13 million active users.

Sadly, Wunderlist’s reign is about to come to a screeching halt. In this article, I’m going to look at what’s caused the app’s demise, what its replacement will be, and how you can easily migrate away from the service.

The End of Wunderlist

Wunderlist only launched in 2011, but quickly became one of the biggest names in the sector. Features such as shared to-do lists, comments, subtasks, task assignees, and the deployment of hashtags helped to propel it to stardom.


Such was its success that in June 2015, Microsoft bought the app for a reported $150 million. Users weren’t impressed. Microsoft, like Google, has a long history of purchasing apps only to shutter them a short while later.


Sure enough, in April 2017 Microsoft dropped the hammer. In a blog post, the company announced it would kill off Wunderlist and integrate its features into a brand-new app called To-DoMicrosoft commenting on its plans:

“Once we are confident that we have incorporated the best of Wunderlist into To-Do, we will retire Wunderlist. While the name and icon may change, the team that brought you Wunderlist continues on. We look forward to making To-Do even more useful, intuitive and personal.”

Predictably, Wunderlist’s loyal followers aren’t impressed. But do they have reason to be concerned? What features have already made the jump to the new app? What new functions does it offer? And perhaps most importantly, how can you migrate your data from Wunderlist Damn it, Microsoft! Here's How to Export Your Wunderlist to Todoist, Trello, or Other Task Managers Wunderlist's acquisition by Microsoft does lead to a big question. Will you stay with it or switch? If you choose the latter, follow this easy guide. Read More to the new To-Do app?

What Is To-Do?

The launch of To-Do should come as no surprise. Someone leaked details of the concept — then nicknamed “Project Cheshire” — back in November 2016. At the time, critics attacked it for its seemingly “barebones” approach to list management. Thankfully, it seems Microsoft has added more functionality in the intervening months.

The new Microsoft To-Do app is officially in preview. The full release will happen in the next few weeks. At the time of writing, there’s already an Android, iOS, Windows Store, and web-based version of the app.


DownloadAndroid | iOS | Windows App

Here’s a quick look at To-Do’s two newest features.

1. Intelligent Suggestions

The centerpiece of To-Do is its “My Day” feature. It allows you to add tasks from your general to-do list directly into your daily agenda.

To use the feature, click the Lightbulb icon in the top right-hand corner of the My Day window.


todo my day

The app will take you to a new screen that lists all your incomplete tasks. To add a task to the day’s list, just click the + icon.

todo intelligent suggestions

The list of suggestions is “smart,” meaning it uses an algorithm to analyze importance, due dates, upcoming tasks, and other data to establish what you should get done on a given day.


2. Microsoft Office Integration

Microsoft claims To-Do is “built on Office 365”. In practice, it means you can expect to see the app start popping up in more and more of Microsoft’s apps and services 10 Free Microsoft Apps That Don't Suck Read More over the coming months. You can also expect some of Office 365’s “under the hood” features to be present, including data encryption and advanced security.

At the moment, the only Microsoft service it works with is Outlook Tasks. The entries in the two services automatically sync with each other, meaning you’ll always have your lists on hand.

Presumably, Microsoft will start rolling all its old, disparate task apps into the new To-Do app, meaning we might not see this integration offered for too much longer.

What’s Missing?

While the two features listed above undoubtedly have value, some key Wunderlist features are yet to make the transition.

1. Collaboration

Currently, there is no way to work on lists with other users. This significantly hinders its usefulness as a party or event planning tool and renders it almost useless for businesses. Microsoft says the feature is imminent.

wunderlist share

2. Third-Party Apps

If you’ve integrated third-party apps such as Zapier or Slack with Wunderlist, you’re in for a shock. As mentioned, at the time of release, the only integration To-Do offers is with Outlook Tasks 3 Quick Productivity Tips Every Microsoft Outlook User Should Start Using If Outlook is your email client of choice, here are a few simple but effective tips that can help boost your productivity up a notch or two. Read More . Again, Microsoft has promised more integrations are coming, though whether that extends to non-Microsoft products remains to be seen.

3. Attachments

Do you want to attach photos or documents to your tasks? Were you a Wunderlist Pro subscriber and used to sync images from your Dropbox account directly on to tasks and notes? You can’t do those things anymore — To-Do limits you to simple notes and checkboxes.

wunderlist attachment

4. Subtasks

Subtasks and folders are unsupported. The importer tool, which I will come on to in a second, explicitly warns you of the omission if you import Wunderlist tasks that use the feature.

All the tasks might eventually make their way on to To-Do, but Microsoft has not issued a timescale for any of it. You might be waiting for a long time.

How to Migrate From Wunderlist to To-Do

If you want to move your data from Wunderlist to To-Do in the hope Microsoft eventually gets around to adding all Wunderlist’s best features, there’s a convenient importer tool available. The tool also works with Todoist.

To use the tool, head to the website and click Start Importing.

todo importer wunderlist

The app will prompt you for your Microsoft Account credentials and will ask for a bunch of authorizations.

Next, choose Wunderlist from the list of apps. Again, you’ll need to agree to give the tool access privileges.

todo importer app

In the new window, choose which notes and lists you want to transfer. Click Select All to move everything.

todo importer choose notes

Lastly, you need to decide how To-Do deals with any subtasks you have. When you’re ready, click Start Importing.

todo importer choose subtasks

The import process might take several minutes, depending how many notes you have.

todo importer finish

Will You Use To-Do?

I’ve introduced you to To-Do and given you a rundown of what you can and cannot expect from Microsoft’s new app.

I’d love to know your thoughts on it. Are you a long-term Wunderlist user who’s distraught about its closure? Will you move to To-Do or look for a different alternative? Or do you have faith in Microsoft to make To-Do a productivity powerhouse?

In the company’s defense, they’ve been getting a lot of things right lately and know how popular Wunderlist is. Surely it would be mad to kill its most-loved features.

You can leave all your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.

Related topics: Microsoft To-Do, Task Management, To-Do List.

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  1. Paul Conway
    July 7, 2017 at 7:38 am

    In To-Do, WunderList 'Starred' is now 'My Day', and WunderList 'Inbox' is now 'To-Do'. But gone are 'Today', 'Week', and 'All'. So when I want to see low-priority (ie non-starred) tasks for the current day, I have to go to the lightbulb feature, which buries them amid my entire task collection, or I have to go to individual folders and sort them by date etc. BRING BACK Today!!! Without it, I lose my productivity.

    As for adding stuff to 'My Day', it removes the stars overnight so I have to add stuff back in. If it did not do that, I would NOT NEED the lightbulb feature at all. So this is all smoke and mirrors hiding the underlying features from WunderList, minus the features they have lobotomised, you know, the ones that enabled me to be productive.

    If they want to keep existing WunderList users on-board, they had better make it possible to operate To-Do the way I operate WunderList.

    Furthermore, they switch to using task storage via EAS, and those tasks don't allow sub-tasks or attachments or sharing between accounts. So unless they are planning BIG changes to EAS, which would surely be slow and take a LOT of effort, there is no way they are going to be able to retain those features, which for many people are deal-breakers. On the plus side, WunderList sync has had some horrendous problems in the past 1-2 years, and I am more confident that sync will continue to work properly using EAS.

  2. Mike G
    June 7, 2017 at 6:53 pm

    Of course, the other option besides switching to an alternative app or migrating to Microsoft To-Do now, is to keep using Wunderlist until To-do is feature-complete and then decide. So far, Microsoft is smart enough to not disable Wunderlist functionality if you already have it installed. As a result, I'm willing to give Microsoft a chance rather than write-off a new product before it's even finished. As an Office 365 subscriber, I'll most likely end up using To-Do anyway, but not until they add substasks!

    • Mike G
      June 7, 2017 at 7:17 pm

      Great article BTW.

  3. Jell
    May 3, 2017 at 8:12 pm

    The absence of folders and sub tasks means that ToDo is a real step back for me, and I'll have to look elsewhere when Wanderlust is retired.

    • Eric
      May 4, 2017 at 5:27 am


  4. Kevin WM
    May 3, 2017 at 10:10 am

    I like the app, its clean and organized. I like change so i will be anxiously awaiting more updates and features. Definitely needs a week view and a dark feature. I have already provided my feedback thus far.

  5. Hometoy
    May 2, 2017 at 6:01 pm

    Oh, and it only has "My Day", but not the week so you can see what is coming due in the next week or 7 days.

    And you cannot pin specific lists to the Start menu for quick access.

    But you can change the color. *roll eyes*

    • Eric
      May 4, 2017 at 5:28 am


  6. Hometoy
    May 2, 2017 at 5:57 pm

    Well not being able to collaborate is going to kill it for me. I use it between different people so others can add to the list and I can add to the list, and we can see when they get checked off our own way (me mobile, others either web or Windows 10 app).

    I really hope they don't screw this up. Microsoft has been on a roll of messing things up so I am getting a little afraid.

    And OneNote is too heavy for a To Do list.

  7. Ryan
    May 2, 2017 at 4:48 pm

    Any one have any suggestions for a good to-do app? Not made by Microsoft?

    • crescentdave
      May 2, 2017 at 5:25 pm

      Asana by google.

      MS has killed wunderlist and substituted it's version of a dumb blond in its place. What a waste of talent, software and a formerly great app.

    • Wendy
      May 2, 2017 at 9:42 pm

      I've been using TickTick on Android, and really like it. You can share lists, add reminders and repeating tasks, and hide specific lists from the master list. I haven't seen it pimped by any of the big tech sites, but I'm tempted to upgrade to the premium version after using it for two weeks.

    • Cidalia
      May 3, 2017 at 5:23 am

      I second the suggestin of Tick Tick as a good Wunderlist-like replacement.

    • John
      May 3, 2017 at 2:51 pm

      Yes, TickTick is where I'm going