Microsoft To-Do App: Next Iteration of Wunderlist

Discussion in 'PUBLIC: Discuss Tools & Software for GTD' started by Louis, Apr 19, 2017.

  1. Louis

    Louis Registered

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    Hi Everyone,

    There's a new kid on the block in our world of To Do apps! The first public preview of Microsoft To-Do is available here. This is the next generation of Wunderlist (purchased by Microsoft in 2015).

    I'm testing the app now and it seems basic although additional features are coming such as Outlook task integration. I've tried several To Do apps over the years and find myself returning to Outlook. While most of these apps have their strengths, Outlook provides the least amount of friction for my GTD system at work despite the shortcomings (location-based reminders, checklists/shopping lists/sub-tasks, list sharing & collaboration). If this app can plug-in to my existing system and provide additional utility, I'll be a happy camper.

    I know there are a lot of Wunderlist fans here. Just curious if any of you have tried the app and if you have any feedback.
     
  2. Kirk

    Kirk Registered

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    Hi Louis,

    I've tried a long list of apps:

    * Things
    * OmniFocus (1 & 2)
    * Todoist
    * Outlook
    * ThinkingRock
    * 2Do
    * GTDNext
    * Nirvana
    * Nozbe
    * Evernote
    * FacileThings
    * OneNote
    * Wunderlist

    I really loved Things most of all, so I'm excited about what the new version released in May will bring. OmniFocus just seemed too much to me (for me), but these 2 apps I've found I was most successful with. All that said, I recently made the switch to Wunderlist as being limited to macOS only really makes having 'one system' an impossibility, and as someone who looks after much of the Microsoft technology stack for my place of work I was excited to see To-Do announced today. It still feels a little rough around the edges (and it's allowed to, it's preview), but I think really solid foundations are there. I'm reassured by its backend in Microsoft's cloud though, given its proven security. I do worry that many people will pass it because of its association with Microsoft.

    The suggestions aren't any good at the moment for me, as it's suggesting items in my projects list, which aren't next actions and so aren't useful suggestions.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017
  3. TesTeq

    TesTeq Registered

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    My opinion? The end of Wunderlist.

    Outlook compatibility and Microsoft's HUGE ambitions will kill the simplicity of the product.

    Time for Trello or Nozbe if you need simple multiplatform list manager.
     
  4. Longstreet

    Longstreet Registered

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    I am in agreement with @TesTeq. I hope I am wrong, but I guess we will see.
     
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  5. bcmyers2112

    bcmyers2112 Registered

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    The To-Do preview looks a lot like Wunderlist, but it's too early to tell much from it. Like you said, it's a preview.

    At the risk of sounding like a broken record (to those who have read enough of my comments over the years, anyway), I don't think it's worthwhile to look for a consensus from this forum to guide your decisions about a list manager. It's like trying to conduct a poll to help you determine which color you should like the best. It's very subjective and you're unlikely to find a consensus. Even if you could, why would it matter if the majority said "blue" if you look at the color blue and say "yuck"?

    One good criteria for choosing a list manager is compatibility with other tools you use today. If integration with Outlook is important to you, then the new Microsoft To-Do app may suit you well.
     
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  6. kelstarrising

    kelstarrising I know some stuff about GTD

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    I'm still rocking in the corner weeping that they are killing Wunderlist....

    Personally, I have little faith they will keep the elegance and simplicity of Wunderlist. It's not Microsoft's pattern to keep things simple. When they force people to migrate over to To-Do, I will likely move all of my lists back over to Evernote.
     
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  7. bcmyers2112

    bcmyers2112 Registered

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    Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news but if you're still an iPhone user, Evernote's latest iOS client has been a debacle. Crashes, extreme lag, and in my case at least a couple of corrupted notes (their tech support confirmed for me that that last one is a known issue with the client, and not unique to me). One would hope things will be better by the time Wunderlist is sunset, but Evernote's problems have been dragging on since January.

    I'm not surprised in the least to hear Wunderlist will be sunset. As soon as Microsoft announced the acquisition of Wunderlist I figured this would happen sooner or later, just like Microsoft did with Sunrise Calendar.

    I would agree that it's unlikely that To-Do will much resemble Wunderlist. Microsoft promised to migrate Sunrise's best features over to their Outlook mobile product but most Sunrise users seem to agree that Outlook mobile's calendar is a shadow of what Sunrise was.

    Nevertheless I stand by my earlier post in this thread. I doubt I'll like To-Do as much as I liked Wunderlist (which I did use for a time) but it's all subjective. There are people who really dig Outlook's mobile calendar. Who am I to say they're wrong?
     
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  8. apastuszak

    apastuszak Registered

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    I fail to understand how every todo list fails in one important area: tags.

    I just tried Microsoft ToDo and once again it tries to sort my stuff by day and lets me make lists to put todos into.

    Instead of doing that, just let me add multiple tags to a todo and show those tags in the sidebar. As an added bonus, let me group tags into folders, and you now have the most flexible todo app anyone can use.

    I don't need my app to sort stuff by day for me, or to prioritize it for me. Let me be a big boy and do it myself.

    I remember when Todoist first came out. I created an account and decided in about 5 min that it was completely unusable.

    Both MS ToDO and Wunderlist support hashtags, but they don't show up in the sidebar. I need to find a todo that has the hashtag in it and click on the hashtag.
     
  9. kelstarrising

    kelstarrising I know some stuff about GTD

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    I think I've been lucky on the Evernote iOS issues I've heard about. No problems for me. So that is still likely my best next list manager after Wunderlist retires (which is where they were before Wunderlist and where all of my reference still lives).
     
  10. bcmyers2112

    bcmyers2112 Registered

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    Evernote's feature set is still well-suited for GTD list management IMHO. I'm certainly rooting for them to get their stuff together, because all of my GTD lists and a lot of my reference materials live in Evernote. It would be a colossal PITA to have to switch to something else.
     
  11. bcmyers2112

    bcmyers2112 Registered

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    I agree, but I think we're going to see more of this sort of thing rather than less. Evernote has also publicized plans to add machine learning so that the solution can serve up notes to you according to what it thinks you want. I think machine learning is going to be one of the next big things, for better or worse.
     
  12. apastuszak

    apastuszak Registered

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    I was never a huge fan of Evernote. But with the new redesign, I hate it. I know a lot of people like it, but it does not suit my needs.

    I would much rather use a self-hosted solution than something that lives in the cloud. All my notes and reference material contains a lot of important information I would prefer not to lose if some company goes belly up, or if a site gets hacked and my data taken.
     
  13. apastuszak

    apastuszak Registered

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    Machine learning is fine. Just give me the option to turn it off. And give me tags. I want three tags to add to any todo: context, project name, and status. That way I can enter: Take out trash (@home, next_action, no_project) and move on with my day.

    I love Outlook for iOS, but the first thing I do when I install it is turn off focused inbox. I think tablets are great to sort through mail, where you can swipe stuff left or right to delete or file.

    The one thing I hate is when an app makes the conscious to archive stuff instead of delete it. When Google first released inbox, it was disgustingly easy to archive stuff, but took multiple clicks to delete things. So, I took a pass on it.

    Microsoft ToDo has potential. But right now, for the life of me, I cannot figure out how the heck to edit a Todo I put into it, or add a note to it.
     
  14. TesTeq

    TesTeq Registered

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    What's wrong with Nozbe tags?
     
  15. apastuszak

    apastuszak Registered

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    Nothing. Nozbe came out the gate GTD specific. The only issue I have with Nozbe is price.

    I should clarify that it's not every todo app. Apps like Remember the Milk do a good job with tags. What Remember the Milk does not do a good job with is price. $40 a year is too much for me.

    Toodledo Silver does a lot of what I need for only $17.00 a year. But the UI isn't great. I'd been buying a membership, but not really using it.

    Todoist focuses on due dates and priorities and is too expensive for me. If you even want to try out labels, you need to pay for Pro. Or at least I do. I probably got a free Pro trial when I signed up years ago and the UI was completely different.

    Doit.im has a great feature set and a great price point at $20, but their servers are in China. If I store my task lists in on a server in China, that will not sit well with my company's security guys.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017
  16. tomstubbs

    tomstubbs Registered

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    I agree that the right app for any one person is a function of personal taste, in part. (I have Reid every one of the ones listed earlier.). However, I keep coming back to Nozbe. Nozbe's excellent implementation of tags, task delegation, complete cross-platform access with uniformity of interface (including wonderful iPhone app!), ease of comment and communications with other team members, ability to associate documents, Evernote comments and lots else make it a fantastic VTD tool for me. The price criticism mystifies me. How would I expect any program with those features to exist unless I paid for them, and not just $3.99? The same goes for the excellent Asana and zen one and OmniFocus (although the latter is not available except on Apple and does not do delegation). Moreover, I want the company to be around for a long while so that my investment of time in it is not wasted. I am willing to pay for that security. At bottom, I use this thing daily and it a a critical tool for working with my staff. It pays for itself-- just as David's book has -- many times over.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017
  17. bcmyers2112

    bcmyers2112 Registered

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    Evernote's Windows and Mac clients store data locally as well as on the cloud, and you can make backups and export all Evernote data into HTML files.

    As for security, I don't store anything in Evernote that is truly sensitive, like bank account numbers. If someone hacks Evernote and finds out that I have to call Joe about something work related it's no big deal because it's information they can't use for any practical purpose. Data thieves want stuff they can use to make money very quickly, and nothing I have in Evernote comes even close. You can also set up two-factor authentication to add an extra layer of security to your account.

    Mind you, I don't want to get into an argument about whether you should use Evernote because I have no dog in that hunt. If you don't like it, I don't think you should use it. But the implication that data stored in Evernote is not also stored locally is incorrect.
     
  18. bcmyers2112

    bcmyers2112 Registered

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    I played around with the To-Do preview for a bit today and while it looks Wunderlist-like in some respects. For example, you can create multiple lists which can serve as context lists, project lists, etc.

    On the other hand, the app seems to be more geared for those who want to create daily to-do lists. There's a default list labeled "To-Do" which seems to imply that that's where MS thinks you should put your action items. There's also a "My Day" list where you're supposed to put anything you should do today. Clicking an icon will generate automatic suggestions to add to the "My Day" list. So the thrust of the application seems to be somewhat antithetical to GTD.

    Personally I steer away from solutions that try to guide you toward a particular workflow, especially if it contradicts the way I've come to understand GTD. But someone else may try out To-Do and think it's great for GTD and that I'm full of crap.

    The other thing to consider is that for the longest time I've heard complaints about how there's no reliable, easy way to sync Outlook tasks to a smartphone. It sounds like To-Do will offer that functionality. That may be a boon for a lot of people.

    FWIW, @Louis, that's my take. But I'd urge you to try it for yourself. You're the only one who can determine if it will work for you.
     
  19. apastuszak

    apastuszak Registered

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    My problem is that I am a GTD island. Which is actually a huge problem. Because pretty much everything we do is so anti-GTD. I have never been able to use the 2 minute rule because of how compartmentalized everything is. My #1 status on my lists is @waitingfor. It's beyond frustrating.
     
  20. apastuszak

    apastuszak Registered

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    All valid points. Evernote has a decent feature set. It's just not for me. They were once the shining star of the Internet, but my understanding it that they have been losing a lot of customers lately. With OneNote and Google Keep being free, they're in a tough spot.

    Any time I look at a cloud based app, the first thing I check for is an export feature. If it doesn't have one, I am not interested. That's why I haven't found the perfect recipe manager yet.

    It was my understanding that offline access was a paid feature of Evernote, but I could be wrong.
     

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