Wunderlist: Free and Easy Task Management

We’ve all been there. You are relaxing at home at night, when you suddenly remember you forgot to pick up something or pay the credit card. App developers know this too, and that’s why a whole method and app category was created around Getting Things Done (GTD). And while there are plenty of GTD apps that have come out in the recent years, few are like Wunderlist.

While most developers try to find more features to saturate their apps with, Wunderlist does a great job at keeping things simple, pretty and easy. Oh, and free. Are you sold on it yet, or do we have to keep talking?

Update: We mention a few times during this review that the iPhone application for Wunderlist is not yet available. Things change fast in this industry, and it has now hit the shelves of the iTunes Store. You can download it free!

Before the Beginning

Tutorials

Tutorials

Wunderlist is a relatively new app; the company that made it was only founded this August, and as such, Wunderlist is sort of a functional work-in-progress. There’s even an iOS app coming soon.

Wunderlist’s installation process is a bit confusing. In the installation, Wunderlist is automatically added to your dock and there’s another little app that gets opened, called “Wunderlist Installer”. Underneath that icon there was some form of installation or download process going on, because there was a progress bar involved that took around 10 minutes to finish.

Once you get to the app itself, it’s a pleasant experience. After you register for a Wunderlist account, you are presented with a short tutorial presented as tasks that are very easy to understand, and that do a great job at helping you understand how to use the application.

This is a great touch, and means that you aren’t left thinking “how on earth does this thing work?!”

The Interface

Interface

Interface

What I like the most about Wunderlist is its simplicity. There aren’t many buttons and options on the app, which makes it very easy to look at. Wunderlist works through “lists” — essentially categories that you can use for your tasks. Initially, there are two categories by default which are “Inbox” and “Tutorials”, but these are customizable and you can add whichever ones you want, like “Office”, “Home” or “Shopping”.

The lists are easily accessible through a collapsable column, along with a search bar. Wunderlist also comes with a bunch of themes that you can easily switch between via the little boxes on the toolbar.

On that toolbar there are also sorting options by date, “All”, “Starred” and “Done”. There’s also a “Synchronize” button. The tasks are presented in a list mode, where you can check them as done or star them so that you don’t forget about them.

Adding Tasks and Lists

Adding Tasks

Adding Tasks

Adding tasks is a simple affair, you just select the list you want the task to be under and then type into the text box that is presented above the list of tasks. Then you click the little clock on the side and select a date (or no date) for the task.

Adding a list is just as simple, you just have to click the “+” sign next to the search bar and a new list will appear, ready for you to change its name.

Synchronization

As I mentioned, there’s an iOS app in the works that is supposed to go along with the desktop app. I also mentioned that there’s a “Synchronize” button on the toolbar, but there’s not much use for it right now, as there’s nothing to synchronize to, unless you want to use Wunderlist on more than one computer with the same account (which makes sense).

Wunderlist also works on Windows computers, so you can use it at work and at home. But we won’t really be able to take full advantage of this feature until the iOS app comes out and we can check and add tasks on-the-go.

A web app like Evernote’s would be nice, where you could access your content through the cloud instead of having to install the app. But let’s consider that it’s in a kind of “beta” version right now, as it has only been out for a couple of months.

Wunderlist vs. Other Task Management Apps

There are plenty of professional GTD apps, but The Hit List, Things and OmniFocus are some of the most popular GTD apps. They all have their own iOS apps (except for The Hit List), and most also have an iPad offering as well.

And while they have a lot of features and look very professional, they can get too confusing and hard to get into; and that’s not even mentioning their price (let’s mention them though, $50, $50 and $80 respectively).

If all you are looking for is a simple, free and functional GTD app, you might like Wunderlist more than these three apps. And once the iOS app for Wunderlist comes out, you’ll struggle to find a reason not to give it a try.

Conclusion

While it still is very much a work in progress, Wunderlist does a great job at managing your tasks. It’s simplicity is something that is rarely found in the GTD market, and Wunderlist tops that with a pretty interface and even themes (though is this really a good thing?).

I’m looking forward to watching Wunderlist develop over the coming months, and hope that momentum continues at the same pace it has to date.

Update: We mention a few times during this review that the iPhone application for Wunderlist is not yet available. Things change fast in this industry, and it has now hit the shelves of the iTunes Store. You can download it free!


Summary

Wunderlist has a lot of potential at becoming a great app and service in the future. A GTD app without a mobile app is not very useful, but once its iOS app releases, Wunderlist will be a great free app.

7
  • http://meerzdaily.blogspot.com Meerz

    I love it! It’s amazing. The design is so simple an sleek. I just can’t wait for the iPhone & iPad version so I can sync between my Mac. It’s now my default app for To Do Lists. The developers did a great job.

  • http://drdkl.isgreat.org Dreadedkilla

    If you haven’t noticed, the window chrome lacks a gradient. This combined with the fact that it is of a lighter shade of grey makes it seem that the window isn’t the frontmost window even when it’s the only one in view. Also: this was made with web technologies, and packaged with (I assume) Titanium. I think it would be a much more complete and integrated app if it were developed natively for each of the platforms they support.

    Not bad for a starting app, but I find the eye candy to be a bit too much, and the installation was… too Windowsy? What I mean is that on Windows, you typically download an installer that will then download your app, but on the Mac, you download the app itself, not an installer :X

    • John

      Umm the window is lacking the gradient because it is not the active window (it isn’t clicked). Plus, we cannot see any other window because the writer of this article took a screenshot of one window only (you cannot see his dock or menu bar can you?) I tried the program myself and it had a gradient.

      But I agree with you about the installer, it should be drag and drop. :)

      • http://drdkl.isgreat.org Dreadedkilla

        Well, I don’t know about your mac, but on mine, it isn’t showing much of a gradient, or the 1 pixel line separating the chrome and viewport: http://grab.by/840N

        And here’s a normal Finder window for comparison: http://grab.by/840O

  • http://log.tuananh.ws Tuan Anh Tran

    Wunderlist for iPhone is already released !!!

    • http://davidappleyard.net David Appleyard

      Duly updated! These things happen sometimes, as we schedule content a few days/weeks in advance. Very unfortunate timing :-)

  • http://www.6wunderkinder.com Marvin

    great article, just want to mention that the mobile app of wunderlist for iOS is out now :-)

  • Alex

    You say that they don’t have a mobile app but they have an iPhone version…
    That’s what I saw on their webpage.

  • Mikk Pärg
  • Erik

    The iPhone app is already available in the AppStore, also for free. Link: http://itunes.apple.com/en/app/wunderlist-task-manager/id406644151

    Looks promising! I’ll definitely give it a go.

  • Tonijn

    But what’s the price for this app?

    • http://twitter.com/sirquini Sirquini

      It’s FREE, both desktop and iOS app

  • http://log.tuananh.ws Tuan Anh Tran

    To author of this review: Please check the information again when you publish the review. there are quite many mistakes in the reviews lately.
    iOS app is already available few days ago.

  • Ray
  • http://www.jasonprance.com Jason Prance

    SpringPadIt is where it’s at, web-based task management and syncs up with products online etc. Wunderlist looks pretty though.

  • http://about.me/jorgerdz Jorge Rodriguez

    At the time of writing this article, the iOS app had not been released. It usually takes a while to publish an article, sorry for being misleading.

  • Thuy Gia

    This app is amazing! It´s so easy to use and has enough functions for my everyday GTD needs. I´ve tried loads of these apps but none of wich appealed as much as this one. And the iOS version is also sleek as a mo´fo. And it syncs perfectly. Thank you appstorm for reviewing it! And thank you 6wunderkinder

  • http://twitter.com/inkaudio/ David O.

    I went from the The Hit List to Wunderlist. I had to manually moved the tasks that were not completed. Then I copy and paste the archive to evernote. I like Wunderlist, less features then the rest, but it meets me needs as a task manager app, in a simple yet powerful kind of way.

  • Chris

    I tried it and didn’t like it at all. It just doesn’t feel like a native Mac App and it really lacks iCal support. You can set a due time for tasks but it doesn’t seem to have a notification system for that which makes this feature rather worthless…

  • durb

    Your review did not mention that one cannot create repeating tasks (e.g. wash dog every month). Please correct me if I am wrong. Until repeating tasks are possible this task manager is undeveloped.

  • http://adrusi.com/ Adrian

    wow, actually might switch from an app I made myself to this, though it may not have all the features I need, I’ll give it a try

  • Adit

    Does anybody find it annoying that when wunderlist is closed, instead of being ‘stand-by-ed’ like any other apps, it shuts itself down? Because I find it a hassle each time I want to keep track of my tasks I have to reopen it again.

    This app does have potential, but for now I’ll stick with Things.

  • http://www.koi-community.com Goran

    I use KOI Tasks, a great alternative to Wunderlist. The Desktop App (is a real App) and works on both Mac and PC and it syncs OTA with iPhone and Android.
    What I like most is the possibility to add attachments to tasks and the html views it offers.
    You can create tasks and projects, by drag/drop emails from either MacMail or Outlook into KOI. THis is really cool, since I know can manage all my tasks on my Office PC, Home Mac and on the road with my iPhone or iPad.
    You can download the Apps at http://www.koi-community.com
    Oh, and did I mention that KOI has a native German interface (and of course English). KOI is the true “Wunder”

  • http://www.moosedesign.com MooseDesign

    How are they monetizing this? I hate to look a gift horse in the mouth, but seriously, how are they planning to make money?

    • http://cocosu.de Will Krein

      They are launching a SAAS working platform early next year,called “wunderkit”, and create the buzz now.

      Really like the app, THL is now officially retired!

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  • http://www.150dpi.com Sathish

    This is one of the best ever I’ve seen and it is fantastic! The Sync part is the best of it and multiple platform choice rocks, Android, Iphone and Ipad version’s arrival could make this even more successful and interesting.

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  • Tim

    There are two major problems with the app and its associated iPhone app.
    1. You can only see one line of text for a todo, which means in order to see the full todo text you have to click on each one individually.
    2. The app will not automatically sort by due date. You have to drag items up and down the list manually. I find that very odd.
    It’s a nice looking app and it’s free, but really?

  • Nicole

    I like the app, very nice and clean design. I like the limited functionality – some other tools out there tend to overwhelm you with unnecessary functionality! The only thing I would like to see is the ability to set-up recurring tasks and being able to add attachments – ok that’s 2 things really :) I used to use “Things” a lot, which is still my number one task management tool, but it only works on a Mac (and I had to switch back to PC) and isn’t for free. I think the tool has potential!

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  • http://www.ipad-movies.net/ Wright

    I know how technology changed and benefited our daily life for this app. it’s amazing!

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    With the highly development of technology, more and more tools appeared. it is convenient for people to play games and many other entertainment.

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