Three years ago I was an event planner. And it was a crazy lifestyle in which if you weren’t organized, very very bad things could happen (let’s not even talk about that telehandler fiasco). One of my co-workers (turned BFF) casually used Wunderlist (by 6Wunderkinder) and got me into it. And dear God am I addicted now.
I’ve tried a lot of team communication/productivity/to-do list apps through the years (Evernote, Asana, Springpad) and have seen some other commons ones floating out there that I haven’t tried (Trello, Basecamp, Slack) but I always circle back to Wunderlist.
Back when I was in college I started to use Google Calendar’s ‘task’ feature because you can have multiple lists and assign dates which appear on your google calendar (with a check box!) The problem is that your list items couldn’t have subtasks assigned to them. Ie: instead of having one list called ‘University’ with each class being a list items and each list item having homework subtasks, you just had to make each class a list. Kind of annoying. BUT if you don’t need to go knee-deep into list making, stop reading now and just go use Google Calendar’s tasks (not pretty but effective).
But like I said, I’m on the Wunderlist train heading straight towards addition rehab. The UI is beautiful and it’s not crowded with useless functions. It is a list maker, plain and simple.
Here’s a list of features I find useful:
- iPhone App // obvious. It’s just as good as the web app. (There’s also a desktop app but I don’t use it).
- Due Dates / Notifications / Google Calendar Integration // this in theory is useful to me since I use GCal BUT I tried assigning a date to something and it didn’t show up on my GCal. Furthermore, it only syncs to the calendar once every 24-hours. It’s NOT instant. JUNK.
- Print // obvious. Not so useful if you’re always online, but sometimes I just want a nice physical list I can highlight, ya know?
- Notes and Subtasks // I won’t go into the many uses of these right now since I’ll discuss some practical applications below
- Attaching Files // obvious.
- No Ads // THANK YOU.
- Tags // Are actually #Hashtags…but I find them useful for tagging post ideas
- Pro Features // I do NOT have a Pro subscription but the added benefits are unlimited attachments, subtasks, and assigning.
Below is a screenshot of what the app looks like (obviously this is courtesy of Google images, not my actual Wunderlist…because that would just make anyone cry looking at it).
There are 4 Ways I use Wunderlist:
- Inbox // This is a default list I try to keep clean because I truly use it as an inbox. The only list items (LI’s from here on out) I currently have are Groceries (with the subtasks being the individual grocery items), Presentation (with subtasks being things I need to finish before my presentation), and To Do (with subtasks like ‘Fix Cast Iron Skillet’ that have no due date. For things WITH due dates, I put them directly on my GCal)
- Long Term Inbox // This holds long-term things I want to remember like ‘Christmas Card Addresses’ (with the subtasks being individual mailing addresses) or ‘Magazine Subscription Numbers’ (with the subtasks being my account numbers)
- Websites // I actually have 4 lists for my websites (Aughtonburgh and this website). Here are two examples:
- AB – To Do // with list items being things like ‘General To Do’ (with subtasks being things like ‘Change Highlight Color’) and ‘Maintenance To Do’ (with subtasks being things like ‘Schedule quarterly eval of portfolio’)
- AB – Long Term // with list items like my posting schedule (with subtasks being the days of the week) and my social media initiatives (with subtasks being various social media campaigns I want to try)
- Blog Posts // Again there are several of these lists. They’re each by website and then by category. Here’s an example:
- KS – Blog – Photography // List items here are all my post ideas (where I can assign a due date if I want to post them by a certain date) where the subtasks are any links I need to link in the post, attachments are any images stored on my computer, and the notes section is where I draft the actual post.
Currently, in total I keep 415 list items organized in 11 lists. (Who knows how many subtasks that is!)
But it’s a clean, efficient, system for me as someone who’s both busy with life, hustling a side business or two, and working full-time.
UPDATE: On March 12, Wunderlist announced the addition of Folders. And while I was already a fan, I became #TeamWunderlist4Lyfe. Read more about new updates here. (Now, if only I could get the google calendar sync to work…)