Update 9/12/16: This post has been updated with additional standout free task management software options that have been released or improved over the past year. We’ve also removed options that are no longer free.
I’d had it.
I had been relying on a pen and paper for years, making silly little boxes to check off throughout my day. Write a blog post? Check. Demo a new piece of software? Done. Clean my desk? Ehh, I’ll get to that next week.
But I finally hit my limit when I was trying to sync up my task list with my calendar and writing out my repeated tasks over and over again. There had to be a better way.
Unsurprisingly, there is some incredible free task list software available online.
So I decided to dive in. What are the best free task management software options? Which ones offer the most features, compatibility with other major software, are easy to use, and are well-reviewed? I’ve compiled my research and narrowed the list down to these final nine, listed alphabetically.
Centrallo promises to “centralize your life.” If your life can be completely organized with a bunch of lists and tasks (which is why you’re probably looking for a task manager, right?), Centrallo follows through on that statement. The app, available on the cloud, iOS, Android, and Apple Watch, allows users to prioritize which lists—and which tasks within those lists—are most important. If you like Evernote’s functionality but wish it could be tied to tasks, Centrallo is likely the task manager you’ve been searching for.
Pros: Drag-and-drop interface, save information bits like articles and photos directly to the app, generous storage (1GB) for the free version.
Cons: No time tracking, limited attachment sizes (25MB) for the free version, no passcode lock for the free version.
When it comes to a free task management tool, few options on this list come close to the unlimited features on this app. For example, easynote.io offers unlimited lists, task reminders, tasks, users, and labels. All of this comes at the low cost of nothing. The app is intuitive and doesn’t do more than it promises; if you need a simple day-to-day free task planner, easynote.io is a good bet.
Pros: Consistent updates, excellent for both personal and collaborative use, and intuitive; no training required.
Cons:Still in beta; may not be free forever. There also aren’t task dependencies, time tracking, or attachment features available yet.
MeisterTask is a reflection of the operating system it caters to – Apple. And like Apple, it focuses on simplicity, aesthetic, and function. While these three ideals are certainly difficult to achieve, MeisterTask comes very close. This kanban task management software is so simple that you can open it up and be working within your first minute of use. The free version includes two free integrations, like with Drive, Slack, GitHub, or Zendesk.
Pros: Lots of great integrations, intuitive, standout iOS app.
Cons: No mobile version for Android (yet) and gives preference to developing for Apple.
Price: Free for up to two integrations; $9 per user per month for more reporting and integrations features.
If you want an alternative to the popular free task management software option Trello (reviewed below), check out Pintask. The software offers users the ability to track due dates, attachments, and reminders so everything is done on time and on budget. The kanban-based software is wholly customizable through add-on extensions, allowing users to build their own perfect, low-cost task manager.
Pros: Intuitive, easy to create your own extensions for, and great for team collaboration.
Cons: Users must buy extensions that are otherwise free on other apps, like card mirroring.
Price: Free plus the cost of extensions (starts at $3 a month)
The above-mentioned apps do a whole lot—but some people just want a to-do list, with not a whole lot of bells and whistles attached. Todo Cloud offers exactly that.
Create your tasks, order it by label, set a date, and go. Tasks can also be broken down into multi-level priorities, starred, and (my personal favorite feature) “focus,” or tasks that must be completed that day. This online task manager can be used for teams as well. Users can comment on, share, and sync their to-do lists, keeping everyone on task.
Pros: Simple to pick up and use, cross platform (iOS, Android, Mac, and PC), well-priced, and unique tools like geotagging.
Cons: Requires Internet access and mobile apps are only available in the paid version.
Price: Most users can get away with Todo Cloud’s free version. For those looking for mobile and email integration, Todo Cloud costs $1.99 a month, or $19.99 a year.
Todoist is a trusted standard in task management software. It offers a synchronized system that is available over iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, PC, and most major browsers. The interface is intuitive and set up similar to Gmail’s—on the left, there are categories (for example: due today, the next seven days, or “projects”), and on the right, there are the tasks themselves, which can be broken down into subtasks, sent out for collaboration, and can be filtered by their corresponding labels. And Todoist adds a small bit of gamification to its system, encouraging its users to earn “Todoist Karma” to track their productivity trends as they get their work done.
Pros: Very simple design, offers a mobile app, and lots of cool task-based features, like Todoist Karma, that aren’t available elsewhere.
Cons: The free version is limited in its capabilities and is not well-encrypted. Some of the mobile apps have design issues (like being unable to sort tasks).
Price: Todoist is free for projects and tasks. For additional features, like reminders, filters, labels, and templates, users must pay $29 a year.
If you’re a freelancer looking for a free task management option and free time clock software, TrackingTime will be a lifesaver for you… and your team of up to three. TrackingTime doesn’t limit the number of projects or tasks, and it has powerful reporting tools to make sure everyone stays on track. TrackingTime is available on Windows, Linux, OS X, iOS, and Android.
Pros: Completely free time tracking solution, time tracking integrates with tasks, tons of integrations available (like Chrome, Asana, Slack, Jira, and more), and offers time estimates.
Cons: Free version has no calendar functionality or custom reports.
Trello is another powerful task management software that made the list of top free project management software. It relies on the Kanban system of project management for users to visually organize their tasks. Use Trello to divide projects up by tasks, and then edit those tasks with descriptions, labels, checklists, and even attachments. Trello is particularly helpful for teams working on separate tasks toward a greater project goal, where the tasks are in need of a pipeline.
Pros: Intuitive layout and design, great for collaborative projects, and most companies and individuals are satisfied with the free version.
Cons: There is no good way to use this system to prioritize tasks between projects.
Price: Free for unlimited projects and users. Users may choose to purchase Trello Gold to up their card attachments to 250MB. Businesses may opt for Trello Business Class, which costs $8.33 per user per month, paid out annually.
Want a drag-and-drop task management system that’s great both for individual use and for group projects? Create and manage tasks based on due date and urgency with this tool. Users can use Wrike’s “Spreadsheet View” to mass-edit tasks and, with Wrike’s intuitive collaboration system, can share discussions and files that attach straight to tasks. Wrike also syncs with Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, and iCal, so users can keep all their projects and tasks aligned with their respective files.
Pros: Wrike offers a host of features and is, overall, a powerful project management product. Outstanding customer service, always new features, and makes collaboration easy.
Cons: The free version is substantially less full-featured than the paid option.
Price: Free for up to five users. Professional plans come with many more features and run $49 per month for up to five users and $99 per month for 15 users.
There are many other powerful task management software solutions available across the Web. Were there any programs that I didn’t include? Share them in the comments below!
Love these free task management apps? Hate them? Let us know either way with a review!
Looking for Project Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Project Management software solutions.