Ok. Who here likes free stuff?
Maybe the real question is, who doesn’t like free stuff?
I mean, it’s hard to match the thrill of finding a working vacuum cleaner outside your neighbor’s house… but maybe that’s just me…
Anyway: that’s just what you may be feeling when you find a free to do list app.
But just like the vacuum cleaner, a free list app may be missing some crucial parts.
A good task management or to do list app allows you to collaborate with teammates easily on shared responsibilities. It doesn’t require a lot of time to set up and manage. And it integrates with apps and software that you currently use.
In addition, it is compatible with iOS and Android devices.
If this seems like a lot to figure out, no worries. This article will give you a rundown on the most popular free to do lists and show you which ones have all the working parts.
What is the best free to do list software?
With so many choices available, the hardest part might be choosing the right list app to begin with.
Here are some free apps worth looking into:
Simple is a popular banking app which can also function rather nicely as a to do list. And it can be used on multiple devices, including iOS.
A great feature of Simple is the ability to automate certain finance-related tasks, like moving a set amount of money from one account to another on the same day of every week or every month.
The Shared Expense feature is another nice perk, because it allows you to collaborate with a coworker or partner on financial issues that you share.
But Simple confines these automations and collaborations within the realm of finance. You can’t easily customize it to other group tasks, like preparing a presentation or planning an event.
This powerful free list app has a strong number of integrations, over 2,000 of them.
It works nicely in tandem with apps you may be using to organize your personal life, like Google Calendar or WhatsApp. And you can easily use it on your iOS device.
In terms of automation of recurring tasks, Any.do is somewhat limited, although it does have an Action Item feature which makes suggestions as you type your task list.
Collaboration is not automatic though, and may require you to do some extra set-up.
This free task management app works with your other G-suite apps, especially Gmail and Google Calendar. It can even generate a task list for you from within your email. It can be used on all your devices, including iOS.
But if you prefer to integrate with other apps, like Outlook or Microsoft Teams, this won’t work as well.
You can share a Google Task with a teammate, but tracking their progress may not be intuitive.
Evernote is a popular note taking app which you can also use for task lists.
The free version of Evernote comes with some useful features, like the ability to clip web pages and keep them in your notes.
Evernote also allows you to organize notes by using tags. And you can use it on your iOS device.
Since the free version of Evernote only syncs up to 2 devices, it may not be practical for a team trying to coordinate work.
Are these free list apps worth the effort?
Not paying for a task management app may seem like a win-win. After all, what have you got to lose?
The problem is, using the wrong to do list app for your company may hurt more than it helps.
When it comes to productivity, free stuff can be, well, really costly.
In 2019, organizations wasted an average of 12% of their time on projects due to poor performance.
A 2018 survey found that the most difficult aspects of project management to embed are benefits realization, lessons learned, and change control.
Embedding these project management tasks into a to do list app might seem like a tall order. But with the right list app, it’s possible.Using Simple, Any.do, Google Tasks, or Evernote may boost productivity in your personal life, especially since they are compatible with mobile platforms. But, when it comes to managing a team, you need much more.
The best list app for your business will do more than simply remind you of the items on your task list that you need to accomplish.
It will give you a visual of your team member’s progress on a project in one view.
It will generate that view in any format you need to clearly gauge group progress.
Not only that, it will show you what tasks or processes pose the biggest challenge for your team, so you can target improvement where it’s needed.
In this way, you can look back at what your team has accomplished and accurately assess what you’ve learned.
OK then, how can monday.com save money in the long run?
When was the last time someone on your team missed an important deadline?
Maybe you think it’s not that big a deal.
But the reality is that every missed deadline results in missed opportunity. It means you lose out on all the new clients and new business you might have gained if you had completed the project on time.
Not to mention, there are costs associated with the delay in closing a project and reaching out to key players.
The features in monday.com are designed specifically to prevent this kind of missed opportunity and delay.
Through the use of Gantt charts, Kanbans, and Calendar views, you can see exactly where your team is on any given workflow at any given moment.
This way, you can spot a missed deadline days before it happens and deal with it before the fact instead of after.
And to make the whole process even more fail-safe, monday.com even has a unique Deadline Mode feature.
To set it up, all you have to do is make sure that every task has a “Status” column and a “Date” or “Timeline” column.
Next, click the down arrow to open up the dropdown menu on the “Date” column and choose “Set as deadline,” like this:
You also have the option of connecting the Date column with the Status and People column to assign tasks.
Once you’ve set up your board in Deadline Mode, you can easily see when deadlines are approaching, as well as progress toward meeting them.
Another money saving feature of monday.com? The automation of recurring tasks.
Did you know that individuals waste an average of 22 hours per week on recurring tasks?
That’s a lot of wasted time, which your company has to pay for.
But with monday.com, you can set a rule that one event automatically triggers another.
All you have to do is click on the automations icon at the top of your screen to create a “recipe.”
This is a combination of actions, which routinely lead to other actions. For example, you might create a rule that says, “When the weekly report is done, notify Bill.”
Now a message automatically goes out to Bill whenever the weekly report is done, saving one of your team members an extra step.
Another step you could potentially cut out by using monday.com is moving information from one app or platform to another.
You get an email in Outlook or Gmail, and you have to incorporate the information in the message into your to do list. Or, maybe you need to work on a document in Dropbox as part of your task management. You also might need customer service data from your Stripe account.
In most to do list apps, you have to manually import this information from one platform to the other. But monday.com integrates with all these apps seamlessly, saving you valuable time and money.
You can even use external platforms in your automations, perhaps by creating a rule which says that an email will be automatically sent in Outlook each time the numbers in a Google Sheets spreadsheet are updated.
Besides integrating with other apps, monday.com works seamlessly across multiple devices, including: Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS.
Here again, you’ve saved valuable time which your team members can now use to do other things.
Does monday.com do list apps?
Maybe you’re not yet convinced that all these automations and integrations are your cup of tea.
Maybe all you want is a really good to do list that helps you assign tasks.
If so, monday.com has you covered.
The Weekly To-Do List template is one of the many customizable templates from monday.com, which you can adapt to your needs.
The to do list can be as simple or as complicated as you like.
First, choose a to do list that works for you. Then, customize it by adding and prioritizing action items. Finally, assign each item to people on your team.
The final result will probably look something like this:
You can even import or export Excel spreadsheets within the to do list. Then you can choose to view your workflows as a Calendar, Timeline, Gantt Chart, or Kanban board.
This is a great way to set up a list app to manage a large group of people, all of whom are responsible for different tasks.
Another way to use monday.com as a list app is the ToDo List Widget.
Just click “Add Widget” from the top left of your dashboard, click “More,” and find “ToDo List” in the Recommended category.
To start using the widget, just click in the “Create New Task” bar, and begin adding items to your to do list.
Now, whenever you finish a task, simply click the bubble next to it and watch it move to your “Complete” tasks.
This widget enables you to track your own personal tasks and deadlines without ever leaving the monday.com platform.
Want yet another handy list? Check out monday.com’s Checklist feature.
This allows you to easily break down a large task into several smaller ones.
The Checklist template is easy to use.
Just click on an item and it will open up to its own page.
Choose “Update” from the top left. Then, when you click within the text field, click on the word “Checklist” in the top right of the text toolbar.
You can now begin typing up items for the checklist.
As with other types of to do list items, you just click on the circle to the left of each item to mark it complete.
Best of all, you can see the progress on each individual task right in the main to do list:
The Checklist is an excellent way to amp up your organization, making progress, or a lack of progress, clear and obvious.
Is monday.com free to use?
The short answer is no.
However, compared with free to do list apps, you will find that monday.com more than pays for itself through improved communication and productivity.
Free list apps like Simple or Google Task may seem alluring up front. But when you forgo features like integration and automation of recurring tasks, it can ultimately cost you money through missed deadlines and poor communication.
And the value of communication absolutely cannot be overestimated.
Did you know, according to recent studies, 25% of employees cite poor communication as a primary reason for not meeting deadlines?
That’s a whole lot of missed opportunities. And, as we mentioned before, missed opportunity means leaving money on the table.
Communication within a company can be tricky, though. Team members may get overwhelmed with time-sucking meetings or long email threads.
A project communication template like this one from monday.com makes communication much simpler and more effective.
And you are by no means chained to one specific type of template for communication. You have a variety to choose from, and they can be customized just as you like, to be used on any device.
But poor communication and missed deadlines may not be the only ways your company is losing money.
If you’re relying on free apps, you might be paying another price in the form of stolen data from third parties.
In 2020, Google banned 2 dozen apps that contained malware. But by then, users had already begun installing and using them.
Installing a free task management app places your information at risk. And that might cost you dearly further down the road.
A free to do list app — like that free vacuum cleaner — can seem like a lifesaver.
But also like that free vacuum cleaner, you may find it has some missing parts when you start to use it.
With so many game-changing features, monday.com is more than just a to do list. It is a customizable, intuitive machine for making group tasks effortless and flawless.
Feel free to check them out for yourself. With the money you’ll save, you may never have to dig through your digital recycling facility for free apps again.