In my ongoing series introducing you to online tools that help with marketing your business online and getting things done, this post is about Wunderlist. Wunderlist is a great to-do list app that you can access on all of your devices. It keeps your to-do list simple, but provides a bunch of tools that will leave your written to-do list in the dust.
You can use it personally or for your business. I personally recommend it after using it for almost a year to make sure I’m getting everything done for my clients and my business. Let’s get started!
What is it?
Wunderlist is a super-powered to-do list that will help you organize tasks, projects, and lists. You can access it everywhere (computer, tablet, iPhone, Android phones) and you’ll always know what you need to get done today. And if you can’t do it today, you can easily move the due date for the task to tomorrow or next week.
You sign up for an account and it’s easy to get started because of the simple interface and format.
Their basic account is free and has everything you need to get things done. They also have a Pro version which gives you bigger file sizes when attaching files, unlimited subtasks and the ability to assign unlimited tasks within a list. It’s $4.99 per month. And if you have a team and want to use Wunderlist with your whole team they have a business version.
Lists you create are visible only to you, but you do have the option to make a list public and then anyone with the URL can see your list.
Why I love it
I tried a few different project management and to-do list apps when I was starting my business, and either they were too robust (it’s only me!), too expensive or the app didn’t allow for an overview across multiple lists. Wunderlist fit my needs and since I started using it the creators, 6Wunderkinder, have released updates and added even more features (like folders for your lists.)
I’m also a bit biased since 6Wunderkinder are based in Berlin, so I felt the German connection (I’m American, but living in Germany.)
The main reason I love it is because I can add tasks for each of my clients, set due dates and reminders for those tasks, but see what I need to get done only for today. I won’t see all the pending tasks or tasks due next week, though I could with the “Week” view. When I want to focus and get things done, I just look at my “Today” view. That was the deciding factor.
3 ways it helps your business
1. Get access to your list anywhere
I work pretty much my whole day on my computer in my home office so I access Wunderlist in my browser. I keep it open all day and check back with it to mark off completed tasks and see what’s next. When I’m on the go, meeting with a client or attending a networking event, I can access my lists on my Android phone. I can change due dates, add items on the go to my inbox and sort them later. If I had a tablet, I could certainly add the Wunderlist app there and use it when I was on that device.
This isn’t really something special that comes with Wunderlist because almost all online tools have the ability to sync across devices. But the key here is that if you’re still writing your to-dos on an index card or attaching them to your bulletin board, it’s hard to be mobile and take those to-dos with you.
Keep your to-do list in one place and be more efficient in planning our your tasks. That’s taking advantage of our connected and mobile world, and it will help you plan and grow your business.
2. Collaborate directly within the program
I use Wunderlist alone, but you have the ability to collaborate right within the program. In my recent post, 12 Better Ways to Communicate than Email, I talked about how working together on projects is easier when you don’t have to work with email. Signing in to one location and seeing the tasks and being able to communicate right there will save lots of time and effort when you’re working with a team.
You can add other Wunderlist users to your lists and then assign tasks to those users. You can comment on the task itself, you can make a list of subtasks, and you can write notes.
Your to-do list just got dynamic.
3. Keep focused and on-task
As I mentioned above, my favorite feature is the “Today” view that lets me see all the tasks that are due on that date. These are tasks that are on different lists, but still come together in this Today view. An overview keeps me focused and productive, and when I need to delay a task I just switch the due date and it’s removed from my Today to-dos.
If you’re like me, sometimes I get overwhelmed by things that need to get done or upcoming tasks or that to-do that I keep pushing off. With Wunderlist, I can move my to-dos around so that I am really focused on my tasks for that day. No need to add more stress to planning your work!
Features to look out for
Folders to organize your lists
This is a new-ish but super helpful feature that allows me to group my lists into folders or categories. Here’s how I organize my lists:
- Personal: all personal lists like general to-dos, thank you notes to write, websites to check out (usually I find them away from my computer, so this is where I keep track of them)
- Business: general to-dos (write a blog post or follow up with a past client), specific website tasks, a blog idea list, and a potential client list
- Clients: each of my clients has their own list
- Dormant Clients: clients that have their own list, but I’m not currently work with them; I can group them separately so that I can focus on my current clients, but can easily add them back in to active clients if needed
You can drag and drop lists into different groups and you can open and close the group so during my work hours I usually have my personal folder closed so I don’t get distracted.
For each task, you can set a due date and then you have the option to make it reoccurring. The options include: repeat daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, and then a customized version of those like “repeat every 2 weeks.”
This is really useful and allows me to plan out a reoccurring task once and only be reminded of it when it’s due. Yay!
When you create a new task, a window appears that has all the information about that task. Here are all the elements you can add to your task:
- Due date, with reoccurring options
- Subtasks which can be checked off separately from the main task
- Add a file: attach any file from your computer or phone, add a Dropbox file, or add a voice recording
- Add a comment
- “Star” the task
- Mark the task as done and get a satisfying “ding!”
Once you have marked the task as complete, you can set your options so that you can still see them on that list or you can hide them from view. Usually I keep my completed tasks hidden, but I’ve definitely gone back looking for a past task so the unhide feature is really helpful (unlike throwing away your PostIt note and taking out the trash.)
Print or email your list
This feature is perfect for those people who still want a hard copy to write on or need to access the list offline.
The printed version shows you the tasks organized by list and any subtasks, and gives you the little checkbox so you can check it off once it’s complete. You can also email the list to yourself and access it via your email.
One more thing: you can also sort your list in a variety of ways: by due date, alphabetically or by assignee. You can make it work for you, your business and your working style.
Sync your to-dos with a due date to your calendar
Wunderlist gives you the option to sync your tasks with a due date to your Google, iCal or Outlook calendars, or any calendar that uses the iCalendar format. If you are a more visual person and need to see your to-dos in a calendar view, this is a great option for you.
I haven’t used this feature personally as I like seeing my to-dos in a list, but the option is there and that makes Wunderlist an even more integrated tool for your business.
I want more!
Take a look at Wunderlist’s Getting Started page in their support center. They have answers to the basic questions (How do I create a to-do? How do I move my to-dos to another list or rearrange my items?) For help with syncing your Wunderlist lists to your calendar, check out this support page.
Here’s an interesting article about how you can use Wunderlist to Get Things Done (GTD), the task management philosophy by David Allen. And another that delves a bit deeper into Wunderlist’s features and touches on the psychology behind task management.
How do you manage your to-do list?
Share with me below your best practice or your favorite online tool for managing your to-do list. Would you consider moving it online if you currently use pen and paper?