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No more sticky notes: the best ways to share to-do lists

No more sticky notes: the best ways to share to-do lists

Getting Stuff Done
June 25, 2015

It’s pretty common to want to share a to-do list with your significant other, classmate, or co-worker. Sure, you could text each other back and forth, but then you’d have to keep following up to make sure that it’s done. That’s why there are so many to-do apps because they make it easier to keep track of those things.

Apple’s solution: the Reminders app

You might not know it, but you already have a built in app that makes this simple. Using Apple’s Reminders app on your iOS device, you can share a to-do list with other people and work together on adding and completing the things that need to get done. Here’s what you need to do if you want to share a Reminders list with one or more people. First, go into the list’s properties by tapping “Edit.”


Next, you should tap on “Sharing” to open up the dialog showing who you are currently working with on the to-do list.


Once you’ve tapped on “Sharing,” you should tap “Add Person” to start adding folks to your to-do list.


Finally, you should enter the email addresses of the people you want to share the to-do list with, or use the blue plus sign to add from your contacts.


Once you’ve added people to your to-do list in Reminders, you can start working together. Anybody you’ve shared the Reminders list with can add items to it and check them off, as well as leaving notes. The app also lets you set reminders for items that have a due date, but we’ve had quite a few problems with that feature. Most of the time, the only person who got the reminder was whoever created it, and not everyone else. Another drawback is that updates to the to-do list sometimes took a while to show up across all devices.

Overall, we found this solution very simple to use, but the reminders function didn’t work as well as we would have liked. So, we went looking for other ways to share to-do lists. Here are a few ways you can collaborate with others on those all-important to-do lists.

Sharing for couples: Avocado

If you just want to share with one other person, Avocado is the app for you. Ignore the funny name targeting this app to couples, Avocado is a terrific app for sharing your to-do list. The only downside to this app is that it can only share with one other person, but this is great if you are looking for a way to work together with your significant other on a to-do list. Not only does the app allow you to share your to-do list, but also your calendar and files. There is also a secure chat function that sends your message straight to your partner, without it going to anybody else by mistake. Avocado is available on the App Store, and requires iOS 7 or later. It is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. There is even an Apple Watch companion app for Avocado.


Want to share with a bunch of people?

Unfortunately for us, not everyone we collaborate with has an iOS device. We all have those annoying holdouts that insist on using another platform, refusing to get with the program and pick up an iPhone. That’s okay, there are several awesome apps that will let you share your lists and reminders with them.

Sharing for families: Cozi

This app was designed with families in mind, although you can share with just about anybody. The app has a great look to it, keeping everything simple but feature-packed. You can share not only to-do lists, but also calendars, a recipe box, and a journal. Cozi works wonderfully, sending push notifications when users have the app installed. There is also a Web interface, and the service can send out email notifications for people who don’t have the app. Cozi is available for both iOS and Android, and the iPhone version includes an Apple Watch companion. Cozi requires iOS 7 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.


Advanced team sharing: Wunderlist

Wunderlist is a very clean-looking and classy app with tons of collaboration features. Even in the free version of the software, you can invite contacts to share a list and get push notifications when adding items or they are completed. It also includes the ability to set due dates and reminders, which are shareable with others. With the free version, you can assign tasks to up to 25 other people per shared list. The app is available for Windows, Mac, Chromebook, Android, iOS devices, and Windows Phone. Wunderlist even has an Apple Watch companion app and is available now on the App Store. Wunderlist requires iOS 7 or later, and is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.


My recommendation

Personally, Cozi is my favorite app for sharing to-do lists, even though it doesn’t get any more convenient than the built-in Reminders app. The capability of sharing a calendar, to-do list, shopping list, and journal are perfect for my needs. I just love how well Cozi fits into my family’s busy life, since it helps us to remember things we need to work on together. If you’re looking for more office or team sharing, though, Wunderlist’s ease of use and feature-rich app make it a star in to-do list collaboration.

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