There isn’t just one app I can’t live without. There are two of them. No, I’m not being greedy and can’t pick just one: both work in harmony to improve my daily life.
And to shock you further, I pay for both of these apps. Not just to make sure I get all of the features in both apps, but because these apps are so valuable to me that I want to do what I can to make sure each app continues to “stay alive” (ie stay in development).
Technically, these apps serve two functions. Todoist (available everywhere) is one of the best productivity apps, as it helps you plan out what you want to do. Because if you only did the stuff you remembered to do, or the stuff that you always did, I’m sure you’d have some things go wrong in a given day.
Drafts (only on iPhone) is where all my writing begins, as it has a Swiss Army knife’s functionality for doing things with your text once it’s written. For example, I took notes for my Ms. Marvel ending and post-credits scene explainer there, and then whooshed them off to my work computer via the “send email” function.
But I’m barely scratching the surface of why I love these apps, so let’s dive deeper.
Project management is a very dry phrase, but it’s one you should look into if you ever find your plans blowing up in your face. Especially when you realize you could have done something better in your planning.
Not to go all “Atomic Habits (opens in new tab)” on you, but when I realize there’s something I want to do, I like to break that project down to the smallest actions. Take for example my upcoming vacation. I have a Todoist vacation template that starts with “checking to see if there’s any specific clothing I want for this trip,” and ends with “load airline ticket in my iPhone Wallet app.” In the middle of this whole mess, I have “find and clean the 3-1-1 rule toiletry containers” and a trip -specific list of restaurants and landmarks I want to check out.
Yes, I’m a master at micromanagement. But Todoist makes this all very easy, as you can tag, duplicate and schedule to your heart’s content. I even have custom filters, so I can easily see all my work-related tasks due today, tasks that take place outside that I scheduled for today and so on and so forth.
Todoist is free to download, but paying $4 to $5 per month (depending on monthly or annual billing) removes away limits for active projects, collaborators, filters and activity history. It also adds themes and reminders.
Download Todoist: Android (opens in new tab) | iOS (opens in new tab)
I didn’t love Todoist, though, until I realized how well it can work with one of my other favorite iPhone apps: Drafts. An independent app from developer Agile Tortoise (which may be a one-man operation run by Greg Pierse), Drafts is where all my texts start.
Why is that? When you open up Drafts, you’re instantly greeted with a clean new text file. All of its menus are hidden at that moment because you are here to write something now. To capture the concept, text or whatever it is you’re writing down. “Capturing” ideas is a concept I’ve become enamored with, partially because of the works of podcaster Merlin Mann (he came up with the Inbox Zero idea that many have bastardized).
Writing is just half the fun of Drafts, though. Tap the top right corner button, and you get a menu of many functions for processing that text. You can send via email (or send to Trello, which I use for work when I notice something Tom’s Guide should cover). You can Tweet your text. You can do all sorts of things.
Drafts is free to download, but Drafts Pro ($1.99 per month or $19.99 per year) lets you sync across its iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch apps, create and edit actions and add more features.
Download Drafts: iOS (opens in new tab) | macOS (opens in new tab)