Wunderlist: a task/list app that I might actually use

I often review apps for this blog, using them for a few hours and seeing what I like and what I would add. I sometimes look at my reviews a few weeks or months later and realize that even though I really liked an app, I abandoned it after my first trial. I’m not alone, after all, 1 in 5 apps are abandoned after one use. For me I think the key to continued use is to either create a new need (such as a game app) or replace one I am using for a specific function (I really don’t need more than one weather app.) Lists and tasks are in the latter group for me: I only need one place for lists. With that, let’s take a look at the newest version of Wunderlist.

  • My Costco list on Wunderlist, including a strawberries and blueberris as  subtasks for "Berries"

    My Costco list on Wunderlist, including a strawberries and blueberries as sub-tasks for “Berries”

    Folders, so that I can put all my groceries into one folder and create a list for each store. This feature was just introduced today and may be the one that causes Wunderlist to be my list app of choice. I end up having a lot of lists and grouping them in folders in an elegant solution.

  • Completed tasks that remain in the list (though hidden) and can be reactivated. After all, many items from one week’s grocery list need to be added to the following week’s one.
  • Sub-tasks allow checkbox lists within a list item. As a rule, I prefer a hierarchical approach to lists and with sub-tasks and folders, Wunderlist delivers.
  • Sharing lists is important, especially for grocery lists where I always need additional input.
  • Each item on the list can have a due date and a reminder. This is nice to have but as it’s more useful more for tasks than for lists I won’t use it as much.
  • Sync with other devices is helpful, especially from the desktop, where lists can be typed and created much faster than on a smartphone. I also like the “share with Wunderlist” on my phone and the Chrome plugin on the desktop — anything to simplify list creation.

One thing I’d add:

When I add items to a list, say grocery shopping list, I add them as I remember them. When I go to the store with my list I tend to scroll back and forth through the list a lot because my list is not sorted by department. There are a few ways to solve this. The first by using the existing priorities function (right now, items can be marked with a star and can be sorted first) to allow more than one setting. If more priorities levels were  allowed, I could mark produce with a 1, dairy with a 2, dry goods with a 3 and so on. The other way is to create a specific solution for grocery lists, with  “department” options such as 4-5 little icons to the right that can be turned on with a click. Wunderlist’s first list in their onboarding slides is a grocery list, and it’s a common use case for a list app, so it might make sense to build a specific solution.  Finally, a user could create a structure of lists in a store folder and sort them by department, but that would require planning ahead by the list maker and makes list creation a bit more awkward. This could also be done with Wunderlist’s sub-tasks feature, by creating a task for each store department and adding items to each list.

Finally, I realize that this review is heavily biased towards a very particular use case: grocery shopping. For me, that’s the winning use but I could be persuaded to create a business and project task lists on Wunderlist soon, just as soon as we get a bit more acquainted.

 

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