Microsoft To Do is exactly what it sounds like – a to do list app. I’d tried similar apps many years ago but found them too slow to use, and soon deleted them after being irritated by reminders and notifications. I decided to keep to do lists old-school and simply use a notebook and pen. ????

More than 10 years later, I started wondering if my convictions are based on out-of-date impressions. One day I went into the office and left my notebook at home. It was hard to focus and I kept going through a mental checklist feeling as if I’d forgotten something. I decided it was time for my to-do lists to return to the 21st century!

According to Microsoft: “Studies show that peak cognitive alertness, or deep thought time, occurs about 2-4 hours after waking – the perfect time to identify and focus on your most important to-dos, whenever your morning happens to be.”

Full of skepticism, I opened the app for the first time. The interface looked reassuringly simple. As instructed, I gave a description of my first task: Compile the June newsletter. From the description it automatically set the deadline as June 1st and added it to my list. Smart!

To Do Icon Screens



Next, I broke the task down into some smaller steps and added notes and target completion times. It was already looking more organised than my notebook.



Once I had completed the first step, I marked it as done and a satisfying ‘bling’ made me smile! I’d sometimes add tasks that I’d already completed just for the satisfaction of crossing it off in my notebook! Is it just me? ????

Since To Do syncs with emails, it had also picked out another task from an email I had flagged to come back to later. That saved me a little time too, and I started warming to the possibility that electronic to-do lists were possibly no longer a big waste of time.

To Do also syncs across your mobile devices every 5 seconds, so I’m not being bugged with reminders about things that I’ve already completed like when these apps were in their infancy.

Using hashtags is an easy way to sort and filter tasks, and you can even add tasks with voice commands using OK Google or Siri.

Finally, you can assign tasks to others. I haven’t tried this as I no longer manage a team, but I can see how in combination which other apps in the Microsoft ecosystem, this could replace a teamworking platform I used to use.

Overall, I’ve found Microsoft To Do to be a worthy successor to my trusty notepad. It does a lot automatically which saves time, and it’s simple and intuitive to use. ????

If it’s not already installed on your device, you can download it here:

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