Steve Stone

Developer. Designer. Youth Worker. Nerd.

May 7, 2015

Confession: I am a todo list junky.

There, I've said it.

I won't go into the list of apps that I've used, or pros and cons because everybody is different. I will say that if it is free then I have probably tried it. But if I am straight-up honest, the one I have been digging for a while is an app called Listacular for iOS. Listacular is different than most others because it's essentially plain-text files (more on that later) inside of a Dropbox folder. It's also not just a todo list app. It can be any kind of list. I use it all of the time for quick notes,

It's super fast

Because it's only editing text files (something we've been doing with computers forever), it's easy. Want a new item? Click the + at the beginning or end of your list (to append or prepend), or simply hit return on the keyboard. Bam!

Solid syncing

Because it uses Dropbox, syncing is quick and easy. No accounts to mess with, no passwords to remember, no downtime. Everything is stored locally from the last time you opened the app and it uses Dropboxes custom merge methods to keep track of changes. Why recreate the wheel right?

Plain text

Your lists are stored as either .txt or .taskpaper files, both of which are plain-text, meaning you can edit your lists in just about any text editor, even if you don't "have the app". Everything uses Markdown inherently, and meta-data for your lists is in-line and human legible. For example, as a text file:

  • a new item is a new line
  • a - followed by a space at the beginning of a line is a new todo item
  • a x followed by a space at the beginning of a line is a completed todo item

Clean design

I dislike todo apps that have a ton of flare. I don't need custom backgrounds, profiles and the company logo plastered everywhere. The design is so clean it feels wrong to look at another app. It's just a list -- your list!


Listacular is free with an in-app purchase to have unlimited lists.

That's all I have to say. It meets all of my criteria -- I'm sold! Why don't you give it a try?