Which are the best GTD Apps and how are you supposed to know which one is for you? Well, today’s your lucky day. After being in the productivity space for years and trying out pretty much every productivity app under the sun, we handpicked a list of the 14 best GTD apps plus recommendations on which one you should use for your specific situation. So grab a coffee, find your perfect app and start creating reliable systems that maximize productivity.
Our Favourite GTD Apps
- GTD App #1: Notion
- GTD App #2: Pen & Paper
- GTD App #3: Todoist
- GTD App #4: Things 3
- GTD App #5: Roam Research
- GTD App #6: Evernote
- GTD App #7: Apple Reminders
- GTD App #8: Microsoft Teams
- GTD App #9: Tana
- GTD App #10: Omnifocus
- GTD App #11: Nirvana
- GTD App #12: Trello
- GTD App #13: TickTick
- GTD App #14: Coda
- What is the best app for GTD?
- Bonus: Get better at Getting Things Done
GTD App #1: Notion
It’s impossible to write a list of best apps for GTD without mentioning Notion, the fast growing productivity tool that’s all the hype on social media. Notion is an all-in-one productivity platform that emphasizes flexibility. Fun fact — this article was written in Notion!
Notion is great for GTD because you can replicate the exact GTD System without having to compromise. Use database views to create Capture Inboxes, tag items to add context and break down projects into tasks with relations.
- Clean interface with endless customisability for your perfect GTD system
- Generous free plan with unlimited pages & blocks, and syncing across devices.
- A huge community that produces templates and Notion tutorials for any possible use-case.
- Too many features for the average user looking for a simple GTD app.
- Notion’s mobile apps still leave a bit to desire
- Limited search functionality compared to other apps. For example, you can’t search for specific files.
Is Notion good for GTD?
Notion is your best app for GTD if you enjoy building your own custom workflows, prioritise customisability and are either already familiar with Notion or don’t shy back from a steeper learning curve. It’s also our top pick for collaboration within teams if you have the freedom to choose your productivity ecosystem.
If you’re looking for a simple solution, want to get started immediately or work mostly on your phone rather than on a laptop, then a different app will suit you better.
GTD App #2: Pen & Paper
We meet again, old reliable. For a team of 1, simplicity can be the ultimate form of elegance. Whip out a sheet of paper and a pen, and let your brain do the heavy lifting. A pen & paper might be for you if you’re starting out with a project.
- They say the best things in life are free. It doesn’t get much closer to free than a $2.00 notebook and a $0.99 pen.
- Scales with your imagination. Can be as simple as a bulleted-list or as complex as a Venn-Diagram.
- Studies have shown that note-taking by hand has a few benefits. For one, it can lead to improved memorization!
- Cannot accommodate collaboration with a team. A notebook isn’t exactly scalable…
- Not searchable or interactive. If only you could Ctrl+F your old history class notes!
- Prone to items falling off the list. Let’s face it, a to-do-list only does so much for accountability.
Is Pen & Paper good for GTD?
Getting Things Done is a tool-agnostic system and David Allen wrote it way before the iPhone revolutionised what you can do outside your office. GTD works great with pen and paper.
You should ditch apps and opt for this implementation of GTD if you want to reduce your screen time, prefer the haptic feeling of writing by hand over typing on a computer or simply function better when things live outside your computer.
However, if searching through large amounts of information or collaboration with others is important to you, then we recommend you opt for a more powerful alternative on this list.
GTD App #3: Todoist
Think of Todoist as your personal to-do-list on steroids. With features like prioritization, reminders, and due dates, Todoist is a great place to start implementing GTD.
Todoist is closely aligned with the principles of GTD. New tasks land in an inbox, you can create projects to sort your tasks and you can easily replicate various lists based on filters and tags.
- Natural language input makes the interface effortless. Forget filling out countless fields. Type in “recycling every Thursday morning at 7 AM” and let Todoist handle the rest.
- Finally — productivity software that works offline! Stay organized when offline, with automatic syncing as soon as you’re reconnected.
- With pricing plans ranging from free to $6/month/person for business, Todoist is an affordable option.
- Limited free plan features. For example, you can’t add notes to a task on the free plan.
- For some people, seeing a “got-done” list is an important piece of productivity. Todoist doesn’t yet have a way to see a list of tasks that have been completed.
Is Todoist good for GTD?
Todoist receives our “best overall pick” award for GTD. If you aren’t drawn to a different alternative on this list for their specific strengths, then go with Todoist. It’s a well-rounded, affordable and powerful solution that will easily support your GTD journey from beginner to master.
GTD App #4: Things 3
Things 3 has dominated the App Store Category of Productivity for a long time and rightfully so. Need a well-rounded to-do list app like Todoist but with seamless integration across your Apple devices? Here it is!
Things 3 allows for an even preciser implementation of GTD thanks to the additional hierarchy element of areas to group your projects. It also comes with a few quality-of-life features like recurring projects or a great Apple Watch App for Mobile Capture.
- Uncluttered, clean user interface that’s easy to use.
- Seamless integration across all Apple devices (ie. calendars work like magic!).
- Unlike many other apps on this list, Things 3 is priced on a one-time basis ($9.99) as opposed to a subscription basis. How’s that for cost-effective?
- Zero collaboration features. Yes, you read that right. If you need a tool that works for a team, Things 3 isn’t for you.
- If you’re #TeamAndroid or #TeamWindows, Things 3 is incompatible with your devices.
- Unlike Todoist, Things 3’s natural language input isn’t as sophisticated. It feels clunkier than simply typing a message to a friend.
Is Things 3 good for GTD?
If it wasn’t for the restriction to the Apple Ecosystem, Things 3 would compete with Todoist for the best overall pick. If you spend your whole day on Apple devices and want a well-rounded app for GTD that can be used out of the box with little to no learning curve, then this is the app for you.
However, if you plan to share your tasks with your colleagues then keep reading – Things 3 is single player only.
GTD App #5: Roam Research
Roam Research brands itself as a “note-taking tool for networked thought.” Interesting… what exactly is networked thought?
Instead of thinking about a note as a line in a file or folder, Roam approaches each note as its own independent idea. Every note is linked to another note, allowing for a “web” of ideas to form over time.
Roam isn’t a to-do list app, which means it will take a bit more work to set up your GTD system. But if you put in the time, you get a powerful tool that integrates seemless with your Second Brain.
- Bi-directional linking (fancy) is what makes Roam so powerful. Think of it like this — normal links only take you in one direction, to the destination. Bi-directional links let you go back and forth seamlessly. Great to connect the various items on your GTD lists.
- Sleek visual design that’s easy on the eyes and pleasant to use.
- Productivity gurus around the Internet preach the benefits of journaling on productivity. Roam encourages you to start the day with a Daily Note, so you might end up journaling every day as a byproduct!
- If Notion is the jack-of-all-trades, Roam is the master-of-one: note-taking. You can certainly build a GTD system in here, but it will take a bit more time and a steeper learning curve compared to something like Todoist or Things 3.
- Aside from a 1-month free trial, Roam doesn’t have a free plan. At $15/month, the Pro Plan is pricier than many of the alternatives on this list.
- If you’re looking to build your own integrated productivity system through automations, you’re out of luck. Roam doesn’t have an open API (yet).
Is Roam Research good for GTD?
We’re going to be honest here: if you haven’t used Roam before and would only start using it for GTD, you’re better off picking a different app. It’s simply too complicated and expensive compared to other solutions and its main strengths lay outside of classic task management.
However, if you look for a tool to combine your Personal Knowledge Management with the action-oriented GTD framework and don’t mind the learning curve, then Roam is your tool of choice.
It’s particular great if you have a lot of projects that revolve around “Content Creation”. Whether you run a Youtube Channel, share the latest trends on TikTok and Instagram or write long-form blog articles, Roam will help you combine your research with your output.
GTD App #6: Evernote
And now, for the one productivity tool that started it all — Evernote. Evernote was your shiny new productivity app long before Notion and Roam were cool. Since then, it has lost it’s position as the cutting-edge market leader, but it’s still a reliable choice for anyone looking to organise their life with a notebook-like feeling.
At its core, Evernote is a note-taking app which means you need to put in a bit more effort to design an action-oriented system but it’s certainly possible. We recommend you use different notebooks for your lists (Inbox, Actions, Projects, Someday/Maybe, Reference and Waiting) and make use of tags to add context to the various items.
- Evernote has a Web Clipper extension for your browser. This powerful tool lets you clip pictures and paragraphs right into Evernote. Consider your time (and open loops) saved!
- Evernote gives users API access. This means you can integrate it into your other systems and use it for more than just GTD. Combine Evernote & Readwise to sync your Kindle highlights to Evernote and build a Second Brain.
- Evernote’s built-in powerful search combined with OCR means you can easily find any open loop when it’s time to process your GTD inbox.
- The free version of Evernote offers pretty limited functionality. Want access to your notes offline? Too bad. You’ll have to pay for that.
- The expanded set of features is nice, but be ready for a steep learning curve to get the most out of Evernote.
- Evernote is mainly geared towards storing information and less about taking action, which means you have less functionality compared to a dedicated to-do list app.
Is Evernote good for GTD?
Like with Roam, we wouldn’t recommend to pick up Evernote just for GTD alone. Dedicated To-Do list apps are simply easier to use and provide more specialised features.
If you’re on the other end of the spectrum and are searching for the most complex, function-rich tool to rule over GTD, then keep reading. Notion or Tana will empower you to build far more complex systems.
But if you’re looking for an accessible and simple all-in-one app to organise your digital life, Evernote can be a great choice. Being a note-taking app first might be a disadvantage when it comes to Actions and Projects, but it’s a huge benefit when it’s time to organise your documents.
Go for Evernote as your GTD app of choice if you want to keep your actionable items and non-actionable reference documents in one place and prefer to think in the classic Notebook – Note hierarchy compared to the very atomic “Every Paragraph is it’s own unit” approach of Roam and Tana.
It’s also considerably easier to learn compared to a tool like Notion, which makes it another great pick for Beginners.
GTD App #7: Apple Reminders
This one’s for the minimalists. Most of us have used Apple Reminders on our iPhones at some point. Plus, there are some little-known features that make it more than your average reminder app.
Lists, sub-items and tags together with the easy ability to add dates to your action items are everything you need to build a lightweight GTD system without the need for third-party tools.
- Free, with no premium pricing tier (assuming you own an Apple Device, of course).
- Seamless integration with Siri, who understands complex voice-to-text commands. Come on, being able to say “hey Siri, remind me to feed the dog every day at 7 AM” is pretty sweet!
- Coordinating with a team like your family? iCloud integration lets you create shared tasks for the family to tackle together.
- Some say elegance in simplicity. Others say limited customization. If you’re the average user, Apple Reminders works fine for you. If you need the bells & whistles an app like Todoist might offer, it’s probably not a fit.
- It’s Apple only. If you need to see your tasks across devices and ecosystems, this isn’t for you.
Is Apple Reminders good for GTD?
Apple Reminder is great if you’re looking for a simple, hassle-free solution that integrates well with the Apple Ecosystem. It’s particularly great if you’re just getting started with GTD and want to focus on the essentials instead of getting lost in too many features.
If you handle a large amount of projects and tasks, juggle due dates and timelines and need more powerful features, then there are better GTD apps out there.
GTD App #8: Microsoft Teams
On the surface, Microsoft Teams is a simple messaging app. Under the hood, Teams does so much more — think of it as a workplace collaboration tool. Shared document hosting, conferencing and collaborating in real-time are a handful of its features. Plus, it comes with it’s own dedicated to-do list app (creatively named… “To-Do’s”) to help you implement a strong GTD system in the Microsoft Universe.
- Seamless integration with the Microsoft Office suite of services. Assuming your workplace runs on Microsoft, you can easily implement GTD without having to ask permission from IT to install a bunch of additional apps.
- Customization with your favorite 3rd-party tools, like Trello, which we discuss later on.
- You delete a file thinking you’ll never need it again. A few months later, you need that file — NOW. Thanks to integration with Sharepoint, Teams backs up your files for you, ensuring you don’t lose them.
- To leverage the full functionality Teams offers, you need to have Microsoft Office.
- Let’s face it. The messaging and collaboration segment of the software market is crowded! There are loads of tools to choose from, and Microsoft Office’s price tag doesn’t strengthen the case for going with Teams.
- Offering a solution for pretty much any app in your tech stack means that the individual solutions are less specialised than with some other apps, so you’re missing some features compared to Todoist or Omnifocus.
Is Microsoft Teams good for GTD?
Microsoft Teams offers a more-than-capable solution to implement GTD. So who is it for? Well, it’s kind of an “all-or-nothing” situation. If you don’t have to use Microsoft Teams at work, we recommend you look for a different GTD app. It’s not worth the additional effort and cost compared to other tools.
However, if your company runs on Microsoft, rest assured that you can implement a well-functioning GTD system. Use “To-Do’s” list feature to create projects, list items as tasks and apply tags for context. Similarly to using Apple Reminders, you will end up with a good native solution that covers all the core elements of GTD, even though it lacks some power features of more complex implementations.
GTD App #9: Tana
Tana is the newest star in the crowded “all-in-one” productivity app niche. And it’s an incredibly powerful tool that will enable you to build a custom workflow.
Tana is built on a similar node structure as Roam Research, which means that you need to say goodbye to the traditional hierarchy of folders and get used to working with lots of bullet points and bi-directional links.
But Tana doesn’t stop here. Through a feature called Supertags, you can create database structures everywhere. It’s hard to fully explain this in a few paragraphs, but you can think of Tana as a combination between Notion’s databases and Roam’s bi-directional bullet point note taking.
- The combination of bi-directional links and databases is unique and no other tool offers this level of power
- Everything in Tana is accessible via shortcuts which makes it a joy to use if you like speeding up your workflow
- Tana excels at combining actionable and non-actionable items in one app, which means you have your tasks right next to your notes at all time.
- Tana has one of the steepest learning curves of all apps on this list. Prepare to spend a few hours learning the tool before the “getting things done” part can start
- Tana will be a paid tool but it’s not clear how much the monthly cost will be.
- Like Roam, Tana is great for taking notes but less good at exporting them. As of now, you’re mostly locked into the Tana system which is a bit risky with young apps.
Is Tana good for GTD?
Tana’s powerful features allow you to build pretty much any productivity system you want, so creating a GTD system in Tana is certainly possible.
That being said, we would currently recommend Tana only if you love to experiment with new tools and like to be an early adopter.
What’s more, you should also be prepared to move more of your digital life into Tana than just your to-do system. Tana excels at note taking and information processing and if you’re looking for a stand-alone GTD app, we recommend you’d go with something like Todoist or Things 3 instead.
Tana also doesn’t have a mobile app yet, so if you want to quickly capture open loops on the go, you’re out of luck.
GTD App #10: Omnifocus
Omnifocus is a powerful dedicated GTD Task Manager that is build on the principles David Allen laid out in his book. This makes it the perfect choice for power users who are looking to get the best pre-built GTD system available.
Omnifocus really shines with tons of features for any GTD situation imaginable. Nested project hierarchies, multiple date properties to keep track of Starting Time, Duration, Due Dates or Delegations plus the ability to create custom views are great features for advanced GTD users that you won’t find in most other tools.
- Omnifocus was created as an app dedicated to help you master GTD, which translates to many powerful features and workflows.
- Omnifocus can handle even the most advanced GTD workflows with ease without the need for workarounds
- Siri integration – if you like voice-to-text, you’ll love using Omnifocus.
- Although there is a 14-day period to try before you buy, Omnifocus will cost you a pretty penny. $9.99/month or $99.99/year to unlock all features.
- Omnifocus itself doesn’t support collaboration with other users. If you’d like to collaborate with team members, you’ll need to buy another app offered by the parent company.
- Omnifocus requires a bit more time to set up than other to-do list apps, so be ready for a steeper learning curve
Is Omnifocus good for GTD?
Omnifocus is great for GTD if you’re looking for one of the most powerful pre-built tools on the market. If you’re a power user who loves customisation, advanced features and the ability to track complex projects with ease, you’re going to love Omnifocus.
But all that power comes at a cost. Setting up Omnifocus will take time. And just because you can build a really complex system doesn’t mean you should. After all, it’s about Getting Things Done, not “spending hours and hours shuffling settings instead of actually working”. If you’re easily distracted by meta-work, make sure you don’t fall into this trap with Omnifocus.
Last but not least, if you’re a GTD Beginner or want a no-fuzz solution that works well out of the gate, pick Todoist or Things 3. While not nearly as powerful as Omnifocus, they’ll do a good enough job in most situations.
GTD App #11: Nirvana
Nirvana is another dedicated GTD app which means that from the get-go, it’s set up to work in alignment with the GTD workflow. It’s a no-fluff implementation with a great free plan, which makes it a great choice for anyone who wants a simple GTD app to follow the method “by the book”.
- You won’t find another app that comes this close to the og GTD workflow right out of the box without the need for any additional setup
- Simple interface, which requires no learning curve and never feels overwhelming with features.
- The “someday” section within the taskbar allows for seamless prioritization of critical tasks.
- The lack of reminder functionality lets some items fall through the cracks.
- While Nirvana offers the ability to store reference items next to action items, it’s fairly limited and not really a replacement for having some other digital note-taking app
- The strong focus on the GTD principles means you have very limited options to modify the workflow to your preferences
Is Nirvana good for GTD?
Nirvana is great for GTD because, well, that’s exactly what it was designed to do. It’s the perfect app to start with GTD if you want to implement the exact workflow without modifications.
The only reason we don’t recommend it as the default go-to solution for anyone is the rigidness of the design. While you need to spend a bit more time setting up Todoist or Things 3 for your GTD workflow, it’s also easier to keep using them if you decide to adapt the GTD workflow to your needs.
With Nirvana, you don’t have that option so you lose a bit of flexibility. Still, it’s a strong contender for the best GTD app.
Just keep in mind that you’ll need another tool to organise your Second Brain. If you want an all-in-one solution, consider Notion, Tana or Evernote depending on the learning curve you’re willing to go through.
GTD App #12: Trello
Trello is a project management app — bring your projects to life and keep them moving forward. And since projects are a key part of GTD, this app is a great place to start if you like kanban boards to visualise your life.
- Trello is a supercharged version of your sticky notes at home with all the essential functionalities to expect from a Project Management Tool
- Product managers agree — Trello’s interface is as simple as it gets, making it a great solution for lean teams.
- Trello’s automation bot, Butler, makes setting up rule-based automations easy and fast.
- Everything in Tello revolves around kanban boards. If you’re more of a list person, you might want to choose a different solution.
- For enterprise teams that need robust project management, Trello isn’t the best fit. Its limited functionality offers no roadmaps or swimlanes.
- The lack of reporting/analytics makes it hard for project managers to measure performance.
Is Trello good for GTD?
Yes and No. Trello is a great tool for collaboration if your brain works a certain way. If you’re the kind of person who loves writing tasks on sticky notes and organise them on a whiteboard, then Trello is a great choice. Other than that, we wouldn’t recommend it.
That’s not to say that Trello can’t be used for GTD. But it has a fair amount of design limitations compared to the other contenders for the best GTD app on this list. Plus, our all-in-one tool recommendation Notion can do Kanban Boards as well (while being much more flexible in other regards).
GTD App #13: TickTick
Another option for to-do list software that’s optimized for GTD is TickTick. Organize tasks, set reminders, and customize calendar views, while collaborating with your team. TickTick works smoothly for individuals and smaller teams.
- Unlike some of its competitors, TickTick is available across platforms. No compatibility issues here!
- TickTick supports powerful smart lists which make it much easier to sort your action items depending on your specific needs. Let’s say you want to view all your high priority items that involve 1 other team member. Customizable criteria provide the ultimate flexibility for dynamic GTD lists.
- The built-in Pomo Timer mimics the Pomodoro Technique: 25 minutes of work, 5 minutes of rest. GTD plus other productivity strategies combined in one app!
- It’s normal for free plans to have limitations, but with TickTick, even the paid plan comes with strings attached. It’s up to you to determine if the 99 files per day attachment limit is enough.
- TickTick’s general to-do list approach means that some aspects of GTD require more manual work. For example, you can’t “finish” projects other than by deleting the list.
- TickTick is an “action-only” app. Great for your tasks and projects but you won’t be able to use it as a Second Brain.
Is TickTick good for GTD?
TickTick is a great choice for GTD if you’re looking for a pure to-do list app. It’s our close third place for a universal to-do list app behind Things 3 and Todoist. Whichever you choose will ultimately come down to small UI decisions between the apps.
Just keep in mind that you will need to supplement your tech stack with a different tool for Knowledge Management.
GTD App #14: Coda
We’re finishing our list with Coda, another representative of powerful all-in-one tools that can singlehandedly replace almost your entire tech stack. Like Notion and Tana, Coda can be used for pretty much anything – if you’re willing to put in the time and learn how to use it properly.
- Coda has one of the highest ceilings in terms of raw power on this list.
- Native integrations and powerful formulas allow you to automate, track and report tasks on a level usually reserved for enterprise solutions.
- Coda has a thriving community to help you learn, troubleshoot and get inspired by what others have built
- Coda’s unique functionalities make the software feel complicated. Users need to spend time getting up to speed. Thankfully, Coda’s YouTube channel lightens the burden.
- Coda is currently focused more on features and functions than on UI design. If you value the looks of the tool you use every day, Notion offers more options to create clean interfaces.
- As another “lego-for-your-system” tool, it’s up to you to build and design your system. That flexibility is great, but it’s also easy to get distracted from your main goal (Getting Things Done) and keep tweaking your system instead.
Is Coda good for GTD?
Coda can be anything you want, so yes, you can build the GTD system of your dreams in Coda. Whether you should is a different question however.
If you’re purely looking for a tool to “get things done”, we recommend you go with Things 3 or Todoist. You can get started right away with little to no learning curve and you don’t risk getting distracted by all the other things you could do.
Coda is a great choice if you plan to build out a holistic productivity system, value raw power over everything and love working with formulas and databases. Otherwise, we recommend Notion if you are willing to trade a bit of power for easier use and a prettier UI or Tana for a strong focus on note-taking.
What is the best app for GTD?
So there you have it, our favourite 14 GTD apps. To help you make your decision, we’ve summarised the various apps according to the archetype who should use it:
“I just want to get tasks done”
- Things 3 on Mac
- Todoist for cross-platform
- Pen and Paper
- Apple Reminders
- Microsoft Teams
“I want the closest GTD experience possible”
“I am looking for an all-in-one tool that can replace all other apps”
“I want to add GTD to my Personal Knowledge Management”
- Roam Research
Bonus: Get better at Getting Things Done
Now that you found the perfect app to implement Getting Things Done, it’s time to upgrade your GTD skills. If you’re a beginner, then we recommend that you print this GTD flowchart that we created as a visual guide for the process or bookmark our GTD dictionary. If you’re more advanced, take a look at our 13 favourite lessons from GTD on how to get more done today.