A Review of Wunderlist
*I am currently working my way through my fifth and final semester of the Information and Learning Technologies master’s program at University of Colorado, Denver. This post is part of an assignment for INTE: 5680 Producing Media for Learning.
“Download and install a mobile application that looks interesting to you, spend some time using the app and write up a review.”
For the past few years, I’ve been managing large aspects of my life with dozens and dozens of lists. As a full-time working wife and mother, as well as a master’s student taking two courses at once, lists have become my way of life and I could not get by without them. Recently, I was researching apps to help manage all of my lists and I stumbled across Wunderlist, and I’ve been all the happier for it.
Wunderlist is a cloud-based task management application that offers a variety of features that help you organize and prioritize various aspects of your life. The app was created in 2011 by Berlin-based startup 6Wunderkinder and was acquired by Microsoft in June 2015, at which time it had over 13 million users. Wunderlist can be accessed using a web browser with no download required. It can also be downloaded to Windows 7 and 8 computers, Mac computers, Android and iOS phones and tablets, Kindle Fire, Chromebook, Windows Phone, and the Apple Watch.
The application allows users to organize and share their to-do lists, work lists, grocery lists, and basically any other lists you can think of. Users can set due dates so that no deadlines are missed and reminders to make sure nothing is forgotten. Collaboration is easy among colleagues, friends, and family as shared lists automatically sync with the availability of internet connection, wi-fi, or a mobile data connection. Users can assign to-dos to themselves or other collaborators and leave comments and notes on each listed item. There are even a few additional plug-in features that allow users to turn emails into action items by simply forwarding them to Wunderlist and then users can add anything from the web straight into Wunderlist lists. The app is free, but there are additional features available in the paid version, Wunderlist Pro, for $4.99 a month. The table below shows the differences between the free and paid versions (click the image to enlarge it):
My first impression of the app was of the mobile version and I thought it looked too simple to do all of the things I wanted it to do. But I was quite surprised at what the app is capable of, especially with such a clean and simple user interface. To date, I have fifteen lists with several of them organized into three folders. My husband and I are collaborators on thirteen of the fifteen lists with our Weekly Meal Plan and Groceries lists getting the most use. I love that I can add something to our grocery list even after he has left for the store and it will show up for him in real time on the app on his own phone. In the Weekly Meal Plan list, we’re able to paste in the website addresses for any recipes we’re making that we found online and in our daughter’s list, I can paste in all of the details for any upcoming doctor visits and any other appointments. Here is a screenshot of what my desktop application looks like (click the image to enlarge it):
Wunderlist isn’t incredibly robust, but I can definitely see a few usages for it in an educational setting. You can see in the screenshot above that my largest list is titled “CU Denver” with 19 current to-do’s inside it. It’s been incredibly beneficial to have one single place that I can access at all times that shows me everything I am working on for school and gives me due dates and reminders. I’m able to prioritize my assignments and leave notes and links inside each task. The collaboration functionalities would be great for students who are working on one project together. They’d be able to make a list of tasks and even subtasks within tasks, and then assign certain ones to specific team members. Each member would be able to see when other tasks have been completed and they can comment on each other’s tasks and leave notes if needed. In this same sense, a teacher could create an account and sync up with all of the students in the class. The teacher could then post assignments and activities and assign them to specific students or at least check on the progress of work. There would definitely be more back end work on that one, but I can see it being extremely useful.
All in all, whatever your usage, I highly recommend Wunderlist. It’s easy to use, the userface is clean in design, it has a dozen useful functionalities, and it’s free! Anything that’s free and is going to help me organize the chaos of my life is a winner in my book! Check out the desktop application here, the iPhone app here, and the Android app here. If you use another app for organization, I’d love to read about it in the comments below!