iPad Apps

5 Best Free To-Do List Apps for iPads [2024]

To-do list apps streamline your day, week, and month. Gone are the days of hauling ten different notebooks around campus. The creation of tablets – and more specifically iPads – has revolutionized the way we live. 

The App Store is filled with hundreds of to-do list apps, but which is the best? Here are our top 5 best free to-do list apps for iPads. 

Notion

notion app on ipad showing to do list
Image from Notion

It is impossible to talk about the best free to-do list apps without mentioning Notion. Overall, Notion is much more than just a planner app. Users can take notes, brainstorm ideas, or plan their next move. It is an all-in-one tool, but the intuitive task management system is our main focus. 

On Notion, you can write task lists and, if you want to go the extra mile, you can build project plans. Notion is a great tool for professional teams. It supports integration of common corporate tools like Slack and GitHub, and it even allows multiple people to edit the same page at the same time. 

There are all sorts of customizable templates to choose from, so there is something for every kind of planner. Ultimately, Notion has a very broad appeal. 

Pros 

  • Great for remote teams who want to work collaboratively. 
  • Ideal for people who want to customize their workflows. 

Cons 

  • Has a lot of features, which can make it feel overwhelming. 
  • The platform is not explicitly designed for tracking progress, so the tracking features feel underdeveloped.

Google Calendar

google calendar app on iPad showing schedule for the week
Image from Google

While not exactly a to-do list app, Google Calendar is one of the best apps for scheduling your tasks over time. The user interface is simple and easy to use, making it an ideal choice for people who prioritize easy navigation. 

You can manage tasks, meetings, and important dates in one app. On top of that, there are a number of features that allow you to make each meeting and date even more personalized. The color-coding, to-do lists, and reminder features might not be anything new, but they help us stay organized. 

Compared to the other apps on this list, Google Calendar is a bit on the basic side, but the minimalist approach is extremely effective. 

Pros 

  • The shared calendar feature allows you to organize your schedule with others. 
  • Users can integrate Google Calendar with video-conferencing apps for an even more dynamic planner experience. 

Cons 

  • When lots of events are booked for the same time slot, the calendar becomes confusing. 
  • Does not have as many customization options as other planner apps.

Asana

asana app on ipad showing tasks in 4 different phases
Image from Asana

Asana is another major player in the to-do list and project management space. This app caters more to project managers, but individual users can still benefit from the customizable templates and automated reminders. 

Of course, Asana allows you to create to-do lists, but that’s not all. This planner also supports time tracking, scheduling, and a whole host of nifty integration features. Users can integrate their email, Gantt charts, Google Calendar, Slack, accounting software, and more. Asana absorbs some of the other apps that we have mentioned, so it is no surprise that it is considered one of the best free digital planner app for iPads.

Users can easily create purpose-driven dashboards. Students can create individual boards for Chemistry, Math, and English classes, while professional teams can customize each board for individual clients.

Pros 

  • Ideal for project managers who want to keep track of their tasks, deadlines, and teams. 
  • Store all the information for your projects in one place. 

Cons 

  • Useful tools like custom labels/tags are only available on the paid version. 
  • Learning curve can be steep. 

Todoist 

todoist app on ipad showing today's task in to do, in progress, and done categories
Image from Todoist

Fun name aside, Todoist is a convenient digital planning app, and it is especially well known for its task management abilities. The recurring reminder feature is very popular among users, and the clutter-free user interface also puts it at the top of our list. 

Like a lot of the best free to-do list apps, Todoist has several core features. You can assign notes, files, and reminders to customizable tasks and sub-tasks to keep yourself on track. 

Users can share task assignments, project progress comments, and file attachments with others. This app even supports integration with popular organization and note-taking tools such as Dropbox, Google Drive, and Evernote.

Pros 

  • Simple, user-friendly interface. 
  • Recurring reminders save time and energy. 

Cons 

  • Limited personalization for layouts and task views. 
  • Not an all-in-one project management tool like Notion or Asana. 
  • Free version only allows five active projects at a time. 

Trello  

trello app on ipad showing project tracking in to do, in progress, and done categories
Image from Trello

Hopping on the project management bandwagon, Trello is another app that excels at all-in-one task management. This app is in the same league as Asana and Notion, so it is a bit more advanced than Google Calendar. 

Users can create separate boards for whatever is on their minds and then fill their boards with personalized tiles and cards. This sort of system appeals to visual learners who want to segment information into individual, easily hidden cards. Each card is extremely customizable, and users can invite collaborators via the mention feature. 

One Trello account can connect to any number of boards from different businesses. This is ideal for freelancers who work with multiple clients, students who need to view briefs from multiple professors, and professionals who work with several brands. 

Pros 

  • Intuitive drag-and-drop system is easy to learn. 
  • Multi-board workspace keeps all your clients, notes, and briefs in one place. 

Cons 

  • Free version can only hold ten boards. 
  • Project timeline management tools are lacking. 

Final Thoughts

Say goodbye to traditional planners, and enter a new world of interesting and engaging digital alternatives. All of these apps will help you organize your to-dos or schedule your time but each one has it’s unique pros, cons, and best use cases:

  • Best for time blocking tasks: Google Calendar
  • Best for customizing your experience: Notion
  • Best for simple user interface: Todoist
  • Best for project management: Trello and Asana

And the best part is, they’re all free! You can try out all the different apps to see which is the best fit for your unique digital planning needs.

Looking for more helpful iPad apps to bring out your creative side? Discover the 7 Best Graphic Design Apps for iPads


Rock Paper Pencil: A Pen-On-Paper Experience for iPad

Taking notes on an iPad can feel strange, especially if you’re accustomed to using paper. On its own, the iPad’s glass screen is a slippery surface that can cause messy handwriting. Luckily, a small but mighty market has emerged for paper-like iPad screen protectors. 

Rock Paper Pencil packaging with magnetic screen protector and ballpoint pencil tips.
Rock Paper Pencil – Draw and write on iPad like ballpoint pen on paper

Rock Paper Pencil includes a reusable, paper-feel iPad screen protector and two ballpoint Apple Pencil tips. Built with nano-texture technology, Rock Paper Pencil adds subtle friction between your screen and Pencil, giving you more control while drawing or writing.

  • NanoCling Screen Protector: Securely bond your screen protector to your iPad using static cling. Easy application, non-adhesive, removable and reusable.
  • Matte Texture: Subtle friction mimics the feel of paper (no more slippery glass!)
  • Precision Apple Pencil Tips: Smoother, more controlled strokes