For the better part of 4-5 years now, Wunderlist has been mine and my colleagues backbone to organizing projects, release dates, and keeping basic time tracking of everything there is to do. It’s been a great for managing freelance task, Stock item ideas, a place to scribble notes, add bookmarks, add movies, even home expenses and general tasks. Wunderlist has always been reliable with notifications, had a great and incredibly fast sync-between devices and has never, ever let us down once. Up until a few weeks ago, it was our “main” tool for, well, everything!

But, a few weeks ago, Microsoft introduced To-Do with a terrible announcement attached to it, that Wunderlist will be shut down.

“Wunderlist will eventually be retired as we continue to reinvent task management with To-Do. In the meantime, there will not be any features brought to Wunderlist, but we will continue to ensure the security of the Wunderlist experience.”

 This would be great, and everything would be perfect, if and only if To-Do would have been released in “preview” mode with at least all the features if not more than Wunderlist and if and only if they would have been as reliable. What features are we talking about? Well, let me round up the ones that are actually what makes Wunderlist an exceptional task manager and how I’ve personally used them.

Task Folders

It’s great that Microsoft’s To-Do brings a huge sidebar where you can see all your tasks, but if you’re like me and you like relying on something that can carry the weight of work, personal and fun all in one area, you’ll hate to open an app and see a cluster of items in the sidebar, what does a cluster mean for me? Well, over 100 main task threads. That’s right. And in each of those, there are countless more tasks with individual subtasks. Folders have been a great way to organize / thread up everything. Simplified to Work / Freelance / Inspiration / Home / Bills and inside each you could have a whole new set of tasks, with individual subtasks. Now, that’s gone with Microsoft To-Do.

Sub-tasks & Attachments

Yes, although you can Import your Wunderlist tasks to To-Do, I strongly advise against that, because, well, To-Do doesn’t have any sub-tasks and attachments, therefore, these get lost somewhere in emptiness of space, and you only get your main thread and tasks. Pretty much a big blow to the back of the head if you kept your Wunderlist nice and organized. I honestly don’t understand why the import feature was even implemented in the first place since the To-Do app was announced as a preview ( translation: very, very, very poor beta ) therefore everything you import now, you’ll most likely have to delete and import again. Time management done right *insert sarcasm.

Project / List Collaboration

This is another incredibly painful aspect to see. For many of my projects I ask customers or co-workers to install Wunderlist and we create a shared list. We can all track progress and add ideas in easily, plus attach a tone of screenshots. Not to mention that this is an awesome thing to have when you’re out shopping and you’re wife wants you to get a few more things. Add them to the list, and voila, presto, instant sync and you get the list. Well, not anymore. Unless you plan to share a Microsoft account with everyone, To-Do doesn’t allow project collaboration ( yet? )

Reliability of Reminders … What reliability?

Wunderlist was awesome because it never skipped a reminder. Even with a few thousands set in there it always worked like charm. With To-Do, admittedly I was naive enough to add a few recurring ones, I found that they indeed reminded me I had something to do, usually about 12 to 19 hours after they were suppose to. Not to mention, if you have a reminder set for today, and you complete it, and that reminder is recurring, it will recur tomorrow right? Nope! It will recur today and show up as unsolved. Great!

All fanboys were happy, instant sync on all platforms!

Wuderlist did something that very few apps could, and that was breach the gap between Android, iOS, Windows, Linux, Mac fanboys by creating something that instantly synced across everything! By the looks of things, To-Do already started up on the wrong foot! To-Do is only available on iOS, Windows and Android. What about Mac? Oh, of course! They’re the competition … they’ll get it somewhere in the vicinity of a tone of time after the Windows edition is released and re-re-re-re-re-updated, which again, makes it a nightmare for people with cross-platform aaaand there go the fanboys again… can we all just get along? *cough* stop releasing previews *cough*
Useful Updates, seriously? 
When I saw the first update in Google Play and the AppStore ( yes I personally use both worlds ) I was delighted, finally, subtasks, folders, team management, I can get back my reliable tool! Reading the description left me … well … using a not so happy confused phrase … “We’ve added the Wunderlist ding”… seriously?! This is a priority?

Final Thoughts: A great beta, not even close to the real thing!

As a freelance web designer, if I would deliver a preview like this to any of my customers, not to mention, release it to the general public, I’d probably never work again, but Microsoft did and they continuously say “Updates are coming soon” and by soon, expect at least a few months, in which, the question comes to mind. Do I still trust or use Wunderlist? Because it will inevitably be killed and therefore, all tasks will be lost? Sure, there are plenty of solutions out there to cover the death of Wunderlist, but none of them are as simple, none of them offer free plans for your wife when you want to create a shared shopping list, or for a customer that wants to see sub-tasks being marked off, and none of them come close to the simplicity and reliability that Wunderlist offers.

Therefore, the question is, what will happen to To-Do? Will it ever fill the shoes that Wunderlist had? Because Microsoft have a bad habit of purchasing apps, then murdering them to incorporate them into their Office suit, which is great, unless you take Sunrise Calendar for example, which had a huge amount of features that Outlook never got.

I truly hope Microsoft won’t destroy Wunderlist like it did Sunrise ( which was an amazing app as well ) by simplifying the features as they’re designers see fit. Wunderlist addressed the masses, not the individual, and therefore, To-Do should at least have absolutely all the features that Wunderlist had, and, add even more if you want love! Otherwise, you’ve just ruined another great app, simplifying it to the point of uselessness.
Will be continued as updates roll out.