Microsoft To-Do Arrives with Apps for Everyone

Posted on April 19, 2017 by Brad Sams in Android, iOS, Mobile, Windows with 62 Comments

For several months, and likely longer, Microsoft has been working on a new note-taking/reminder application called Project Cheshire. That app appears to be nearly complete as the company has quietly launched the web version of the product.

Called To-Do, it’s a very simple and easy to use task focused application. You can create reminders and have those notes/content sync across all your devices. Available today are apps for iOS, Android, and Windows.

But, this may not be the full public launch of the application. The reason I say that is because the Windows app still refers to the product as Project Cheshire although the iOS and Android apps do have the correct branding.

This app does raise the question about what the future of Wunderlist may be, seeing as you can import your to-dos from Wunderlist (and Todoist) from inside of To-Do, Wunderlist appears to be at the end of the road; Microsoft acquired Wunderlist in June of 2015 and at the time, the service had 13 million users.

[Update] Microsoft has published a blog post about this app and this is the official successor to Wunderlist. The company says that Wunderlist will eventually be retired and that they will not be bringing any new features to the older application.

The app itself is built on top of Office 365 (you can use the app with an MSA account too) and the company says new features will be arriving in the near future that build upon this platform. The first integration we will see is the syncing of Outlook Tasks with To-Do.

For now, you can check out the web app (spotted by Walking Cat) and download the apps. Granted, this is a minimal app and service from Microsoft but if you are looking for a basic task-based application, To-Do may be the app for you.

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Comments (62)

62 responses to “Microsoft To-Do Arrives with Apps for Everyone”

  1. mdb17

    The windows app only calls it Project Cheshire in the store, once it is installed it installs as Microsoft ToDo. I would guess that is just a caching thing.

  2. lwetzel

    Not sure I would give up ToDoist for it.

  3. Rob_Wade

    Once again, Microsoft has shown it's clueless. It has created yet another SEPARATE app instead of fully integrating features into an existing app. I am SO sick and tired of losing integration in this OS. I fondly remember a time when I could open up the Me tile and do just about everything I needed to do with my contacts. And now, an OBVIOUS set of features that should be part of the Calendar app are in separate app. This is beyond ridiculous. Just give me ten minutes in Satya Nadella's face. Just ten minutes.

  4. lordbaal1

    Some todo apps are complicated. This seems simple to use. There's something to be said about something that is so simple to use.

    I'll still stick with paper and pencil/pen.

    • hrlngrv

      In reply to lordbaal1:

      I'll still stick with paper and pencil/pen.

      When it comes to to-do lists and personal scheduling, whatever works best for you the individual is best. Kinda like if you learn any other text editor first, odd are you'll never be efficient using either vi or EMACS.

      For something like to-do list apps and 'active users', I have to wonder whether that's like 'active members' of gyms including people who show up once a month to spend 5 minutes on an eliptical trainer and 20 minutes in the steam room.

  5. wolters

    I use Wunderlist and I've given this a try today and here are my thoughts.

    First the showstopper (for me). No way to assign tasks to other people in your household or share the lists, at least not what I could find.

    I was able to import all of my Wunderlist tasks and categories with no problems.

    To-Do inherently works fine on Android Wear, complete with options to SNOOZE or mark COMPLETE without the need of a watch "app." Was impressed by this.

    No option to add your task to the calendar on the Outlook App on Android or on "Windows Mail" on Windows 10. I assume that is coming.

    This is actually a good start and very much like Wunderlist. Just not ready to let go of Wunderlist until I can share tasks.

  6. Jeff Jones

    Seems like being able to share a list is a pretty important feature. I wonder when they'll get this.

  7. djncanada

    The Good:

    • released


    • not showing up as option in O365 1st release customer portal, no timeline from O365 support
    • issue with downloading from app stores
    • no sub tasks yet
    • limited information, Wunderlist only mentioned app, will this sync with MS Planner and other MS commercial services that have tasks
    • will tasks show up in your calandar like Wunderlist
    • will you be abke to covert emails to tasks
    • how mobile will it be

    • Narg

      In reply to djncanada:

      How mobile? It's on all the smartphones, what else would you want?

      I'm thinking it's missing integration with A.I., Alexa, Siri, Google Now... I seriously don't think any to-do list can do this, which is dumb, really dumb. Those that I know actually use A.I. regularly use multiple. So integration with all of them seems like a necessity to me.

  8. Salvador Jesús Romero Castellano

    In reply to the comment by thespecificocean, an Alpha member to whom I cannot reply being a standard member, and that's good for some reason... Who said:

    Anyone else notice that the latest apps coming out of MS seem to be wrapped versions of the web app? Maybe a new strategy?

    I guess for what I've read in the about section that this app is written with Reactive, so yes. The same as with the Skype app. It's make me feel uneasy. Why am I trying to learn Xamarin or invested in WinRT? Yet another change of tech coming?

    • yaddamaster

      In reply to Salvador Jesús Romero Castellano:

      I was recently in a developer focus group for Microsoft. They wanted to know "what can we do to convince you to write apps for W10 store?" They kept focusing on more features, more telemetry, bigger slice of the pie. When everyone kept trying to say - there's already Xamarin and you're not even using that yourself. Why would we develop for a platform Microsoft won't target (beyond a stripped down app like Onenote).

      Microsoft is clueless in the consumer space. And that's why they don't exist there anymore.

  9. robinwilson16

    I still get the same problem I received all the way through the beta in that none of my lists will sync so I lose everything I add.

    When using the web app first the titlebar shows welcome in German briefly for some reason and then I start trying to add some tasks and then get the following error:

    "Internal testing error

    Sorry, it looks like your to-do items aren't being synced at the moment. Send us a report to help us fix the issue."

    If I send a report all that happens is it wants to send an email to the team but it does not contain any info or attachments so I am unsure if this helps.

    Also if a search the iOS store for "Microsoft To-Do" I just get a different app made by someone else and like others I cannot turn this on in my Office 365 settings unless I am not looking in the right place.


  10. Narg

    The one thing I want a to-do list app is to integrate with multiple A.I. sources. I use more than one (Cortana, Siri and Alexa currently) so this one app needs to let all of them put stuff on and take stuff off lists. Sharing between people is also a necessity.

  11. dcdevito

    I think the big deal here is Microsoft released a web app to the world.

  12. miomir

    So just like before, as was the case with Live Photo Gallery, they killed off a great app with lots of functionality and they replaced it with something inferior. Sometimes I get the impression that they do these things on purpose to see how many people get upset.

  13. afenwal

    Looking good but still got a way to go. The importer seems to suffer reliability issues - maybe because I use sub-tasks which it is trying to convert to notes on a task? And missing sub-tasks which I use a lot.

  14. Graham Wilton

    Brilliant, more Microsoft beta software released as done, which will frustrate users with its bugs and missing features for many months until it's nearly as good as something we already have and then they're be so proud of their new modern code they believe they can keep releasing updates really frequently, until it's a confusing tool no-one understands and keeps breaking randomly as it's become so complex and then once users are fed up and desert it they'll decommission it. I just love the new agile Microsoft!

  15. JimP

    Is there Cortana integration? If not, this is rather useless, at least for me, since I use Cortana to remind me from everything to buying groceries to paying bills.

  16. JimP

    There doesn't seem to be any location based reminders. So, you cannot say, "Remind me to buy milk the next time I'm at the grocery store." Correct me if I am wrong.

    This might morph into something useful, but without basic features, it's sort of like a word processor without a spell checker.

  17. Brydon

    Wake me up when it has Cortana integration

  18. jonsmi

    Does not work. You'll have to enable it using the toggle in the "To-Do Preview" section in the "Services & Add-ins" page of the O365 admin settings. At my tenant To-Do Preview preferences are not being saved in the admin center. Microsoft says they are working to resolve this issue as soon as possible.

  19. MrDean0

    Seems like a decent 1.0 version. The non-support for sub-tasks was a trifle annoying, but fine.

    The showstopper for me though is a more subtle "feature"...

    Because Wunderlist was an independent App, you could integrate it with your Work O365 account and your personal Live/Hotmail accounts simultaneously, and it worked just find to create tasks from either interface.

    Now that they've tightly coupled it with Outlook Tasks it seems to be forcing you to only have one MS based entry point to your task list--akin to one using old-style Outlook/Exchange tasks features. Since I triage a lot of my tasks from within my email clients this will break my workflow.

    Ex: My imported tasks show up just fine in my Hotmail account where I imported them, but my Work account has no ability to access that same list. I can't be the only person for whom this is going to be an issue.

    I guess I'll be sticking it out with Wunderlist for now, and moving to another task platform in the future. I can't be locked into only having one email integration.

  20. mrbtuts

    I genuinely love using To Do app. Well it's so good to see Microsoft and appvalley now taking initiative into building more and more android and iOS apps on tweakbox apart from just sticking to its Windows platform test dpc. And yea it's very beneficial in term of their annual revenue as well. Excited to see progress made in their annual report. Kudos!

  21. dcdevito

    Nice to see a MSFT web based app besides Outlook

  22. Care

    Does it sync with Exchange tasks?

  23. MerlinE.

    I hope it will also sync with Cortana Reminders, soon.

  24. GeekWithKids

    The Todo's are linked to your Outlook account and show up in Outlook 2016 as well.

    Plus I see them in the Android Exchange client Nine.

    It seems to use the Outlook Tasks data with a nicer interface on top

  25. gregsedwards

    Anyone have a direct link to the Windows Store app? I'm not finding it searching for "To-Do" or "Cheshire." Thanks!

  26. jimchamplin

    Mac version coming? Not holding my breath but still.

  27. will

    Just installed the app and it's a good v1 product. To me the biggest missing part is natural language entry. Todoist has this and I don't see lots of reasons to switch right now. If they make frequent updates and add features then it could be a good product.

    I am am curious how this will integrate with Outlook and everything else Microsoft has.

  28. thespecificocean

    Anyone else notice that the latest apps coming out of MS seem to be wrapped versions of the web app? Maybe a new strategy? With To-Do, the differences between the "Cheshire" beta version and the released app are pretty clear. I'm also referencing the Teams app as well.

  29. YouWereWarned

    "To Do" already exists as an app in the Microsoft Store, and I suspect in Apple and Android stores, too. So they better start the search for a new name now.

  30. Ron Diaz

    This app shows almost everything wrong with Microsoft today in one little package. Take code that works and throw it out and redo it from scratch to come up with an inferior product. Features? missing. iPad optimized? No. Apple Watch compatible? No. So exactly what is the point here? And this is the same garbage Microsoft tells developers to do. Win32 application? Dump it for Metro. Then Take that Metro app and dump it for UWP. Ridiculous. And then they wonder why developers are fleeing their platform.... SMH

  31. dspeterson

    Looks like a pretty solid first version (as someone coming from Wunderlist). The import process didn't work, so I sent some notes over to the address listed, but looks like it was maybe partially successful?

    • Igor Engelen

      In reply to dspeterson:haven't tried the app yet so might be asking a silly question here;
      Do you login to the app with your Wunderlist credentials and then are prompted for your stuff to be migrated?
      That would make me switch to this app.

      • Igor Engelen

        In reply to Igor Engelen:to answer my own question ?, once I triggered the import everything was imported nicely BUT, as mentioned in the standard comments already, sharing does not seem to be available yet. Personally I think it's ridiculous to already release the app without that feature.
        Shared grocery lists are number one priority in some families ?

  32. PracticalEdd

    Promising start, I like the ability to quickly swipe things into "my day" to focus on, curious about the smart suggestions as well, anyone know what that's about? The design is really nice as well, cleaner wunderlist.

    Needs natural language, tagging, file attachments, subtasks and collaboration tools before its up to parity with wunderlist, let alone todoist.

  33. lmoritz

    Here is the official post from Microsoft, which provides a much fuller picture of where they are going with this.

  34. SDreamer

    Oh Microsoft. I would love to suggest features and provide feedback, but the system you chose to use doesn't even support logging in with a Microsoft account, only Google and Facebook. Thank you again for supporting yourself before others....

    Gave To-Do a quick try. Sticking with OneNote for now because can't share grocery lists with my wife yet.

  35. DrDrTed

    Brad, help me here (sin irony, honest):

    Why would any adult use this (or Wunderlist, for that matter) when OneNote has significantly better functionality??

    I can only think of one use case: I showed my 4 and 6 year olds Wunderlist to demonstrate the concept of a check list. Because of the large colorful graphics, even my 4 year old who can't read was able to understand Daddy's to-do list. She liked making the check mark when we got an item done.

    So is this Microsoft's move in the pre-school education market???? Part of the overall campaign to compete with Chromebook toys for older children.

    • jimchamplin

      In reply to DrDrTed:

      Perhaps the best advice one may be able to give you is that purpose-built tools for a task are better than general-purpose tools that are not designed for that task.

      Just because something doesn't have 8,000 buttons on 34 toolbars and seven menubar doesn't make it "pre-school."

      Sorry to break it to you, but well-designed software is well-designed, not childish.

    • gregsedwards

      In reply to DrDrTed:

      I know you asked Brad for help, but I'm wondering if I could offer my two cents. In short, it's because while OneNote is amazing at a note taking and information organization tool in general, as a task manager, it sucks.

      Sure, you can put things into a notebook and even add nifty checkmarks to track their completion, but it hasn't no framework for due dates or notification. There's no straight forward way to show ownership or assign tasks to someone else. You may as well be writing things down in Notepad like Mary Jo. ☺

      I've opened up notebooks and found "to-do" items I stashed away 3 years ago, and OneNote never once reminded me that they needed to be done.

      An app like Wunderlist or To-do makes a lot more sense, because it's focused on task management and can communicate with other apps and services such as Cortana, to drive reminders to your devices, so you can take action. I know Microsoft To-Do isn't there yet, but it will be, and that's what makes it better than OneNote for this sort of thing.

  36. Maxpayne

    I have been looking for a similar tool for some time and there has not been an efficient one so far. This helpful resources makes it quite easier to manage the to do lists. I wonder why they haven’t come up with something like this earlier.

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