Personal Productivity Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people wanting to improve their personal productivity. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I need a program (something similar to Google Tasks but with showing/hiding subtasks) with following functionality:

  • tasks
  • subtasks (with multiple level, so I can, say, create a task with 3 subtasks, and one of these subtasks would also have 5 subtasks)
  • minimizing subtasks (i.e. I click a task with subtasks, and all subtasks get hidden. When I click it again - they get shown)
  • free or paid - doesn't matter
  • preferably for OS X or Android, perfect variant if both, but it doesn't really matter. Web application can fit too.

I've googled for it but didn't find anything that fits, Evernote seems too complex, Astrid doesn't have proper nesting of subtasks. Please advise me, thanks!

share|improve this question

If you are looking for a quick, simple solution you can use a simple text file with markdown markup (that kind of markup you use e.g. here on stackexchange, reddit, ...) and open it in a text editor which can do code folding. In TextWrangler (free and awesome) this will look like this:

screenshot of folded list in textwrangler

Maybe not a solution with many features, but it will be included in all you backups and sync with dropbox. It is also readable and writable on pretty much every OS and can easily be search by your Windows/OSX/Linux search function.

Another idea is to use a mindmapping software like Freemind which allows quick entering of data and minimizing the child nodes of selected nodes. Downside: AFAIK there is no mobile app for Freemind files.

share|improve this answer looks like what you are after. Simple list of list of list of stuff :)

UPDATE: Why the downvote? Workflowy ticks all the boxes OP requested. (And I am not affiliated to them).

share|improve this answer
Answers that are just a link are very low value so tend to get marked down or deleted. Look at the higher scoring answers - they not only have a link, but also a description of functionality. – Rory Alsop Apr 23 '13 at 11:11
@RoryAlsop IMHO, if you think a question is incomplete because it only mentions a product without describing it well enough, it is more productive for you to edit that answer to make it better, than to down-vote the answer. – avernet Apr 24 '13 at 17:41
If I knew the product I might do just that. However I have never heard of this one. The op however has, so can easily edit the answer. – Rory Alsop Apr 24 '13 at 18:50
How do answers #2 by Kyth and #3 by Jon Malcolm fit the requirements? When someone asks for a specific app, I think linking to the website and letting him know what it does "Simple list of list of list of stuff" should not be downvoted (you can ask for more details, but not a downvote as the answer is actually useful) – Aymeric Gaurat-Apelli Apr 25 '13 at 8:36
I had a look a the introduction video and it does indeed look like OP will be happy with this web service. Bonus: As a web service, you can use it also on your mobile phone. I personally would prefer a local app, but thats a matter of taste. – 0x6d64 Apr 28 '13 at 6:42

Please consider Checkvist. It is a hierarchical outliner from one side, and a rich task manager from another. Strongly focused on working from keyboard.

I'm from the development team, and I really think it will suit your needs.

share|improve this answer
The first app to truly trounce Google Tasks for keyboard-driven simplicity whilst adding truly powerful features. Very impressed! – Andy May 8 '13 at 21:36

If you can get away with using Windows then I would recommend TodoList. It's seems to fit your other requirements and is extremely flexible once your used to it's interface.

share|improve this answer

Needing multiple levels of tasks seem more like project management. There are more simplified versions depending on your needs. You should also look into Kanban boards (Some project management apps are styled like this.).

Trello and Basecamp are pretty good apps if you want something online. Not sure which one would integrate with a todo list.

share|improve this answer

Wunderlist has local programs and a web only version that also has apps available (iOS and Android). It only does one level of subtasks but it only shows subtasks when the item is selected (sorta like minimizing).

The other option (which is more project focused) is Trello which has mobile apps and a web interface. This could have infinite subtasks if you make each list it's own todo item and make cards = subtasks. You wouldn't be able to minimize cards however. A better approach may just be to use it as intended as a Kanban Board with different lists as statuses and each card as a todo item. Each card can have 1 level of subtasks but you can probably manage them with formatting (e.g. use - and -- for subtasks).

share|improve this answer

Astrid does support subtasks.

What is necessitating the need for folding of subtasks?

I'm sure there is a way to accomplish your end goal of completing tasks under budget and on time without needing to fold subtasks under a parent task.

Give us more of the "what" and less of the "how" you want to accomplish this goal and I think you'll find the answers more helpful.

share|improve this answer

I use Any.Do for Android. Is very simple and practical for day-to-day

This app allows, with short phrases, schedule tasks with or without time and also allows to extend the reminder.

share|improve this answer

I'm not sure how you define "simple" :-)

Emacs org-mode

Emacs org-mode can certainly do what you want and stores the data in very simple plain text files.


  • stores files in plain text - easily sync'ed, diffed, copied, no proprietary format!
  • files can be read in plain text on any computer/system with another text editor
  • Emacs is already available on many computers (UNIX based)
  • platform independent solution
  • very powerful and expandable, if you ever want more features
  • can also sync your data with your smartphone with MobileOrg


* TODO First task
** TODO sub-task
*** sub-sub-task
**** sub-sub-sub-task
***** sub-sub-sub-task
** TODO Second task
*** TODO sub-task
**** sub-sub-task
***** sub-sub-sub-task
****** sub-sub-sub-task

Screenshot indented and colored view in Emacs

enter image description here

more information

share|improve this answer

protected by Community Mar 25 '15 at 3:11

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.