Trying to decide if you should spend the money on the Premium (now pro) version of Todoist? Do you want to see the differences between Todoist Premium and Free? I've got it all right here.
Note: This article has been updated to include Todoist's new 2021 free plan feature updates. Todoist also announced they are changing the name of their 'Premium' plan to 'Pro' in 2021, so when we say 'Premium' in this article we mean the new 'Pro'. Got it? Good, let's move on.
Firstly, let me give you my personal opinion immediately, go Premium! Not to say the Free version isn't a great place to find your feet if you're new to the app, but if, like me, you juggle a multitude of projects, you'll likely want to swiftly move to Premium to take advantage of its incredible features. Let's back that up with some reasons and comparisons.
We'll look at these areas of comparison for Todoist Free vs. Premium:
Would you like to see Todoist Free vs Premium features in a comparison table that includes the new 2021 free plan rollout? You're in luck! Take a look below.
A little context, I'm a proud Todoist Ambassador, who loves all things 'Todoist'. As a busy company director, I've tried many different task management apps over the past 20 years.
Todoist is the first and only one that takes away my anxiety of forgetting something. In fact, I've never been more productive! I'm super pumped to share my comparisons of Todoist Premium vs Free with you.
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1. The Cost: Todoist Free vs Premium
At the time of writing this article, Todoist Premium works out to $3/£3 per month if you pay annually. It increases slightly to $4/£4 per month if you choose to pay monthly. I personally pay £36 upfront for the year.
I can hear you saying 'Ok…but £36 is a lot different from Free'. Correct, but let's look at the value it brings: £36 over 365 days of the year is less than 10p per day. So now ask yourself this question: would you pay 10p per day to get your personal and work tasks in order, feel super organised and give yourself the best chance of increasing productivity? Or put it another way - would you consider swapping the £36 you spend on 10 x coffee house cappuccinos in a year, for a piece of software that helps you every hour of every day to get organised? I know I would, and I do!
So the Free version is obviously no cost to you, yet there are some feature sacrifices for the freeness, and we'll go into some feature differences further down. But if you are tentatively looking to download Todoist, the Free option is perfect for getting an overall opinion of the basics of the software in my opinion, so I'd use it (and did use it) as a limited feature trial or taster period if you need to.
Fact: I recently ran a survey on Reddit in a Todoist subreddit, asking who was a Free, Premium or Business user and why they chose the plans they did. 60% of the 600+ voters said they we're Premium users and 29% said they where free users. Of the premium users, many commented on their belief in paying for a tool they rely on, which I understand and completely agree with. Here are some of those comments:
"I want to support the on going development"
"I believe in paying for software that I rely on"
"It's mportant for me to support the app developers"
"I want Todoist to be here in the long run"
"I rely on the tool and want it to be sustainable going forward"
2. Projects and Tasks: Todoist Free vs Premium
Let's look at the basic project and task facts first...
Active Projects: 5 (new update 2021)
Active Tasks Per Project: 300 (new update 2021)
Active Sections Per Project: 20
Reoccurring Dates: Yes
Task Priorities: Yes
Active Projects: 300
Active Tasks Per Project: 300
Active Sections Per Project: 20
Reoccurring Dates: Yes
Task Priorities: Yes
Tip: Check out my ULTIMATE guide to Todoist recurring tasks and subtasks here
The biggest difference in the area of projects and tasks is the number of projects you can add. I personally use only 16 of the possible 300 active projects available in Premium, yet I utilise sections to split them up, then add tasks and subtasks.
I keep my project subjects very broad. However, if you prefer to use projects for each slight variant of work, you may find yourself running short of projects with the 5 limit in the Free version.
Fact: Todoist's free version update rollout sees a drop in the limit of active projects (down from 80), however, they have added some helpful features to the free version that weren't available before without Premium, so don't be too disappointed at the drop to 5 projects just yet (more on this later).
Fact: If you are already a free version user and you have more than 5 active projects you will be able to keep those, but you will not be able to add any more.
Most of my own tasks are repeatable, so I use the reoccurring date feature every day. I also have a code for how I use flags (task priorities) Red P1 for tasks that cannot be left or must be done. Orange P2 for those I should do and if I don't, there will be consequences. Blue P3 for the ones I'd ideally like to get done, and P4 for unimportant items or notes. This code helps me manage my time - Red's first, oranges second etc, no deflecting from the plan.
So in conclusion, when it comes to the number of tasks within projects, the reoccurring date feature and task priorities, in my opinion, Free and Premium come out almost equal as you can do the same on both, yet, if you are someone who'd split projects up with more detail, then you're likely going to need the Premium service, or utilise a project's sections instead.
The reminders feature is only available in the Premium version too. I don't personally use the reminders as my Todoist app is always open on my computer screen, and the widget of upcoming tasks sits on the front page of my iPhone, so reminders are not a major contender in my preference of Free or Premium here. However it's worth noting that in the Reddit survey I conducted (as mentioned in the section above), some free users commented on upgrading to Premium purely to be able to use reminders.
3. Labels and Filters
Fact: Todoist's free plan update includes Labels and filters! What a game-changer!
Until the update was announced, Premium was the only choice for me so I could get access to filters and labels. These are my favourite features on Todoist and the main reason I chose Todoist over other task management apps.
I use labels to 'tag' tasks across projects. For example, I have a label called 'WAITING' which I add to any tasks where I'm waiting for someone to do something or reply in order for me to be able to complete the task. I then have one weekly reoccurring task to chase all tasks with the 'WAITING' label, which Todoist cleverly shows me as a filtered list in priority order.
What I also love about labels is how their colour can make a task stand out amongst a long list of tasks. Again if I use my 'WAITING' (red) label as an example, in today's view, I might have a task with that label that stands out in red, so I know to do that task first in the morning. This allows the person whom I'm waiting on time to get back to me, so I have a chance of completing the task that day.
Geeking out now, I love to write instruction for a filter! Using simple '&, ! and @' symbols, I can instruct Todoist to show me bespoke filtered task lists. Let me give you an example: I use a filter to show me all tasks in P1 (top priority), that have not been scheduled yet, and that I'm not 'WAITING' on a reply for. I then use this filtered list to select top priority tasks that I want to schedule to do 'this week'. Here's what the filter instruction would look like:
no date & !@WAITING & !recurring & P1
It's not as scary as it looks, see:
no date = select all tasks without a date
& !WAITING = and select tasks without the label 'WAITING'
& !recurring = and select tasks that are not recurring
& P1 = and select tasks that have Priority 1 flag
Once you get the hang of how to use these symbols as instructions, the world is your oyster! Or at least Todoist is! This is why I chose Todoist over other task management apps, as I can customise lists to suit the way I work, I'm not governed by what the app developer thinks I need to see.
Fact: In the new free plan update, you can add unlimited labels and up to 3 filters.
My conclusion comparing Todoist labels and filters in both plans is they come out almost equal now that you can add them in the free plan. I'd side slightly towards the Premium plan however as filters are a genius way to see exactly what you need and if you're like me, and many other Todoist users (according to Reddit survey), your Todoist dashboard will be governed by them, so 3 might not be enough.
4. People and Teams
Let's look at the basic people and teams facts first...
People per project: 5
Shared team Inbox: No
Admin & member roles: No
Team Billing: No
People per project: 25
Shared team inbox: No
Admin & member roles: No
Team Billing: No
As you can see many of the team features aren't available on either the Free or the Premium versions, meaning they are only available on the business version, so for this comparison, team features don't come into play. However, you can add 5 times as many people to projects in Premium as you can in the Free version of Todoist. How big is your team? How many team members would need access? Or perhaps consider if contractors or freelancers would need access?
For me personally, at the moment, I only have my web developer and co-director using Todoist with me, so I could essentially use the Free version. However, there are limitations to what sort of interaction you can have with your team, take a look at the next section about file attachment limits and you'll see my point.
Fact: The new 2021 free plan update doesn't include any changes to people and team limits
5. Comments and Files
Fact: Big news! In the new free plan rollout in 2021, Todoist is adding commenting ability to tasks and comment attachments up to 5mb. Before the update, this feature wasn't available at all to free Todoist users.
I find that I don't use the comments feature for my own tasks, however, using comments in tasks that are in shared projects with other team members is super helpful. For instance, I can ask my web developer a question about our site conversion, he can respond in the comments, and I can ask subsequent questions and so on, I can see where we got to in a conversation without needing another app, or set of notes, or in fact any brainpower! Comments, therefore, are great for both free or premium users that need to track the progress of a project.
I have a similar conclusion on the file upload feature. It's ideal for sending a team member a file without the need for another app like a cloud service. Overall, if you work with at least one other person you'll most likely find this feature very helpful in terms of efficiency and timesaving.
The difference between the free and premium versions (after the 2021 update) is the file size limit on attachments. In the free plan you can only upload up to 5mb, ideal for a word doc, or excel sheet, yet on the Premium plan you can attach files up to 100mb, ideal for heavy design files, videos and so forth.
What other features have been upgraded or added for users in the 2021 Todoist free plan update?
Free users can now view their activity history for up to 1 week previous. Users will be able to see past added and edited tasks, completed or uncompleted tasks, and any they deleted.
Free users are able to make use of all Todoists integration options. I use Google Alexa all of the time with Toodist for my shopping list as well as quick-add-task brain dumps! Integrations all users are now able to utilise include:
Powr of You
Forwarding emails as Todoist tasks and comments
Previously only available on Premium and Business versions, free users can now email a special Todoist email address that uses the subject line as a new task name and the email's body as the comments on the task. Useful especially when there are actionable items in an email conversation!
2-way calendar sync
Using either Google Calendar, Apple Calendar or Outlook Calendar, all Todoist users can sync their scheduled tasks with their calendar. The 2-way sync allows changes from either Todoist or your calendar platform to update the other in real-time.
Previous to the update, Free Todoist users couldn't get access to Todoist's 50+ project template library. I have used many Todoist templates as starting or reference points for my own projects as a Premium user, now free users can get inspired too.
I personally don't take much notice of this feature as a premium user, I feel like if I achieve 'Todoist Zero' in my dashboard on a given day I'm winning. However for those interested, the feature basically tot's up how many tasks you've completed over a day or week and compares against your set goals. Now free users have access to these insights too.
In all 5 main categories of comparison, Premium Todoist comes out as the winner for me. Todoist Premium also comes with other additional features to the Free version, including premium themes, automatic backups and priority support.
So if you're on the fence as to if Todoist is for you in general, you could try the Free version then upgrade to Premium as soon as you're settled in and see the potential power of Toodists full features. You could also check out this Todoist Review too for a little more on how to utilise Todoist Premium features.
If you're a Free version user already, what are you waiting for? Get organised with lists that fit your way of working every day for less than 10p per day with Todoist Premium. How do you get Premium Todoist? Simply go to your user icon, select Settings and click manage plan. Simple.
What's your conclusion? Are you a Free user or a Premium user now? Will you be upgrading, let me know. For more software and technology articles take a look at my 'For Business' page, or ideas for you personally, check out the 'For You' page.
Jen - Tried and Loved Author
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