TickTick 6.4.20 review: Prioritized to-do list with focus timer

TickTick is a feature-rich app for organizing lists


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TickTick is a robust productivity app that got its start in 2013, and it’s built to be used with the Pomodoro and Eisenhower Matrix techniques.

If you’re tired of messy lists and feeling like you’re forever chasing a runaway train, check out TickTick. Not to be confused with TikTok, this powerful to-do list app helps you wrangle your must-do tasks into a prioritized list and a focus timer to get them ticked off your list.

You can enable daily notifications to alert you at a set time to get an overview of today’s tasks, including overdue and all-day tasks. For procrastinators, toggle on Constant Reminder so that all tasks will be constantly reminded until you complete them.

Eisenhower Matrix and Pomo timer

TickTick has built-in features to promote productivity tools like the Eisenhower Matrix and Pomodoro timer. Using both methods sharply improves your ability to check off your daily to-do list so you can have more productive days.

Eisenhower Matrix in TickTick

Eisenhower Matrix in TickTick

The Eisenhower Matrix sorts tasks by urgency and importance in a four-boxed grid to know what to focus on next. The Pomodoro technique helps with time management based on 25 minutes of work and a five-minute break so that you stay on track and don’t get overwhelmed as you complete your work for the day.

To access features like the Eisenhower Matrix or Pomo timer in TickTick, you must enable them, as these features are not visible by default. Tap on the tab bar, and toggle on the features you want, such as Eisenhower Matrix, Pomo Timer, and even a calendar and habit tracker.

The Eisenhower Matrix

It’s easy to be unproductive when pulled in multiple directions with no end in sight. Prioritizing tasks from urgent to unimportant helps to get laser-focused on what’s truly important so that you can complete it on time.

TickTick helps you to refine daily tasks by priority. For example, if you must finish your presentation before Friday’s team meeting, flag it as High Priority and set a reminder to finish it before it’s due. Set flags for subtasks accordingly and arrange your list by order of importance.

By default, the daily to-do list isolates what you need to do for today. This way, you can finish tasks and not get distracted by things to do tomorrow, next week, and so on.

For advanced prioritization, TickTick works with the Eisenhower Matrix, a popular productivity technique. In the Eisenhower Matrix tab, you’ll see tasks organized into four boxes from urgent and important to not urgent and unimportant.

When you organize tasks visually, it’s easy to decide what to tackle first and what to delete.

Pomo Timer

The Pomo Timer in TickTick helps you set periods of focused work with breaks. This method of working prevents procrastination or distraction, and you get more done.

You can play background sounds to enhance your focus when using the Pomo timer. Some of these could be useful, while a few were frankly absurd.

All the white noise sounds require a paid subscription except for Clock. The Clock sounds like the ominous ticking of an analog clock, which honestly might induce more anxiety than focus.

A few paid options sounded good, such as Morning, Forest, and Storm. Other paid white noise sounds were quirky, such as Chewing, Fries, and Whale.

Pomo focus timer's sounds

Pomo focus timer’s sounds

It’s harder to find the Pomo Timer on a desktop versus an iPad or iPhone. On the desktop, you’ll have to manually turn it on by going to Settings > Functions > Focus > Toggle on Enable Pomo Timer.

Habit tracking

The habit tracker with a built-in mini journal check-in works well in building good habits. There are preloaded habits under categories like health, sports, and mindset, all of which are conducive to a more productive lifestyle.

It is easy to check off a habit to track whether you did it for the day, but even better when you reflect on how well you are doing and why.

Add a habit you’d like to start, such as eating veggies, exercising, or reading. You can also choose an emoji and enter a quote to motivate you as you build this habit.

Habit tracker and checkin log in TickTick

Habit tracker and checkin log in TickTick

You can customize things, like the frequency, reminders, and a pop-up habit log. The habit log helps you to check in with yourself on your progress and how you feel about it, so you can mindfully reach your goals.

This habit log is designed to be a quick check-in. Tap on an emoji of how you feel about your progress and write additional notes like your challenge with it and how you plan to overcome it.

This quick exercise serves as a mini journal to keep you accountable and move forward in building this habit.

Calendar

Another notable feature is the calendar view tab. This feature is perfect for visual users to get an overview of tasks and adjust accordingly.

There are five different calendar view options. You can choose from a day, three-day, week, or month view.

The calendar timeline view is helpful for users who have overlapping times for their tasks. For example, if you have various tasks related to a business trip, you can easily visualize them on the timeline and avoid double booking yourself.

Timeline view in TickTick

Timeline view in TickTick

If you’ve added recurring tasks, these will show up neatly on your calendar. This way, nothing gets forgotten, and the best part is that it saves you a step from manually adding the task to your calendar.

Even if you have multiple calendars from different email accounts, you can sync your calendars from other platforms to seamlessly see events and add tasks accordingly. You can add calendars from Google, Outlook, Exchange, iCloud, CalDav, and URL.

To fully set up your to-do lists, TickTick allows you to import third-party data from apps such as Reminders and Todoist. TickTick also integrates with apps such as Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, IFTTT, and Spark.

Recurring tasks

Recurring tasks are cumbersome when you have to write, check off, and rewrite the same items. TickTick lets you customize your tasks to repeat automatically to avoid this tedious repetition.

Good use of this feature is a weekly chore list. Instead of the time-consuming way of making similar lists each week, set it as a recurring list.

Visual organization

For users who need more than simple lists, there are two additional view options. Users who prefer to tackle their to-do list in columns or timelines can choose Kanban View or Timeline View.

Kanban view in TickTick

Kanban view in TickTick

Another great feature for visual organizers is the ability to attach a photo to a task. For example, when planning a family photo shoot, you can paste photo ideas right into this task and share them with other family members.

Setup

The first hurdle of ticking off your to-do list is finding the time to organize it in the first place. Although this app brims with features, an initial investment of time is needed to maximize its benefits.

If you yearn to be more productive, take the time to learn how to use TickTick for your specific needs. Doing this can help you get more tasks done and be productive.

TickTick Pros

  • Prioritize tasks
  • Calendar, image attachment, Kanban, and Timeline View suitable for visual organizers
  • The Eisenhower Matrix
  • Pomo Timer with background sounds
  • Built-in habit tracker and check-in log
  • Integrates with third-party apps

TickTick Cons

  • Time consuming to set up
  • Awkward white noise options
  • Extremely limited features if using the free version

TickTick has the potential to be useful even using the free version, but to make it worth your while to set everything up, a paid subscription is best. With a paid subscription, this is a powerful app to help you prioritize your tasks, streamline your calendars, meet deadlines, and build good habits.

We recommend this for busy people who need to unload their tasks into an app and prioritize them to avoid getting overwhelmed. The more you use TickTick, the more you’ll discover new ways of using its features to suit your needs and even help you to build productive habits.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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