Manage to-do lists, capture ideas, and overclock your workday (and home life) with these apps for getting things done.

If you're like me, for every item you cross off your to-do-list, two more very quickly appear. Chances are you could use a few new tools to help you manage your priorities, simplify your life, and accomplish more. If that's the case, then guide is definitely for you.

Although there's no shortage of free utilities and services promising to make you a productivity powerhouse, in my experience few of them meet the increasingly high demands of real-world use. I've tested an astounding variety of task managers, list apps, calendars, project trackers, and note takers over the years. Here are 12 that truly earn their keep.

1. Nudgemail

If you're into Inbox Zero, as I am, then you probably feel a deep, bone-crushing need to address and delete every single item in your inbox by the end of the day. So what to do with all those email messages you get that don't require action until tomorrow, next Monday, or January 3? Answer: Nudgemail. Register your email address at, and you can then use your Forward button as a snooze button. Forward a message to [email protected], and it will return tomorrow. [email protected] will restore it on Monday. [email protected] will send it back to you on November 13. And with your inbox empty, you can finally go to sleep.

2. Doodle

For scheduling a meeting with contractors or taking a poll about where to go for lunch, Doodle is a quick, no-hassle service that gets the job done. You don't even have to waste time signing up for an account (although you can). Doodle appointments export as ICS files that you can add to most calendar apps, and you can quickly embed invitations and polls on any website for easy access.

3. Remember the Milk

At this point, Remember the Milk has handily earned a place on our list of tried-and-true productivity boosters. In fact, several of our staffers (including this author) use it daily for GTD (Getting Things Done)-style life management. Type any to-do idea into the 'Add a new task' field, and it's ready to track. Add due dates, tags, priority rankings, and repeat intervals all in the same field. You can share lists with other RTM users for group projects, too. And when your list grows long, you can create custom search-and-sort lists on the fly and save them for quick viewing.

RTM boasts a sweet set of mobile apps and third-party add-ons, and it especially comes to life on Android, where its 2x3 home-screen widget keeps your most important list within view at all times. Basic web access is free, but the $25 (£15) pro version adds mobile access- is well worth the price.

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