In our third episode of the productivity bootcamp I wanted to go over digital task managers, which are little bit different than their other analog counterparts.

The first platform we’ll cover is mobile phone apps. There are several dozen todo apps built for the iPhone and Android platforms, and in the case of the iPhone platform, Apple has recently built a todo app right into the OS. As an aside, I’m really not a fan of this built in app, called Reminders. It takes far too many taps to get anything set on the app. It is a great tool for quick lists, but adding due dates and location reminders is a pain.

When it comes to iPhone only apps that I think work great, Clear is on the top of the list. It couples an intutive and chromeless UI with gestures that make navigating lists quick. On Android, I recommend Remember the Milk. Its a powerful task manager that connects to a web service. The downside? A yearly fee of $25.

If you’re looking for something that will sync across your Mac to your iDevices, look no further than Things from Cultured Code. While not as powerful as its competitor, OmniFocus, it costs about half as much and is better suited for the student lifestyle, with Areas of Responsibility that collect tasks in an organized fashion.

If a web service is more your thing, then try TeuxDeux. This free web service tracks tasks based on due dates and has an iPhone app for task management on the go. If you want something a little more full featured, then try Flow from Metalab. I love this app and use it on a daily basis. It’s expensive, at $99/year, but is extremely polished and reliable.

Digital task managment is a wonderful way to go. You avoid the troubles associated with loosing a planner, the limitations of paper and the like. However, you enter into a world where your productive and distraction oriented sides meet. It can be easy to get distracted or mess around with productivity systems too much, and then get nothing done. I know far too well about productivty system ADHD.

I would highly recommend Flow and Remember the Milk as overall winners. They are both pay-for services, but sync across a multitude of devices and provide web interfaces that let you grab your homework list from just about any computer.

Good luck with your productivity systems!