3 free calendar-cum-todolist apps you can use to time-block your day

Posted on: Nov 6, 2021 Written by DKP

The market is overflowing today with todo lists, and with calendar applications. With the definition of 'work' being a lot more than just our job, and with multiple things going through our minds at the same time, these apps ensure that we're able to capture tasks and that we see them through when we have enough bandwidth.

Sadly, both the todo list type of apps, and the calendar type of apps, lack completeness individually. You can type in a zillion tasks in your todo list, but unless you have assigned a time to them and follow that calendar religiously, those tasks will stay untouched on the list forever.

On the other hand, if you have a calendar but no way you can check things off or organize them, you wouldn't really be able to track whether an item you'd scheduled is completed or not.

Thus, the optimal solution would be an application that combines these functionalities - a todolist to manage your tasks, and a calendar to block time for doing them. And here we have shortlisted three free solutions that do just this.

1. Routine#

Disclaimer : At the time of writing this, Routine is still in private beta, and thus, it's not accessible to all. However, it holds great potential and is expected to go live very soon, and thus, is part of this list.

Routine allows you to have an inbox of todo items, and a calendar parallely, synced with your Google calendar. You can drag and drop tasks from the inbox into the calendar. Better, you can even move your GCal events and the same will be synced to your calendar - this is a feature not found in many calendar apps. Additionally, Routine also follows a page model like Notion, where every task/event can be opened as a page for notes. It has Intellisense to automatically gauge date/time from the task name, which is another great plus.

Pros :

  1. Drag drop tasks and gcal events and have a two way sync - many other apps don't allow GCal events do be modified by another app

  2. Very accessible - tasks can be added, and the platform can be navigated just via the keyboard

  3. UI and UX are the best among the three apps discussed here - it breathes minimalism and focus.

  4. Easily schedule tasks thanks to Intellisense.

Cons :

  1. Still in private beta, so many features are lacking. Some of these include :

2. Kosmotime#

Kosmotime is a time blocking and tracking application. You can add tasks, sort them into projects, and schedule them onto the calendar. This app also syncs with Google calendar to display GCal events onto the Kosmotime calendar, however, you cannot modify the GCal events. One unique feature about Kosmotime is the concept of focus blocks, wherein you can block a time for a set of tasks grouped together - a manifestation of the concept of time blocking. You can also track time across each task using the inbuilt timer, however, you'll have to remember to start and stop the timer for the task. I once remember working 72 hours non-stop on a task :P

Pros :

Cons :

3. Plan#

Among the three, plan offers the richest set of features, (and if I am not wrong) has been around the longest. It also allows you to create tasks, sort them into projects and drag and drop them onto calendar, just like the other two. Additionally, you can view the tasks in list, kanban or timeline views. My favorite feature, though, is that it allows you to edit and drag and drop Google calendar events as well. Moreover, it has a chrome extension which creates a plan homepage, and therein, you can even check off events - something that both the above apps miss. That 'checking off' is like productivity-adrenaline.

Additionally, it has a documents feature for you to create and store documents. It also has a metrics dashboard wherein you can view the time spent on each task/project.

The downsides are that it has a buggy UI/UX and is often not responsive(some of the content gets cropped out of the screen and there's no scroll)

Pros :

Cons :

Thus, these were three calendar-cum-todolist management applications that you can use to block time for various tasks, with their pros and cons.