Uplevel your self management skills: The 25+ best self management tools(plus tips)

self management tools

To-do lists, project management apps, time-trackers, and more. Here's a deep dive on the most helpful self-management tools for indie hackers!

to-do list apps

The truth is that a simple to-do list will work just fine for many solo founders. Here are some of the best top to-do list apps for that:

todoist app

Todoist(freemium, $3 each month): Todoist has regular language preparing capacities, a library of undertaking layouts, and loads of mixes. The free form is strong. On the off chance that you need a decent schedule see, however, it's not intended for you. Accessible on web, iOS, Android, macOS, and Windows.


Any.do (free value-added, $5.99 per month): a simple to-do application with smooth "plan my day" function that forces you to schedule tasks. Lets you use voice to create tasks, integrate them with calendars, and more. However, the free version is very strict. Available on the web, IOS and Android.


Habitica (free value-added, $5 per month): a gaming experience where your character will be upgraded or hurt according to your achievements. You can even fight your boss as a team. If you don't need a lot of features, this seems to be a very cool idea that can provide some additional power. Available on the web, IOS and Android.

Things personal task manager

Things ($9.99 - $49.99, depending on the platform): easy to use and powerful. It has natural language processing and advanced search functions, and can handle complex tasks. In addition, it allows you to choose the main focus of each day, which is very helpful. But some people say it may be a little complicated to use. For Apple users only - IOS and MacOS.

ticktick app

Ticktick (free value-added, $27.99 / year): a rising star with many functions, such as tomato clock timer, calendar integration, habit tracking, etc. The method of "getting things done" is considered in the design. Has a natural language date similar to todoist. But it doesn't have much integration and the free version is quite strict. Applicable to network, IOS, Android, MacOS and windows.

To do list applications built by other independent hackers:


Kisstodo (free): personal task management inspired by. TXT. Unlimited nesting is allowed. Available on Web, mobile, and desktop devices.


Brutask (free value-added): a simplified to-do list for small teams dealing with daily scrums and standing meetings.


Lunatask (free value-added, $6 per month): This is a task manager, a tomato clock timer, a habit tracker, an emotion tracker, and so on. Allows you to use many different productivity frameworks and be privacy centric.

Focus Wall

Focus wall ($11.89): a beautiful app that lets you add to-do items to your wallpaper. For windows (MAC and Linux coming soon).

Done Log

Done log (free value-added, $24 / year): a "to-do list alternative" that focuses on what you have achieved and gives you a sense of achievement.

Self-management tools: Project management apps

If you need to be able to document complex tasks and communicate effectively with other team members, these tools can do the job:

notion so

Notion (free value-added, $4 a month): notion does... Well, almost everything. This is a good choice for task management, with multiple views and templates, a lot of flexibility, a lot of integration and offline access.


Trello (free value-added, $5 per seat, per month): ideal for beginners and small teams who need basic project management functions. It works well for simple projects, but can be frustrating when working together on larger projects. Available on the web, IOS, Android, MacOS, and windows.



Monday (free value-added, $10 per seat, per month): powerful and fashionable, intuitive layout. The free plan is reliable. Unless you have a big team, the premium may be a little too much. Available on the web, IOS, Android, MacOS, and windows.

Zoho Projects

Zoho projects (free value-added, 5 dollars per seat, per month): may be the best value of the senior level. It's easy to use and has all the functionality you expect from the project management application, including time tracking and extensive integration. The free package only allows three users, which is good for most of us. Available on the web, IOS and Android.


Clickup (free value-added, $5 per seat, per month): with a large number of functions and ready-made templates, the tool can be simple or complex according to your needs. The company's claim that the app saves you one day a week sounds impressive. The free plan looks very reliable, but if you take a custom route, the setup may be time-consuming. Available on the web, IOS, Android, MacOS, window, Linu, Alexa, and Google assistant.




Teamwork (free value-added, $10 per seat, per month): intuitive, with many functions. Some independent hackers like this tool. It is easy to use, has many functions, and allows you to automate tasks. Available on the web, IOS, Android, MacOS, and windows.


JIRA (free value-added, $7 / seat / month): JIRA used to be, and still is, the standard to some extent. It is an agile project management tool for planning, tracking and managing projects. I've seen some people say it's too complex and meaningful only when you manage a large team. But I know someone swore. It can be used on the web, IOS, Android, MacOS (non windows).


Asana (free value-added, USD 10.99 / seat / month): advanced project management software, with a large number of functions such as integration, comment, report, etc. Absolutely have everything you need - probably more than you need. Applicable to network, IOS, Android, MacOS and windows.


Basecamp (free value-added, $99 / month): we all know Basecamp - they do write books on how to run projects / businesses. This is a multi-in-one platform that makes you proud to give up other subscriptions. Ideal for collaboration and larger companies. The price is high, but a free "personal" layer can do this. Applicable to network, IOS, Android, MacOS and windows.


Wrike (free value-added, $9.80 / seat / month): easy to set up, with many functions and a comprehensive reporting suite. Suitable for small and medium-sized projects. Provides a variety of ways to view data. However, it does not have offline access. Applicable to network, IOS, Android, MacOS and windows.


Zenkit (free value-added, $9 / seat / month): I think @ dgerine said very well, "I can guarantee [zenkit]. It is a very suitable project management tool for start-ups because it has many functions (think Kanban, mind map, task list) on a single platform. It can also be used by up to five users for free, which is always ideal for start-ups:) "suitable for network, IOS, Android, MacOS, windows and Linux.

Other self-management tools

Note taking applications: applications like Evernote are very useful.

Notepad and pen: Yes, it's old-fashioned, but it works well. In addition, it feels good to cross out a to-do item physically, and there is no limit to how much you can write.

Bullet Journaling: it is a protocol that lists tasks, events, notes, etc. in an effective way. It looks cool

Notes: many independent hackers put notes on their walls. I think it's a good choice, as long as you always work in the same place. And it only works for individual founders.

Focus Website and application blocker for macOS

Website and application interceptors: if procrastination is a problem for you, give it a try. Website and application blocker for macOS Focus should be a good choice.

Toggl Time trackers

Time Tracker: it is very convenient to manage your time effectively. I hear Toggl is fine.


Focusmate: a cool way to find responsible partners.

Some self management tips

I will summarize some tips I have encountered:

  • Get smart with your goals - specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time bound.
  • Prioritize your functions and tasks.
  • Break the task into small pieces.
  • Complete one task at a time - don't handle multiple tasks at the same time.
  • Set realistic deadlines.
  • Schedule your tasks.
  • Set a timer. And move on until time comes.
  • Track your time.
  • Find a responsible partner.
  • At the end of the day, plan your next day.
  • Of course, find the best task management tool for you.

My verdict

As I said, I personally use todoist for my personal tasks - it's simple, and the free version suits my needs. That is, I think I might try one of the to-do applications listed by other independent hackers. They look really great. 

As for more powerful project management tools, I will personally choose the free plan of monday.com. However, if you need advanced planning, Zoho projects seems to be the most cost-effective. 

What is your favorite management tool? Please share below! 

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