Teuxdeux Blog | Sep 07, 2020

What's the real story behind beloved to-do list app Wunderlist's shutdown?

What's the real story behind the beloved to-do list app Wunderlist's shutdown?

It's a tale (almost) as old as time. Bright-eyed startup launches to the big worldwide web, finds itself getting a lot of attention, and quickly is snapped up by an older, more prominent tech company. 

That's what happened to the to-do list app Wunderlist. People loved the Wunderlist app, us included. People loved it so much that Microsoft came along and bought the Wunderlist team. And that's is where the story gets sad.

To back up: Wunderlist launched in 2011. The German startup 6wunderkinder, headed by CEO Christian Reber, created Wunderlist. It quickly grew to around 13 million Wunderlist users, claiming around one billion to-dos created per day. It had a desktop web app, Android app, iOS app, iPad app, and a MacOs App. 

Some of the favorite features of the Wunderlist to-do list app included smart lists, subtasks, file attachments, task assignments, and list groups. Wunderlist was fantastic for collaboration and getting a bird's eye view of everything you needed to get done.

All this attention caught Microsoft's eyes. The tech giant acquired the task management app in 2015. At the time, Wunderlist was still developing new features and growing. Wunderlist users were nervous about the change at first, but after a period of time, it seemed like Microsoft wasn't interfering too much with the Wunderlist team. But eventually, things changed. New features came out less and less, updates were less frequent, and it slowly became clear for users that Microsoft was sunsetting the Wunderlist app.

Last year, it was announced by Microsoft that they would shut down Wunderlist on May 6th, 2020, in favor of their new app, a daily planner called Microsoft To Do. They have a full range of platforms where you can access Microsoft To Do, including web app, iOS app, and Android app. Microsoft used the time between their announcement and the closure date to features to Microsoft To Do that would make it comparable to Wunderlist for those users. Microsoft To Do can integrate with one's Microsoft account and Outlook, so to use it you really have to buy into Microsoft's entire ecosystem.

We're not the biggest fans of rewarding tech giants who close down apps we love, so we have another suggestion. Go indie.

Are you an ex-Wunderlist user? Looking for the best alternative to Wunderlist? TeuxDeux is a fantastic Wunderlist alternative. We have a Wunderlist importer that you can access here and bring all your data over to our independent and humble to-do list app that's been beloved by users for over a decade. Worried you'll about trusting another daily planner? You can be confident in TeuxDex.

TeuxDeux is available on desktop, mobile web, and iOS app. We hope to have an Android app out soon. We are a bit simpler than Wunderlist. That's part of our philosophy: Simple stays organized.