I think you make some good points @Meredith . Todoist needs a refresh, but then again so do most longstanding to-do apps (eg FireTask, 2Do, even OmniFocus, in my opinion). I think the future look of task management apps for individuals is more in the vein of Things and TickTick and Taskade: easier on the eyes, simple to start with but with extensible and expandable power hidden from those with basic needs.
The 2-way calendar sync really is a killer feature, since calendar items are different from actionable tasks, but if you’re setting up a time/date/place for a task it is extremely useful to see it on the calendar - and be able to move it around the calendar if needed.
I periodically use Trello, and would probably use it more except I just don’t want to delve into yet another app for my daily tasks and planning. I use it when I really need a step-by-step view of tasks. (I used to use index cards on a corkboard so it’s a familiar and useful tool for some scheduling and development.)
That’s why ZenKit has been intriguing to me, and why I’ve been keeping an eye on it. It lets you quickly switch between modes: list, calendar, Trello/kanban, mindmap(!), tables. And unlike Todoist it does checklists right, and it offers rich text editing. (And for those who collaborate [not my interest] it also lets you ‘mention’ people like on this site, lets you assign tasks, track activities, and invite people into projects…) And like Todoist it too has 2-way Google Calendar sync ! The free version should be enough for most individuals, but the first pay tier (which enables recurring items) seems overpriced at $108/year.
From years of development Todoist remains the more mature product, though, and I think still leads with its natural language entry, its outstanding recurring items, and multiple timers for individual events. The Mac app is not Mac-like, the iOS app is not iOS-like, but the point was apparently to look the same on all its platforms, which it does. (That said, it still should look better.) I signed up last month for a year of premium to see how well I could integrate it into my life, but also for (a) the promise of the upcoming refresh and (b) to lock in the $29/year pricing (which has now officially gone up to $36/year). So far I’ve found that as long as I stay with it multiple times/day, and put everything in it (actionable tasks only - I put lists elsewhere), it delivers.