Microsoft is about to buy another one of the best productivity apps in the world

Wunderlist app
Wunderlist for iPhone. Wunderlist

Microsoft is close to buying Wunderlist, a to-do list app that lets you do everything from manging grocery lists to scheduling assignments for colleagues at work, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

Wunderlist is one of my favourite apps. I’ve been using it for the last several months to keep myself on task for what I need to do each day both at work (call sources, schedule meetings, write reviews) and in my personal life (pay rent, clean my apartment, call my mum). I’d be lost without it.

The app isn’t just a simple list-making tool, though. You can also share and tasks and lists with other Wunderlist users over the internet. For example, if you share a grocery list with your spouse or roommate, he can add stuff to it from his app and it will appear on your phone too.

Recently, some of my colleagues at Business Insider started using Wunderlist to share and assign story ideas, and it’s worked out really well. You can set due dates, manage tasks you’ve assigned, and add notes and other details for certain assignments. And it all updates in real time, so everyone is on the same page. It’s already changed the way a lot of my colleagues and I plan and collaborate.

Wunderlist for iphone ipad and android
Wunderlist tasks sync across all platforms. Wunderlist/YouTube

Wunderlist would be the third major productivity app acquired by Microsoft within the last year. The Redmond, Wash.-based tech company also bought the email app Acompli, which later relaunched as thenew Outlook app for iPhone and Android. It alsobought Sunrise, my favourite calendar app that syncs with Google and other major calendar services.

Microsoft’s acquisition strategy seems to be focused on popular productivity apps that run on all platforms, not just Windows devices. (Wunderlist is available for iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows.) The idea is to get users hooked on great apps and services made by Microsoft, with the hope those people will eventually make the jump to Windows computers, phones, and tablets.

It’s working too. Microsoft isn’t just picking any old apps to acquire. It’s picking the best. Six months ago I had zero Microsoft apps on my home screen. I’ll have three if and when the Wunderlist acquisition goes through.

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