Microsoft Cortana and To-Do integration begins testing for select Windows Insiders

Cortana app for iOS
Cortana app for iOS (Image credit: Windows Central)

Microsoft To-Do has been aggressive lately with multiple integrations and feature add-ons, and one we have heard about is finally coming to light: Cortana.

Specific Windows Insiders are getting picked to test the feature which lets people "use Cortana to add reminders and lists in Microsoft To-Do so that you can save time, stay organized, and keep all your reminders and lists in one place."

Sample of the invite email for testing To-Do with Cortana to select testers.

Sample of the invite email for testing To-Do with Cortana to select testers.

Adding To-Do as a managed skill to Cortana goes a long way to adding featuring parity with Wunderlist – the previous go-to app for reminders and lists. Wunderlist has worked with Cortana and even Microsoft Launcher for Android for some time, but now things are changing with both services getting integration with Microsoft's assistant.

While the current level of Insider testing is closed and invite-only we have heard of a general release for December is the goal. That means only a few weeks before everyone can get it on a broader scale.

What To-Do and Cortana look like on Android and Windows 10.

Adding To-Do to Cortana breathes even more life into Microsoft's digital assistant, which has seen a whirlwind of integrations and features in 2018. Amazon Alexa integration is by far the biggest, but hardware like Surface Headphones and the new GLAS smart thermostat, plus deeper integration into Microsoft Launcher for Android 5.1 (due in a few weeks), new Cortana 3.0 apps for iOS and Android, and the ability to control the Xbox One have put the helper in more places than ever.

Hopefully, that trend continues in 2019.

Update: We've added a few screenshots of what To-Do looks like on Cortana for Android and Windows 10.

Thanks, William, for the tip and Zack for the images!

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • Yay! This is the feature that's kept me from switching from Wunderlist.
  • Agreed. Been waiting for that one.
  • I have asked them for this feature for every week for the last year. and I'm not on the beta to add insult to injury. I'm on skip ahead and I use the app on Android windows and Windows Phone. I have multiple Cortana devices and I still use her off my Xbox. What does it take to get into this invite?
  • Add insult to injury? I doubt they're like purposefully excluding you or something. But it'd be nice to be able to opt in to test this.
  • Hey. I was the one who submitted this tip. I'm in all the programs/use the same apps as you but I think what happened is that the To-Do team has a form on their Uservoice site for people to sign up to do specific tests for them. I think this beta is part of that program. If you go to their Uservoice site you'll see the link to the sign up under one of the popular feedback items (can't remember which one exactly or I'd post the link).
  • Actually I just jumped into Cortana lists and it prompted me to switch from Wunderlist to todo. I clicked the link and boom. There is mention about reminder syncing though that I can't see working yet. I'll check it out tomorrow. Separately packages and flights might be better within todo and Cortana and from there managed into calendar so as the data updates so does the calendar entries. I am going to suggest it to todo.
  • Don't feel bad about. They also didn't invite almost all the people on the planet. Considering the population invites are negligible.
  • Might be a bit random. I got an invite and while I've been an MVP and Insider, I don't use Cortana or ToDo all that much. I have expressed my opinion that they should have been joined a long time ago. It was ridiculous that telling Cortana to put something on your list, didn't wind up on any of the half dozen list options MS supported, just within Cortana. I have two Invokes. Maybe they will get some more use, beyond Spotify and random facts when tapping on the top.
  • And where is the long promised Pandora for Invoke!
  • It always supported wonderlist which could sync outlook tasks. Now todo replaces that and apparently syncs reminders tol I guess. What a great idea.
  • That would be great to have. Those of you living on the US should take advantage of this feature for all of us who won't have it.
  • Oh hell yeah!
  • Heck. Yeah. Bring it ON.
  • I stopped using Cortana for reminders on Android because it doesn't give me notifications anymore.
  • That's odd, still works for me, maybe a cache clean or reinstall?
  • Finally. I have been complaining, reporting, and posting about this for a year. I just hope MS Launcher version of Cortana will include the same ToDo integration. With this, and the current ToDo, Outlook Task integration they are finally bringing some of their services together. I also wonder if they will integrate location based Reminders into ToDo.
  • YES!!! Cannot wait for this feature
  • "everyone" = as long as you're in the US
  • I joined this morning and starting using the integration. Loving it so far!
  • This feature is live. If your using Wunderlist with Cortana go into the notebook, got to the Wunderlist skill in the connected services and click to open the skill. Then at the bottom you'll see the To-Do skill. Be warned it severs the link to Wunderlist, but it adds capability to the Cortana list interface Wunderlist does not have. Also, there is one weird thing and one missing thing. The weird thing is in Cortana you have a tasks list and a to do list. The tasks list does not sync with ms To-Do. The to do list syncs with the Ms To-Do list called tasks. The missing thing is a feature is in the skill description. The description says you will sync Cortana reminders with to do...which is awesome......but it does not work yet. Either way, once you get logged in to get started just say. Hey, Cortana. Show me my lists. It's pretty instantaneous and you don't even have to open to do, if you don't need to. This specifically makes the headphones fantastic. Also, because of how this integration works, it gave me an idea that would allow to-do via its outlook integration to control package tracking instead of calendar. In-turn that would allow you to track packages through cortana by asking her about your package list. I'm not sure if that would be possible or not. but if anyone wants to go ahead and vote for it I'll add the link here
  • I have an update on the reminder seacer for this todo app. Reminders became buggy sometime around 11 AM today. Eastern Standard Time and as of right now. If you create A To Do. List item and click reminder and select the time and date. It does show up on the Cortana side. So they are working on it.