Todoist is an awesome and useful tool that I’ve been using for the past few years to manage all of my tasks. It’s free to use and due to its online nature you’re able to access it from wherever you have Internet access.
Today I’m going to show you how I’m using it on a regular basis.
The first thing I’m always doing is switching to the Inbox and writing down each and every task that’s whirling in my brain. There is nothing more refreshing than having all this mess out of your head and onto ‘paper’.
Simply add a new task for each to do that you think of.
Add Due Dates
Next I’m going to add due dates for every task that actually has one. Need to turn in a paper? Add the appropriate date. Need to get the laundry done by tomorrow? Set the due date to tomorrow.
In a realistic task braindump I usually have a lot of tasks that actually aren’t as pressing or important. Therefore I don’t add a deadline for them, because I get to them whenever I have time to. Or I simply scratch them.
After setting dates you see them on the right side of your tasks. I especially like that tasks due today and tomorrow are named just that while due dates further into the future have their dates.
You can add dates by clicking the calendar sign on the right and choosing one of the suggested dates or picking the appropriate one from the calendar. Another way which is even easier is to add the date in text! Todoist interprets suitable text as dates and times. Therefore you can type ‘Do the laundry today at 8am’ and it will actually schedule it for today at 8am. Nifty right?
Another incredibly useful feature is to turn any to-do into a recurring task. Wouldn’t it be useful to schedule your weekly planning session each Friday at 5pm? Or having a gentle reminder each day to meditate? Todoist allows for just that!
This is easiest done by simply adding the appropriate text into your task description. As with due dates Todoist interprets your input and turns certain keywords into recurring events.
You can simply write ‘Weekly Planning every friday at 5pm’ to create a recurring task every week on Friday. One thing to note here is that ‘Weekly’ would be interpreted as well! If you don’t want that, simply press Backspace at the end of the marking when Todoist turns the word into a date (you see it when the word doesn’t have the noticable red date marking anymore).
A recurring to-do has the image two arrows forming a circle next to their due date.
Weekly and Daily Overview
To actually get an overview of all the things you need to do (that have a due date) you can either select the ‘Next 7 days’ or ‘Today’ menu items.
The ‘Next 7 days’ overview is quite useful to me when I’m planning out my whole week. This way I know at one glance what needs to get done and where I still have some room.
On a daily basis I’m using the ‘Today’ view, because I don’t like the feeling of having to stare at a ton-s*** of tasks that I need to accomplish during the week. I’d rather simply focus on one day at a time.
Especially if you have a lot of tasks to accomplish in a day it’s recommendable to add priority to your tasks. This way they are sorted by their importance and you know which one to focus on.
You can add priority to a task by clicking the ‘…’ button next to the date option. Then you’re free to choose between Priority 1, 2 and 3 (red, orange and yellow). I usually apply each priority to more than one item, because, well… I have a lot to do and this way I still see what’s most important.
I don’t know about you, but I always have a lot to do and putting everything into Inbox is simply confusing. Sure, I do my braindump in there, but then I’m sorting all tasks into its matching project.
You can create projects for whatever topic you like. I’ve had projects for special work assignments, for my business in general, for self care purposes and so much more. At the least I try to differentiate between personal and business stuff.
To make identification easier you can select a color of your choice to each project and you can sort your projects by drag-and-drop.
The same goes for your to-dos. You can easily drag-and-drop each task from your Inbox to a project or from one project to another which is really useful and totally necessary!
A nice additional motivation is Todoists’ karma system. For each completion of your to-dos you earn karma points. If you fail to accomplish due tasks you lose some. This way you’re getting a little more accountability to get them off your list.
Inside Settings you can define how many tasks you want to accomplish each day and you can also turn vacation mode on to not lose points during your time off.
If this whole karma system stresses you out you’re able to turn this off as well or you can define certain days a week where not accomplishing your goals don’t hurt your score.
It’s completely up to you how to use this feature, but I like it quite a lot.
That’s it for today. I hope you’ve gotten a little inspiration on how to use Todoist. It honestly is one of the tools that I don’t want to miss anymore and I can only recommend you to give it a try if you don’t use it already.
Let me know how you like it!
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