Modern society = busy life. We're all juggling a lot. Household stuff, life admin, family, social life, health, hobbies, side projects, finances. It can become incredibly overwhelming and result in feeling burnt out, disengaged and doing less of what we love.
When it comes to task management, some people keep it all in their head, some people keep it old-school with a notebook, and some people do it digitally with a simple note app.
I have quite a busy work and personal life, I have anxiety and ADHD, so I'm one of those people who actually needs an app where I can manage the million and one things I have to keep on top of.
👎🏾 Can't keep it in my head, must be written down, or it's gone forever
👎🏾 Can't prioritise properly without a system
👎🏾 Easily overwhelmed by the size of my to-do list
👎🏾 Prone to task switching a lot
👎🏾 Forget to do things even if I do them all the time
Over the years, I tried out a lot of different apps like Trello, ClickUp, Notion, TickTick, Wunderlist etc. But none of these stuck with me, and I'd end up giving up on it after a few weeks.
I discovered Todoist last year, and to my amazement, I've actually stuck with it ever since. It ticks a lot of boxes for me:
✅ Simple yet fairly customisable
✅ Nice iPhone and Mac apps - great UI
✅ It is so easy to use, which removes any mental barriers
In this article, I’ll give you an overview of my most-used Todoist features, and exactly how I use them to tackle the challenges with task management I mentioned above. (Ps not a sponsored article I really love it!!)
Overview of Todoist
This is what my Todoist app looks like:
As you can see, I have a main inbox then various projects. There are "today" and "upcoming" views, as well as all of my projects in the sidebar.
Tasks get added to the inbox by default unless I add a project when adding a task.
This is usually my workflow for adding a task:
This method means I don't waste time always sorting every task into a project, but the use of projects means my inbox isn't too cluttered!
My most-used todoist features
➕ Add a task from anywhere ➕
Todoist makes it easy to add a task from anywhere with its "quick add" function and also through its integrations. This massively helps me with the whole "MUST WRITE THIS DOWN NOW BEFORE I FORGET" thing whilst not losing focus on what I'm doing when something pops into my head randomly.
- When I press control + ⌘ + N, on my Mac (for windows its Win + Alt + Q) it opens up a little window where I can add a task. This is my custom shortcut, you can edit the shortcut by going to settings → advanced.
- When you're adding a task, Smart Quick Add automatically recognises and highlight each piece of information, then it edits that property in the task without having to click through each property manually.
In the video below you can see how I've added the task to a section within a project, set a due date, set a priority and added a tag. Magic 🪄.
Other ways I can add a task without opening Todoist:
- Siri - I just say something like "remind me to book the Asda delivery tomorrow in Todoist". Click here to find out more.
- Chrome/Safari extension - it adds the link directly to a Todoist task.
- Slack - when someone messages me asking me to do something I click the lil three dots by the message and add it straight to my inbox:
If you're an Android user you can add a Todoist shortcut to your home screen.
There's also a load of other integrations which you can check out here : todoist.com/integrations
📍 Location-based reminders📍
*This is a pro-feature only*
Instead of adding a reminder for a specific time, I can add a reminder for when I'm at a specific location instead.
For example I had a prescription sent to Boots so I set a location-based reminder so when I popped in for some toiletries I wouldn't forget to collect it!
🔁 Recurring tasks 🔁
Recurring reminders on Todoist are an absolute godsend. They reduce my mental load of mundane tasks I have to do all the time.
Here's some examples of recurring tasks I set:
"Pay holiday every last workday" ➡️ sends me a reminder on the last weekday of every month, because that's when payday is for me.
"Change contact lenses every! 2 weeks" ➡️ This will remind me to change my contacts 2 weeks from when I last completed the task, rather than a fixed recurring 2 weeks (you do this by adding the "!" after every)
For more Todoist due dates, times, and recurring tasks, click here.
🏷️ Labels 🏷️
You know when you have a 15-30 minute gap between meetings which is too short to start doing something big but enough time to do something...?
That's when I tackle any tasks I've tagged with my "Quick_tasks" label.
I also have a rule that if it takes less than 2 minutes to do, I should try to do it before the end of the day (the key word here is try...)
You can also add labels to your favourites for easy access from the sidebar:
🤝 Collaborative projects🤝
I have collaborative projects for:
- Home with my partner (he's the kind of guy who just writes his to-do lists in a notebook but I got him on board with using Todoist for our household tasks because it was so easy to use)
- The meetup I organise with my co-organiser. We can add tasks and subtasks, assign them to each other, communicate through comments etc.
- "Work todo" which has my work account as a collaborator. This is a little hack I use to add something to my work Todoist without needing to be at my work laptop as my work Todoist is only logged in on there, not my personal laptop or phone.
The video below shows how I add a task to our TechRise Meetup board and mention Callum in a comment:
Having the right systems for task management that works for you personally is far more important than using a specific tool or app. Todoist happens to be the one that has been my saving grace. In the last year, I've gone from being incredibly overwhelmed, often forgetting to do important things and being disorganised, to being incredibly organised and efficient.
I've managed to free up mental space and time to do more of the things I love and feel so much less stressed and more fulfilled.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article, and let me know how you find using Todoist in the comments if you end up giving it a try!
Thanks for reading, and stay fabulous!