Organizing my life with Todoist

If you're reading this in May 2021, this is an ongoing project and I'll be updating the status here as the month progresses!

For the month of May, I wanted to commit myself to doing something I've been trying to ease into for a while now - finding a better way to manage my To-do list than pen/paper.

I've tried slowly migrating from paper to digital in the past, leaving myself with the mess of having to compare the physical and digital lists to determine what I should be working on.

So for May, I'm diving in and going all digital with Todoist - even if this ends up not being the perfect platform for me long-term, I want to stay with a single platform for the whole month just for testing purposes.

The first part of this experiment was to get things set up for my newly more digital lifestyle. I quickly checked over the features of a few different To-do apps and decided on Todoist since I had used it (very) briefly before.

The most dreadful part was determining how I wanted to organize things, which Todoist is nice enough to offer a quick quiz to help get started with. Based on the quiz, I am best suited for Task Blocking/Batching/Day Theming - which tracks based on what I know about myself.

The way I set Todoist up at this point is with the following Projects:

  • Personal
  • Work
  • Photography
  • Shopping
  • Housework

Photography is a bit of a flex spot, since Photography could just as easily be slotted in as a label under the Personal Project - but I'm going to feel that out as the month moves along.

Along side Todoist, I'm also exploring Toggl to help motivate me to focus more on single tasks at a time (Which is partially why I'm even writing this article). I'm not really sure if I'll do anything with the time track data, but I know that putting a timer and task name together is a solid way to motivate myself!

With the first work week of reorganizing my life in the books, I really like Todoist so far. The one thing I realized is super annoying is that the push notification reminders at the time the task is due is locked behind their "Pro" subscription paywall. Even so, most of what I'm using this for is things I need to be on my computer to do anyways, so that's not the biggest deal (right now).

I've re-grouped my projects a bit. I removed the "Shopping" and "Housework" projects since both of those felt like they could just be a tag in "Personal" and added:

  • "Blog Posts" as a place to throw any ideas for posts that I have (cleaning up my dashboard on DEV a bit 😅) . The biggest advantage to having the ideas in Todoist over DEV is the clear subtasks of what needs to be done yet on each post. No more having to go to edit mode to see which posts are still waiting on a header image!
  • "Templates" as a place to create a task that will be recurring, but not on a set schedule. This is heavily inspired by Ali's post and seems to be the best way to handle creating a template task in Todoist.

I'm noticing that I might be creating too broad of tasks right now - and/or not leveraging sub-tasks enough because of the extra step to get to the add sub-task page. After next week I might circle back to see if I still feel like this is happening.

At the time of writing, I currently have 37 tasks (not including templates).

Coming soonish...

Coming less soon...

Coming eventually...