In this post, I will be going over the productivity app ToDoIst. As the name may suggest it is an easy to use to-do list based app that I have been using for around a year now on almost a daily basis. I know there are similar apps out there that fit a similar function to ToDoIst with Wunderlust probably being its main competitor.although I did initially use Wunderlust as my go to to do list application it just never seemed to click with me and I quickly moved over to ToDoIst.
Although I did initially use Wunderlust as my go to to do list application it just never seemed to click with me and I quickly moved over to ToDoIst but both of the apps were highly polished with a flawless user experience. Before going any further I would just like to state that I am far from an expert with the app and that this is not a sponsored post and if ToDoIst is not for you I highly recommend you check out Wunderlust, ToDoIst also has a paid version but I have never seen the need to upgrade and have always used the tool with the regular free license.
ToDoIst is a multiplatform app that automatically syncs between your phone, tablet, laptop and desktop workspaces meaning even on the go, you are able to add or remove tasks from your lists. I have lost count of the number of times I have been out and about where something has randomly popped into my head that I would probably have forgotten if I was not able to quickly add it to one of my lists.
The above screenshot shows the main window of the app when first opened on a desktop or laptop computer with its main panes numbered as covered below.
- This is essentially a pending task pane. When creating tasks you are able to set a do by date, when that date approaches the task will show up in its relevant header in this pane.
- These are your lists, to my knowledge you are able to add as many as you like or have all of your tasks saved in a single generic list. As you can see, I personally prefer to use multiple lists to segregate my tasks.
- This is the main task window, it will display all tasks in the selected window and allow you to add, edit or complete tasks for the list.
- This is your karma score and your settings window.
My Different Lists
As you can see from the screenshot below in the section marked by the number two, I have a number of lists I have added and I will quickly go over what I use each of them for on the off chance any of my readers are able to implement them into their tools to help increase their productivity.
- To Do – This is my generic daily task list.
- Journey – I use this list to log my daily activities to publish into my daily journaling threads.
- Pocket – If I save something to my Pocket account I usually forget all about it so I have an IFTTT set up to make a ToDoIst entry to read it in this list.
- Shaunmarrs.com – I use this list for random tasks for this blog.
- IFTTT – I will cover this later but ToDoIst has full integration into IFTTT and this is the list most of them are added to.
- PBN – As I have recently started a new PBN based project, this is where I add its tasks as well as other random PBN related tasks.
- Tiered Link Building – As anyone who has read this blog or followed me on the internet marketing forums for a while will understand, the bulk of my background is based around automation and tiered link building. This is the list I save all related tasks to.
- Shopping – This is a specific list I recently set up for my shopping lists, I used to use my generic To Do list but that has a bunch of tasks on it usually and I found I would often go out shopping and forget a random item as there was so much on the list and then have to go back out shopping and waste time.
Adding A Task To The Tool
Once you have the required list selected there are two ways I am aware of to manually add a task to the tool shown by the Red arrows in the screenshot above. Once either of these are clicked the options in the screenshot below will become visible.
As you can see, the main text field for the description of the task becomes available. You also have additional options on the right-hand side such as setting a due date, setting a priority or setting the entry as a parent or sub-task.
The Karma Vanity Metric
As shown in an earlier screenshot, there is an in-app karma count shown in the top right of the tool, if you click it then some data is displayed regarding your usage of the tool. The screenshot below shows the data fields shown followed by a brief overview of them.
The top right shows that I have managed to gain over 30,000 in-app karma points. I have read a few different viewpoints on the apps Karma points over on Reddit ranging from it being a totally useless vanity metric all the way upto it helping people keep working through their tasks to gain more karma.
My own personal feeling is that it is a useless vanity metric, if you chase karma then people may find themselves making up random useless tasks to complete just to gain the karma point. One the flip side, if you are someone who likes collecting things or seeing your “progress” grow, then the karma metric maybe useful to you.
Under that, you can see that I have completed over 17,000 tasks since moving over to the app, again, this is somewhat of a vanity metric but I can’t help but wonder how many of those tasks would have been forgotten about without the app.
Below that is the karma trend graph showing how your karma has increased over the past few days with a daily task breakdown just below that covering the past seven days.
At the very bottom of the app is your daily streak and shows how many days you have continuously used the app. Off the top of my head, I believe you have to complete a minimum of five tasks for the app to register that day as part of your daily streak. At the time of writing, you can see my current daily streak is 189 days! My previous daily streak was also over 100 but I missed a day due to my sections Christmas Party. Myself and a few of the lads put a days leave in so we could drink all day and I failed to complete a single task that day causing my streak to reset.
As I have previously mentioned, ToDoIst has full IFTTT integration meaning you are able to set up a whole bunch of macros to help increase productivity or set tasks for you, below are a handful of the recipies I have set up on IFTTT to work with ToDoIst.
The above screenshot shows a handful of my many task creation macros in IFTTT used to help keep me on top of my servicing schedule for the various tools I use as explained in my blog post on servicing here.
Although I add and remove servicing tasks as my knowledge of the toolset grows you can see the above IFTTT macro has ran 67 times on a weekly basis for over a year helping me keep on top of my serving.
Now that I am trying to work in the internet marketing space full time and have left my traditional day job I find that the days blend togeather and I lose track of time meaning the servicing reminder macros are helping me more than ever right now.
The above two macros are quick ways to see summaries of my data from other tools. The one on the left is a task of my weekly summary from Rescue time (read my post on it here) so each week, once Rescue time has worked out how productive I have been it publishes my summary to my account. IFTTT then picks that up and sends it to my ToDoIst for me so I can quickly glance at my productive time and overall percentage to see if I have been slacking or not.
The one on the right is a mail chimp based IFTTT, once I send out an email blast and its campaign summary has been added to my mail chip account, IFTTT picks it up and pushed it to my ToDoIst for me so I can quickly see how many emails were sent out and the campaigns open percentage without needing to take the time and login to my mail chimp and navigate to the reports page.
The above macro is used to pick up any orders I make over on Fiverr and create a task in my ToDoIst to remind me of it as well as set the task up with a completion date so I can easily see if my Fiverr orders are delayed. It used to work perfectly but I have noticed it doesn’t seem to add the predicted gig completion date anymore. In all honesty, I haven’t looked into why it’s doing it as I recently moved the vast majority of my outsourcing tasks over to Upwork (read my blog post on how to get the best deals on Upwork).
I have already mentioned this macro earlier in the post. I have lost count of the number of times I have found an article or YouTube video that interests me but I don’t have time to read or watch it at the time. I previously used to save it to my Pocket and then forget all about it. As this macro automatically makes a task for me telling me to read the entry it makes it easy to keep on top of your reading.
One Last Thing
This is not something I can take credit for and in all honesty, I have read it in a number of books or articles and seen it mentioned in a number of videos now so I have no idea who to give credit to for it but I highly recommend you do it!
At the end of your working day, spend five minutes populating your ToDoIst with tasks for the next day. Your brain is already in work mode so I have found it is easier to come up with tasks at the end of the working day then try and get going from a cold start at the beginning of a new day. I have been doing this simple five-minute task for a few month now and in my opinion, it is well worth your time and does help you get going first thing in the morning when starting a new working day.