Todoist: Focus on tasks based on your location

My Todoist workflow

It’s the start of a new year, and I’ve taken a few days leave. So what better time to evaluate my Todoist workflows. Todoist is my go to productivity tool. It keeps me productive, by reminding me of exactly what I should be doing at a particular part of the day.

However one of the issues I had with the way I’d set it up, was my need to perform tasks relating to both work and home life. The real problem though is that life is never as neat and tidy as you may want. For example, if I need to arrange a plumber to come and fix a dripping tap at home, I have to do this during office hours.

So how do I focus on work or home tasks in Todoist without making it a cluttered mess?

The key for me is the use of labels and filters. All my tasks use a label called “home” or “work”, and have a due date. Using these I’ve setup filters to focus to tasks due to be performed today, but also focusing on each label. This allows me to focus on work tasks when at work, and home tasks when at home. However I can also use the default “Today” view if I need to view all tasks side by side. Handy for calling that plumber.

Todoist task formatting tips

I’m a seasoned Todoist user, an online to do list application that works across all devices and browsers. I’d hesitate to call myself a power user, but I do use it extensively both in my professional and personal life.

One of the reasons I love working in the IT sphere, is how applications you’ve used for awhile occasionally surprise you with what they can do. Todoist did that to me today when I watched one of Carl Pullein’s excellent productively YouTube videos. I’ve embedded it below for completeness.

In it Carl formats tasks so that they:

  • Don’t need a date / time scheduled.
  • Are formatted in bold. (Note: I’ve also discovered how to format in italics or both bold & italics).

It’s All About Those Asterisks

Task formatting is as easy as adding one or more asterisk. Check it out in the short video below.

To do lists: I love (and need) them :-)

OK I admit it. I’m a bit of a stickler for detail. Oh and I hate mess. The end result drives my wife mad. Minimalism rules as far as I’m concerned, and that goes for my whole life. Whilst others may rely on pure brainpower to remember to do things, my to do list is online. There’s no scruffy scraps of paper littering my desk.

My Todoist productivity report
My Todoist productivity report

My tool of choice is Todoist. It’s an easy to use to do list app, that has some useful organisational functionality. Some of them are even available in the free version. I use the premium version, which at less than £3 a month is a steal. Among the most useful benefits for me are:

  • Adding taxonomy by adding labels to tasks.
  • Adding comments and file attachments.
  • Creating custom task filters to focus on important tasks.
  • Creating tasks directly from my email client.
  • Synchronizing my task list across multiple devices.

Anyway, enough of the sales pitch. What I wanted to share was Todoist’s statistical analysis of my 2017 productivity.

They sent my a report that is pure nectar for someone like me. It’s full of detail of how many tasks I’ve completed, what days and times of the day I’m most productive, and even the days I postpone or reschedule tasks the most. Yes even someone as organised as me (ha!) can run out of time to do  everything I want.

I won’t bore you with the report’s detail, but the end result of all the backslapping is that I’m among the top 1% of Todoist users in 2017. The exact number of Todoist users seems to be a closely guarded secret, but a smart guess is in the millions.  So if there are two million users, I’m among the top 20,000 for productivity.

Perhaps I need to start recording my productivity. Oh and add a recurring task in Todoist to remind myself to do it 🙂