Wizzard efficiency in the home or office
I had a look at ToDoIst way back in 2016 and, quite frankly, wasn’t too impressed. But, now, three years later, I tried again, and what an improvement.
How can I best describe it? Well in a few words, it is based on the “Getting Things Done" technique. The first thing to do is to use the free version for a month; this will allow you to get to know the basics. If you are really impressed, ToDoIst offer a month’s free trial of the Premium version, so you can now see if you want to take advantage of the extras on offer. After a week of the month’s free trial, I subscribed to the Premium version and have never looked back.
So what do we do to start? In the left hand slider panel, there are six items. First of all I’ll talk about the first three. Inbox, Today, and the Next Seven Days. The Inbox is where you add every task and action you need to do. In the early days this might take some time, but once you are doing it, it will be five or ten minutes work a day. Nearer the former.
When you have added everything, you would look at the first of the next and last three items in the slider. These are Projects, Labels and Filters. Labels and Filters will be described later as they are only available in the Premium version. Under Projects, you need to list all your projects, but also general ones, such as Health, Staff, Repairs and Renewals or, if you are using it for home use, Personal, Home, Hobbies etc. Then you would go into the Inbox, click on each item, and add it to the Project where it needs to be done.
In addition, Premium users can also add Labels, such as Home, Office, Local area, Email, Telephone, Research, Administration etc. Also, Premium Users can include Filters, such as Priority 1, through to Priority 4 (these can be renamed). Each project has a unique email address so contacts can send data via email to automatically add to the project. If others have ToDoIst, then they can share a particular Project, and add to it.
When I first started, I wrote into the Inbox every task I had outstanding, every possible task I might need to do in the future and, once this was done, I penned a list of all projects I had on the go, and all the projects which would come up in the future. Also standard “catch-all” Projects, such as Health, Home, Kitchen etc.
Then I went through each item in the inbox, placing all the tasks into my various projects, and the date I wanted to start them. As each task information was completed, that task vacated the Inbox to be placed in the designated Project for future action.
Finally, hours later I had cleared my Inbox. Each day afterwards, I would spend less than five minutes throughout the day adding tasks, dating them and sending them to the appropriate Project. This worked very well, but as I read up about Todoist on the web, I began to see how useful it was to add Labels and Filters. Labels can be colour coded, so I label home, local area and places I go to regularly in green. Then Telephone, Email, Texts etc. in red. I have many more but these will do as an example. Each label in the slider also lists the number of tasks in them – as do Projects and filters – so if I had a West End label and there was a number 3 next to them, that means three tasks, or three things I could do in the West End of London with one visit.
As mentioned, Projects also have the number of items collected shown. This has advantages as if you have free time, you can work on all tasks on that project together to save your mind having to jump about from one subject to another.
Labels are also useful, I have renamed my Labels as Very Urgent, Important, Routine, or Some Day. Naturally, I look at Very Urgent first each day, before making other decisions.
Those who have read David Allen’s book “Getting Things Done” will immediately recognise the benefit of this system. It is available on Windows, Apple, or if you are a Linux user they have a web app. In addition, there are mobile apps for Android and iPhone.
But, strictly for those with an Android phone who like playing, is a full blown ToDo program called "DGT GTD". This will do everything but is complex and time consuming. I love playing with it but ToDoist is the one I use for real.