A while back I wrote about GTD and an app I’d recently started using – Things by Cultured Code. Since then, I’ve come to use it in my own way, but I struggled to fully embrace it due to the lack of cross-platform support, which made it difficult to use at work. I know I could have used it on my phone, or an iPad, but it’s not the same as having that easy access desktop application; so I looked into other solutions.
With that in mind, I tried Wunderlist for a couple of weeks at the beginning of February. I’ll get it out in the open straight away; I love Wunderlist, I’ve followed it since it was first released, but never really found a great deal of use for it for a sustained period. The latest version still has all the cross-platform support, it’s quick, it has real-time sync, and it looks great… It just wasn’t quite right for me and how I work. It seemed like a very manual approach to GTD, but more importantly, I found I couldn’t organise things the way that suited me. Onto something else then.
After some more research into various ‘todo’ apps that worked cross-platform, I came across Todoist and it seemed to fit my needs quite nicely. I did a little further research into how others have used Todoist while adhering to the principles of GTD, but quite quickly found that there was no one ‘true’ setup to make this work.
Todoist offers a premium version as well as a free version, and I’m currently halfway through a trial for the premium version, the features of which allow me to organise my tasks the way I want to organise them, at a price I’m happy to pay – £18 per year. There’s also the karma, which gamifies my tasks; I rather like the notion of having a score for doing the things I want/have to do, though this is easily turned off if that’s not really your kind of thing.
I think one of the best features in Todoist, however, is the natural language processing for due dates and reminders. To give an example, I have tasks to call people to keep in touch every so often, and I have the due date of that set to
after 3 weeks starting on 10 apr – my first task will appear as due on April 10th, and then appear as due another 3 weeks after I mark the first one as done. It’s so simple to define what you need, and this is only going to get easier with the recent release of Todoist 10, which supports even more complex definitions.
I think I’m going to continue with Todoist premium after the trial ends; the iOS app is great, as are the Mac/Windows apps (essentially desktop wrappers for the website) which both offer a global OS shortcut to create new tasks. I find this global shortcut almost indispensable, if something comes to mind while I’m writing some code at work, I just press the shortcut, type the task, and continue my work.
I’ll write a follow-up post shortly to describe how I’ve come to use Todoist, as I found that kind of post by others helped me figure out how I want to use the app.