Task Management Re-Visited (with Todoist)
I struggled a long time to find task management software I like. That struggle has ended: Todoist has been meeting my needs for 2 months now.
Let me start with some context. At Fireman & Company we have tried several web-based, collaborative task managers. We were excited about Asana for a time and then realized it was overkill for our needs. For our internal business management, we now use Basecamp. I like Basecamp well enough but it does not lay out my tasks quite the way I want. Plus, it is collaborative so I have personal tasks I want to keep separate. For our client project management we use Smartsheet (which allows us to share project management details with our clients) and we use DoneDone for tracking reported issues and their paths to resolution.
On and off over the years I have tried other web-based task managers but none met my needs. Todoist, in contrast, works very well for me. I find it easy to create, sort, tag, and organize my tasks. It offers many ways to view tasks; I use the seven-day view most often but will also view my work vs personal tasks (categories I created). I also like that I can create “labels” for tasks and filter for them; this allows more granularity and organization. Each task has its own notes associated with it; creating, viewing, editing, and adding to notes is all very easy. Todoist allows sub-tasks but so far I have not use that feature very much.
Todoist works across all platforms (PC, Mac, iOS, and Android) so I can see and add tasks on my iPhone. I tend not to use my iPhone for task management but I like being able to add a task from it; in the past, I would have sent myself an email (yes, very primitive, I know).
There are some cool features. I especially like being able to set-up an email or SMS reminder on a task. That’s particularly helpful for off-hour tasks when I am not in front of a computer to monitor my tasks or see reminder. If you invest a bit of time learning syntax, the search and task due date setting features are quite powerful. You can also attach documents, including from Google Drive, to tasks. (Some of these features require the premium subscription.)
The company has many very short videos to help learn features, most of which are great. Searching for help in the form of text, however, yields hits on prior Q&A exchanges with tech support. That yields both some good and bad hits. I was very impressed by the fast and helpful email responses I received to my specific questions.
When I contrast my Todoist experience with how I used tasks in Microsoft Outlook, it is night and day. One of my (many) complaints about Microsoft is that product version number increases not withstanding, core functionality of many features across the Office Suite have not improved to my satisfaction. (For example, I never found a way in Outlook 2010 to re-size the task reminder pop-up.)
Clearly, your choice of task management software will depend on your own preferences but if you are not happy with what you now I have, I suggest looking at Todoist.
[End Note: The final context note here is that I made the move to Todoist in connection with switching from a PC to a Mac and getting off of Outlook altogether. I will reserve for another day a post about my transition experience. For now, I can say that while I miss some elements of Outlook, I’m glad to be done with it. And glad to have found Todoist, which eased the transition.]
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