When I got a job I started using a to-do list. After much investigation which was watching heaps of review videos, I decided on Todoist. I cannot remember where I found it, but I managed to find a really good setup with labels and filters, based on David Allen’s Getting Things Done. With some modifications, I managed to set it for myself, and it really worked.
When COVID hit and everything shut down, to-do lists seemed pointless – so I let my subscription lapse.
Fast forward to today, things are starting to slowly start up again – which means I also need a task management system again. In the last year, I have moved away from keeping everything in Notion to using it for specific things. I have found that even though you CAN do task management in Notion – doesn’t always mean you should. While yes, it does work for some – for me, it doesn’t. I also moved all my notes out of Notion and into Obsidian because that suits my note-taking style.
Anyway back to to-do lists…
As well as keeping track of what tasks I need to do, even though I am not working in the traditional sense – I consider my profession to be a writer. I am also writing a true crime book, which I also need to keep track of where I am in the research phase. This includes what articles or books I am yet to read and take notes on. Also, keep track of where I am in the writing phase. This will also become using when I am up to the editing and publishing phrases.
Finally, as I am self-managing my NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) funds, I need to be able to track invoices and payments for providers. With the app I also schedule the days I have providers assist me. Finally, as with anything, there are miscellaneous tasks or things to research that I want to keep track of.
With all that being said I decided to get back to Todoist. I had been using TickTick for a while, since March – but there are a few things that it doesn’t have that I need my to-do list to be able to do.
I have broken my life into areas of interest/responsibility. The Life Admin are tasks I have entered manually, while the Alexa To-do list and Shopping list are there because I have my Todoist intergraded with my Alexa app. Finally, under Life we have Bills, to track the days when they get debited.
Events, Learning and Appointments should be straightforward – though one note is that in learning, I have put the class as the main task and each lesson as a sub-task. This is a new way of doing it for me as I used to list every class individually as their own task.
Perpetual Calendar, for those of you who aren’t aware, is for all those dates that happen yearly, so any anniversaries, birthdays or special occasions go in here.
Finally, there is my writing list. At the moment this is just split up into blog and Crutchy Push, though this will change as I take on articles or expand where I write.
I use A LOT of labels. However, this is the best way I have found it works for me. I group my label colour mostly by the subject they are related to. The only ones I do not do that for are the calendar, the energy level or whether it is an errand or a bill.
TEAL: This colour tells me what I will be doing, or what the task primarily involves.
MAGENTA: This is the location of where I have to be. I have added Online because even though I may be at home when these tasks happen – I have to specifically be online.
PURPLE: This is for health and disability-related.
YELLOW: These relate directly to my writing. These are the categories of my blog post. I will most likely add the rest later, it is just those two that I use a lot.
CHARCOAL: This is the specific equipment, if any, that is needed to do the task.
OLIVE: A rough amount of time that it will take to do the task. Deep work is when I will need concentrated time.
GREY: These are if there are any people or animals that are needed to complete the task.
So even though there are a lot of tags, when I pick the location, people, equipment etc – most times there only be one of every colour on a single task.
I will most likely add more tags as things come up. I know there are a few more things I want to add – but the set-up will remain the same.
These, for the most part, should be self-explanatory.
Overdue will look at my tasks with due dates and any that are overdue will go here, you could also add the formula to also include the tasks that are due today.
I have kept them the same colour as the tags – because I like coordination. Whenever I click on one of these filters it will show the corresponding tags. In the Celebrations This Month filter, I have added extra qualifiers so that it only shows me the next month. For the energy filters, it will show all the tasks that are low energy, no matter what Project they are in; likewise, pets will show all the tasks tagged with either Ted or Nellie.
The only things I haven’t mentioned are priorities. As they are built into Todoist, I don’t need to have a label for them. Yet, because of the way the app is made, I can still use it as a filter and see all my priority 1, 2, 3 or 4 tasks.
Finally, recurring is for tasks that repeat and no due date is for my someday maybe list.
Though it took a few days to set up, it already feels so good to get back into something that is so familiar.