The Journey to Todoist
I have always used To-Do lists.
Before computers they were paper, of course. I went through all manner of notebooks in my search for something ever better. I even used a folded piece of paper that would fit in my shirt pocket; moving from quadrant to quadrant until I had to start a new sheet by copying the uncompleted tasks forward. Lightweight and convenient.
These ad hoc systems gave way to serious 'organizers' like the Franklin Planner, then the Covey Planner, then the Franklin-Covey Planner. We are up to the late eighties now and I found a dead simple system to use. It only had one desirable feature. You didn't have to copy tasks over to a new piece of paper because it was digital. You carried a piece of paper, a printout, for portability; but you only had to write each To-Do once. Magic!
Then Franklin-Covey computerized their paper system and I bought it even though it was hundreds of dollars a year. I'm not sure a better To-Do list was available at the time.
This got me into the nineties. That's right, the Palm Pilot era. To-Dos, notes, calendar, email, everything but a phone. But who needed that, you had one installed in the car.
Years later - say hello to the iPhone. What more could you want?
Well...A decent To-Do list would be nice.
There were lots of To-Do list apps, but you couldn't synch or share them.
Then I stumbled upon 37 Signals and their app called Backpack, above. I was reading an article by the 'Getting Things Done' guru. He mentioned Backpack was a key tool for him. That got my attention. I even broke down and got a paid version so I could share lists and use it for project management. The hitch was that the mobile apps for Backpack, all by third parties, were a poor substitute for the desktop browser version.
Shortly after finding the 37 Signals solutions, I began using Evernote. Slowly Evernote insinuated itself into my daily process. A couple of years later, I began experimenting with using Evernote for managing To-Dos, below. The economy encouraged thriftiness, and this would eliminate the paid Backpack app. It worked reasonably well.
But Evernote didn't work as well as the upstart, Nozbe. Nozbe was the first really powerful, but easy and free To-Do list for me.
Nozbe, above, really has a great suite of features. Here's a link to Nozbe in the App Store.
Some features caused me to embrace a paid version - in particular more projects than the five included in the free plan.
After I retired, I downsized Nozbe but kept most of its usefulness by exploiting its personality.
One of the things that finally drew me away from Nozbe was finding even more functionality in Things, above.
More functionality like:
I gave it a try and decided it was time for a change. To be fair Things is a paid app. I was using Nozbe free - and my recent check of Nozbe shows that they have added all this missing functionality. But Things is a one time cost, and Nozbe is a subscription.
I've been very happy with Things for the past two years. My methodology is to plan projects in Trello, but the next tasks are copied and pasted into Things so that they are in front of me all the time. I might visit Trello just once a day, but I open Things almost hourly.
But along came Todoist a few months ago. I was intrigued and got a free account to check it out, below.
At first I didn't see any advantage although it is graphically more interesting than Things. But by using it, I found that a lot of the features work better. (P) = premium feature.
Once I realized how much better small projects / large tasks worked in Todoist, I began the transition. This is going really well because 90% of what I want to move from Things are repeating tasks. So when they show up in Things, I recreate them in Todoist. After the first week, there have been just one or two a day, sometimes none. Pretty painless.
Todoist premium is just $29/yr. I actually could live without the premium features, but $29 is a modest amount, and I think Todoist is worth every penny.
Remember, the most powerful To-Do List is still just a list of three tasks that are important to be done next. Luckily these digital To-Do list apps support that concept and make it easier to achieve. Each day, after I tackle my 'Top 3', I start whittling away at the other To-Dos.
Todoist works on just about every platform imaginable - iOS, Android, browsers, Mac, PC, and 8 more. Here's the link to the Apple App Store free version.
Todoist: Todo List for Organizing Work and Errands by Doist
Try it out. Todoist may solve your TO-DO list needs, too. At least for now.
I'm not affiliated with any of the apps mentioned.