Zen To Done with Todoist Part 3

  • Part one covers the first three habits; Collect, Process, and Plan
  • Part two addresses Do, Simple Trusted System, and Organise
  • Part three deals with Review, Simplify and Routines

Review and Simplify Habits

At the end of each working day I review my day, thinking about what went well and any lessons learnt. In the context of Todoist, I review the tasks I’ve completed that day and what are still outstanding. I do similar on a weekly and monthly basis too. I try to notice any emerging patterns of usage and use those insights to update my projects or labels to suit.

I still feel that I can do better at simplification and ensuring that I “zero the decks” often. I use my “Dusty Tasks” (created before: -90 days & no date) filter to identify tasks that have been hanging around a while that haven’t been completed. Any that show no signs of getting actioned any time soon get deleted. If they raise their heads again then I’ll no doubt add them back when they next cross my mind.

Routines Habit

I have found that having regular routines help me to get the most done. I follow quite a strict and regimented morning routine which sets me up for a good day. My daily plan has a brief overview of the day’s goal and has morning, day and evening sections where I note information and tasks. Each morning I review my plan for the day, taking into account anything new that’s occurred updating the tasks in Todoist accordingly.

Todoist’s natural language date parsing is very flexible which makes it a cinch for setting recurring tasks under #Routines. For example I do my invoicing on the first Monday of every month. I enter p2 @admin Create Freckle Invoices every first Monday of the month to set the recurring entry up.

As I mentioned earlier I theme my days for efficiency to group like tasks and give me clearer focus each day. If I complete my planned tasks for the day then I can filter the tasks by the theme label to select further tasks. In practice it doesn’t always work out as well as I hope but I find it to be a helpful practice to maintain focus and be productive.

At the end of the day, I conduct an “end of day” review and a little shutdown ritual inspired by Deep Work. I often check in on my Todoist Karma status to see how the day has gone.

Karma Status

You might notice that my primary projects each have a different colour (all the sub-projects are coloured the same as the parent). That enables me to easily see how the days have broken down over the past week and month. (At the time I took the screenshot I’d been on holiday for a few days so I’ve only been completing my regular routine - one other nice feature of Todoist is its vacation mode so that streaks and Karma status aren’t lost when you’re not working.)

Conclusion

Whilst not without its foibles, Todoist has become an essential part of my ZTD-inspired trusted system. I rely on it daily to keep me focused and on-track. I’ve tried many todo systems over the years and I can safely say that Todoist has lasted longer than the rest. Its simple yet flexible options mean you should be able to tweak it to suit your needs and workflows. I’d highly recommend you give it a try to get things done.


Got any questions or comments? Drop me a message on Twitter (@elaptics).