By Jill Bilich

DoDoIt App on Iphone

I had just landed a great new job and was excited about the newness of things and the opportunity for change and new challenges.  My boss, who I had quickly built respect for as a fellow process and efficiency nerd, had recommended that I track my tasks using his tried and true method.  I was so eager to learn from this new mentor that I quickly dropped my old task-tracking app, Todoist, and adopted his system.  A few weeks into the job I was extremely overwhelmed by my workload and trying to figure out what was wrong with me.  At first Figure out what is brokenI chalked it up to being the newbie and figured I was just at the very bottom of the learning curve, but over time my frustration grew because I was confident I could be handling much more than my current work-load without the anxiety I was experiencing.   I just had to figure out what was broken.

Todoist web browser app

I met with my boss and expressed my concerns and what he told me changed everything. He explained some things he learned from David Allen’s book Getting Things Done, and personal experience, specifically that an incomplete task becomes an “open loop” running in our brain.  Part of your mind will attempt to remember this item over and over throughout the day because we’re scared to forget it.  This background worry burns vital brain power, especially as your task list mushrooms.  We can shut down this wasted load of worry by placing the tasks somewhere that we know we can find them when we need them.   That was my problem!  My brain was working way harder than it needed to all because I didn’t trust my newly-adopted task manager to organize and maintain each item in a way that was easy to find and lacked chaos.   At this point, I felt like I had made a breakthrough!  I was seeing so clearly now.  Then, to take it one step further, it clicked that I actually knew of a tool that could fix my problem.  Todoist had been there all along, just waiting for me to pick up again.  I never would have guessed that one tool could have had such a huge impact on the way I worked that I would feel this lost without it.  I decided that it was time to return to this app that I once loved.  Todoist and I were getting back together!

Todoist, how I love thee let me count the ways:

  1. You’re always there for me when I need you.
    • Todoist is free and is available in the form of an app (Android or Apple), or web browser both on and offline and it automatically syncs when connected to internet.
  2. You never let me down.
    • In using Todoist for the last year+ on a daily basis I’ve had no downtime or errors occur.
    • Being able to create recurring tasks, makes it so these items repeat automatically and won’t ever drop off your radar.
    • If I goof up, the undo option allows you to quickly correct it.
  3. You take everything I throw at you and just roll with it.
    • The ability to create unlimited projects allows for an endless organizational capacity even in the most multi-faceted of roles.
    • You can choose from four priority levels so that you organize your task list each day in the order that focuses on the most time sensitive items first.
  4. You always encourage me.
    • When my list of tasks have all been completed (or rescheduled) at the end of the day, I receive a reminder to enjoy the rest
      of my day and am given a quick summary of how many tasks I completed. I leave the office thinking about all that I accomplished today, not looking at everything I still have to complete.
  5. You never forget the important things.
    • I can look back on my history of tasks, organized by day to analyze where time is being spent and evaluate my productivity.

Just to be clear, I’m not claiming that Todoist is the best fit for everyone, but I do encourage you to find tools that will eliminate wasted time and energy so that you can free that awesome brain of yours up for higher level activity than remembering to water the plants.  Also, for those paper and pencil people out there, this is a great blog from a Todoist-convert that may speak directly to you:

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