Mohammad Emran Hasan
Mohammad Emran Hasan

Mohammad Emran Hasan

Increase productivity with Todoist

Increase productivity with Todoist

Mohammad Emran Hasan's photo
Mohammad Emran Hasan
·Sep 3, 2008·

4 min read

If you’re like me, you’d want to keep your ever busy life a bit organized. Being a techie, you’d first find a tool that will facilitate you in doing so. Most of us are fan of a number of such tools: RememberTheMilk, BackPack, Ta-Da List, 30boxes, Microsoft OneNote, Stickies etc. I’ve also tried all of them and a few others, stuck with them for a few days, but later lost the interest. This happened until one of colleagues, Anis, suggested me to have a look on Todoist.

At first sight, I thought it as “okay…another web 2.0 brainchild”. It seemed too simple to handle my complicated needs and I did not have high ambition with it. But as days passed, I was discovering new new features of it and gradually it became a part of my life. I’m a big fan of Getting Things Done (GTD) approach and Todoist became my dropbox for all the tasks in my mind.

If you ask me what’s so special about Todoist, I’d mention the following few features:

Simplicity

Todoist is damn simple and hosts one of the most powerful yet sleek web 2.0 interface on the web. It allows you to have an unlimited nested category/project list and under each of them, unlimited nested task list. This is something that most other tools miss. For me, it’s a super MUST feature.

Shortcuts

I was never fond of using shortcuts in web apps, but Todoist has made me use it’s ones. With very simple and familiar shortcuts, you can easily perform the most used tasks in a flash. For example, you press a to add a new task, Ctrl+Left / Ctrl+Right to indent/outdent your task, Ctrl+Enter to save the current item and add a new one below, etc etc. When you get used to with them, you’ll find that you’re using them unconsciously.

Powerful Date

Todoist features one of the most powerful date input system. It understands any natural date entry you can have: today, friday, next tuesday, tomorrow @ 5pm, last friday, etc. And it’s not limited to that only, you can add recurring dates in as simple way: ev day @1pm, every fri, every 2nd mon, etc.

Task Query

So, you’ve added a bunch of tasks and now want to find out a small set of them. How do you do that? Simple, type the query in the Todoist query box at top left. Example: tod, tom, next 4 days, overdue, @meeting, etc. Btw, Todoist allows you to tag your tasks with a very simple manner. Just put a “@tag” in your task details and it will become a tag. You can later query using that tag as well.

Reminders

Like all other similar applications, Todoist also features a number of reminder methods. You can plug in your jabber client, ask it to send you sms, or fire an email. Moreover, if you’re one of those twitter fans, then it can send msg to your twitter also. What more can someone need?

API

Yes, I knew you’d ask about it. Todoist has a very simple yet powerful set of API functions that you can use to fetch the contents from your account. They return the data in JSON format so you can use it in your JavaScript based applications and also can use in any back-end applications as well by converting them as per your need. And it has a number of different plugins for QuickSilver, Launchy, Mac Dashboard, iGoogle, Netvibes, etc. And lastly, there is a Firefox sidebar which integrates seamlessly into your firefox for a faster and smarter access to your tasks.

Some missing functionality

Although Todoist boosts an array of excellent features and satisfies all my needs in full, I’d love to have a few more features in it: Offline access (using Google Gear), Export/Import of tasks, iCal/RSS, Google Calendar Integration etc. The best part is, they’ve opened a place to hear from the users and are willing to value the user’s voice.

All in all, Todoist is my most favorite tool on the web at this moment. It helps me like a little buddy and keeps my life organized and clean. I’d ask you to give it a try and stick with it for a couple days and I am more than sure that you’ll find its beauty.

Happy tasking !

 
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