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Johannes Holmberg

UI developer & designer

I’ve used Todoist for almost a year now and it works exceptionally well. I don’t remember how I found it but I remember I had a strong need for something lean to help me get through the days in a more comfortable manner.

In the past, I think I’ve tried out everything there is in the industry but they were either too complex (read Things and Omnifocus) or too limited (read Apple reminders and Clear).

When I have something I need to remember to get done, it has got to go fast to get it down. Minimizing that friction is ultimate key for me using a todo-system. Second key for the system to succeed is that I need to be aware of the things I should do, when I have to do it.

Todoist comes with the standard Mac/iPhone/iPad app setup but it also has a useful web interface. Neat thing about the Mac app is the minimized version sitting in the toolbar. That gives quick access for getting entries down. What’s even better is that it can be assigned to a keyboard shortcut to activate. Mine is SHIFT + CMD + U.

So for instance when I’m in a meeting with a client, demonstrating a new feature on their website and they pop a request for a small change, or a piece of information they need from me. I can quickly SHIFT + CMD + U, write it down with due date in plain text where I usually go for 'tomorrow', if it’s not 'today' urgent. Hit enter and it’s gone and I can continue my presentation.

This takes seconds.

It won’t deviate from the course of the meeting, it doesn’t disturb anyone and I won’t forget to do it later on. It’s out of my head, my mental space is saved up. Perfect.

Same goes for if I’m in the middle of a coding session. “I should definitely not forget to pick this package up for Linda tomorrow morning”. SHIFT + CMD + U — write it down — go back to work.

I love it.

It doesn’t stray me from what I’m doing and I can keep focus on my current task. I don’t have to wait for things to load. I don’t have to look for a place to save it. I don’t have to figure out how to label it.

If I’m not at the computer I use the phone to add a task. Definitely not as friction free but it’s okay.

My favorite thing in Todoist is the way it handle agendas. Every morning I get an email with the list of todays actions. This list is perfect to go through over the morning tea.

Simple tasks I try to do directly in the morning. For other tasks—more related to a specific time before I can commit to them—I set a reminder so they’ll come back to me later on during the day.

I’ve enjoyed using Todoist over the last year and I’ve benefitted by being able to get so much more things out of my head. It’s a great feeling, knowing that the system you set up is working for you (and not the other way around), helping you to remember things at just the right time so there is no need for you to worry about it.