Made-Up Bits

a personal blog, by Sven Seebeck -

An accidental blog-post about my Task-Manager situation

All I wanted was to write a little post with all the apps that I am currently using on the phone. As I reached the section with the task-managers, my writing got out of hand turned into this: a full blog-post.

During the last year I have been going back and forth again between task-managers and found myself switching between Todoist and Microsoft ToDo (currently mainly using Microsoft ToDo (a beta-version). To make sure, I have spent many, many hours in Todoist, am paying for it and like it because it’s everywhere, it’s flexible and works mostly the way I like.

Well mostly…

What is its strength also is one of its distracting aspects for me: it invites me to tinker with setups, filters, i.e. build perspectives and so on. The other day I built a filter showing me only entries for a certain month. That’s great and would make for a great blog-post, but had been also a huge time sink. At the moment it has become, what OmniFocus used to be for me: a place to optimize my setup, that is, to tinker.

The problem here is not the app of course, but me, I realized that way too many times (think: themes, writing apps, blogging-platforms… I could go on for a while).

Todoist does many things very well, and one thing that I would like to see in Todoist, and one feature that Microsoft ToDo already has, is that when I open a task, I can actually see the task as well as all of it’s related info such as due date, reminders, notes or steps without extra opening those. Sounds like a small thing, but it makes all the difference to me. From my experience with task managers, I can only recall Things for iOS/Mac OS to present tasks in a similar way.

Microsoft ToDo, the successor to Wunderlist, on the other hand is (by the time of this writing) a much simpler application and not nearly as integrated into anything else as Todoist. The overall design is more calm and, to me, more pleasant to the eye. It is a merely list-manager with some tricks upon its sleeve, most notably the My Day view.

What I like about the My Day view is that it starts like a blank slate every day. No big red letters or buttons reminding of me what I didn’t do yesterday, that comes in just a little later.

I like how the app suggest tasks, based on due dates or other criteria to do just this day, think like forcing a daily review. It doesn’t make me feel bad for not-finishing a task, something that I’m increasingly good at. Not the the feeling bad part, but the not-doing part. In fact, the more I think about it, it does feel a bit, like using a paper book as a task manager.

That brings me to the next task-manager-system I have been recently interested in: the Bullet Journal.

I can’t say that I have spent a lot time learning about it, or using it for that matter, but I can say that I like the tactile aspect, that I can turn pages and look at stuff, that I can literally dribble in it. Writing by hand, has a surprising soothing effect. But, of course there’s a but, it just feels like too much work for me. Also it is very, very bad, abysmally so, with emails, bookmarks or anything that I come around on any of my devices. I could though imagine using a similar system complementary to a digital one.

So, for the time being I will rather stick ToDo for the aforementioned reasons, even if that means that I will lose, OMG, Karma-Points in Todoist (holiday mode to the rescue). At the moment Microsoft ToDo it is missing only a few things to lure me cover completely. But looking at the upcoming features, I guess that might be not taking long.

And if that doesn’t work out, I can go back to Todoist, the BJ, or the…

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