My 2021 Workflow - back to the basics via hyperscheduling


After having a personal productivity crisis --you have a cool productvity app? I have probably tried it!-- I decided to go against task managing so to speak.

So I have put aside Amazing Marvin for the time being (my uber task manager of choice after Things, Todoist, Omnifocus, Goodtask and another plethora) and now everything runs through my calendar.

The task manager I’m using now (Apple Reminders) works as the repository of categorized tasks but every morning I go to it and decide which tasks I will do this day. After this quick process, the task manager is only used as an Inbox.

But the new aspect here for me is that the task manager is now second fiddle – the calendar is king. So I have the habit of checking tasks in the calendar. I’m not using Fantastical’s Reminders integration, it’s much simpler: I have another calendar as an archive log. So when I finish a task (in its slotted time), I move it to the archive calendar and then it disappears from my view so I get the little dopamine hit of checking something off.

But the calendar is king only for the day. Every Sunday night, I review the goals (thery are in a Numbers sheet, nothing fancy) and assign time slots. In this way, I am aware of how many hours I can put into several objectives (learning to read sheet music, playing Chopins’ Nocturne n20 -which I am learning by ear at the moment-, exercising, learning quantum computing, journaling, meditation…) so it’s a session of viewing available time and dropping blocks here and there. Also, of tracking advance in every goal (did I journal every day? how many bars of the Nocturne can I confidently play now? how many minutes of exercise?) in the Numbers sheet.

So, the task manager will surface the “need to take the trash out” recurrent task but they will have to compete for a slot that is not already occupied by one of the quarter objectives. Basically, I am avoiding menial tasks to over-run the important tasks, a la Eisenhower Matrix.

Also I am quantifying other habits (cigarettes smoked, pomodoros, glasses of water) through Habitica. Every day in my Wind Down Ritual I write down the numbers in the Numbers sheet so I can track progress.

As you can see, there is nothing fancy here, only I am using stock apps so I have stopped fiddling with my system for the time being. At this time I think my objectives are more like trying to establish healthy/good habits rather than projects like (“build a new bike shed”) so this thing currently works for me.



I have commenced a similar process. I am finding that tasks are more likely to be completed if I allocate a time to attend to them in Calendar.

I use the code in the link to Time Block selected Reminders that are due Today, This Week or All. There is a bit of configuration at the top of the code but it is pretty self-explanatory. Hope it may be of some value to you.



My needs are such that a robust task/project manager like OF, Things or Asana (I use both Asana and Things) is essential to track multiple, complex projects across departments involving many people. But, you are right, it is essential to allocate time.

My approach is to allocate 6:30-9:30 (I’m a morning person) each day for projects Monday through Saturdays. Saturday mornings are devoted to my book project and research. Each morning is devoted more or less to a specific project or projects. The remainder of the day is devoted to meetings, calls, etc.

For my needs, this combines the best that calendaring and task management programs can offer. I use DEVONthink as my repository for professional and personal document storage. I’m experimenting with Craft for all meeting/project notes with links to tasks in Things and/or Asana and documents in DEVONthink, which indexes Google Drive and iCloud folders as well as native documents. The deep linking between Things, Asana, Apple Mail, my calendar and DEVONthink is working extremely well.

Back in the late 1990s, before “Getting Things Done copyright DavidCo 2001” I read another book with the same title (I believe, I can’t put my hands on it now) which basically said: “If you have a to-do item and you don’t schedule time to do it, chances are you won’t do it. So schedule all of your to-do items.”

I can see the benefit of having a calendar that is only events that have to take place at a certain time/place (“Meet Bob at 3pm on Tuesday”) and I realize that tasks can be more easily moved around, but I think that’s pretty easily solved by putting Events on one “calendar” in your app and “Things To Do” on another. Most apps make it easy to set colors for each calendar so you could differentiate them that way too, if it helps.

Yup, Calendar is king. I keep mine open the whole day.

Couple days ago there was a thread about unifying and, and I mentioned BusyCal, great app shows both Calendar and Reminders in a unified Calendar view.

Got rid of Things, OF, DevonThink, etc. It was becoming harder to stay on top of things.

So, now I add reminders/to-do/events/anything into BusyCal.

I instead use for any complex to-do, using its Checklist feature.
It is Good enough.