I am back using OmniFocus. I tried Things earlier in the year but found I missed the OF review system. I need to be able to reviews on a per project basis, with varying timing, otherwise I don’t get the right balance and I can’t review relevantly each week. My high workload means I’ve too much to review everything all the time and no other task manager fits my needs.
I let my Todoist subscription lapse and went with Reminders for a few months (personal) and MS ToDo (work).
MS ToDo is good. It’s also free, and working in an O365 environment it made sense to trial it. I don’t have any major complaints other than usually once a day, clicking on the minimized window in the toolbar would do nothing and I’d have to restart the app.
I just found when things got busy at work and at home, it helped to have everything together in one app utilizing some of the things like filters and kanban view not offered in MS ToDo.
Also, with Todoist’s natural language input I can enter tasks much faster than with ToDo, so there’s less resistance when I’m in the middle of something and want to quickly enter a task during a meeting or something.
Todoist just has a bit more horsepower and since I’ve been using it for years, a lot of my workflow is burned into my memory.
I still use Reminders, but it’s more for the “hey Siri, remind me to switch the laundry in 45 minutes” tasks.
I could never get into Things. Beautiful app for sure, but no Windows/web versions was a non-starter. I also found the lack of natural language processing to cause me to take several additional steps when entering a task.
I’ve been doing this for maybe six months and my sense of what I have “to do” is so much more manageable. I used to be all in on OmniFocus and I’ve also used other digital approaches (nearly every one, it’s a hobby, really), but at least right now I see them as a waste of time. This is probably due to the nature of my work (design, research, writing, teaching). Turns out, I don’t need to put every little thing into a system.
I do forget some things now, but the consequences so far have been minor and my load is lighter, which improves my quality of life.
* It actually took me some time to find the right combo. I tried pencil, which is what Adam uses, but the ones that wrote super smoothly needed to be sharpened and that was a pain. I also needed something broader than my typical pen, but not as a broad as a sharpie. And I needed something I could write quickly and messily with but also write nicely with if I wanted the list to be tidy. Maybe I have just transferred my obsessions from the digital to the analog?
This approach wasn’t intentional and isn’t for everyone, but I’ve ended up with a best of breed/the more the merrier approach.
Due: Sometimes you need a little nagging. Due is really good at that for ephemeral tasks. Only put in what you really need to do though, or it loses its punch.
Reminders: Shopping lists. Required when other people in your life don’t share your enthusiasm for learning new apps.
TickTick - For those tasks, >Due and <Projects, but I’m also spending time with the Amazing Marvin on the side right now and crushing rather hard. TickTick’s days are looking to be numbered.
Obsidian: Only use tasks for work, generally added to the top of meeting notes, typically action items, nothing too complex or multi-step.
Basecamp - Personal stuff (see above, for people in your life don’t share your enthusiasm for learning new apps, this is easy-peasy to use)
LiquidPlanner - Going off the deep end a bit here, but if you need something more complex, this one is clutch. LiquidPlanner has a scheduling engine that runs Monte Carlo simulations on all your projects and is nothing short of pure gold. Need to quickly prioritize one project above the others? Drag it to the top and in a few seconds, all your other project timelines are recalculated. Makes you look smart in meetings, “If we do X before Y, Z is gonna slip at least two weeks”, even though X may only be 1-2 days.
What’s nice about this approach, is that you don’t need to see everything, any time you check for or add something.
I tend to just do thing and look at my task manager every few days.Usually there are a bunch of overdue tasks that I completed days ago.
When I was last serious about task management , around Aug 2021, I migrated tasks from Reminders and Omnifocus into ToDoist. I liked the layout, the NLP, and the ability to remind me of a task “x days” after completion.
The only thing I don’t like is the subscription. But I dislike subscriptions in general.