Today I want to share how I use one of my favorite task managers—which is, obviously, Todoist.
The secret to my success with Todoist is that I take advantage of separating out my projects, and separating out the various ‘hats’ I wear in the businesses I run. Below I’ve pulled a bunch of screenshots from my Todoist to show you what I mean.
Using the seven-day view
First, on any given day (actually, everyday), I log in to Todoist and take a look at my to do list in the seven-day view. This allows me to see how tasks are going to be spaced out and make sure the quantity I’ve assigned to a day is realistic. Things I either didn’t tackle or didn’t quite finish are always at the top. That day’s task is right below.
On the left, you can also see how I’ve grouped various projects, as well as color coded things based on the business. Vivaleur (my design studio) is pink, vmac+cheese (my blog) is purple, and below this, The B Bar (duh!) is yellow. Within each group, I have additional nested ‘categories.’ For design work, I have current projects, as well as upcoming ones based on month, and within each of these, a folder for each clients name. We’ll get to why this is important in just a sec. For the blog and The B Bar, I’ve also broken out the different ‘hats’ I wear for each:
For my blog, I have project folders related to editorial content, sponsored content, contributor content, and administrative items.
Similarly, for the B Bar, I have a folder for product-based to dos, our blog, and administrative items. This allows me to add tasks specific to each area.
With so many different hats to wear, my paper to do lists became a huge jumble, and sometimes it was hard to keep things straight. Separating out each area of the business in Todoist allows me to think more clearly about what needs to get done.
For example, for The B Bar, I might jot ideas or specific tasks related to products in the products folder—maybe designing a book, or following up with a contributor about their book. In the well, I’ll write down when blog posts are due. And in admin, I’ll add tasks like “complete payroll” or “update website.” For client projects, it’s especially useful. Client projects are always at different stages, so listing out what’s going on with each helps me keep track. For example, “Shirley” is nearing the end of her project, so here are items in her project folder:
Once I finish preparing her files, I’ll add a due date to send her the invoice, which will appear in the seven-day view I mentioned above. Then I can check it off my list!
Conversely, “Ashley” has a project that is about to start, so I’ve set up a due date to send her project moodboard. With this particular client, I also recently met with her and she had some web development questions, so I’ve made a note to follow up with my developer on those. I’ll likely set a date for that today and have it done today or tomorrow.
Keeping track of personal to-dos
To do this, I can type in a task, and then add a due date. The great thing about Todoist is that in addition to “postponing” tasks you don’t get to, you can add recurring dates to things as well. So for example, in my personal folder, I have a monthly reminder set up for when to mail in my rent, or give Lucy (my pup) flea medicine.
Similarly, I love being able to blend my personal to do items with everything else, and have it in one seamless list (again, in the seven day view). I can put things like “order toiletries” or “pick up dry cleaning” right alongside “send invoice”, and things get checked off each day. Let’s take a look at the 7 day view again:
Today, I’ll be tackling French homework (personal), finishing a post for my blog (editorial), as well as working on final web design files for both “Shirley” and “Meredith.” I can also see what the remainder of my week looks like, and re-assign tasks as necessary.
Pretty nifty, huh? And PS, in case you were wondering — I changed all my clients’ names to respect their privacy.