Recently, I wrote about zero inbox, my hack for getting rid of email stress and mess. I also mentioned that it depends on having a to-do list that can link back to your email messages.
A few years ago, I started using the free version of Todoist, an elegant and dependable app developed by a Germany-based software company. I was so pleased that I upgraded a year or so ago to their Premium version for $3/mo, billed annually.
Getting the most out of my to-do list requires a little skill and effort. Here’s how I add tasks to todoist:
- Using the todoist extension in Chrome, I create an item for (almost) every task I encounter. The extension makes it easy to link to an email message or browser tab that’s open.
- I avoid creating duplicate to-do items for tech docs deliverables I’m already tracking in an enterprise tool, like Jira or Bugzilla. Duplicates double or triple the amount of maintenance work I have to do.
- For tasks I’m already tracking in enterprise tools, I create an umbrella task like “Work on the top priority item in Jira.”
- Because this work is my highest priority, I type “p1” as a keyword in the item’s description: Todoist highlights the task with a red checkbox and moves it to the top of my to-do list.
- I also mention the “every weekday” keyword, so Todoist makes this item a recurring task.
- Finally, I click “Add website as task” so Todoist includes a link to Jira in the to-do item. This helps me reduce the number of open tabs in my browser, so I’m more productive.