Todoist Productivity App System
Todoist is a fully-functional app system that provides users with the tools to tackle their to-do lists in a manageable way. For years, I've dealt with multiple lists and floating ideas in my head that keep me from actually accomplishing anything. Todoist has helped me tame that messy lifestyle in a short amount of time. For me, it's the ultimate to-do list manager. It has lots of features and one account allows you to connect all your most-used devices together so you always have access to your system.
- EASE OF USE
Todoist helps users free up their mental space to focus on the most important tasks.
I don’t know about you, but I lose focus a lot during the day. Countless distractions take me away from my desk – both physically and mentally – and it can be hard to remember exactly what I planned on doing next. I’ve tried a lot of different ‘to do’ systems over the years and none of them seem to stick with me.
I always end up spreading my notes out everywhere – on paper, in Reminders, in OneNote, in Notion…they are literally everywhere. In the interest of full transparency, I didn’t think Todoist would stick either. I thought, “I’ll do the review of it and then never use it again.” Well, I was most definitely wrong on that. Once I integrated it into my life, it has become a necessity and I don’t see myself going without it now.
Details of Todoist
Todoist is a productivity app system that gives users the confidence to stay organized and make progress on things that are important.
Use Todoist to:
- Capture and organize tasks the moment they pop into your head.
- Remember deadlines with reminders and due dates.
- Build lasting habits with recurring due dates like “every Monday”.
- Collaborate on projects by assigning tasks to others.
- Prioritize your tasks with priority levels.
- Track your progress with personalized productivity trends.
- Integrate your tools like Gmail, Google Calendar, Slack, Amazon Alexa and more.
Available on any device, Todoist will quickly become your hub for getting work and life organized.
Why you’ll love it on macOS:
- Quickly add tasks from anywhere with cmd+shift+A.
- Simply type details like “tomorrow at 4pm” and Todoist will recognize it all for you.
- A Safari extension comes built-in to quickly plan your day and add websites as tasks.
- All the power from macOS: Siri, Today widget, Share extension, and more.
Todoist also provides some additional valuable resources through their website.
A bit of history
Todoist has been around since 2007. When I started reviewing apps in 2012, I looked for a good to-do list manager because I really wanted to move my lists off of paper and into the digital realm. I remember perusing the app options at the time and Todoist was one of them. At the time, it just seemed like too much and I passed it over. Now, I appreciate all it has to offer.
Like a lot of apps, it was built by one developer, but it has expanded in the past 15 years to build a company of more than 70 people. Amir Salihefendić, the founder and CEO of Doist, the company behind Todoist, developed the app system around a productivity method called Systemist.
This method involves the following process.
- Take it everywhere
- Capture everything
- Break it into small, actionable tasks
- Get to to-do list zero daily
- Get consistent feedback
Salihefendić describes this process at length on their company blog so I won’t write it all out here, but one thing that caught my eye when doing research on the app was this.
I first came up with Systemist and started building Todoist in 2007 while at university. I was living in a dorm room in Aarhus, Denmark, studying computer science. On top of a full class load, I also had a lot of personal projects and two part-time jobs. As a result, I was unorganized, stressed out, and barely able to keep up. I knew I needed a system to manage my life.
Even though I’m no longer a full-time student, I definitely understand this acrobatic lifestyle and how hard it is to juggle it all. Things inevitably fall through the cracks. But, when I first read about this process, I felt overwhelmed – until I realized I was already doing it.
My Todoist Experience
The first two steps of the Systemist process – Take it everywhere and Capture everything – helps to prevent the loss of important tasks in your life. I noticed right away when I started using the Todoist app system that I was able to capture every single action item from meetings, emails, and messages and place them in a to-do list.
I remember exactly when it all clicked for me. One night, I was having trouble sleeping. My dog had woken me up and before trying to go back to sleep, I rolled over and grabbed my phone, which has both my personal and work email accounts on it. As I browsed through them, dozens of thoughts swirled around in my head.
I just wanted to get those ideas and tasks out of my head because I realized the thing that was keeping me awake was the stress over not remembering those items. So, I opened Todoist and started very simply. I just dumped all the thoughts and action items from my mind and emails into the inbox. At that point, I thought, “Ok. Now I can go back to sleep and I can organize that in the morning.”
The next day, I started my day by looking at the Inbox. At first, I was a little mad at myself because I don’t like mixing up my personal and professional reminders together. But I realized that unless I had all of those action items in one place, something would be missed. I thought for a moment that I would only be able to access my Todoist lists on my personal MacBook Air, iPhone, and iPad and not my work computer (a 2019 MacBook Pro).
Then, I realized that a person’s Todoist account is tied to an email address – and not a specific machine. It was a HUGE “Ah-Ha!” moment for me. I set to work organizing my Inbox into two projects to start – work and personal. At first, that was perfect. For the next day or so, I continued just working in that manner – adding items to the Inbox and sorting it out later.
Towards the end of the first day, I discovered that I could choose the project when I created the to-do item. That saved me even more time because items I knew were for work, I created as a part of that project and didn’t have to worry about them being in my Inbox at all.
Every day that I’ve had Todoist (it’s only been 8 days) I have found something new about the system that I like. Just yesterday I started using sections within my projects to divide up the larger lists. My work list had nearly 30 items on it. Some of them are longer-term tasks and can’t be marked off right away. So, I created a few sections and then nested tasks under the section that made the most sense. This goes back to step #3 above – Break it into small, actionable tasks.
I can’t tell you how freeing it is to know that I don’t have to worry about to-do items slipping away anymore. When someone asks me to do something and it’s not something I can do right that second, I just pull out my phone and add it to one of my projects. I start my day by looking through my list and prioritizing the items that have to get done that day.
At the end of every day, I look back through the lists again to see if anything urgent was brushed over and to see what needs to be done for the next day. I’m constantly checking in with my Todoist apps to make sure that items are getting crossed off. This is the prioritizing step of the Systemist process at work.
When it comes to the to-do list zero step of the process, I think everyone gets overwhelmed. You look at what seems to be your never-ending task list and know you can’t possibly get through all of it in one day. That’s true. You can’t. That’s why your focus should be on getting the prioritized tasks completed.
So, if those are marked for ‘today’ they will show up in your Today list and that can be your focus. That should be what you are concerned with getting to zero for the day. And, if you don’t get all of your tasks done during that day, don’t sweat it. Just reevaluate at the end of your day. That is what I have been doing and it helps SO much.
It helps to not put that added stress on yourself. Todoist as a system isn’t trying to add ‘one more thing for you to manage.’ It’s trying to take that ‘one more thing’ mentality off your shoulders by giving you a place to store all those thoughts, tasks, and to-do items.
Pricing & Availability
Todoist is available to use for free but has enhanced features for Pro and Business users. The main features that are included for each pricing tier are included below with a full comparison available on Todoist’s website. Todoist also provides 50% discount on the Todoist Business Tier to nonprofit organizations.
Todoist is available on every major platform and the macOS, iOS, and iPadOS apps are available from their respective App Stores. The account can be set up on todoist.com and then used to log in to the app after it is downloaded. If a Pro or Business license is purchased, full functionality is unlocked across all devices.
|5 active projects |
5 collaborators per project
5MB file uploads
1-week activity history
(for power users)
|300 active projects |
25 collaborators per project
100 MB file uploads
Unlimited activity history
Themes & auto backups
|$3 per month (billed yearly) |
$4 per month (billed monthly)
|Everything in Pro |
500 active projects per member
50 people per project
Admin & member roles
|$5 per member per month (billed yearly) |
$6 per member per month (billed monthly)
Todoist is a fantastic app system that gives users a way to alleviate the stress of the never-ending to-do list. The system takes the concept of breaking down, organizing, and prioritizing tasks into a manageable effort instead of making it an insurmountable thing to do.
Based on the fact that Todoist has a workforce of more than 70 people and that it is continually being updated and maintained (the macOS version was updated 2 months ago and the iOS version just received an update this week), the subscription model makes sense. Also, Todoist does have a free version available for moderate users. Additionally, looking at other to-do app systems, Todoist actually has the most budget-friendly option.
If you are looking for a to-do list manager, Todoist should be at the top of your list. It’s got a great interface and it’s very easy to learn and use on a daily basis. It works with you instead of giving you another to-do.