Todoist Review: How I’m Using It to Organize My Life and (Travel) Goals

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It’s about time I update my Todoist review. I’ve been using Todoist to organize my days since 2015 – almost five years by now! It’s an app and website I use every day and I can’t imagine life without it.

That’s because it’s a perfect place to brain dump. If I have more than a few things I want to get done, I find they form a circular loop in my mind until I put them into list format. And seeing them sequenced calms me and puts me back in control of my thoughts.

Over the years, I’ve used Todoist to keep track of:

  • Books I want to read
  • Movies and TV shows to watch
  • Yearly and life goals
  • Recurring tasks around the house and in life
  • Things to do when I travel
  • Self affirmations
  • Things to buy when I’m running low on something
  • And of course, daily tasks
todoist review

To say I love Todoist would be a huge understatement

Not only is it a great place to store to-do lists, but it’s become a huge part of getting ahead in so many ways. I truly spend my life in this app.

My Todoist review

Todoist, like its name says, is an app and website where you store to-do lists.

At the expense of having too many apps to manage, I was leery about adding another one. But this one is Top Five and with Evernote, Feedly, Google Photos, and Outlook email (yes, for real).

It’s hard to say why a certain setup or layout appeals more than another, but Todoist, for me, was simply “the one.”

I like the minimal layout, the ability to tinker with colors, nested subtasks, and the labeling system. 

The reframe

I’ve written about how to use Evernote for travel goals and during trips.

Evernote lets you make checklists, and even add reminders – just like Todoist.

They both perform essential functions, but for me the kicker is the reframe.

I think of Evernote as a digital repository – a place to store information. And I think of Todoist as a place for tasks.

So placing my travel goals in an action-oriented setting spurs my subconscious mind in a way Evernote doesn’t. Because if it’s in Todoist, I have to do it.

And once a task is marked “done” in Todoist, it’s gone forever. In Evernote, everything lives on.

Places I want to go in this lifetime

Evernote reminds me how far I’ve come. With Todoist, I don’t necessarily want to remember that I completed a task.

In that way, Todoist keeps me moving forward. Whereas Evernote is the place I go to recall and reflect. Those are the essential differences between the two, and how they complement one another.

How to use Todoist

Just click the “+” button, add your task, and click it when it’s done – that’s it. But that simplicity belies how effective it is – and how much you can really do with it.

Because you can also add:

  • Subtasks to break your tasks down further
  • Labels to assign an area or topic to your lists
  • Filters to denote who’s in control of the task (if you’re sharing accounts)
  • Priority levels for time sensitivity
  • Projects for different areas of life (“work” and “home,” for example)
  • Due dates

And everything stays organized in the simplest, most appealing format.

A live look at my actual Todoist account and all my to do lists (yes, I’m obsessed with emojis IRL)

My favorite feature by far is recurring tasks. Because you can use natural language like “Change sheets every two weeks starting Saturday” and you’ll get a reminder every other Saturday to change your sheets. It’s also amazing for remembering to cancel subscriptions before a free trial ends.

Or you can put, “buy lightbulbs next Wednesday at 10am,” and Todoist will fill in the necessary details and add it to your list.

I can see everything I need to do in a day

Then, you can view a single day, or the next 7 days, and rearrange tasks as needed. If you don’t want to attribute a task to a particular project (say because you’ll only do it once or every so often), you can add it to the Inbox and let Todoist add it in where necessary. And when you do it, it’s gone. Here’s my current inbox:

A handy place to dump anything and everything

In my Inbox, you can see all the things I’ve added. And in the daily view above, you can see where Todoist parsed it all out for me.

Todoist Premium is worth it for all you get

I pay $29 a year for the service so I get all the premium features, including two-way sync with my Google calendar. If I add something to GCal, it shows up in Todoist and vice versa. This feature alone has been a godsend more times than I can count.

For planning a trip

Before I travel, I’ll research places to go and add them to a list. In the notes section, I add addresses, screenshots of maps, and any other info like ticket cost, opening hours, etc.

The list becomes a compendium of:

  • Tips sourced from friends
  • Research I’ve done online
  • Bucket list items
  • Practical info (like “Withdraw money to eat at street carts”)
  • Who to buy souvenirs for
  • Items to remember to bring
  • Anything else (this is a brain dump, after all)

After the trip is done, I simply delete or archive the project – or rename it something else and repeat all over again. 😈✈️

Other helpful ways to use Todoist

Todoist kicks my other personal goals into high gear.

todoist review

Goalz

I remind myself to meditate, stay grateful, do face masks, and drink ginger tea every full moon. 🌕

I also add post ideas for Out and Out, monthly bills with reminders, and personal goals for the year. And really can’t overstate how important these daily rituals have become for me. They center me, remind me, and keep me on track to take actions I value.

Todoist + IFTTT = YASSSS

IFTTT also works well with Todoist.

IFTTT + Todoist is awesome

I set up reminders to bring an umbrella when it rains, bundle up on cold days, and add the weather to my inbox every morning at 8am – all of this happens automatically.

Weather reminders

There are lots of other integrations, so browse the recipes to see what all you can set up. IFTTT can also replicate a few of the premium functions if you don’t want to pay for the app (like forwarding emails to your inbox).

Karma karma karma

I’m also a fan of their Karma points system (yes, another points program to think about!).

Almost enlightened

Todoist Karma gives you “points” for adding and completing tasks, using advanced features like labels, and meeting your daily goals.

Not only that, but you’ll lose points for not completing tasks or letting them become overdue.

For me, it’s a great motivator. I find myself wanting to complete my tasks to earn more Karma. Pretty soon, I’ll be Enlightened. 🧘🏻‍♂️

Bottom line

I’ve been using Todoist as a tool to get things done for five years now, and keep me focused on my long-term goals. Goal-setting is powerful, especially when you give yourself a timeframe, or reframe your goals as things you actually need to do.

There are many apps like it, but I like the setup of this one the most. I also like the Karma points, which is in line with my goals of gratitude and everyday affirmations.

I still use Evernote to store vast amounts of information. And use Todoist for bite-sized chunks of actionable info to give shape to my day and remind me to be grateful, change my air filters, and get everything out of my mind and into a list – and that’s just to start. From there, I can organize each task in a way that makes sense so I actually remember to get it done. It’s the first thing I look at every morning.

Give it a spin!

Is there a cool way you use Todoist (or any other to-do app) to get things done? 

Also see: 

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About Harlan

Just a dude living in Dallas.

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  1. Great, thanks for your post!

    I’ve tried many todo-apps, too, but Todoist is the best! I love it!

    Since a few days, I own an iPad Mini 4. So now I’m using Windows 10 on my Surface Pro 3 (for work), Android-Smartphone and the iPad. A great mix and on all platforms Todoist and Evernote are working fine!

    On iOS there’s an app called “Workflow” (www.workflow.is) which is similar to IFTTT. Now I’m trying it in combination with Siri (“Hey Siri, remind me to…”). Siri takes the notes in apple’s own reminders, but with “Workflow” you could transfer it autmomatically to Todoist (or other apps).

    (I’m sorry for bad english, I’m German 🙂 )

    • Interesting idea. TaskClone looks like a paid service too though?

      I don’t have that many lists to import/export and a little copy & paste never hurt anyone 😉

      Thanks for the tip!

  2. Thank you for this! I’m a list-maker and have too many iPhone alarms set to remind me of things. My husband and I use Cozi List for our grocery list, which is great since you share the list. Is there a similar feature with Todoist?

    • Oh yes, you can definitely add people to your lists – and even “assign” them certain tasks and set reminders based on time OR location, which is super neat. If you’re a list maker, you will loooove Todoist!

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