Becoming reliable and accountable with Todoist

In today's fast-paced workplace, it's super important to be reliable, accountable, and dependable. If you're able to organize yourself, manage your time effectively, and work efficiently, you'll be setting yourself up for success. But, if these skills aren't your strong suit, you might find yourself missing deadlines, forgetting tasks, and feeling totally overwhelmed. However, by focusing on improving your reliability and accountability, you can boost your productivity and efficiency in no time.

When I started working as a developer at BAM, I was given tasks that did not belong on a production board. These tasks included reaching out to clients, follow-ups, and helping colleagues by holding them accountable to their commitments. I tracked and scheduled these tasks using my calendar.

It worked fairly well for the most part, but sometimes I still missed some. My tracking method was unreliable, and my mental load became heavier trying to make up for its flaws. It’s a problem that I’ve seen many people struggle with as well. Since then, I have found a solution that suits me, and who knows, maybe it could suit you too!

First, I will tell you about the problems I encountered, and then I will explain how I resolved them. ✨

Can’t be reliable with an unreliable tracking method

I used to manage my tasks by tracking and scheduling them in my calendar. However, as the number of tasks increased, this method became increasingly unreliable.

The issue with using my calendar was that I sometimes couldn't stick to the allocated time slots. If I couldn't complete a task at the designated time and didn't reschedule it immediately, it would be left undone. This meant that I would sometimes overlook the less important tasks and then forget about them.

After some time, my calendar became dense and scheduling became a nightmare. And still, I continued to miss tasks, which meant I was unreliable.

Then, I started making a to-do list and only allocated "to-do" slots in my calendar. This made my calendar lighter. However, after some time, my to-do list became so long that it became unusable and even stressful to use.

All in all, organizing my workload had become a challenge, and I was not winning. It was time-consuming, stressful, and yielded poor results.

Fortunately, I found the perfect tool to dig myself out of that situation!

Todoist to the rescue

Now that I have presented my problems to you, let's discuss the solution: Todoist. 🎉

Todoist is a to-do list app with a few tricks up its sleeve. Let's have a look.

Dates for improved time management

The very first feature that made a difference for me was that tasks have dates. This might seem like a small thing, but it makes all the difference. The problem I had with my previous to-do list was that it became long and difficult to maintain. All my tasks were presented on a single page, regardless of whether they were due the same day or three months later. I was completing tasks, but my list was never-ending.

Because the tasks are dated, in Todoist, you have access to a “Today” view that is pretty self-explanatory. Thanks to this view, you have a short list of tasks that shrinks throughout the day as you tick each one off. Once the list is empty, your work is done.

Todoist also offers an “Upcoming” view for a quick overview of the week to come.

At the start of my day, I open Todoist and quickly scan through my tasks for the day and the rest of the week. I take a few minutes to assess the time I have and the priority of each task. If I have too much on my list for the day, I reschedule the tasks that can be rescheduled. Then I click on the "Today" tab and don't think about the rest of the week until the next morning.

Working with a list that keeps each day separate makes it easier for me to get things done. Rather than having a never-ending list of tasks to do, I have a smaller list that I can complete each day. This gives me a sense of accomplishment when the list is empty, and it's a great way to end the day.

Natural langage for efficient task writing

Aside from dates, Todoist offers other ways to sort, filter, and manage our tasks more effectively. I make good use of tags, projects, and priorities to give more significance to each task in Todoist. It would be tedious if I had to click on a date, then click on a tag, then click on a project, and then click on a priority for each task. It's not efficient. Good news, you can do all that in one go by writing ! Less clicks 🖱️ more clacks ⌨️.

This feature is available not only in English, but also in any other language supported by Todoist. It is particularly useful for setting up routines.

Quick add task to avoid context switching

Natural language is already a very efficient feature when it comes to jotting down tasks with impressive speed. ⚡️

But what if I told you, you could write tasks even faster !

The Todoist app offers a shortcut to open a quick-add task pane outside the app. This means that you can write tasks when you are working in other apps or on virtual desktops.

Let's go over some examples of times when this feature came in handy from my experience.

The first use case I have for this is writing tasks during meetings. Let’s say a colleague of mine tells me that a government API and it’s specifications will be released next Tuesday. I open the quick add task pane and write down “Tuesday Check out government Api + specs @accountability #project”. In a few seconds the task in created, tagged and dated. I can now turn my attention back to the meeting.

Another example that may resonate with developers is when working on a project and encountering code that does not follow the project’s architecture standard. This can be seen as an opportunity for team training. It takes roughly 10 seconds to open the pane and type in the task. After that, I can go back to working and trust that the task will be completed.

The shortcut to open the pane can be customized in the app preferences.

Final thoughts

After struggling with an unreliable tracking system for a few months, I have found Todoist to be the perfect solution. With features such as natural language task writing, tagging, and scheduling, I am now able to easily keep track of tasks and hold myself and my colleagues accountable. As a result, I have experienced increased reliability, trust, and a calmer state of mind.

Looking for more ?

Todoist is a tool that can be used to implement a variety of time management methods. It is particularly well-suited for use with the Pomodoro technique, as it provides an easy way to list interruptions during work sessions. An article on the Pomodoro method will be coming out soon, so stay tuned!

Développeur mobile ?

Rejoins nos équipes