Preface: I wanted to chronicle my struggle to find a personal productivity system. I expect this will be an ongoing series …
I’ve had issues with to-do lists for years. I finally had a decent system in place for a couple years using notebooks. I entered stuff easily, checked it regularly, I trusted my system; trusting your system is a must for any productivity process.
Then, summer of 2017, I switched to digital lists. I switched for a couple reasons.
First, my workload at work had become ridiculous. We went from three people at the job to just me with an end-of-fiscal-year deadline looming. I could not and did not want to keep my work tasks co-mingled with my personal tasks.
Second, my personal workload had grown significantly. Because I had been focusing on work, and because it was the start of the school year, my personal to-do list had grown to too many pages in my notebook to effectively track tasks. For reference, my wife is a school teacher and my son is in high school … so the first month or two of school usually see me picking up the extra household chores.
In short, I wasn’t trusting my paper system anymore. It was busting at the seams, spreading across too many pages, and becoming too difficult to read and track tasks. The digital system seemed perfect for my needs. I did some cursory searching, but pretty quickly took to Todoist. I’d used it before and was familiar with it, plus the price was pretty decent (I determined early on that I needed their premium features).
I spent a good chunk of one of my Sundays migrating all my tasks from my paper notebook to my digital to-do list in Todoist. Todoist has made it easy to enter tasks; easier than the paper notebook ever was. It’s also easy to check regularly. It has a robust filter system so I can sort and filter tasks that are relevant to what I’m looking for; something I could not do easily with the notebook. I’ve spent the months since then tweaking, editing, and perfecting a system that works for me. I still have a little work to do, but I’m happy to say that I’m back at a place where I trust my system.