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How I Use Todoist, 2021 Edition: Organizing All My Projects

Image by Ag Ku from Pixabay

I’ve used a lot of to-do list apps in my day.

Working for myself for 13 years, I have to have some place to organize everything. My day doesn’t just consist of a handful of things that I have to get done. I’ve got different responsibilities for different areas of my life.

That’s why something like a bullet journal didn’t quite work for me the way I wanted. I found that there was just too much flipping around back and forth, trying to get overviews of all my projects and where they were at, along with an overall view of the current day’s assigned tasks.

It was a pain.

With Todoist, like many to-do apps, I can assign different tasks to different projects. This will come in handy when I go to schedule out my tasks on Sunday evenings – a process I will explain in due time.

Still, assigning tasks to a project can feel like an unnecessary step if you know how to keep your projects straight in your head.

But here’s a tip that will improve your life and justify the extra step of organizing your projects…

Put everything in Todoist

Personal stuff. Administrative work. Odds and ends. Work tasks (of course).

Everything that I have to do in a day goes into Todoist. All of it. I leave nothing to chance. If there’s something I want to get done, it gets put in and organized appropriately.

There are times when this really helps. For example, a typical use would be when I need to see where I am on a copy project for a client. Or what step I am in in the publishing process for one of my books.

But it gets better the more you put in.

It’s nice to have a list of tasks that I’ve always been meaning to do in my “Personal” project. Every Sunday night, I can pop into that project, look at my calendar for the week, and see if I can schedule any of those things for the next 5-7 days. It keeps those procrastinated tasks in the front of my mind.

Below is a listing of all my projects in Todoist, subprojects (if there are any), and what I use it for.

  • Copywriting
    • Subprojects: One for each client I am currently managing
    • What it’s for: The most obvious one on the list, my Copywriting project and its related subprojects keep me on task for all of my client work. For some, I write long copy. For others, I write short emails. Still others, I write blog posts. I need to keep each project full of the tasks I am expected to do on a daily or weekly basis.
  • Wood Shop
    • Subprojects: None
    • What it’s for: I operate a small wood shop business out of my basement. Whether I have orders from customers or I am building something for our own house, it goes in here so that I don’t lose track.
  • Administration
    • Subprojects: None
    • What it’s for: This is one of the most-populated projects in my project list. Administrative work needs to be done every day, but it’s not necessarily a part of any project. Things like my Start Up routine or me End of Day Review go in here. Setting up my writing tracker on my whiteboard is another thing. It’s for those little tasks that keep the train moving down the tracks.
  • Personal
    • Subprojects: Server + Downloads and Health
    • What it’s for: Non-work-related tasks. Filling the water softener on Sunday nights. Baking bread on Tuesday mornings. Stuff like that. The Health subproject helps me focus on all the things that I do to improve my bodily and mental health, like working out, sauna treatments, etc. Server + Downloads is mainly for the management of my Plex server: running weekly backups, updating the software, and so on. It requires maintenance, so I like to make sure I’m doing so every week.
  • Trading and Flipping
    • Subprojects: None for either project
    • What they are for: These are two new projects that I am hoping to expand upon in 2021. Trading is for stock trading, something I’ve learned a lot about in the last decade and want to pursue on the side. I have a paper trading account where I am trying to make one trade per day and record my results before I move to trading with real money. Flipping is a pursuit I’ve had for 5+ years now. It involves buying and maybe fixing up used items and selling them for a profit. It’s a fun gig, but it requires some attention. I’ll be reviewing some flipping courses in the coming weeks and building out what this project will look like.
  • Reading List
    • Subprojects: None
    • What it’s for: I love to read and I want to do it more. This is a place where I keep ideas for books that I want to read, along with a list of books I’d like to re-read. It’s very easy to add to this list from anywhere, so it’s great for when I see a book on a shelf somewhere and it intrigues me.
  • 2021 Goal Tracker
    • Subprojects: Online Publishing, Free Time, Home, The Client Pipeline, and Book Publishing
    • What it’s for: I’m going to go into detail in a separate post on this project. My aim for 2021 is to make consistent progress towards my personal and professional goals. This goal tracker is a place for me to keep the recurring consistent tasks that I need to knock out regularly to achieve the lofty goals of 2021.

As you can see, there’s a lot there. And it might look overwhelming at first. Setting it up does take some time – I spent most of New Year’s Eve sitting in my recliner, drinking bourbon and eggnog watching White Christmas, and setting this up.

The key is to think about the different areas of your life you need to keep track of and build out your project list accordingly. And it can evolve over time – you’re not married to it!

By dumping everything into Todoist, I am able to hold quite a bit of power over my unwieldy task list. This is key to being productive, at least for me.