Todoist: First impressions

reading time 2 min

I’m considering switching to Todoist. Here are my notes as I try to use the techniques in Time Management for System Administrators which are collectively called The Cycle.

  1. Good: Great web UI

The web UI works a lot better than what I was using. I can easily drag items between projects instead of having to use a menu item.

  1. Bad: A-B-C priorities…

I can’t emulate The Cycle’s system of “A B C Priorities”. It has priorities 1, 2, 3, but changing the priority of an item requires 3 mouse clicks. That’s making it difficult enough that I need to find some other solution.

What would be better: I need a way to quickly set the priority of items. For example, when “Today” is sorted by priority, I should be able to drag an item to a different priority group, and have it set the priority for me. (This would also require all the priorities to be displayed, even if they are empty.)

One key component of The Cycle is sorting your inbox by priority. Since I do this every day, the process should be more seemless.

  1. Bad: Overdue items don’t appear on the “Today”

Part of The Cycle is that each morning you take the leftovers from yesterday and sort them into your plan for today.

Doing this with Todoist is difficult because the “today” view doesn’t show overdue items.

What would be better:

  • Make overview items visible in “Today”. This would make it easy to drag them into today’s plan.
  • An option to have overdue items automatically slide to “Today”.
  1. Great! Auto-recognizing dates

A todo item like “Talk with Frank on Monday” gets scheduled to Monday.

A todo item like, “Take the trash out every Monday” automatically sets it to repeat every Monday. The repeat spec can be very complex (“every Tuesday at 1pm”).

If you add a “!” to the word every (i.e. every!) it repeats based on completion date instead. For example “call Mom every! 8 days” will remind me to call my mother 8 days after the last time I called her.


I’m not convinced that I should switch. On the one hand, dragging works a lot better, the web UI feels more “tight” when you use it. On the other hand, I’m not sure if I can do The Cycle. Maybe I just haven’t found the right set of configuration options.

Please post a comment if you have suggestions about any of this.


Tom Limoncelli

Tom Limoncelli

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