Sometimes one list just isn’t enough. But it’s okay – there are apps for that.
At any given time I have at least three to do lists: one Personal Master List, one Work Master List, and one Daily List. The first two allow me to get every buzzing task and reminder out of my head. My Daily List helps me to focus on accomplishing realistic goals.
I love finding the perfect solutions to each “problem”, and for me that meant using different to-do list apps for my personal and work lists (because they have different sets of requirements). Hands down, my two favorite tools are Todoist and Asana.
Here’s why you should check them out.
I’ve been using Todoist for several years for my Personal Master List. The app is free, although a premium version exists for $28.99/year. I’m currently using Todoist Premium as it allows me to add multiple labels to my tasks, as well as adding a few other convenient features.
Here are some of the reasons I choose it over other apps.
Projects and Sub-Projects
If you prefer highly organized to-do lists, you’ll love Todoist. It allows you to sort your tasks into multiple levels of projects and sub-projects. This makes it excellent for Master Lists. It is also great for breaking down large goals into smaller sub-goals and steps.
I keep top-level projects for the major areas in my life: Home, Health, Family, Faith, Career, Finances, etc. Then I add sub-projects for goals I’m working towards in those areas.
Labels and Filters
This is my favorite feature of Todoist. You can add multiple labels (tags) to each task to help you search and sort through your lists. Here are some of the labels and filters I use to organize my Master Lists.
- How long will it take to complete this task?
- e.g. 5-Min, 15-Min, 30-Min, 60-Min
- What type of action is required?
- e.g. Write/Create, Read/Review, Call
- Where do I need to be to complete this task?
- e.g. Home, Computer, Errand, Anywhere
- Is this a Must Do, Should Do, Want to Do, or Could Do?
- Do I need to collaborate on this task?
- e.g. Joint (me and my husband), Family, Delegate
When I am filling in my Daily List, I search for tasks I can do based on their priority and how much time I’ll have left in the day. The best part is that if unexpected time frees up, I can just fill in with new tasks as I go.
As much as I love organizing all my tasks, I don’t always have the time to do it on the fly. This is where I use my Central Inbox. I perform routine “brain dumps” throughout the day and list out as many tasks that are running through my mind as possible. Even if I’ll later decide they’re just “wish list” items, at least I don’t need to clutter my head trying to remember ideas.
I try to sort my Central Inbox once a week. I review each task and add in the appropriate labels/filters before dragging it into its respective project/sub-project.
I recently discovered Asana as it was recommended by many online business owners and bloggers. Aside from this blog, I run a business planning Disney vacations (check it out at Imagineered Vacations). Originally I kept my work tasks as a project in Todoist, but I felt like my work and personal lives were getting too combined. That’s when I decided to create my Work Master List.
Asana is built for teams, but can easily be used by an individual. Profiles are setup for a minimum of 5 “members”. The app is free, and has many similar features to Todoist. A premium version exists for $5 per member, per month (approximately $250 annually).
Here are some of the features I love in Asana.
This is one of my favorite tools for planning blog posts and keeping track of client follow ups. Unlike traditional lists, this function allows you to create columns for each step of a process and easily move tasks from phase to phase.
For blogging, I have columns for the entire writing process: Queue, Brainstorm, Outline, Draft, Graphics, Editing, and Scheduling. This setup makes it easy to block tasks based on which phase they’re in.
As a vacation planner, I have a process to follow for every client to ensure their trip goes smoothly. I created a template for each type of client (based on destination) and I can modify it for every new reservation.
I love how easy it is to copy and color-code projects. It allows me to keep all of my client tasks in separate projects, while still pulling them up by due date.
Asana offers an integrated calendar that gives you a snapshot of your deadlines. For blog posts and client tasks this is an immensely useful tool. While I rely primarily on Google Calendar, this is a great backup for reviewing my work projects.
Both of these apps are cloud-based, so you can view them from multiple devices. I use the desktop versions most of the time, but I have the apps on my phone as well.
Have you used Todoist or Asana? Is there another to-do list app you prefer? Share in the comments!