Life can be very stressful, there are so many things to do. Therefore it is very helpful to always keep up with your tasks and organize them as best as possible. I am currently studying Computer Science and working also next to university a couple of hours per week so my time in the week and on weekends is very limited. I have to optimize my whole work to get the most of it, so it is very important for me to get done what has to be done in the right time and also to not forget anything important. But I also want to have free time in the evenings and on weekends to create time for things that are also important to me like family, friends, sport but also to just relax.
Because I love technology and find it unhandy to write everything on paper so I use apps to manage what I want and have to do.
Since over 2 years I use Todoist as a ToDo planner. I use the app to write down what I have to do and when I want to do it. I also use it if I have to cancel subscriptions, then I create a ToDo which will remember me in X month to cancel the specific subscription. I write ToDos when I want to work in the week, when I want to visit university, when I want to do my assignments and when I have to submit them. With repeating tasks I can easily setup tasks that I have to do e.g. every week. I write in there just everything which is relevant for me. Currently my state is, that if some task is not in Todoist it is not relevant to me because I won’t pay attention to the task.
In Todoist you can not only manage on which day you can do a certain task but you can also prioritize them and group them by projects. I currently have over ten projects. Because there are not only apps for Android and iOS but also for Desktop and browser the tasks are always available to me. Also it is very easy to create and reorganize tasks, e.g. by the use of natural language, which is also a huge advantage over the classical ToDo list on paper.
But after I use Todoist over a time I noticed that planning on which day I want to do something is not enough for me.
Therefore I use Google Calendar to schedule exactly when to do something over the day.
Example: Instead of doing assignment X as a task I have working on assignment X over 3 days as a task and each task I have scheduled 1-2 hours at every day.
With this method I can plan exactly what I can do every day and what I can reach. Also I avoid overloading my day with tasks which can be very demotivating. And on the opposite it is very satisfying if your ToDo list is at the end of the day is empty and you can relax the end of the day and collect energy to be even more productive at the next day.
Todoist has the ability to synchronize with Google Calendar, so after I created tasks at Todoist I can switch over to Google Calendar and set time boxes for the tasks. After I set time boxes for the tasks, I can schedule empty time boxes with tasks which I initially scheduled on later days. Thereby I optimize my days but does not fall into temptation to overload my days.
How I Plan
I plan for the whole week on the sunday and every evening I check the tasks for the next day and every couple of days I readjust tasks if there a new urgent tasks that has to be done within the week.
On the Sunday I already have most of the time the tasks written down in Todoist which I have to do for the week. I check them and add new tasks and delete task if required. After that I break tasks down if required over multiple days. I also pick up the tasks which I haven’t worked on the last week in the planning of the new week. Next I schedule for each day in Google Calendar the time boxes when I do what, from morning to evening.
On every evening I check if I have done everything I have planned. If something is left, I schedule it for the next days. Also I readjust new tasks for the week if the task is urgent or for the weekend if the task is not urgent.
Every couple of days I do a little bit of optimizing which is required if many new urgent tasks has been created within the week. This helps me to keep up my priorities and the most important and urgent things that has to be done in the week.
I plan actual work, not only appointments and events
Which is very important to me is that I plan next to things like deadlines I also plan time for actual for. So if I have to submit an assignment for university I do not plan only the deadline but also I think how many hours I have to invest in it and then I plan the actual working on the assignment at days where I have time left to do the assignment.
It’s totally free
Google Calendar is free and even Google Calendar synchronisation is part of Todoist free starter plan. I currently have as student Todoist buisness with a 70% discount whereby I just pay under 20 Euro per year. But the free starter plan should be okay for most people out there.
Todoist also offers a free month of Premium to try it out. There are also sometimes coupons which you can use to get a couple of months of Todoist premium for free. And if you reached a specific karma level you also unlock free months of premium. You get karma if you complete tasks and it is basically a playful measurement to view how productive you are.
The synergy between Todoist and Google Calendar works great for me. Both apps became part of my daily workflow over the last two years. Over time I optimized the process, first I just used Todoist, later I added Google Calendar to it. Now I can schedule comfortable and then work on one task concentrated without worrying about stress or that I have forgotten anything.