How I use Todoist to manage my life
Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

My Todoist setup

It's taken me a while to realise that todo lists are useful. I knew they were useful for specific occassions (such as packing for a holiday) but I didn't realise how useful they could be for everyday life. I had assumed that everyone else just remembers stuff but it turns out that a lot of people keep lists. When I first started looking at keeping lists I did my usual thing of throwing my whole attention at it and got excited about designing a bullet journal, but I knew from experience a physical, paper solution will ultimately not be there when I need it

Picking Todoist

That's when I started researching todo apps. My criteria was that it had to be simple, be browser-based and have API access. This narrowed my search down to a small handful of solutions and so I looked at Todoist. I initially wanted to overengineer my setup but, in the spirit of iterative delivery, I thought I'd add what I needed and keep refining. Here's my current setup

My setup

Todoist gives you an Inbox for all incoming tasks. I use this as a holding pen for my thoughts where I read through and assign tasks to the right project or section. During a working day I tend to do this a couple of times a day. When assigning a task I also give it a due date (where relevant) and a priority if it's important. Assigning a due date means that I can see what needs to be done today

A screenshot of Todoist showing only one task for today - write this blog post
An unusually quiet day


I have two main projects set up in Todoist - Personal and Work. I find most things fit into one of those two catagories. I use sections within each project to help further categorise tasks


  • Family - Anything that I need to help organise the family
  • DIY - This is for anything that involves maintenance or changes to the house or garden
  • Housework - Recurring chores that need to be done around the house
  • Health & Fitness
  • Some day - Ideas for things I'd like to do one day but don't have any deadline or timeframe


  • Web Platform - Work related to the platform I'm helping to build
  • Line Management - Appraisals, mid-year reviews, etc
  • Personal - Appraisals, mid-year reviews, etc

Repeat tasks

There are things that I need to remind myself to do each week (such as household chores) as well as new habits I'd like to form (such a piano practice). Repeat tasks in Todoist are very handy for this... it means that I have a reminder for frequent tasks such as cleaning the bathroom each week as well as monthly tasks such as descaling the kettle.

A screenshot of Todoist showing repeat household chores
Don't tell me I don't know how to have a good time

Sizing personal tasks

One thing I've found useful is to assign a size to each personal task. This is a rough estimate of how long I think it will take to complete. I use this to help me decide what to do when I have some free time. For example, if I have 30 minutes spare I can look at my list of tasks that are 30 minutes or less and pick one. This is useful when you have a free day but aren't sure where to start!