Why I Switched to Todoist
I have been a long time user of Things 3 and recently made the switch to Todoist. Now I have used Todoist in the past but left for the super pretty interface, performance and features like completable projects that Tings 3 offered. While none of these features have made their way into Todoist there are 2 features that Todoist can do which Things 3 sorely lacks — automations and integrations.
Going back a step, I have recently made the full switch into Google Workspace for files, email and calendar leaving my iCloud Drive and Calendar behind. There is a long story here that I will share when the time is right. Having my files, calendar and email on a always online platform that offers a full API you have options you never had before.
The first feature is the Todoist add on for Gmail. This adds a button on the Gmail website and more importantly for me the mobile app. Tapping this button allows me to quickly add a task to Todoist with a link back to the original email, a link that works on every device and even if the email is archived or moved to a label. This is probably one of the most used integrations for me.
I also use Todoist with Integromat, my process automation tool of choice. Here I have a number of processes that happen almost by magic. The first of which is setting up projects. Before with Things 3 I had a very manual process for setting up new projects, having to create a project, add a set of checklists, create a folder in my file system with a number of template files and add a project to Toggl for tracking my time. Now all of this happens when I add the project to my spreadsheet that I use to track all websites that I build. With one simple action in Google Sheets the rest of my new project workflow is done for me.
Just these features were enough to sway me to swap my long time and trusted system in Things 3 over to Todoist. It was a difficult move and I did have to retool some parts of my system. For instance Todoist doesn’t have a someday list that separates tasks out of the main views while also allowing them to live in the correct area/project.
Negotiating labels was another thing that I needed to work out. In Things 3 tags allow you to easily sort any list you are looking at. For example I can be viewing my Today page and filter it to only tasks I can do with a phone. This is possible with Todoist but only by the way of search (today & @phone). While you can set up a filter to perform this search in a single tap I didn’t want to have hundreds of filters to sort through. After careful consideration I cut back the number of tags I have. Did I really need an iMac and MacBook tag after all, just Computer will do.
I made this switch a little over 2 weeks ago now and I haven’t felt like I need to go back to Things 3. The combination of the Gmail integration and power of Integromat automations far outweigh the drawbacks in design and true to GTD functions I am used to in Things 3. I initially only paid for 1 month of premium but upgraded after less than a week to yearly billing as I am sure I will be staying for the long haul.