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Musings

Sticking to a single Task Manager for 30 days (featuring Things 3)

I have had a “thing” with using task managers for years, even when I didn’t need anything more than a basic list of tasks. As I’ve become busier, and picked up more commitments, using an actual task manager has come in extremely handy. And it’s slowly become my brain dump.

While I still have David Allen’s GTD book still on my “to-do” list, I have not actually listened to it. Instead, for years I’ve been listening to various Apple-centric productivity podcasts like Focused, Automators, Cortex, and of course, Back to Work(with the amazing Merlin Mann), along with many others that I can’t think of off the top at the moment.

The problem

Nonetheless, the idea of keeping all of my projects neatly organized helps when I’m ready to sit down and get some work done. The problem comes in with the fact that there are so many solid choices available.

Another problem is that I end up getting bored with using the same task manager for days on end. So I switch to something else for a day or two, and then onto something else, and the cycle never ends. A couple weeks ago, this is how my process went:

Things > Todoist > Asana > Things > GoodTask > Reminders > OmniFocus > Things

The Test

That was all within the span of just two or three days, and I just ended up getting frustrated with myself. After a recent conversation with Jeff Perry, he suggested that we stick using just Things 3 for the next 30 days.

This came on the heels of Chris Lawley’s video for how he handles Task Management with Things 3, Drafts, and AirTable. So since then (Apr. 21st), I’ve just been using Things. One “issue” that has decided to rear its head is that a new project has come my way for freelancing that requires a comparison of a couple of to-do apps.

Trying to figure out how to use Things 3 with Android

It’s not that I actually want to switch to those apps. But it’s that I’m currently in the process of trying to figure out how to actually manage my tasks with Things from an Android phone. One method that I have thought of is the email shortcut to send a task to the Things 3 inbox from my email client (Spark Mail).

Another has been to put the tasks in Simplenote, and then manage them when I jump on my Mac or iPad. For the time being, I have entered all of my current tasks and projects into Todoist, but am still managing them through Things.

Why can’t I just do the comparison from my iPhone directly? That’s because it’s for an Android site that I’m currently freelancing for. So it’s time to dust off the ole’ Pixel 4 and put these Android apps through the ringer.

I have not settled on a final solution as of yet, but feel like I’m getting a bit closer.

Maybe I’ll flesh out this next bit in a future post, but trying to figure out a method to send text to another place outside of email makes me wish Shortcuts was available on Android. Or at the very least, something similar.