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Courting Different Activity Managers

Courting Different Activity Managers

2022-09-29 07:30:49

I’ve a confession… I have been seeing different todo lists.

I haven’t got nice causes. It began as a result of I needed to have the choice of freedom from Apple regardless of having invested a ridiculous period of time and automation capital into the ecosystem.

My method has been:

  1. Write a change/migration script to look at the file format and software options.
  2. Strive it out alongside my working Issues 3 system, making an attempt to do my each day duties to match experiences.
  3. Discover some draw back (as a result of nothing is ideal) and proceed buying endlessly.

Let’s rant! ????


Issues is gorgeous and simply works. It’s nonetheless my suggestion for most individuals on the subject of digital process administration. It taught me just a few issues in my journey…

Fast seize permits focus. I might used just a few techniques with fast seize earlier than, however none for as lengthy a time or as helpful as Issues’ Fast Seize.

URLs are superior. Issues embraces the superb energy of a URL to summon a connection between context or functions. I can have a hyperlink on my telephone to see all duties tagged Errand that opens mechanically after I depart the home. ????

Decide to commitments, and nothing else. Issues is an opinionated, bullet-journal-esque system that encourages you to solely decide to what you are able to do Immediately and leaving the rest in Anytime.

Preserve it easy. Whereas I’ve griped that Issues does not have superior options like dependencies or evaluations… the give attention to simplicity is refreshing. I’ve much less to tinker with and extra vitality to perform my objectives.

The Mind and the Listing

I forgot the place I first heard this metaphor1, but it surely has reworked how I take into consideration Activity Administration. Your process administration system has two components: The Mind is a great storage unit the place you may retailer all of the helpful stuff you might do, The Listing is the subset of stuff you commit to doing. It is a small distinction with large ramifications.

Figuring out the components of my Activity Administration system which can be Mind and Listing has been useful. Issues 3 has objects I establish because the Mind and the Listing: Immediately (and arguably Upcoming) helps you give attention to The Listing whereas Anytime lets you question the entire system as The Mind.

Nonetheless extra intriguing: Mind and Listing may very well be separate techniques. (For example, Ugmonk’s gorgeous Analog system appears preternaturally good at specializing in The Listing, however does not try and be The Mind.)

Disconnect to Create

Realizing the excellence between The Mind and The Listing has modified how I work each day. I plan with The Mind, however I work from The Listing.

Years in the past I wrote a blog post about my feeling overwhelmed by my list… I now would characterize that battle as working from The Mind somewhat than The Listing.2

I’ve at all times required that my process supervisor be equally accessible on my telephone and laptop… I’ve modified my thoughts. I do not want the full-featured Mind on my telephone3. I can seize to some intermediate: Drafts, a Bullet Journal, a scrap of paper. It is not too troublesome to re-record it later subsequent time I am at a pc. Heck, I earn a living from home. I am at a pc for 8 hours a day… it is no downside.

Bullet Journaling has taught me to embrace the friction of that additional step. My resistance to re-recording helps me filter out trivial duties that should not make it into The Mind, a lot much less The Listing.

Rituals vs Duties

I’ve anchored my workday round a number of Rituals. As an alternative of making an attempt to make habits out of 15-30 issues I want to recollect (clear out my inbox, verify for uncommon calendar occasions, take a look at time monitoring for the day, and so forth.) I’ve one behavior: undergo the guidelines.4

These Rituals are odd within the process administration world:

  • they recur commonly
  • they’ve many sub duties/guidelines objects
  • I modify them primarily based on season of life
  • I don’t care to retailer a historical past of completion
  • typically they output notes/evaluations that I do need to retailer

Right here’s an instance of the Workday Shutdown, arguably an important of my Rituals:

???? Workday Shutdown

As a trustworthy steward, I put my work with a purpose to be ready for the subsequent day, figuring out the important process for the subsequent day.


- [ ] ????: Evaluate time logs. Log any lacking time.
- [ ] ????: Journal occasions/duties. issues:///present?id=logbook
- [ ] ????: Course of notes/duties from pocket book.
- [ ] ????: Course of Drafts inboxes.
- [ ] ????: Dump your mind into the Inbox. Get all of it out.
- [ ] ????: Course of Issues inbox. issues:///present?id=inbox (:estimate, $focus, !modality, precedence)
- [ ] ????: Find time for important tasks in tomorrow’s calendar.
- [ ] ????: Write The Notice. issues:///present?id=tomorrow
- [ ] ????: Shut down. (Shut. Converse. Shut. Trash. Door. Go dwelling.)
- [ ] ????‍????‍????‍????: Go reside in Coram Deo this night.

Tags: Rituals: Each day
When: Immediately

I’ve fairly just a few Rituals for the time being:

  • Each day Plan
  • Workday Shutdown
  • Night Evaluate
  • Weekly Evaluate
  • 12WY Evaluate
  • Household Weekly
  • Household Month-to-month

I’ve been dealing with these in Issues utilizing their wonderful repeating checklists… however there could also be a greater means.

Context is King… I believe?

Work doesn’t exist in a vacuum. We do it utilizing assets, for some goal… I didn’t know I needed my Lists (like a Mission) to have hooked up markdown notes till I used it in Issues. I put URLs, documentation, the names of crew members, it’s wonderful.

Certainly one of my favourite makes use of for that is to jot down the rationale that this process exists because it’s context. It helps heart me on the work, and if I can’t consider a purpose perhaps I shouldn’t be spending time on it.

Why transfer from Issues?

Apart from the will to see what’s new on the planet… I’ve one5 criticism about Issues 3: You can’t search for the absence of a Tag. ????‍♂️

What this deficiency means is that I can not discover duties and not using a given tag. Since Tags are the solely cross-list organizational construction in Issues, this implies you may’t simply discover To-dos that have not been delegated, or have not been estimated, and so forth. Which means there’s no simple option to assemble a Evaluate of your duties in Issues. I’ve hacked a solution together using JXA… however the scripting is restricted to desktop-only. Extra automation choices by Shortcuts might repair this… however I might be shocked.

For lack of a shoe… the nerd goes looking for process managers. ????

The contenders…



All productiveness roads result in Orgmode: The king-daddy of all digital group techniques. In case you make the funding, Orgmode will reward you. It has each characteristic you would think about, and it’s endlessly customizable.

After studying by the entire Orgmode guide, I wrote ThingsToOrgmode as an exporter from Issues to .org information. All of the exporters use a combo of Applescript and display screen scraping to seize as a lot knowledge as doable.

For a pair weeks I’d open Emacs subsequent to Issues and attempt to do my each day workflows in Orgmode alongside issues, and I ran the exporter to maintain Issues synced to Orgmode.

Orgmode desires to be my everyting. I do certainly like considering in outlines. org-refile is sort of a plaintext model of transferring branches on a mindmap and I prefer it rather a lot. Orgmode has each characteristic (or a plugin) you would probably need (calendars, time monitoring, auto imports). There are iOS or Android apps if you need.

Nonetheless… I do not need Orgmode to be my the whole lot. As well as, I do not suppose I need to add emacs to my toolchain… I am a fidgeter. One other config file wherein I waste time could be anti-productive. If I used eMacs as my code editor issues could be totally different.

I did spend a while with nvim-orgmode. It’s spectacular… however not fairly to characteristic parity.



TaskWarrior’s most attention-grabbing system is a prioritization algorithm that analyzes process attributes like age, precedence, and dependencies to aim to find out a weighted precedence record… or simply the subsequent process. It’s strong out of the field, however you may customise the weighting of attributes or add your individual facets to it utilizing its customized fields.

TaskWarrior feels extra “unix-like” than anything on this record: single goal, pipeable, easy. Geared toward individuals comfy with terminals and scripting. TaskWarrior as an information system with customizable instruments and views is a wonderful Mind. If you would like you may configure custom-made views to generate The Listing.

As a result of it’s primarily a CLI app, it’s more durable to work together with away from a linux gadget. There are some makes an attempt at cell apps… however they really feel immature.

Whereas enjoying with it, I have not discovered a straightforward resolution for my Rituals.

As with Orgmode, I wrote an export for Issues. The JSON format that TaskWarrior makes use of for interop makes import/export far simpler.



Todoist has an incredible repute within the subject. In contrast to the opposite examples, it’s not 0data, so its more durable to get your knowledge out. Nonetheless, its prodigious net API makes it simple to get duties in or automate creation of duties primarily based on Zapier occasions or nonetheless you wish to automate.

Todoist has a Kanban view that may be a compelling option to handle some tasks. I do want you would handle Initiatives that means… however you may at all times create a meta-project with hyperlinks to the Initiatives since Every little thing is URLs.

See Also

Todoist has an extremely cool integration with Fantastical that permits you to put a process at a time… you may’t set the time to longer than 45m, but it surely’s an incredible begin for time blocking.

I like venture feedback as a type of context. It appears to be aimed extra at collaborative updates than a supply of fact. You’ll be able to’t nest tags like in Issues, which is a disgrace. I’ve individuals tags sorted by crew, so I can get my questions for you or something associated to your crew. Very helpful!

There are a pair Obsidian plugins out there to view or sync duties between Obsidian and Todoist or you would strive…


Simply utilizing Obsidian! Obisidan is 0data plaintext… and it is principally a code-editor web-browser… so you may create just about create any system you need.

Apart from the inbuilt - [ ] process performance, there’s quite a lot of wonderful plugins for Obsidian to develop it is capabilities:

Obsidian has rather a lot going for it. I used the Duties by Dataview on a aspect venture for a month or two. It really works fairly effectively. I might create duties wherever within the notes for the venture, and so they’d all be surfaced on the primary Duties be aware.

Nonetheless… Obsidian is at the moment the place I write and create, and I do not need my Productivity System mixed up with my Creativity System. Even with out that, I discovered the tags I might need for a process system to pollute the construction that I need for my data system… it acquired complicated.

Bullet Journal

Bullet Journaling has been part of my life for just a few years. A Bullet Journal works as The Listing very effectively. Serving the perform of The Mind is tough and requires quite a lot of maintenance. I have been utilizing my Journal as an analog The Listing, and utilizing my digital Activity Supervisor because the Mind.

Since I first began this entire journey my work has shifted, or perhaps my mindset has. The place I used to plan particular person duties into the day as time blocks I’ve began to dam off a bit for a Mission Listing. The Listing (typically on The Notice, typically a calendar block, typically Immediately) simply comprises the meta-task immediate “work on Mission.” This particularly works with techniques the place the duties aren’t in “my one system.” (JIRA, Trello, and so forth.)

As an experiment I’ve eliminated a lot of the fast seize instruments off my telephone. I seize most of my todos both by Siri or by jotting down in my journal. I am having fun with the filter that comes with a bit of friction.

My deadlines reside in exterior techniques, my private record is comparatively easy and my Bullet Journaling has leveled up bit. I am severely contemplating returning to this 100%. The draw back is that I am at a pc 8 hours a day… a lot of my work and seize must be a URL… and analog is not tremendous good at that.


It is at all times lurking within the shadows. I haven’t touched it correctly apart from a trial. But it surely’s there, calling out my title…

The place to from right here?

I do not know. ???? This is what I’m doing:

Shifting Issues 3 into “brain-only” mode

I am making an attempt to not work out of Factor’s Immediately record… copying it into my journal every morning. (I determine an important process the earlier night time and that finally ends up time-blocked and placed on a sticky be aware on my keyboard.)

I am additionally making an attempt to keep away from utilizing Fast Seize. By counting on analog and Drafts as enter I am hoping I can break my habit.

Splitting Rituals

I am experimenting with splitting my Rituals right into a “set off” and “record.”

The “set off” is a process with a hyperlink to the “record.” As a result of I am nonetheless experimenting… the “set off” is in each Issues and Todoist for the time being whereas I learn the way Todoist works. One dealbreaker appears to be that transferring a single occasion of a repeating process in Todoist breaks the repeat.

The “record” is a “Sloppy Working Process” doc in Obsidian. As a result of a lot of my Rituals contain reviewing, and the outcomes of my assessment is logged in Obsidian this feels pure. I want Obsidian had extra automation for organising splits with instructions and information… and I haven’t got a option to reset the guidelines… but it surely works nice for now.

If Issues had been to go away, I might predict that I might find yourself in TaskWarrior as a Mind, Obsidian/ZK as context and Kanban, and Bullet Journal as my timeblocking/The Listing. However who is aware of.

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