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Wanted: can a kind person please share simple gtd s using toodledo

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  • Wanted: can a kind person please share simple gtd s using toodledo

    Greetings and happy new year to my old forum acquaintances and new forum users. I have been trying to use toodledo but I am having a heck of a time making my basic gtd elements (areas of focus, projects, context, and sdmbs) fit into toodledoo's system. I have tried to search gtd forums but I am getting no results (I may be a poor searcher) Toodledoo's forum posts that I have looked at so far are so complicated I am lost.
    So, if you are doing this or can find any posts that show this, I would be most appreciative. I having been using paper since the death of my Palm and it is killing me.

    Jamie Elis
    Last edited by Jamie Elis; 01-24-2013, 09:02 AM. Reason: Typing

  • #2
    Evernote is far more versatile for projects, project support, and horizons and just an exellent digital capturing tool (or a digital inbasket). for action lists though Toodledo is good, however I prefere 2DO, its looks much better on smartphones and also syncs with toodledo

    hope that helps


    • #3
      Originally posted by Jamie Elis View Post
      Greetings and happy new year to my old forum acquaintances and new forum users. I have been trying to use toodledo but I am having a heck of a time making my basic gtd elements (areas of focus, projects, context, and sdmbs) fit into toodledoo's system. I have tried to search gtd forums but I am getting no results (I may be a poor searcher) Toodledoo's forum posts that I have looked at so far are so complicated I am lost.
      So, if you are doing this or can find any posts that show this, I would be most appreciative. I having been using paper since the death of my Palm and it is killing me.
      I'm not using Toodledo right now, but I've done fine with it in the past. There are a lot of ways to do GTD with it. I have found that the simplest way for me is to have

      Contexts: -Projects (the - puts it at the top), Computer, Someday/Maybe et cetera
      Folders: Areas of Focus

      and not have an explicit connection between project and next actions, except that they have the same area of focus. You can make that connection using subtasks (with a paid subscription) or with tags. Another alternative is to use Goals for Areas of Focus and Folders for Projects. I found most of these schemes too much trouble to maintain, but others have not.

      I would recommend also enabling the due date field and the star, and learning about the hotlist functionality. Used sparingly, it will help you get through the busiest days. Other fields at your discretion. One nice thing about Toodledo is that you can try out wacky ideas for fields you think might help you and not lose anything but time.


      • #4
        Hi Jamie,

        I used Toodledo for a few years so can tell you what I did with it as my GTD system.

        Are you asking about the online version or the iOS (iPhone/iPod/iPad) version, or both?

        I used both but found the iOS version poorly designed and not very intuitive so I used Appigo's 'Todo' instead. It syncs very nicely with Toodledo and in my opinion has a great interface and is much more intuitive. There are also other iOS apps that sync with Toodledo.

        Here are a few things I did to customise Toodledo that apply to both the online and iOS versions:

        1. Turn off fields
        Toodledo has too many fields. Turn off as many as you can to remove on-screen clutter and save yourself time when creating tasks. I turned off these fields:
        - Start Date
        - Start Time
        - Length
        - Timer
        - Priority
        - Status
        - Location
        - Goal

        2. Use Folders for projects
        I tried using tasks as projects with sub-tasks as next actions but it's easy to miss sub-tasks depending upon how you've set up your view settings. Folders become your permanent and visible place-holder.

        3. Use Tags for areas of focus and use only one tag per task
        There is a temptation to use tags like you would see in blog posts (e.g. multiple tags per task). This results in a big number of tags and becomes difficult to use as any kind of filter. I just had two tags: business & personal. This gave me an easy area-of-focus switch when I needed it and also a way of sorting views.

        For the online version, saved searches are very useful. You can use this page to create your own custom views for easy access.

        I switched to Appigo's Todo Online last year and still use Todo on my iPhone and iPad for a few very basic reasons:
        a. Todo permits manual sorting
        b. Todo has an inbox
        Users have been asking Toodledo for these basic features for many years but I don't think it will ever happen.


        • #5
          Hi Jamie,

          I love Toodledo, but, full disclosure, my system is on paper right now, since I show it to people when I'm training, and they "get" paper much more easily at first.

          Toodledo works best when you keep it simple!

          I created folders for:
          Waiting For

          Each project, action item, etc. was a task, filed in the appropriate folder.

          The only tags I used were for action items, to indicate context (@home, @phone, etc).

          I used the task's note field for support information or to note where my support was located, but only if I really needed it. You don't want to spend 5 minutes entering each item!

          Here's an example:
          Folder: "Projects"
          Task: "Build Widget" with a note that my widget specifications were in a project support file at the office.
          Folder: "Actions"
          Task: "Send copy of widget specs to engineering" Tag: @Office

          I didn't use the due date or alarm functions in toodledo - if something had a particular due date, I noted it as part of the task name, then on my calendar as a day-specific item, since I look at my calendar more frequently than my lists throughout the day.

          If something was really "hot", I used the star.

          The fewer fields you use in toodledo, the easier it will be to use your system quickly, especially from your phone. You want to pass the "flu" test. If it's too complicated to use when you are feeling your worst, it's just too complicated!

          Toodledo also offers a basic notebook. That's where I kept GTD-related notes, such as my "Horizons of Focus" lists. I only looked at those during my Weekly Reviews, so I kept them separate from my folders so I wouldn't have to look at them more than I had to. Evernote is a much better product for storing and searching for reference and project support items, and it's free

          All the best,


          • #6
            I must say i agree @mak2011. You should do what he says.


            • #7
              i agree w toodledo field turning off, but i cant bring myself to do it

              I'm really all over and have never been simple but here is what I have done with toodledo:

              I think started using toodledo in 2011, & I let it get stale. I can see how so many fields are a turn off.
              It think it forced my staleness.... but in all honesty lately i think it forces me to plan such as due date since i have the attention span of a gnat.

              Now I'm letting those fields help me plan, and not scare me off. Priority is junk in my opinon, I also use Pocket Informant for my iphone 3gs that uses my gmail calendar and toodle and soon evernote... that PI app is way too busy but has handy sort functions. They might be useful if I become a gtd blackbelt.

              I use tasks= runway;sometimes inbox as hairbrained/triggering thoughts for processing later.
              folders as projects/next action/someday/maybe/ areas of focus etc;
              contexts stay contexts;
              goals: short term,longterm and lifetime= 30000, 40000, 50000 ft horizons

              other items include
              Evernote as capturing inbox and project support
              Pinterest is a great imagery tool for what i want to have true like a vision board or something
              Mindmap at work and freemind at home for connecting thoughts helping me find steps

              I love printing and crossing off things from toodledo. it feels better than clicking a checkbox. i read uncrossed of things and ask why have i not done them
              I also print it off for reference in case of home computer meltdowns /network blocking sites at work
              Last edited by; 02-03-2013, 08:18 PM. Reason: grammar/punct


              • #8
                Work with the fields that ToodleDo has

                First, a disclaimer. I'm a pragmatist, not a GTD afficionado. I acknowledge that I need reminders for a lot of regular tasks that I do in an interrupt-driven life, so I use them. I've not had great experiences in the past with apps that use Calendar integration for date/time-related tasks, especially for repeating tasks with alarms, of which I have many. I find that it works better to have all my tasks held within my ToDo umbrella, rather than having things in a separate calendar (even if integrated). And I REALLY want to be able to manage my tasks on a SmartPhone.

                Personally, I'm inclined to use the ToodleDo fields for the uses they're intended for as far as possible. I suspect that some of the GTD implementations that people have recommended were set up when ToodleDo's choice of fields was more restrictive. I may be wrong here, as I've recently returned to ToodleDo after an absence, so I'm assuming that things have changed during that time.

                ToodleDo now has fields for Context, Location, Status (None, Next Action, Active, Planning, Delegated, Waiting, Hold, Someday, Cancelled and Reference), Star, Start Date and time, Due Date and time, Goals, Length, and a couple of others. The paid version supports one level of subtask - for projects in the GTD sense, i.e. those tasks that have more than one step (but that are not more complex Projects with a capital "P").

                I use Folders for Areas of Responsibility, and Tags for Big Projects with a Capital "P", but some people find that it works better for them to have these the other way around. I guess it depends on whether you want to consider Folders as another hierarchy level to group tasks and subtasks together and something that can be finished and archived.

                I have a Saved Search for my Focus tasks, which is defined as Status is Next Action / Active / None (in case of anything I added quickly without setting a Status) AND is either Starred (i.e. I've manually marked it as something to focus on) OR is due today. You may want to modify this to include/exclude whatever Status options are appropriate for your usage. Or you might exclude the Status part altogether. In theory it should be redundant anyway .

                Similarly, you can create Saved Searches for your review list (probably based on Status, plus due dates for stuff due "soon").

                You can slice and dice by context, location, duration (if you use it), etc. - and create Saved Searches for those too, if you want to refine your view based on combinations of fields.

                One of ToodleDo's strengths is that it allows you to choose which fields you use, and remove the unused ones from view altogether, so that your desktop isn't cluttered with columns that you don't care about.

                The main thing for you to do is to identify how to make the GTD principles work best for you, decide which fields you need to do that, and use them in a way that works for you.

                If you find that ToodleDo doesn't have a field for something you'd like to use, you can either hijack something you don't need, or use Tags. For instance, ToodleDo doesn't have a field for energy levels (to help you decide which tasks to do according to how you feel). If this is something you like to use, one way to do it is to use Tags, optionally with a convention for energy-related Tags (you may find it helps if they're prefixed or suffixed by some consistent symbol or characters). A task can have as many Tags as you like, so you can use energy-level tags as well as tags used for other things (Areas of Focus, or Projects, for instance).

                Alternatively, you could use another field to denote energy levels instead (e.g. Priority or Length, if you're not using them for their intended purpose). The potential advantage of using another field is the ability to sort by the value of that field, rather than just searching for a particular value. You can't do this with tags, because you can have many tags per task in any order. However, if you use a field that's intended for something else, check what features ToodleDo offers in connection with that field before deciding whether it will be a good fit. For instance, Priority has an impact on the Hotlist, and can be used to hide tasks with negative priority. This may be useful to you, or a hindrance.

                If you want to sync with a smartphone app to manage your tasks, some of your decisions may be influenced by what apps are available, and what features they support. I find that I use mine a LOT (because I almost always have it with me), and the ToodleDo website surprisingly much less than a QWERTY keyboard fan like me might expect.

                At the moment, I don't use Location alerts on my phone, because the app I use only uses GPS for location, which is a big battery drain. But when that's been resolved, I look forward to being reminded about stuff when I'm in the right place. For now, I content myself with using the location field to manually check for tasks to do when I'm there.


                • #9
                  The system should fit you...

                  ... not the other way around.

                  There are so many tools out there. I think you should give yourself license to pick one that is easier to setup. The Setup Guides are a great way to get started on a tool using a setup you know works for GTD. That way you can concentrate more on learning the methodology than learning and setting up the tool.

                  Just a suggestion in case it is relevant. I know that helped me immensely finally get started with my GTD implementation.