How important is calendar integration to you?

PeterByrom

Registered
I find calendar integration is massively helpful. It enables me to do a couple of things which contribute greatly to the smoothness of my GTD system:

1. If I have next actions or projects that are due on a particular day (as in, really, truly due) then I can set their due dates in my list manager and then see those items on their due dates in the calendar. If I get to that day and haven't got round to taking that action yet, then it has become part of the hard landscape for the day (because it must get done that day, or renegotiated, or else).

2. It enables me to keep a digital tickler or schedule feed. I have a list in my GTD system called "tickler", and I use the due dates in that list to set the day for when I want to see that tickler item in my "today" view. I also keep lists of specific items which need scheduling. e.g. when my wife was pregnant, we had loads of medical appointments, and instead of scattering those all over the calendar, it meant we could keep a single "medical appointments" list and then get the best of both: seeing all our medical appointment details in one place (list view) but also seeing them on the calendar (due to the calendar feed).
 

Oogiem

Registered
I have actually disconnected calendar integration from my task manager. I like the separation it provides. I do have things in my task manager that can't start until some date or that are due by some date but those are typically all day events. My calendar has time specific events.

For example: I have a recurring yearly task to vaccinate pregnant ewes. It will have a start date 6 weeks before the earliest due date for lambs and a due date of 4 weeks before the earliest due date for lambs. Exactly when I do it during that timeframe is unimportant so it's not on my calendar. It depends too much on the weather to schedule any finer than that. I can't vaccinate wet sheep so I can't do it if it's ben raining or snowing. So vaccinate ewes is not on the calendar but is in my task manager.

Another example: There is a live webinar that won't be recorded that I want tolisten to if possible. It's on the day and time in my calendar listed as "?Attend webinar on X" The ? means that if I miss it it's not a disaster, like a doctor apt. might be. But it's also time specific. It doesn't appear anywhere in my task list.
 

mcogilvie

Registered
This is all very interesting. It always amazes me what people are willing to do to get the ”look” they want in their productivity tools. Personally, I won’t use anything that isn’t fast to use and very stable. I avoid niche products and ”hacked together” workflows. I can write them myself, but they’re generally too fragile.
 

Ariadne Marques

Registered
Up until recently, I thought calendar integration was essential to me. That's one of the reasons why I spent the last couple of years reinstalling my system in different apps (without never quite finding the "perfect" one).

Calendar integration is nice, but it has to be a good two-way-sync for me to really appreciate it. In the past, I’ve used some integrations that did not work as expected or that would regularly lose sync. I remember that with Trello and Planyway (a separate paid service that integrates with Trello) the synchronization was perfect (and 2-way).

When I was using Todoist I used the synchronization to have the tasks I would take care of that day shown on my Calendar. But the issue was that I was then putting dates to a bunch of tasks, I lost control and felt overwhelmed… And frustrated because I had to use the “Re-schedule” feature almost every day on Todoist. Also, it was a bummer that I couldn't check-off a task directly from my Calendar like I could using Trello+Planyway.

I use the exact date and time only for appointing meetings. Nonetheless, my scheduled and due tasks presented in calendar view would be awesome facilitate.

The simple list doesn't allow me to quickly catch how these dates are assigned across the whole week and month.
I quite frankly believe they will add this feature in the future.
That said, today I do as @Mateusz . I keep events and major milestones on my Calendar, not next actions. So, next actions that I plan on working on goes to my “Focus” list on Nirvana. This list is updated every day at the end of the day. Milestones, like a tender closing date, go to my Calendar and I also add the due date on Nirvana just so that project will appear on my Focus list automatically.

I agree, let the list manager manage lists, and do it well, across multiple platforms. Let calendar tools handle calendars, let file management tools handle files, and integrate with all of those really well.
I agree with @Mike Brennan. It’s been working well for me to have hard boundaries between my Calendar, to-do list and file management tools. I think because of this clear separation I'm using all the tools more effectively than before. Since now I use my Calendar to see meetings, appointments and major milestones, I have a better idea of my time to actually create time blocks to work on my tasks. And I register on the Calendar these time blocks as my work unfolds day by day. I feel that if I plan too many days in advance for those next "do-as-soon-as-possible actions", I’ll get frustrated.
 
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