I’m thinking of a change from Nozbe to Outlook & To Do?

Graham19

Registered
I’ve been on Nozbe Personal paid version for several years. It’s not that I’m disappointed with Nozbe, rather I quite like the colourful environment of To Do also I’m all in on 365, I am tempted to a change, but worried the effort could be a waste. I’m not sure To Do deals with projects very well, it looks to me if I set up a project you can add multiple steps, albeit a bit of a workaround by using a sub list of a context and adding a task as a project (phew!), however you can’t flesh out the multiple steps by adding due dates, contexts etc. Is it a case of if I go down this route, projects are better managed in Outlook? If so then do you output to ToDo and use ToDo purely from ground level tasks? Can anyone point out if anything that I may be getting wrong about To Do?
 

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mcogilvie

Registered
As far as I can tell, MS Todo is a nice environment for a classic GTD implementation. If you want more than that, I’d look at Todoist or Nirvana in any situation with some non-Apple hardware.
 

ianfh10

Registered
I have recently implemented GTD using MS To Do for my work life only, partly because I already used Notion for personal/home tasks and passion projects prior to discovering GTD and partly because I'm restricted to O365 at work and don't want to put personal stuff in there. I'm finding it works very well.

I currently have the following lists set-up in To Do:

Projects
Waiting

Next actions (group containing)
Computer
Office
Phone
1:1
Team meeting
Email
Read
Work app 1
Work app 2 etc etc.
(I don't have a someday/maybe list for work because all my actions/projects must be done sooner or later)


I find projects work fine in To Do for me, but perhaps that's simply the nature of my work. I use 'project' in the strict GTD sense of a process with several successive next actions required to achieve an outcome. These are quite small, and I only have around 7 or 8 on that list currently. My work projects happen to be quite prescribed, so don't require much creativity or free-reign on my part and so don't need a long list of actions or project support material. I also generally don't use the sub-tasks or steps section of each project as a place to list next actions as they may evolve depending on other actions' outcomes.

So in my setup, each project is a "task" in To Do with a stated outcome, and any "project support material" I enter into the notes section or attach any files directly to the task. If it's quite lengthy, I'll use OneDrive or OneNote for this.

I tag each project with a relevant #tag in To Do and any next actions relating to that project also get tagged, and these actions live in context lists alongside non-project actions.

As part of my weekly review I ensure all projects have a next action and all actions relating to a project are tagged.

I don't really use outlook for task or project management simply because I don't find the UI very nice to use. I only have a few folders: inbox, hold and archive. I don't like using folders in outlook because I simply won't look in the folders once stuff is in there.

What I do like about Outlook is that flagged emails appear in To Do, so I can empty any actionable items into To Do. Then they can be moved, renamed and manipulated like any task. Completing them in To Do marks them as done in Outlook and vice versa. Working with emails as task items in outlook is annoying as well because email subjects written by others will often be vague or even cryptic.

For example, if I receive an email asking me to 'arrange meeting', I flag it, move it archive, and essentially forget about the email itself. Then as part of my daily review I move any tasks from flagged to context lists (email in this example), and rename it to something concrete (invite Dan, Sally and Amir to meeting on 01/01/22). If I need the information from the email to complete the task or need to respond to the sender, I can open the email via To Do without needing to search in the outlook archive. Of course, if the action from the email or replying to the email takes less than 2 minutes, it won't be entered in To Do at all.

These workflows are slicker in outlook Web as To Do, Email and Calendar are highly integrated. They're slightly clunkier in the desktop apps but by no means impossible. Plus, I find outlook Web gets scattered across tabs and becomes messy as browser windows and tabs are opened/closed/multiplied
 
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