A Comprehensive Guide to Using Todoist

Over two million people use Todoist to organize their work tasks, their personal lives, their education, and everything in between. Behind our beautifully simple interface is an incredibly robust and highly developed technology that allows our users to achieve their most important goals.

Today, we’re bringing you a comprehensive guide to using Todoist on the web, on-the-go, and with powerful plug-ins on your favorite platforms.

Let’s start with Todoist on the web. The easiest way to get started using Todoist is, after signing up, to create your first project. Don’t forget that you can register quickly with Google Log-in.

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Creating projects and adding tasks

When you create your project, you can assign it a color for increased organization, and also add a subproject in order to divide it into more manageable sections. For example, the project is “Corporate Marketing,” and the subproject is “Digital Marketing.”

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Next, you’ll want to add tasks to your project. You can add a task by clicking “+ add task” or clicking the + sign in the upper right bar. Or simply by pressing the q key on your keyboard (see more useful keyboard shortcuts here).

Once you’ve learned how to add tasks, you can add serious power to them by setting a due date. Due dates can be simple, like: today, tomorrow, June 15, or next Monday. Or, you can set recurring dates such as: every day, every Friday, every 3 days starting next Monday, and more (see a full list of date and time options here).

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You can also add subtasks in order to break the bigger task down into even smaller actions. For example, the task could be “Write Newsletter,” and the subtask could be “Translate newsletter into Japanese.” When you’re adding the task in the project view, just click CTRL+RightArrow (or ⌘+RightArrow) to make it a subtask.

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Finally, add a priority level to your tasks. This will help you know which to-dos to tackle first and which ones can wait (it’s a true relief for the brain). Todoist offers four priority levels: red (priority #1), blue (priority #2), turquoise (priority #3), and white (priority #4). Quickly add a priority by type !p1 or !p2 and so on in the task’s text input field.

Todoist priorities

Keep in mind that you can also do all of these things on Todoist’s mobile apps (for iOS and Android), browser plug-ins (for Firefox and Chrome), and email plug-ins (for Gmail, Outlook, Postbox, and Thunderbird).

Viewing tasks

With Todoist, there are two ways to view your tasks: Today and Next 7 Days. You’ll see that, in each version, tasks are organized by priority. In the Next 7 Day view, tasks are subsequently organized by date. This is the same across Todoist’s apps and software.

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Completing your tasks

To complete a task, simply click the little box to the left of the task. On Todoist’s mobile apps, simply tap the task and click “complete.”

If you “complete” a task erroneously, go to the project where the task was housed, and click the little grey clock icon at the bottom right of your task list. There, you’ll see all completed tasks– click the box of the task you want to “un-complete” and it will return to your project.

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There are three ways to view your completed tasks:

  1. [Premium] In the Todoist Karma pop-up window, click View All Completed in the Completed History section.
  2. Using the Show Completed Tasks icon in each project (as described above).
  3. Using keywords: type a keyword in the Todoist search panel to find both current and completed tasks with that particular word.

The Inbox

When you want to quickly add tasks to Todoist without having to set up a project, you can use the Inbox (the first option on your home Todoist panel).

Todoist inbox



Premium Perks

The top features available for Todoist Premium users are reminders, labels, notes, filters, and calendar sync. Here are some tips on using them:

Reminders: Click the clock icon when adding a task to receive reminders via SMS, email, or push notification, on a specific date or time. You can also add a time by inputting “today at 10am” in your task’s due date. Make sure you never miss another to-do!

Todoist reminders

Location-based reminders: Set task reminders to trigger on your iOS or Android mobile device when you arrive or leave a certain physical location. Search Google Maps or Apple Maps to pin-point and add new locations to your location list, and Todoist will save your last 10 identified locations so that you can easily select those recently and frequently used.

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Labels: Using the @ sign, you can use labels to add context and organization to your tasks– for example, label all your work tasks with @work (the task would be: Marketing presentation @work). On your home Todoist panel, you can see your various labels; click on one to see all different tasks in that particular category.

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Notes: To add notes to your tasks, hover over a task on the web (or tap a task on Todoist mobile) and you’ll see an icon with horizontal lines. Click there to add a quick note!

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Filters: According to productivity expert Mike Vardy, “filters in Todoist can really allow you to hone in and focus on tasks in a way that neither the Project or Labels View can.” Filters provide a very easy shortcut to see tasks in certain categories that you yourself can set up. Just click on the Filters tab on the left-hand side of your home Todoist panel to get started (or watch this quick video tutorial).

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Calendar Sync: In your general Todoist account Settings, copy the iCalendar link at the very bottom and paste into any calendar program that will accept an iCal feed. For example, in Google Calendar, go to “other calendars” and click “Add by URL” and paste the Todoist iCal link there. Your tasks will automatically be added to your calendar, and each change made in Todoist will also be made in your calendar.



More awesome features:

File uploading

Upload files to your tasks from your desktop, Dropbox or Google Drive accounts. After you’ve added a task, click on the Notes icon and, at the bottom of the pop-up window, you’ll see an icon with an arrow. Click there to upload your file (spreadsheet, Word doc, photo, etc.). You can also drag and drop your files to the same location.

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Project sharing & task delegating

With Todoist, you can share your projects, tasks, and files with colleagues, family, and friends. To start, first right-click on the project you want to share, and click “Share Project” from the drop-down menu. Then simply invite people using their email addresses.

Todoist sharing

To assign a task to someone (say your Marketing Department colleague), first add a task in your shared project. When adding the task, click on the grey profile icon and choose the correct person. Keep in mind that, with Todoist, you can only assign a task to one person. You can alert others in the task comment space, but there is only one directly responsible individual per task.

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Add any website as a task

Todoist offers awesome plug-ins for Google Chrome and Firefox browsers that allow you to turn any URL into a task. After adding either plug-in to your preferred browser, just click the Todoist icon in your bookmarks bar and your task list will appear. To add a URL as a task, simply click “Add website as task” in the add task window. Save the task as usual, and you’ll be taken back to the same URL any time you click the task.

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Add an email as a task

Inbox zero is finally possible with Todoist. With our popular plug-ins for Gmail, Outlook, Thunderbird and Postbox you can add any email as a task to your to-do list. First, download the plug-ins to your email client. Then, when viewing any email, you’ll see a Todoist Add Task icon. Click the icon to convert the email into a task. When in your full task list, click on the task and it’ll take you directly to the email in your inbox.

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Todoist Karma

Track your daily, weekly, and monthly productivity with Todoist Karma, a point system that increases when you complete tasks and decreases when you have uncompleted tasks more than four days overdue. Go from Beginner to Enlightened and visualize your productivity with graphs showing your progress by tasks completed, by project, and by week day.

Todoist Karma

Achieving your goals

Meet Filip, Vanessa, and Rita– they all use Todoist to accomplish their goals, whether they are professional, personal, or even physical. Millions of people use Todoist to improve their lives and so can you. Sign-up today or upgrade to Premium for less than $2.50 a month.

Todoist Team

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