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The Best Task Management for Mac after years of testing

 

Managing my tasks and work is the cornerstone of a productive day. Also, nothing feels better than ticking off tasks when you get them done. This practice makes a task management app essential to every day.

Getting stuff done matters. Especially in this day and age where our attention is scarce, our attention can easily be distracted from things that matter. Think notifications, Facebook, and reading news. A UK firm recently found that the average employee is only productive for two hours and 53 minutes per day.


The Art of Task Management

The best way to avoid being unproductive is to be clear on your tasks and allocating time to them. I use my task management and calendar apps hand in hand. I draft a to-do list made of tasks for every day. I then allocate blocks of time on my agenda to get individual things done.

If you plan, measure and review your task reports you can discover patterns. You can answer essential questions such as 'What days am I most productive?' or 'What areas of work are running well and which are falling behind?'.

Let's return to the daily habit and see how that works. I have developed a habit of immediately entering a task into my phone as soon as it comes to mind. It can be a simple item such as to call someone or send an email. Alternatively, it might be an idea for a project.

The critical habit is to immediately get every task, from work to personal, into a to-do list.

This practice means I rarely miss or forget something. With all my tasks centrally stored, I can spend my time thinking about more important things. I also feel more relaxed knowing I'm not missing anything.

With instant task management being at the core of my productivity, this means the app that I use is a fundamental tool of my work life.


The Search for the Perfect Todo List

Finding the best task management app has not been easy. Over the last ten years, I have used Notes, Google Keep, Asana, Wunderlist, Trello and many others.

I have found most task management apps are dominant in one particular area. Trello presents handy cards, and Google Keep has useful integrations into the Google apps. The problem with the most todo apps is that for every strength they each have a glaring weakness.

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I have finally settled on the best task management app for Mac users. The easy winner is Todoist.

This app is has been thoughtful made and beautifully designed.

I have used Todoist for over a year, and it's a big part of my life. So let share with you why Todoist is the perfect Apple Mac task manager.


Task Entry is easy as ABC

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Todoist has tried to reduce as many barriers to creating a task. From the shortcut in iOS to the hotkeys in MacOS, you can enter a task at lightning speed.

I often create a task when I'm on the go and return to edit it when I have some time. At this point, I can add project details and any comments.

A thoughtful feature is the text autofill. When I enter the tex 'mon' Todoist automatically transforms this into Monday and appoints the calendar due date for the coming Monday. So three characters complete a traditional multi-click task. Sweet!

When I compare Todoist with Asana, I see a big difference. Todoist has a focus on design that is minimal, essential and well-prioritised fields. Asana gets too complicated too soon on the task entry feature.


The task list that is everywhere

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Todoist is on my iPhone, watch, Mac, iPad, browsers and the cloud. So this is a crucial feature that makes a big difference to the user experience.

I have 'Record Every Task ASAP' strategy. I can think of a task at any time. I can be walking, working out, doing email or writing — no matter where or when I think of a task I need to be able to capture it immediately.

Todoist is unrivalled at being Multiplatform for the Apple ecosystem. I am not an Android user, but my research suggests they do an excellent job of supporting that OS too.

Another thoughtful design approach from Todoist is the subtle adaptations the app does across different platforms. The Chrome browser integration is just a simple little button that allows the user to add an email to tidiest. Nothing more. It could have been tempting to add a long scrolling sidebar list in the same way Google Keep does. Not here. Todoist keeps it simple. The same applies to the Todoist watch app. Beautifully simple too.


Collaborating with groups and teams

I love the way Todoist makes it easy to share a task or a project with someone. Creating a shared project via Todoist is an essential step in reducing email and staying updated on the status of work.

The critical moment the collaboration feature made sense to me was when collaborators would mark an assigned task as complete. This action triggers a completion notification in my Todoist app. The completion information is presented in the context of the broader project. Moreover, I get all of this productivity insight in the right context - the task management app,

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This feature is so handy I found that we even use it in my family. My wife and son use Todoist for chores and shopping lists.


Creating Positive Habits Through Recurring Tasks

There is a myth that it only takes 21 days to develop a habit. My experience, which maps closely to scientific studies, is a habit can take months, sometimes half a year to indeed form. Todoist plays a big part in helping me build these habits.

Repeating a habit until it becomes deeply subconscious is my approaching to forming positive behaviours and rituals from writing a journal every day to putting out the garbage on a Sunday. The conscious repetition is all about time. So that means getting a task scheduled in your calendar and making it recur on a regular basis.

When creating a recurring task, Todoist shows off some more natural language skills. When entering a task, I can type 'every Tuesday' in the field, and the application will highlight the text and add it to the calendar accordingly. This natural language interpretation is such an improvement when compared to opening a calendar drop-down and selection each date on the month.

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There are some tasks we do daily, and they're easy to add. However, the app shows its maturity and personalisation strength by catering to rare or fringe occurrences such as 'every 3rd Friday' or 'every 3rd day'.


Improve Productivity via Task Tracking

You get what you measure. That's certainly the case with tasks and productivity. If you want to be more productive at work or home it's important to reflect on how you spend your time and what you get done.

Todoist provides some gamification features such as points, levels and streaks. I don't use these features, and they may be the only part of the app that feels a little weak.

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However, the app makes up for it with charts and history timelines to help you review your tasks. This probably the most unexpected delight of the app. It's such a powerful practice to evaluate how you spent your time yesterday.

I start every morning with a journal that reflects on the day prior. I look at two things to do this review — my calendar and Todoist. By digging into the completed tasks and trends, I quickly gauge how I am doing and what I should do next.


Todoist Rocks!

The Todoist app is ruthlessly efficient in helping me capture my tasks no matter when or where I am. Bring collaborators into a project, or a task is a snap. When I'm creating a recurring task, and hopefully a positive habit, or when I am reflecting on my productivity, Todoist works.