How to move an item between lists in Microsoft To Do

I’m having a test of Microsoft To Do right now, it’s always good to see what other apps are offering if you’re into productivity apps.

The first thing that I thought was worth sharing was how to move an item between different lists.

If you want to move an item, swipe right on it and tap the red icon. You can then pick the list from the selection screen you see above.

Hush: Browse the web in a bit more peace

I noticed Daring Fireball linked to this open source Safari extension and after using it a little I have to say that it’s made my browsing of job related sites a lot happier experience without closing about 50 pop ups. This works with Safari on iOS and macOS and blocks pop ups, like newsletter and cookie prompts. Not the ads remember but speeds things up a lot and I’d recommend checking it out if you use Safari as your browser of choice.

You can check out the Hush site here.

Should you put habits in your task manager?

Should you put habits in your task manager is a question I’ve been asking myself for a few weeks now. I’ve both used a task manager and habit tracker in the past and I’m leaning towards two separate apps.

This is why.

Overwhelm

I set up my task manager based on a mind map I created, this includes good and bad habits. Problem is check out the number of items in my list each day! I’ll be at least this number and more on my mind every day.

Streaks

Breaking bad habits for me is based on a streak of times I haven’t done it. What’s worked in the past is building a streak then not wanting to break it. A habit tracker is the only way to really do this.

Use two different apps

So, I’ll be removing some of the overwhelm from Todoist and move them into Streaks.

What do you feel about having two different apps?

Job hunting with Apple Notes

Job hunting with Apple Notes is something that kicked off last year so that I could keep a record of everything I had applied for (believe me, you need to keep track of it all). I looked at other solutions maybe using a third party app or using Apple Numbers but I ended up settling as I thought I would on Apple Notes.

First off I created a new FOLDER called ‘Job Hunting’, which would contain all of the relevant notes like interview notes etc…

I then created my NOTE called ‘Job Hunting Diary’ that contained a simple table containing the following columns

  • Date Applied
  • Company Name
  • Role
  • Any follow up? (links etc)
  • Status (date and update e.g. 09/02/2021, been put through to the second stage process)

This note was then pinned, so that it appeared at the top of my notes on whatever device I was using.

This has been great at tracking the various roles I’ve applied for and I use it multiple times a day. There are some downsides around formatting flexibility and sorting (you can’t) but for I like the simplicity of it’s always in sync without me having to do anything.

Splitting up calendar items and your task manager

I’d been of the mindset that seeing my calendar items within my task manager was a must have but now I’ve switched over to Todoist and this isn’t an option for my iCloud I’ve come to the conclusion it actually clutters things up.

Having a division of these two actually helps with overload to me. I use the Apple Calendar app widget to remind me what I have on but at the moment concentrating just on my task manager helps me get things done without worrying about the structure of the day.

I just work through my list and get to the items when I get to them.

Update on my Todoist setup

I posted last week about coming back to Todoist and I wanted to share with you how it’s been going this week.

As you can see I’ve kept it pretty basic with

  • A project per category I need to manage
  • A sub project if this needs breaking down E.g. Video within the Create project
  • The use of section headers to break down a project, like my learning one you can see in the screenshot

This has been working pretty well this week and between my devices (iPhone and MacBook, using Safari) I’ve been keeping on track ok. I am using the small widget on the home screen that shows me the number of items in the list today and the top few.

I’m adding items by firing up the app first but my next tasks is to look at how Todoist is working with automation and try to use Shortcuts a little more.

If you want to check out Todoist, please use my affiliate link here to help support my writing. (thanks in advance).

My Todoist setup

I’ve been switching apps again (you’re sick of posts like this right?) and with my kind of breaking and being overwhelmed with overdue Reminders UI I’ve gone back to old faithful – Todoist.

I know I’ve written up posts on not being able to justify a subscription but I need to invest in myself and job hunting so paid up for my monthly £3.99.

I just initially used my iPhone and dumped everything into their appropriate projects as you can see above. I don’t use labels and prefer to divide my tasks into logical places. You’ll see my divisions above. It’s a pretty basic setup at the moment and the folder names should show what tasks go where.

Along with the setup I have the small today widget on my main Home Screen. This allows me to see how much I’ve got left to do today at a glance.

I’ll share more as I refine this over time but for now here’s my Todoist setup.

The limits of Apple Reminders

I posted about how I thought I’d use Apple Reminders but a few days where I’m low energy and it’s overwhelming. I’ve missed items and they move to a red overdue area, it’s stressing me out seeing it that way. I’m chasing my tail a lot anyway but it’s making it worse.

So I’m seeing the limits of options to delay items and the way it’s being displayed I.e. shouting at me.

It’s got me thinking about app structure and there’s something about Todoist that I find fits with my brain. I’ve manually (via my iPhone) dumped from Reminders back to Todoist and I’ll continue on my journey with the app.

Even though I have a lot on (over 10 things today for example) I feel more in control with the way Todoist lays out the data.

How do you deal with overdue tasks in your app?

Why you should use Apple Reminders

I’m moving between task managers a lot more than usual with my new budgeting measures and after a week with Reminders I’m starting to understand the benefits of using the built in app over paying for a third party.

Sync

Data sync between my iPhone and MacBook has been rock solid. It’s even at the point that if I tick something off my iPhone I see the badge count on my macOS dock disappear without me doing anything. I did have issues in the past and I don’t know what’s changed but sync has been one of it’s strong points

Accessibility

My eyes are a lot older now and I’m bumping up the system font to Max. You’d be amazed how many top rated to do apps don’t adhere to the system setting and therefore aren’t accessible (Things 3 is particularly bad here). No matter what size system font I’m using Reminders adapts to it, therefore making it useable for me.

Privacy first

This has been an Apple mantra for a while but using Reminders lets me worry less about where and how my data is being used.

Tight integration

This is obvious really but if you’re in the Apple ecosystem then it’s tight integration with SIRI, all the devices and HomePod is a big plus.

It’s free

This means a lot to me right now, another monthly payment not to worry about.

It’s actually quite a decent app

I’m impressed with the updates from iOS 13, it’s a very usable app. There are a few more taps you need to go through to set a deadline etc but I like that you can add links and images to a Reminder. Projects and sub-projects are there and you can set items to be due with or without a time. It doesn’t have tags, but then I didn’t use them anyway. It’s well laid out and easy to understand. I’d say it’s also a better app on iOS than macOS.

It has iOS 14 widgets

A pretty basic one but does the job and sits on my home screen. Tells me the number of items and shows me the first 3.

In summary

I’m nit-picky about my apps but being made to accept their flaws based on how much I’m paying has helped me accept Reminders. It’s not perfect for me but no app is, it does the job and has been working for me over the last week. If you’re on iOS, macOS or both then I’d definitely use Reminders as your starting point.

Why I can’t recommend using Medium for your writing

I’ve been trying Medium for a day and I think I’m already done with it. I signed up for a free trial and wrote a few posts but I think it’s already giving me anxiety.

Let’s get the good stuff out of the way. The writing experience is very good, I like the clean editor and there’s no friction to publish.

Now onto the negatives…

Get rich quick

My timeline was full of “how I make $5,000 a day writing” or “3 ways that I’m better than you” posts – nothing good for my self esteem. In fact I could see no way to properly curate what you see in your timeline reading view. I simply can’t stand not being able to manage this, it’s one of reasons I never used the official Twitter app.

My writing isn’t suitable

The only articles that seem to get traction are like those above. The sorts of stuff I write isn’t going to be read. There’s so much content and you need to seem to be part of one of the publishing partners to “make it” on Medium. If you’re a small fry like me writing your daily thoughts then don’t bother, Medium isn’t for you.

Supporting creators

If you can afford it at £4.95 a month it seems a good idea to help support writers but only the top 5% probably get anything worthy out of it. If you want to support someone then support them directly via their own Patreon or Ko-Fi etc.

As a creator

If you’re a creator hoping to make money then it’ll be a long slog and remember you’ll be investing £4.95 a month too so that needs to offset what you’re making. Be prepared to spend £100’s to even get noticed. I’d rather put £10’s into my blog each year.

Wrap up

It takes a particular type of writing and personality to write on Medium I feel. Self improvement gurus and make money quick schemes are not what I’m about so it’s not for me – simple as that. I also want to calm the inputs in my technology life and Medium isn’t great at helping that. The app is more reader than writing and curating what you see seems pretty much impossible. If you’re like me on a traditional blog, writing a broad range of topics and thoughts as you get them don’t move to Medium.

My ultimate recommendation is stick to your own blog or start a new one, don’t start on Medium.