7 Tips for Hyper-productive Wunderlist-ing
Update: Looks like Wunderlist was bought by Microsoft, so maybe take this all with a grain of salt.
I’m loving the newest version of Wunderlist. Honestly, I’m not even sure what all has changed, but here’s what I know: Wunderlist is probably my favorite ToDo management application thus far.
That’s a big deal, you know… there’s about a thousand ToDo managers.
Here’s how I’m using it.
1. Put it everywhere
One of Wunderlist’s primary killer features is the fact that it is available everywhere. Native apps for Apple devices, and a web interface. It really is everywhere.
So make your to-dos accessible everywhere. Unlike your email, having your todos accessible actually helps your productivity if you know when to look at the list.
3. Use Tags to Sort by Energy/Time Required and Context
Who knew you could do hashtags in Wunderlist. This allows for clickable searchability. Adding some kind of context allows you to do things like: “Clean out closet. #15m #home #busywork”. When you’re at home, your mind is completely fried, and you have 15 minutes to kill, having these tags helps you find the tasks that should be done at that point in time. When we have 15 minutes to spend, knowing exactly what we’re going to spend that 15 minutes doing is essential.
3. Name lists by major projects/efforts
When organizing my to-dos, it’s cognitively helpful for me to think about my home chores, side projects, and work projects in different contexts. Thus, when I’m thinking about writing articles, I have a list dedicated to writing articles. I can tag things to fall back to related tasks, like #writing, which I can put both on my book-writing efforts as well as my personal writing efforts.
4. Share lists with my wife, coworkers, etc
Shared lists are another killer feature.
My wife and I always need the same groceries. So, when we go grocery shopping, having the list available is super valuable. Pro-tip: when you run out of something, mark it off the list, and use the “completed” view to show you what you need to buy. Much easier than unmarking. Once you’ve bought everything, clean up your “completed” by marking them as “incomplete”. Dirty, but usable.
Sharing a list means you can also assign items. This makes divvying up responsibilities a breeze.
5. Make a Must Do Today list, and limit it to 3 items
If you don’t have a priority list that is your daily requirement, then you don’t really have an “in-queue” context. Make these non-negotiable, and make them completely accomplishable.
6. Make Managing your List its Own To-Do
Your to-do list is built to take care of your meta-work - your work about work. Stop thinking about what it is that you have to do, and pull it off the top of your list. This means it takes time to manage your list. So, dedicate some time to administering your list. Simple as that, you’ve done all of your meta work, which otherwise would steal from your insignificant cracks.
7. Make everything actionable
Make each and every item on the list an actionable task. This means no “get ready for the event” kind of tasks; instead, use “email the participants of the event”. Pro-tip: Use the comments and sub-tasks in Wunderlist to keep track of minute details. For instance, if you need to individually email a list of people, put each person as a subtask of the email task. Use comments to grab relevant links, passwords, etcetera.
I’m using Wunderlist because it makes my task management easier. Hopefully you find these tips useful to your task management. Let me know what you think on Twitter!
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Written by Jonathan Cutrell, Engineering Manager at Guild Education and podcast host at Developer Tea. You can follow him on Twitter at @jcutrell.