GTD Journey: Back to Microsoft To Do with 2 accounts
I changed my task list manager again! 😆
I know I promised I would wait a year before rethinking my use of Nirvana but… I got some more pressure from the company I work for, where everything is becoming Microsoft 365. Considering that I use Outlook 365 for work every day and I also have a personal account, I decided to switch back to Microsoft To Do.
Here is why:
- Integration: my work teams started assigning tasks to people and they are showing up in MS To Do. I didn’t want to have to copy tasks to another app, and then loose track or get confused about what was on my plate. In this case the integration makes things consolidated in one tool, making my life easier. Also, there are work periods when I deal with a lot of back and forth emails, where I’m waiting for something and/or have to follow up. The Outlook integration here makes things less confusing. (previously I had to forward the email to Nirvana, and manually add a link to the message so that I could find it later… some things fell through the cracks on a couple occasions, so the process was not reliable).
- Having multiple accounts on iOS: Now we can switch between multiple accounts on iPhones. Just until recently this was only possible on Android phones. This solves one of my earlier issues with MS To Do, where I couldn’t access my work lists using my personal phone and vice versa. I know I could solve this by having everything in one account then sharing the lists, but I prefer to have them separate.
- The looks 😍: I really LOVE Microsoft To Do aesthetic. I love using emojis and honestly I missed some colours in my daily tasks.
- My Day: This functionality is great to manage my attention/focus deficit! And because it resets everyday, it forces me to select the focus of the day.
Now, the setup!
Lists without groups:
- 📥INBOX (Shared): I created this as a shared point between my personal and work accounts so that I can move things I captured on one account to the other. The idea here is that when I’m capturing it doesn’t matter which phone or account I have on my hands, it has to be quick and easy to capture something. I’ll deal with it later.
- 🎯My GTD Dashboard: This list is a quick reference link to documents that are outside the task manager, like my dashboard spreadsheet (used for planning), my system overview (a description of my system) and master project lists. These master project lists are long time records of my projects that I update once a month or so.
Groups of Lists:
- P R O J E C T S: I separate them between active projects “Projects-Personal” and “Projects-Inactive”. Inactive projects are the ones that I started but for some reason were put on hold, or I am waiting for something, so they are not active. I revise this list during my weekly review.
* N E X T A C T I O N S📌: each list is a different context, classic GTD
- L A T E R 🔒: I created this “LATER” list for actions that I don’t want to engage just yet, but soon (next week, maybe). It’s a middle ground parking lot between Someday-Maybe and Next.
- S O M E D A Y: Lists to group different topics for all Someday/Maybe’s.
- Noisy Deadlines: I capture ideas for blog posts and have links to my archives folder where I store images, file references, etc.
- Recurring: All of my recurring tasks, including Daily Reviews, My Routines and GTD Reviews.
- References: various lists that are non actionable items.
- Checklists: Travel and GTD Checklists.
Using hashtags to identify Projects
I’m still using hashtags as a way to search similar items. So for example, in my projects list I have a keyword to identify that project and so I can use that same hashtag on my next actions. Clicking on a hashtag will show all related items with it.
I shared some lists between my personal and work accounts so that if I update one the changes will be reflected in both accounts:
- My GTD Dashboard
- Vacation Dates
I’m getting used to this new system which feels to me a bit more focused on executing (via next actions by contexts). In Nirvana I tended to let things parked in my next actions list longer and it wasn’t as engaging for me to act on them. It seems now that capturing and processing is faster.
I’m exploring the integrations available between Teams/Outlook/MS To Do to start using them to my advantage, including the “Flagged email” list.
Also, I really like “My Day”!
So, I’ll renew my promise: I will stick with this system for at least a year, unless it becomes unbearable. 🙋♀️
By Noisy Deadlines Minimalist in progress, nerdy, introvert, skeptic. I don't leave without my e-reader.