I got interested in this very good looking Task Management application called 2Do for iPhone and iPod Touch and installed it to see whether it can be flexible enough to be a good app to follow David Allen’s Getting Things Done methodology.
I never expected it to work so well that it is replacing Action List as my main task management application. This is the ultimate vote of confidence for this application as i have previously use Appigo ToDo and Action List, both very very competent applications.
Here is a walk through on how to set up 2Do in the GTD way.
Setting up your Areas of Focus/Responsibilities
This is where you plan out what are your 1 year goals that enable you to get to where you want to be in 5 years time.
Just like in Appigo ToDo and Action List, I use the main bucket list for this task
I have gotten used to seperating my work task list from my private life. and as such my area of focus are mostly found in personal goals such as blogging,business sourcing and wellness and health.
These are translated in 2Do to Calendars.
Setting up your Contexts
A tutorial on how i view contexts can be found here [tutorial >>]
My contexts have not changed much and they are based around Location, Modes/Chunks and People.
I will normally set up the location and modes/chunks as these can be pretty fixed. For people i will set up those that i interact with that recurs alot, such as bosses, common end users and family.
Contexts can be set up in 2Do using Tags. Note that you can’t prepare a list, but when you enter each individual task details, you get the opportunity to set it up. Here is an example of some of my location contexts.
The People Contexts are seperate in 2Do from the other contexts, and 2Do will look them up in your contact list in your iPhone.
Collection of Tasks
This happens anytime, anywhere. Collection is simply taking things off the brain and into 2Do. It is recommended that you spend 5 mins everyday thinking about what needs to be collected.
There are many options to filled in for each individual task but i will go through those that are more related to GTD.
You can select where the task should belong to. If it is a task that should be part of a set of actions to complete a certain objective then it should be added to an existing project (those task with a brief case icons are sub projects).
Of course, you would also need to specifiy an end date for the task. I really like this calendar layout compare to Action list
You can then tag the contexts whichever they belong to. You can tag multiple contexts and people, which is great!
You can also set certain task such as allocating your monthly paycheck or paying the utilities as recuring activites. This is a god sent feature in Task Management!
And then there are really tons and tons you can link to your task! Take a look below:
What 2Do will actually do is to limit what you will view in your task entry. You can go to the Arrange ToDo properties to decide which one you want to view by default and which one to hide. Do note that Tags are by default hidden.
Managing a Sub-Project
2Do like Appigo Todo have a 2 layer hierachy. In their case its a Calendar and Sub-Project. Enter a task as per normal but change the type from ToDo to Project.
Your ToDo task will morph to become a brief case indicating a Sub-Project. You can then hit the plus image to add more tasks to this mini project of yours.
2Do gives you an option to organize your Calendars, Smart Calendars or Sub-Projects according to a few parameters. So if your sub projects need to be completed in a certain sequence and not by due date, change the option to Manually.
You can then reorder the ToDo Task as how they should be completed.
In most to-do list, we filter by contexts based on the time we have, where we are and who we come into contact with. In 2Do is no different. But 2Do have a rather useful feature.
Here you can save your filters as Smart Calendars much like another todo app called Remember the milk.
You will have a default calendar “All” that you can view every task under the sky. Tap the search bar and it will bring more options.
Notice the Tag next to the bar.
You can then select specific contexts to filter to. This is up to how you work. You might want to filter by work done at home that takes a medium amount of time.
You can then filter by the duration where the task is due.
You can then save the search and then you have a Smart Calendar on the left side tab bar that you can always refer to that filter. What i do is to Edit the Smart Calendar and change its color to something uniform and rearrange all these context filters to the top.
Then I will do or execute the task by determining where i am location wise and which mode/chunk i am in now.
I removed the check box that is common in most todo list apps to check off once you are done. If you touch the task long enough a Quick Action bar will appear. I really love the look of the quick action bar as in a glance i can know what i can do to the task.
So you can choose to set the Task as Done or Copy to make a duplicate of the task or just delete an errant task.
How much does it cost?
You can find 2Do on the App Store for USD 6.99. Not the most expensive to-do list but not the cheapest as well.
What does this To-Do list sync with?
Every advance task management to-do list will need to sync with something we were using prior to this application. For 2Do the provide:
Sync with Toodledo Web Based Task Manager [Instructions here>>]
Folks should register an account with Toodledo as it seem to have become the defactor task management backup standard.
Sync with Outlook on Windows PC [Instructions here >>]
- 2Do only supports recurring patterns exposed by itself and may not correctly set the kind of advanced pattern, if any, found in Outlook.
- Daily, Weekly, Monthly and Yearly repeat patterns are supported so long as these do not use Start and End dates offered by Outlook. Also, Weekly patterns with an interval of 1 week is supported by 2Do at the moment.
- Alarms created in 2Do are not re-created in Outlook and vice versa. This will be looked at in coming updates.
- More of an outlook issue: Outlook may at times need to be relaunched after a sync session in order to refresh its list if a lot of tasks changed/updated.
- It is recommended one syncs 2Do with a single paired machine at any given time. Cross syncing across multiple machines with Outlook is experimental and may not always produce desired results.
Sync with iCal on Mac [Instructions here >>]
- Projects and Checklists are not natively supported by Sync Services (iCal) on the Mac, thus synced Projects and Checklists will appear as normal tasks in iCal.
- If syncing with Google or Exchange on the Mac, Sync Services will sync these subscribed calendars as Read Only with 2Do
- From 2Do v1.2 onwards, initial sync with iCal will sync calendar colors from and to iCal. Subsequent syncs will not sync iCal colors to 2Do but will sync 2Do color changes back to iCal.
- This is there to bypass a bug currently present in iCal that darkens the originally set color over a number of subsequent syncs. This happens if the color was synced from a 3rd Party app and not modified directly from iCal.
Overall, this is a dream of a task management app. Based on the Smart Calendar alone, i rate it higher than Appigo Todo. Do give it a try as i highly recommend it for hard core believers in Getting Things Done.
This is part of a series where i talk about my GTD experience and my setup.
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