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Why Your To-Do List is Broken and How You Can Fix It
Great things don't typically come about haphazardly. From movies to monuments, books to bridges, the greatest human achievements require methodical planning. You can't just randomly come up with ideas and expect them to turn out great—you have to list ideas, figure out what step or item comes after another, and work through each one before shipping the completed project.
Outlines are a great way to list everything needed in a project, but they're typically considered something better for students and writers. Checkvist tries instead to make outlines the default productivity tool for everyone.
At their most basic, outlines are just a list of ideas–and that's how your Checkvist lists will start out. With a blank canvas for writing, you'll list each thing you're thinking about in a new outline. Type one item, press Enter, then write another. Forget something that should have gone above? Press Alt+Enter to start a new line above the one you're on. Or, to add sub-points, press Tab to indent and Shift+Tab to undent. And if you need to move something around, hold shift then click on the item and drag it, or just press CMD+arrow to move it up or down.
Paper outlines are simple to write down, but they're not so simple to rearrange and format. So that's where Checkvist focuses the most. It's packed with keyboard shortcuts to help you quickly list everything, organize it the way you want, and turn your outline of ideas into actionable projects.
As such, it also includes tasks, tags, and due dates. Select an item and press Space to mark it as completed, or tap dd to to enter a due date or make it a repeating task. Or, when typing in a new task, type ^tomorrow or a caret symbol followed by any other date to quickly set its due date. Add tags with hashtags or by pressing tt, and assign tasks to others with @username or by pressing ae.
There's formatting, too. Use standard markdown formatting to quickly add bold, italics, links and more to list items, or press nn to add a note to an item complete with formatting. Or, click the 3-dot menu on an item to set its priority with one of 6 colors. And when your outlines get too long and things get too confusing, select a heading and press ss to sort alphabetically, by due date, or priority—or just turn that section into its own list via the 3-button menu.
Over time, you'll end up with tasks across a number of outlines—so Checkvist makes sure you can still find them easily with a Due page that pulls all items with a due date into an extra list. There's a similar page for tags, to find related items, along with a search box that includes options to search by priority, status and more in addition to text.
Outlines may seem like a boring relic of education, but they're still one of the best ways to organize your thoughts, brainstorm, and figure out what to work on next. Checkvist is a great tool for building outlines—and quickly turning them into real projects with assigned tasks and due dates.
Get started quickly with Checkvist's keyboard shortcuts and features with the Checkvist Reference.