20+ Todoist Tricks for Streamlining Your Task List

Carlin Sack
Carlin Sack / August 23, 2016

Throughout your day, you come across many tasks. Maybe some of those tasks are ones you didn't get to yesterday, while others are on deck for tomorrow. Some you need to take action on now—or assign to teammates. All of these tasks are scattered across various places: in emails, your team chat tool, your calendar, your CRM, on paper, or in your head.

That's why you need a central to-do list. With Todoist, you can track and prioritize your tasks, organize them with labels, or add them to shared team projects. Ease your mind and realize that you're not forgetting anything, thanks to your Todoist list. Plus, your centralized list allows you to better budget your time and improve transparency around tasks for team projects.

Todoist
Manage your tasks with Todoist

Pair Todoist with Zapier, so your scattered tasks from other tools are automatically added to Todoist. That way, you immediately get a clear picture of your tasks for the day—without wasting time switching between apps. Here's how 20 people use Todoist with Zapier to manage their days and streamline their tasks.


Use Todoist and Zapier to:


Introduction to Setting up Todoist with Zapier

Zapier helps streamline your task management process by automatically passing data between Todoist and the other apps you use, such as Google Calendar, Evernote, Slack, Gmail, and more. Here's how to set up an integration between Todoist and Zapier.

Let's say you want to set aside dedicated time on your calendar to take care of your Todoist tasks. You can use Zapier to connect Google Calendar to Todoist, so that new Todoist tasks are added directly to Google Calendar as events. Whenever you create a new Todoist task, an automatic workflow called a "Zap" adds the task to Google Calendar.

To set up a Zap like this from scratch, log into your Zapier account or sign up for a free account and click "Make a Zap." Start out by connecting your Todoist account to Zapier. Make sure you already have an incomplete Todoist task created, and then tell Zapier which project to look at so it will pull the most recently created task.

Example of a Todoist Zap
Connect your Todoist account to Zapier

In the second step, connect your Google Calendar account and customize the Zap. Then turn the Zap on.

Example of a Todoist Zap
Connect your Google Calendar account to Zapier

Now every time a new Todoist task is created, Zapier will add it your Google Calendar—you won't need to worry about doing it yourself.

There are many other ways you can streamline your business and personal tasks with Todoist and Zapier. Here are some ideas from professionals who are doing just that.


Manage Your Schedule

Todoist helps you get a clear picture of your day and prioritize what needs to get done. The truth is, though, commitments outside of our task lists (like meetings and appointments) take up a lot of our days and leave us feeling like we got "nothing done." You can use Zapier to automatically add your meeting schedule to Todoist, so you get a realistic picture of your day ahead of time. Plus, you can see how much time you have left for other tasks outside of your appointments (without having to switch between platforms to do so).

Danny Ramos, customer insight analyst at online web meeting tool company ReadyTalk, uses this Zap between Google Calendar and Todoist to give him an overall view of each day's tasks and meetings.

"This Google Calendar Zap saves me the most time," Ramos says. "Zapier automatically creates Todoist tasks for me with information about when and where my meetings are."

Dave Kleist, strategic solution consultant at supply chain management software company SPS Commerce, manages his day in a similar way—but with Office 365:

"I use Todoist to manage my time and attention; it's my single source of information for what I have planned for today, for the rest of the week, and for tracking tasks I may not have completed," Kleist says. "This Zap allows me to pull up Todoist and see a single comprehensive picture of both tasks and meetings. The integration helps me avoid re-entering meeting data into Todoist."

Trevor Hussey, who does sales development at internet marketing company OwnLocal, uses the same Zap: "It saves me headspace when I know that everything I have to do that day—including meetings—is logged in Todoist."

Additionally, you can integrate your calendar with Todoist by automatically blocking off time for yourself to complete your Todoist tasks:

Another trick is to auto-add tasks to Todoist that need to be completed as soon as possible. Ben Lawson, practice manager at cloud computing company Veeva Systems, keeps himself on track by using Zapier to automatically create Todoist tasks weekly and daily. That way, tasks only appear when they are time-sensitive and his task list only contains the most immediate tasks.

"I have Zapier create Todoist tasks just before the time I have to work on them," Lawson says. "For example, each Friday afternoon I'm prompted to check that everyone in my team has submitted their billable hours and each morning I'm prompted to check any assigned issues in JIRA. This means recurring admin tasks don't clutter up Todoist and don't pull focus away from what I actually want to get done next."

You can also set up Zaps to automatically create Todoist projects at certain times:

Turn Conversations into Action Items

Many conversations with teammates or customers result in small tasks for you to take care of. Todoist helps you track those items and get them done, but you have to make sure the tasks make it into Todoist in the first place. One of the most effective ways to do this is to pair Todoist with the communication tools you use every day.

For Gmail users—such as Andrea Bevilacqua, a veterinarian at HemmaVet—this means setting up Zaps that send certain Gmail messages to Todoist so they aren't forgotten. Bevilacqua uses a Zap to create Todoist tasks whenever he labels an email with "to answer later."

He uses another Zap to create Todoist tasks from emails that he sends to himself. The Zap will kick off whenever a newly received email matches certain criteria (in this case, if it has his email address as both the sender and recipient).

"This Zap creates a Todoist task whenever I send an email to myself, which I find to be a much faster way to create a task when I'm already inside Gmail," Bevilacqua says.

You can also star emails in Gmail, and have Zapier auto-create Todoist tasks from those starred Gmail messages:

Christopher Peltz, technical support manager at University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry, keeps up with conversations and the tasks that relate to them by iterating on Todoist's recurring task feature. Peltz built a Zap that automatically creates follow up tasks for labeled, completed Todoist tasks.

"I have many correspondences that I need to follow up on when people haven't gotten back to me," Peltz says. "So I tag the email with a label I made called 'Follow up.' The Zap then makes a Todoist task due two days later called 'Follow up on [original task name.]' This has saved me so much aggravation while trying to juggle open conversations and making sure nothing slips through the cracks. I use Todoist as a single platform for everything that needs my attention and I rely heavily on Zapier to automate things so I don't have to do tedious clerical tasks. It's helping me combat my hectic personal and professional life."

If your organization uses other communication tools, such as team chat app Slack, make sure action items from those virtual conversations are pushed to Todoist, too. You can create Todoist tasks from Slack messages, just like you can with emails:

Even if you have in-person conversations with customers or teammates, you can turn the tasks coming out of those conversations into Todoist tasks by voice with your smartwatch or by taking a photo of the handwritten meeting notes using Evernote. Then use a Zap to send the new note to Todoist.

Danny Ramos, customer insight analyst at online web meeting tool company ReadyTalk, uses this Zap for capturing tasks from meetings:

"I use the quick capture Evernote camera on my phone to take pictures of whiteboards, which creates a note in my ‘To be sorted’ Evernote folder," Ramos says. "Whenever a new note is created that folder, the Zap creates a task for me in Todoist."

Instead of taking notes on paper or a whiteboard, you can use a note-taking app that supports handwritten notes, such as OneNote:

Close More Sales

Getting the attention of potential customers is one of the keys to your business' success. Facebook Lead Ads help interested Facebook users share their information with you easily—that way, you can make contact and tell them more about your business. Once you've attracted a list of prospective new customers, have Todoist remind you to make initial contact with them.

Apto.vc, a website for buying and comparing apartments, uses this Zap. "We generate a lot of leads on Facebook, so it would a pain if we had to download all of them in .csv files," founder Alex Frachetta says. "Zapier helps by putting each lead into Todoist as a task for today, so we can take action ASAP. By automating this process, we can interact with new leads quickly."

Once your leads turn into customers and buy your product, there's a new place to focus your team's efforts: Get those users set up with your offering and make sure they are happy with it. You can set up Zaps such as this one to help you manage that process, too:

For example, Morgan Oberg, tutor at adult education company Sensus, relies on Todoist to help him fulfill customer orders. Whenever a customer places an order via a Wufoo form, a Zap creates a Todoist task that reminds him to package and send the order. Plus, the Zap prints the shipping label via Google Cloud Print and updates the customer's information in email marketing tool MailChimp.

"When somebody makes an order, I have Zapier send the info to Todoist so I can remember what to do," Oberg says. "In order not to market things to my customers that they have already ordered, I send the order info to MailChimp."

Once the order is sent, Oberg marks the Todoist task as complete, which kicks off another Zap:

"When an order is complete, Zapier sends a Twilio SMS, which tells the customer that the order is on its way," Oberg says. "It's great that I don't have to have our web team program all the things we need. With Zapier, it's possible for us to automate these things quickly and easily."


"It's great that I don't have to have our web team program all the things we need. With Zapier, it's possible for us to automate these things quickly and easily."- Morgan Oberg, tutor at Sensus


You can also create Todoist tasks to help you quickly react to customer orders that don't go through:

Try integrating Todoist directly with a CRM or contact management tool to organize client-related tasks. Perhaps your sales team tracks those tasks directly in a CRM, but you prefer to organize them in Todoist, so you can get a clear picture of your tasks all in one spot. Andres Irigo, a development agent at sandwich franchise Subway, uses a Zap to do this:

"Todoist is the best task manager I've ever seen, so I use a Zap to automatically send new tasks from Streak to Todoist," Irigo says. "It helps me to clarify my mind."

No matter what CRM app your team uses, Zaps can help you track actionable items:

Collaborate on Projects

Your task list doesn't exist on its own. Your teammates each have one, too. Improve team transparency and let others know about your progress with a Todoist project. You can even invite your teammates to collaborate on it.

Todoist
Invite teammates to your Todoist project

Eliminate Roadblocks

Delegation and collaboration are a big part of working on a team. This also means that others rely on you to complete your tasks before they can start on theirs. Eliminate those roadblocks quickly by letting your teammates know exactly when you're done with your tasks.

Todoist's activity log ensures you won't have to ask around to find out who's doing what and when it will be done.

Todoist
Activty log for a Todoist project

You can also automatically notify your team (or only certain teammates) when tasks are done, so that everyone's on the same page:

If a teammate needs to take action once your task is complete—perhaps reviewing or approving your work, or starting a whole new task or project—you can automate the process by sending them a Todoist project invitation using Zapier.

If you want to tell your teammate exactly what step to take next (aka "Please review this"), you can also have the Zap create a task and assign it to your teammate at the same time.

If your team follows a certain project management workflow, you can automate it with Todoist Zaps. For example, when you finish your task, you know your teammate has to review it. You can create the task for your teammate, but you're not sure if they already created that task for themselves. Use this Zap to search for an existing task or, if the task doesn't already exist, create it.

If your completed task enables your teammate to start a whole new project, then you can have the Zap create the project for the teammate and invite your teammate to the newly created project. To make sure you don't create duplicate projects, tell the Zap to search for an existing project first. If the Zap doesn't find the project, it will create it.

Collaborate across Project Management Tools

Your teammates may not all use the same project and task management tools. That's okay—set up Zaps to get all of your team members' tasks into one place. For example, Kara Chambers, vice president of talent strategy at multimedia financial services company The Motley Fool, uses Trello as a visual dashboard for her tasks and sends location- or date-specific tasks to Todoist.

"I like the repeating and location-based functions of Todoist," Chambers says. "So if there are next actions with future dates, I drop them into my Todoist list without even leaving Trello."

Quinn Murphy, a technical team lead at Netsuite, also uses Trello with Todoist to organize his tasks:

"When a task is created or moved to the 'work in progress' list on a Trello board, the Zap adds it to the corresponding project to Todoist," Murphy says. "Because I have a lot of Trello boards, I like to aggregate everything that's in progress in Todoist because it naturally dovetails into my day-to-day work."

Then, when Murphy marks the Todoist task as complete, he set up another Zap to find the original Trello card and move it the 'done' list of a board, plus logs the task in time-tracking tool RescueTime.

Christopher Peltz, technical support manager at University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry, uses Todoist with Trello and Jotform to manage projects.

"We use Trello to track our IT projects at a high level and Todoist to flesh out the task list," Peltz says. "I made a form where I just type in the project name and description, then the Zap creates the project in Trello and in Todoist. Now, setting up new projects across platforms is as simple as filling out a two-field form."

Joshua Boehm, COO and co-founder of encrypted messenger company Cyph, uses issue-tracking tool JIRA and Todoist to track a variety of tasks for his business.

"I was sick of having notes in so many different applications. Zapier lets us easily aggregate all that content into one central place—Todoist," Boehm says. "When you're at a small startup, wearing many hats, it's very useful to just look at Todoist and have peace-of-mind that there isn't anything I'm forgetting about."


"I was sick of having notes in so many different applications. Zapier lets us easily aggregate all that content into one central place—Todoist. It's very useful to just look at Todoist and have peace-of-mind that there isn't anything I'm forgetting about."- Joshua Boehm, COO and co-founder at Cyph


Ian Willis, director at home care agency Abney and Baker, uses a Zap to add tasks from collaborative work tool Podio to Todoist to get maximum peace-of-mind.

"This has saved me a lot of time and removed the need for manual data entry," Willis says. "It also means that nothing gets missed: having confidence that we're on top of everything that needs doing is by far the greatest value we derive from using Zapier."

No matter what task and project management tools your team uses, you can add tasks to Todoist with these Zaps:

Simplify Business Operations

If you're a small business owner, you have tons of admin tasks, but don't have time do it all yourself. Set up Zaps to help you delegate tasks across your team. One simple way to do that is with a spreadsheet. Jot down the tasks in a spreadsheet and Zapier will mass-create and assign the tasks in Todoist.

Bar Twito, director of operations at youth summer camp Camp Young Judaea, helps run summer camps for hundreds of campers and works with 100 employees to plan activities for the campers. He uses Google Sheets and Todoist to accomplish this.

The staff member fills out an online form about proposed activity, which is then fed into Google Sheets. From there, Zapier re-formats the activity name and time using Zapier's Formatter app. Then the Zap creates a project in Todoist for the activity, after checking to see if the project already exists. Finally, the Zap invites other staff members to join the Todoist project, so that everyone can collaborate and add tasks to the project.

"By inviting the original activity requester to the project, they can stay in the loop if there are any comments about the activity," Twito says. "This Zap has been successful: My staff doesn't need to come to the office to get their next task assignment and we don't need to print spreadsheets of our activities, which just get lost."

Twito also automates the camp's maintenance and housekeeping departments with Todoist Zaps. When someone fills out a Google Form, which is added into Google Sheets, a new Todoist task is created and the spreadsheet is updated with the Todoist task ID.

Once the maintenance task is completed, another Zap is triggered, which updates the spreadsheet and sends an email to the person who originally placed the request.

"Let's say there was a note attached to the completed Todoist task, such as 'Have a Nice Day,'" Twito says. "The Zap will email the note to the person who filled out the form. We have been really pleased with the way it's working: in the last 30 days, we have managed close to 350 requests."

You can also use Zaps to help you turn repetitive admin emails into actionable tasks—and you don't have to spend time opening the email. Christopher Peltz, technical support manager at University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry, saves himself time by turning emails about errands into tasks immediately.

"The UPS Store sends us an email whenever a package arrives, which used to be hard to remember and juggle mid-day as things are happening," Peltz says. "So I just set up a Zap that makes a Todoist task for that day called 'Go to UPS Store' whenever we get an email from the UPS store address. Now I never have to worry about processing those emails into tasks manually."

Alternatively, you can set up Zapier Email Parser to extract certain details from your emails, so that you can add only those details to Todoist. With the Zapier Email Parser, you set up a custom email address that you can forward messages to. Tell it which information is relevant, and the Email Parser will take care of the rest.

Todoist
Parse emails with Zapier Email Parser

Once you have the email parser configured, use Zapier to send the parsed information to Todoist. This Zap is especially helpful for routine emails, such as email reminders about bills, packages, or subscriptions.

Log and Analyze Completed Tasks

Nothing is more satisfying than checking tasks off your list. But don't let the fun stop there: you can check your Todoist karma score to visualize your completed tasks and to keep yourself motivated.

Todoist
Visualize your productivity with Todoist karma scores

You can also do more with your completed tasks, like analyze them in a spreadsheet for even more insight into your productivity. Andrew Richardson, group client services director at hotel IT provider Xn Protel Systems, uses a Zap to send his completed tasks to an Excel spreadsheet, where he can sort and analyze the tasks periodically.

"Todoist is my one true picture of tasks and the hub of my project management system," Richardson says. "I like to record completed tasks from specific projects in Excel, so that I can review them later."

No matter what spreadsheet tool you use, you can feed your completed Todoist tasks into it using a Zap. For example, you can add your completed tasks to Google Sheets, where you can run custom scripts and build reports.

Trevor Hussey, who does sales development at internet marketing service company OwnLocal, uses a Zap to track completed, labeled Todoist tasks from the day in note-taking app Evernote. That way, at the end of the day he has a clean, shareable log of all the calls he made, emails he sent, and everything else he accomplished.

You can also pair Todoist with other productivity tools like time-trackers. That way, your teammates can track your progress and you can keep tabs on which tasks take up most of your time.

Joshua Boehm, COO and co-founder of encrypted messenger company Cyph, splits his time between many aspects of the business. He uses Todoist and time-tracking app RescueTime to keep himself in check and to make sure he is spending his time well.

"RescueTime is really helpful as a general sanity check as to where my time goes," Boehm says. "If I don't have data to look at, it's very easy to think that I'm spending a disproportionate amount of time in one aspect of the business. Using Zapier to expand on RescueTime and Todoist also prevents you from lying to yourself and saying you've been productive when you haven't."

You can also use these Zaps to track the time you spend on projects or give your teammates status updates:

Todoist + Zapier, Better Together

Todoist and Zapier

Zapier integrates with 500+ apps, many of which didn't make it into this post. Get creative and customize how you use these apps together with Todoist and Zapier.

Do you use Todoist and Zapier in a unique way that we didn't cover in this post? Share your ideas in the comments below!

Get Productivity Tips In Your Inbox

Learn about workflow, company building, and how to get things done.

Load Comments...

Comments powered by Disqus

Workflow

Take the Work out of Workflow

Zapier is the easiest way to automate powerful workflows with more than 1,500 apps.