Ok @joebuhlig, here’s how I’m using 2Do. Sorry for the lack of screenshots and what not, but this is just going to be a big brain dump and probably will be a little bit hard to follow. Sorry in advance.
There are a few items you should know about my setup before you begin, as they could be deal breakers for you.
Reminders sync: This is key to my daily workflow across all platforms.
Mac primary / iPad Pro secondary: I don’t work much from an iOS device (although 2Do does have a very good iOS app IMO).
Minimal lists: I don’t have a ton of lists, I segment more by “areas of interest”.
Why do I use Reminders sync? Primarily because it affords me the following features:
- I can view my Reminders in my calendar. This gives me a fuller picture of my day.
- I can use a 3rd party app for Watch complications. 2Do doesn’t natively offer this, and I’m not sure when/if it’s coming.
- Natural language parsing through Fantastical. I use a Drafts action that sends a reminder to Fantastical and adds it to my Inbox list.
- Completed tasks show on the date they were completed in your calendar with Fantasical.
I break my lists down more by Area of Interest rather than by projects. This is different than OmniFocus. In OF I used to have folders as Areas of Interest and then each “task” with more than one step became a project. I don’t find that works very well with 2Do.
Outline of current groups/lists:
- After Hours
a. Home: anything I’m doing around the house
c. Freelance: houses any tasks I’m doing for any outside projects
a. Church: general list for all tasks / projects / checklists
b. Web Dev: general list for all tasks / projects / checklists
a. Routines: all regularly occurring tasks
b. Goals: all my goals (50,000 / 40,000 / weekly / etc…)
c. Someday / Maybe: things outside of the above areas that I’d like to checkout (books to read, apps to use, etc…)
Those are the primary areas that I make use of.
Start Dates & Due Dates (no alerts)
I don’t have very many long running tasks. I only schedule stuff I need to see for sure on a specific day, and I make sparse use of alerts. I generally find that I have work hours, and if something shows up on my list on the day I need to do it, I can get it done, or re-schedule it, without needing to get alerted at some point in the day.
If something alerts me on the due date, and it’s something that will take me longer than 10 min to do, I’m already screwed.
I do set due dates for many tasks that have a Start Date because of my Watch workflow. If I don’t have a due date set, it won’t show in the Watch complication. This isn’t ideal, but it is what it is.
Some example use cases:
Daily Review: I have a recurring “Project” in my “Routines” list called “Daily Review”. I set the Start Date to be in the morning at 8am. I have a due date set to the same day, around the time I’d like to have the review done (usually 10am).
Read Book: I’m using tasks (similar to the OmniFocus Read Books script) that have daily start dates that show up to remind me to read the next chapter of the book I’m trying to finish. This isn’t a hard deadline that I really want to finish during my work day, so I don’t set a due date on these tasks.
Project: I sometimes have projects in one of my list that have 4-8 tasks that I need to complete. I don’t put any due dates on those individual tasks (I do start dates for the milestones I want to hit related to those), and then I do a global due date on the Project itself.
One of the caveats with due dates, Reminders, & Fantastical is that regardless of the day you complete the individual tasks, they will show completed on the “due date” in Fantastical. I’m not exactly sure why, but just something I’ve tolerated so far.
Watch Complication + Reminders / Calendar integration
2Do doesn’t have a native Watch complication, which is something I really like having with OmniFocus. I find it helps to see my progress throughout the day if it shows me how many tasks I have left for the day. I initially tried Fantastical here, but Fantastical’s background updating is SLLLOOWWW. I found another 3rd party app (GoodTask - $4.99) that has super fast background fetching, and nice complications.
I use a large complication showing my next three tasks for the day. The beauty of using Reminders sync with this is that GoodTask will show your events inline with your tasks (if you use due dates). So if you have a meeting at 1pm and you have another task you’re trying to complete by 12pm, those will show inline and you can see how your day is going.
How do I select the tasks that I’m going to be doing for the day?
Because of my Watch workflow needing a due date, as I’m going through my lists, I use the
T shortcut to set the due date to the current day, instead of Starring the tasks. This way it shows on my watch, so I can check it throughout my day.
So I go through a few smart lists to get tasks for my days:
@WaitingOn: This is a Smart list that shows any tasks that I have have been assigned the
@WaitingOn tag. The tag is paused though, so they aren’t showing in my regular lists. This list shows me those, as long as they haven’t been assigned a date. So I can just browse through this and follow-up with anything I see I might need to do.
Deferred: This is another Smart list that shows all my tasks with a start date. Do I have something that I scheduled into the future but I could go ahead and get it finished now?
Anytime: Another Smart list that shows anything that hasn’t been given a date yet. Depending on how busy my day is I’ll go through this and see what I have that I could move to today.
I follow the review setup that @joebuhlig goes through in the Working with OmniFocus video series. I’ve just re-created these in 2Do based on those schedules & tasks.
Miscellaneous Things I Like
A few things that I really like about how 2Do works vs other apps like OmniFocus.
- Nested Projects / Checklists will show their parent list if the item is scheduled for Today. It drives me crazy that I don’t see the hierarchy in OmniFocus when a child task is scheduled for Today.
- Notes can just be notes. Because 2Do supports task “actions” for URLs, emails, etc… then I can allow Notes to just be notes. they don’t need to contain links, email addresses, etc… This means that I can also always show the notes and not get a bunch of visual cruft in my lists.
- Automatic Sorting options. I can have some lists sort by tags, other lists sort by due date, some can be manual to give me a sense of sequential projects, etc… But the bottom line is sorting is much more streamlined and easy to manage.
- Multiple alerts. I make very sparse use of alerts, but when I need an alert for something I have to do at a specific time, it’s nice to have the option for nagging alerts, and multiple alerts that ensure that I’m going to get the task done.
- iOS app is full featured. Everything I can do on the Mac app can be done in iOS easily. In fact batch editing is almost easier on iOS than it is on the Mac.
- Color coded lists. This is a wonderful feature when I just need to scan my list of tasks for the day and see how they break down.
I’m not 100% satisfied with this setup. There are quite a few caveats with my setup, but ultimately what I find nice is that I can work through my lists at a quick pace on my phone when I need to, and I can view my tasks with my calendar events and completed tasks.