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Todoist’s iOS 14 Widgets Make Managing and Creating Tasks Easier than Ever

Todoist’s three new widget types.

Todoist’s three new widget types.

Even before iOS and iPadOS 14 brought a new form and function to widgets on Apple platforms, one of the tried and true widget use cases in previous years was task lists. Some of my most used widgets over the years have been those provided by my task manager, so I was excited to see the slate of new widgets Todoist has introduced in its latest update for iPhone and iPad.

Before detailing the new widgets, though, it’s important to state up front that for all the advantages of iOS 14’s new widgets, they bring a regression that negatively impacts task managers especially: widgets can no longer be fully interactive. In the iOS 13 widget for Todoist, you could check off tasks as you completed them without needing to open the full app. With the app’s new widgets that’s no longer possible, because the only interactions Apple currently allows in widgets is launchers into different parts of an app. The good news is that apps are allowed to offer both iOS 13 and iOS 14 widgets to users, so on iOS 14 Todoist users will find both options available. If you really need the old functionality it’s still available to you, there’s just no way to add a legacy widget to the Home screen.

That bad news out of the way, let me focus on how Todoist’s team has made the most of the new widget system in a couple key ways.

Let’s start with its basic Tasks widget. In iOS 14 you can configure a list of your tasks to appear in either a small, medium, or large widget. Each widget can be set to show tasks from your Today or Upcoming lists, or one of your projects, labels, or filters. Despite being unable to check off tasks from the widget, there are two advantages over Todoist’s previous widget: information density and the ability to create multiple widgets. Since Todoist’s developers no longer need to create large touch targets for users to check off tasks, the widget is able to display a bit more information than before. And you can now create separate widgets tied to separate lists of tasks, even stacking them if you’d like, offering a lot more flexibility than before.

Besides widgets for lists of tasks, Todoist offers two other widget types: Productivity and Add Task. The former displays stats relating to your task completion goals for the day and week, along with your karma score. I’ve never been big on tracking the number of tasks I complete in a given day, but the Productivity widget’s nice to have for users who care about those numbers. The Add Task widget, however, is exactly what I would want from every task manager.

Configuring Todoist’s Add Task widget.

Configuring Todoist’s Add Task widget.

Both the medium and large Tasks widgets already offer a button to quickly create a new task inside Todoist, but the dedicated Add Task widget is special because it can be customized to create tasks that have their metadata pre-filled. You can set which project and section the newly created task will have, its due date, priority, labels, and even the task name if there’s a specific task you commonly create. Once it’s set up for your preferences, the Add Task widget eliminates the monotony of filling in metadata over and over again for every new task. If you commonly create tasks assigned to a certain project and with a certain due date, the widget is now the quickest way to do that.

Add Task is only available as a small widget and as a result it can only have a single group of pre-sets for creating a single type of task, but that makes it a perfect candidate for stacking. Using a few different Add Task widgets for different types of common tasks you create and having them stacked will still provide a faster task creation method than having to enter the metadata over and over with every new task.


Todoist already offered the fastest task creation of any task manager I’ve used thanks to its natural language input system, but now with the Add Task widget it provides an even faster method. Todoist’s developers have clearly spent time considering the needs of their users and have built a suite of widgets that meet those needs well. The OS restriction against full interaction will hopefully be removed in the future, but even if it never is, Todoist has delivered value with its new widgets that more than makes up for what it lost.

Todoist is available on the App Store.


Todoist Introduces New Upcoming View Across All Platforms

Popular cross-platform task manager Todoist is introducing a new Upcoming view today that serves as a replacement for the previous Next 7 Days view and adds greater functionality to it with a new calendar element and by offering access to all future tasks.

If you’ve used Next 7 Days in the past, or even the Scheduled view in Apple’s Reminders app or Upcoming in Things, you’ll feel right at home in Todoist’s Upcoming view. It’s essentially an endless list of all tasks with due dates, divided by day. One detail I appreciate is that even days containing no assigned tasks remain visible in the view, whereas in Reminders, for example, Scheduled only shows days with assignments. I could see this bothering some users, but for my needs it’s great because it allows easily rescheduling tasks by dragging and dropping them on to any day I’d like; if only the days with existing tasks were visible, that wouldn’t be possible. It’s just as well-suited for creating new tasks, since you can drag the add task button on to any day you’d like.

Besides providing access to all scheduled tasks, rather than just the next week’s worth, the main change with Todoist’s Upcoming view is the new calendar element. Similar to the Forecast view found in OmniFocus, this takes the form of a row lining the top of the screen that displays the next week’s worth of dates. A small dot indicates whether a day has assigned tasks or not, and you can swipe left to page through future sets of days. You can also tap the month/year button in the top-left corner of the calendar row to bring up a scrolling month view for the sake of quickly navigating further into the future.

The Upcoming view isn’t exactly world-changing, but it is markedly better than what it replaces, and if Todoist were my primary task manager it would absolutely be the view I spent all of my time in. I love the ease of seeing all my tasks in one place, rescheduling them via drag and drop, and the added utility of the new calendar row. Everyone’s task management needs and preferences are different, but if it were up to me, every task manager would have a view that works like this.

Todoist is available on the App Store.


Todoist Foundations: Key Refinements Modernize the Popular Task Manager

Today Todoist has launched a major update across all platforms under the branding Todoist Foundations. That name implies a complete ground-up revision to the app, and while that’s accurate in terms of under-the-hood code changes, from a user-facing standpoint this is still the Todoist you know, but with a variety of new features: project sections, a dynamic add button, new task and sub-task views, and more. Todoist’s team also says that Foundations lays the necessary coding groundwork for more substantial features that are coming in the future, such as Boards and an Upcoming View.

Todoist didn’t need a big rethinking, but what it did stand to benefit from was design enhancements and streamlining that makes everything quicker, easier to use, and more flexible, and that’s exactly what this release brings. If you haven’t tried Todoist in a while, Todoist Foundations is a compelling reason to give the task manager another try.

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Getting Tasks out of Your Head and into Todoist Has Never Been Simpler

Todoist, one of our favorite task managers, has added deep integration with iOS 11 as well as adding a handful of other handy features in its latest update. At its core, Todoist is a web service, but you wouldn’t know it most of the time. Unlike many web service-based apps, Todoist continually adopts iOS-only features that help it compete in a category that is packed with strong rivals.

Apple didn’t add many new SiriKit intents with iOS 11, but it did add one for tasks. It took a while to get in the habit of using Siri to add tasks to Todoist, but I’ve been delighted with how well it works. It’s been both quick and reliable. Not only can you ask Siri to add tasks to Todoist, but you can also assign a due date and ask Siri to show you tasks in a specific date range or from a particular list.

iPad users can take advantage of drag and drop to add content to Todoist. For example, drag in a Mail message and the subject becomes the task name, and the body becomes an attached comment. You can also drag in images, text snippets, URLs, and other content. However, Todoist does not support dragging tasks into other apps.

Todoist is one of the few apps I’ve found so far that implements iOS 11’s new Password AutoFill. You may be familiar with a similar feature that’s been part of Safari for a while. The concept is similar. If it’s stored in your iCloud Keychain, Password AutoFill will suggest that it fill in your password for you, which makes for a much smoother login process.

Todoist has a few other nice features in store for users. The app could already attach photos to comments, but now you can attach nearly any file-type. This is especially handy when assigning a task to which you want to attach reference materials. Todoist has also added haptic feedback to supported iPhones when completing or rescheduling a task. Finally, Todoist has a custom Quick Add keyboard that includes ‘@‘ and ‘#’ for faster labeling and task assignment.

Todoist continues to evolve with iOS. The new iOS 11 features added to the app make it easier than ever to get information into Todoist quickly and efficiently so you can get on with your work. As Todoist adds features that bring it closer in line with the macOS version, I find myself switching to my iPad Pro for work more and more often.

Todoist is available on the App Store.


Scanbot Adds Todoist Integration

I love it when two of my favorite apps come together with integrations that speed up and simplify my workflow. Last week, Scanbot – my go-to scanner app for iOS – rolled out a new Todoist integration that lets you scan and save a document as a task.

The feature is explained here, and it’s quite ingenious: tasks are saved with the name of a scanned document, which is also added as an inline attachment inside a task. You can add due dates and times directly from Scanbot, and you can even pick an existing project for automatic upload, which means that as soon as a document is scanned in the app, it’ll be automatically uploaded as a task to a Todoist project.

As I wrote two years ago, I was hoping Scanbot would consider integration with Todoist, and I’m glad it’s out now.

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Todoist Launches Smart Schedule, an AI-Based Feature to Reschedule Overdue Tasks

When Todoist’s data scientist Oleg Shidlowsky and his team started looking at aggregate task data earlier this year, they discovered an interesting pattern: despite tools to assign due dates and good intentions, most people tend to accumulate incomplete tasks and defer them indefinitely.

The result is a task manager overflowing with rescheduled tasks that not only defeat the entire purpose of GTD (or any other system) – they’re never going to be taken care of because their snowball effect lacks an action plan. You’ve probably done this with your tasks and emails, too: you keep snoozing and deferring some of them because you feel like you don’t have the time or patience to deal with them now. But is there ever a good time?

Instead of reinventing the way due dates and scheduling options should be presented – something that, admittedly, Todoist already does quite well thanks to its natural language support – the company is launching Smart Schedule, a feature powered by AI that wants to help users catch up on their todo list and regain control of overdue tasks.

The goal is simple, yet promising: Todoist is betting on algorithms to understand what’s most important to us and where we can find the time to get everything done without overcommitting to unrealistic deadlines.

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Todoist Launches Native Amazon Echo Integration

Since moving back to Todoist, I’ve been looking for a way to easily add tasks using the Amazon Echo, which has become a staple in our household for a variety of voice commands. Today, the Todoist team has rolled out a native Amazon Echo integration that lets you create tasks and manage your todo list just by talking to Alexa.

Nathan Ingraham, writing for Engadget:

It works much like you’d expect: you can ask Alexa to add items to the various lists that you have in your Todoist account, and you can also ask it to tell you everything that’s on your to-do list for that day. And Alexa works with Todoist’s natural language processing, so you can ask it to add things to your list “tomorrow” or “next Wednesday” and it’ll know just what you’re asking it for. It’s not clear if you’ll be able to tell Alexa to add items to specific projects or to-do lists in your account – they probably get added to whatever your default list is for you to sort out on your phone or computer.

The Todoist blog has more details on how the integration works:

Over the past months, we’ve worked closely with Amazon as part of a limited participation beta of their Alexa integration platform, and we’re thrilled to be able to share the results with you today.

And:

When dictating a task, Todoist’s smart date recognition will automatically recognize and add any due date you say. For example, saying, “Alexa, add pay the rent every first of the month to my to-do list,” will automatically add a recurring task to “Pay the rent” to your Todoist, due on the first day of every month. The task will disappear from your Alexa To-do list until the day your task is due.

Essentially, Todoist can now sync its Inbox list with the Echo’s own todo list; the Echo’s built-in shopping list also gets recreated inside Todoist as an ‘Alexa Shopping List’ project. This allows you to say “add task to my todo list” instead of using a specific Todoist terminology. There are some caveats (you can’t specify Todoist projects, for instance), but this looks like a solid first step.

I configured Todoist with my Amazon Echo earlier today, and everything was up and running in less than two minutes. The Amazon Echo’s excellent voice recognition helps Todoist understand natural language queries for due dates, and I’ve been positively impressed with the speed and consistency so far. I think I’m going to be using this very often.

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Todoist Launches PowerApp for Integrations with Google Calendar, Evernote, and GitHub

Todoist tasks as calendar events in Fantastical and Google Calendar.

Todoist tasks as calendar events in Fantastical and Google Calendar.

Todoist – my favorite task management service that recently also landed on Apple Watch – has never shied away from integrating with other services. The company has long supported automation through IFTTT and Zapier; it can mirror a user’s daily tasks to Sunrise; and, it can import files from Google Drive and Dropbox when you need to add attachments to a task. Today, Todoist is launching PowerApp, the next generation of the company’s integration system based on a new developer platform they’re also debuting today and opening up to third-party apps.

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Todoist Comes to Apple Watch, Updates iOS 8 Extension

I’ve already written at length about my experience with Todoist and leveraging its powerful features for a more flexible todo list.

I’ve been using Todoist for over nine months now, and I continue to appreciate features such as filters and shared projects, which have allowed me to have a superior visualizations of tasks and to collaborate with others on big projects. And then, of course, there’s the work Todoist has done on its iOS app and third-party integrations, bringing natural language support and a handy extension to the iPhone and iPad and extending the service beyond its own apps to embrace solutions like Sunrise (see your tasks alongside calendar events) and IFTTT’s Do Note (type a new task and tap a button to save it).

I depend on Todoist and I genuinely like the service because it’s focused on doing, not fiddling. Today, that focus is becoming even more apparent with a new app for the Apple Watch and an updated extension that makes it even easier to save new tasks from anywhere on iOS.

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