As hard as I try to use to-do apps, I can’t tear myself away from the calendar on my Mac, iPhone, and iPad

Whenever I’m asked for apps to organize projects and tasks, I always recommend something like Reminders, Todoist, or Things. The GTD method and well-classified tasks are the best way to manage our time, or at least it’s a good first step to test the terrain.

But there is a saying that makes all the sense here: In the blacksmith’s house, wooden spoon. One of my resolutions for 2023 was to adopt one of those task managers to better organize myself and get out of my “addiction” to the calendar, but it has not been possible for me.

More minimalism or more classification, that is the dilemma

mac apple calendar

For me, this is a task manager.

Over the years I have been an avid user of various task managers. Things, Doo and Workflowy have been my most used options, but as time has gone by I have adapted to managing my entire life in the calendar.

Having it like this has given me several advantages: I can make the call time blockingconsisting of estimate the time it will take me to do a task and thus distribute the day as appropriate. It also allows me to color-code each task group, which translates to several different calendars in iCloud.

This is especially interesting in a case like mine in which I am a multi-employee, since this way I can see clearly what I have to do for each project and block the travel time between one task and another if I have to leave home. And at the slightest unforeseen event, it is enough to move those tasks on the calendar to redate them. Very comfortable.

But there came a time when my calendar was full of events, so I thought of dividing it between events as such and tasks that I could have in a more traditional manager. I did a migration to Reminders with those tasks, creating a list for each project and setting time limits for each task.

Smart lists in Reminders.  So we can order our tasks through labels

And for a few days everything went well, but I realized that I was missing an important advantage of having everything on the calendar: you didn’t have to switch between apps to manage those tasks. Everything was concentrated in one place. For me, that is the key.

iphone reminders

I’m not underestimating the capabilities of Reminders by any means: for me it’s a task manager that has nothing to envy from the main paid alternatives. A little adaptation and it can be your best productivity ally.

But in my particular case, I have ended up seeing how I prefer to have everything in one place and mixed with the classic events on the calendar. There are certain things that I have to adapt to, but I always end up feeling better on those calendars than on any to-do list.. I suppose that each head has its way of working.

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