Todoist: One Year On


I last wrote about Todoist almost exactly a year ago and it’s telling that I’m still using it today.

How I use Projects

My usage has evolved a little, mostly through the use of sub-projects. In ToDoist a project is really just a bucket, but because you can have sub-projects you can quickly build a hierarchy if you need one or, like me, just group all your Work and Personal stuff into two big buckets.

There are pros and cons to this approach, the pros surface when you start to use filters, the cons when you want to do a weekly review.

Using filters

The main advantage is how Todoist filters work. Because I have all my Work related projects set as sub-projects, when I create a filter based on the parent (Work) Todoist returns all the sub-tasks in all of the sub-projects. That means I can use filters to give a level of focus when I need it.

Todoist Projects and filters
(Some of) my Todoist Projects and filters

The first few filters shown above were very easy to create and because they will pull in all tasks in any sub-projects, very simple:

  • p:Work & (today | tomorrow | over due)
    p:Work & 5 days
  • A list of filter syntax is provided but it’s worth checking the Support forums for some that are mentioned in this list.

Weekly Review

Todoist does allow you to see your completed tasks, it’s just not very obvious. To get there you need to click on your Karma rating and then view your completed tasks. Here you can apply some limited filters and if you want to get a few graphs drawn for you as well.

I’ve used this to help generate invoices for clients as it’s a quick way to get all the completed tasks in the past week or two for a given project.

Unfortunately my project structure becomes an issue when I want to review all of my Work projects in one go as, for reasons I’m not aware, Todoist handles sub-projects as separate entities rather than returning them all when you select the parent.

It’d be great if this functionality was expanded to be available in a similar way to the filters to allow for easier control, but it’s not a major blocker for me.


As with every app there are gaps that I hope will be filled one day, nothing that stops me using (and loving) Todoist but annoyances nonetheless:

  • Default sorting options – my biggest annoyance is not being able to apply (and save) a default sort to a project or filter. Given that Todoist is so good a being ‘personalisable’ elsewhere, this seems like an odd omission.
  • No Safari extension – specifically a good hook into GMail on Safari.
  • Notes – You can add a note to a task (and that can be text, or an attachment or voice recording) but I must have a task created before I can do that. It would be good if this was streamlined into the task creation process itself.
  • Completed Items – moving this to the same data model as the filters would be a huge boon and make those weekly reviews and reports a lot easier to generate.

Further Reading:

Written By

Long time blogger, Father of Jack, geek of many things, random photographer and writer of nonsense.

Doing my best to find a balance.

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